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How to Give Yourself a Massage, No Spa Necessary

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How to Give Yourself a Massage, No Spa Necessary

By Anne-Marie Botek,†AgingCare.com Editor

Research has shown that massages can reduce pain and stiffness, relieve stress and lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus, you just feel great afterwards.

Even if you donít have the time or the money to hire a professional massage therapist, there are ways to tap into benefits of this healthful form of relaxation.

Tips for the time-crunched

Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Inductee, Michele Merhib describes four do-it-yourself massage techniques to help you quickly work out the kinks after a long day at the office.

What youíll need: a chair, a pencil, two tennis balls, and a tube sock

Back: Sitting for hours in traffic and uncomfortable office chairs, can do a number on your back. To soothe your seizing muscles, begin by taking the two tennis balls and placing them in the tube sock. Lie down on your back, with your feet on the floor, knees bent. Place the tube sock lengthwise, just above your sacrum (the triangular bone found at the base of the spine). Make sure that one tennis ball is on each side of your spine. Use your arms and legs to for support and balance as you roll the sock up and down your spine.

Neck: Got a crick in your neck from staring at the computer screen all day? Take your right hand and place it on your left shoulder with your thumb pressing against the base of your neck. While applying constant pressure, rub your thumb slowly back and forth along the base of your neck. Tilting your head towards the side youíre massaging will shorten your muscles and allow you to get a deeper, more intense massage. Once youíve knocked out the knots on one side of your neck, switch hands and repeat the process on the other side.

Foot: You can use a tennis ball to give your aching feet a rest and engage in a little bit of DIY reflexology. Grab your ball and place it on the floor in front of a chair. Sit down and place one foot on the ball. Slowly roll your foot backwards and forwards, putting as much pressure on the ball as is comfortable. Merhib says that you should feel a slight pulling sensation, but not pain. Next, work the ball from side-to-side, making sure to get every area of your foot, from toes to heel. Then, plant your heel on the ball and work it around in slow, small circles. Finally, cross one leg over the other, take the ball in your hand and gently roll it up and down your arch. Repeat with the other foot.

Hand: Is your hand seizing up on you after a long day of typing? You can use a pencil to loosen up the muscles and ligaments in your hand. Place the pencil, eraser-side down on the big muscle at the base of your thumb. Move the eraser around your palm using slow, small circles.

General tip: Massage your muscles using long, flowing strokes. Trace the path of the muscle until you reach the bone where it originates.

Related:
Complementary Therapies: Reiki Massage
6 Secret At-Home Stress Relievers
At-Home Exercise: Turn Housework Into a Workout

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, Ayurveda, General Health, Health, Healthy Aging, Mental Wellness, Natural Remedies

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AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

38 comments

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6:12AM PST on Feb 7, 2014

Thank you

1:13AM PST on Jan 26, 2014

Thank you :)

3:42AM PST on Jan 21, 2014

Every week-end I used to pay a fast visit this site, because I’d like enjoyment, because this web site conations certainly fussy material.

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11:20PM PST on Dec 23, 2013

Your articles are more than wow! And also the best way to make understand the things mentioned in it.

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4:46AM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

Thank you :)

7:38AM PDT on Jun 3, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:31AM PST on Feb 28, 2013

The easy way to get more than relax after stressful work.

4:55PM PST on Feb 14, 2013

Thanks

1:26PM PST on Nov 10, 2012

These are helpful tips, and I think I'll start applying some of them. The foot on the tennis ball sounds really great, I can hardly wait to try it out!

10:41AM PDT on Oct 22, 2012

great tips, thank you ;)

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