Hardly seems like fun.
Yet self massage is a great way to get the benefits of massage when you don’t have someone to give you a massage.
Massage is one of the best antidotes to stress. It is very hard to ground yourself and stay calm when you are in the throes of a stress attack. But, when your headache goes away, and you can move your neck again, you can figure out your next steps. You have clarity. You feel like yourself.
Massage can be used a number of ways. Sometimes it is great to massage for the sheer luxury of it. Many women enjoy massaging their feet just because it feels so good. Instant relaxation.
But other times you may massage certain parts of your body because they are in pain. Massaging your shoulder muscles (the trapezius) can relieve some headaches. Massaging you posterior neck muscles can relieve neck pain and stiffness.
The Benefits of Massage
Massage offers many benefits which are very helpful to reduce stress and increase relaxation.
- Massage relaxes muscles and releases tension. Often you “hold” yourself as if by having a tight neck, you can prevent the world from crashing in on you.
- Massage increases blood flow and oxygen to the tissues. And in addition to improving your circulation, it reduces your blood pressure.
- Massage brings you into your body and reminds you to be more present. When you feel —really feel— your presence in your body, your hands and your feet, you return to the present and relax.
- Massage stimulates the energy pathways (meridians) in your body. This can return balance to your body and prevent or correct health problems.
- Massage increases flexibility.
- Massage alleviates headaches.
- Massage lessens depression and anxiety.
- Massage releases endorphins for natural pain relief.
- Massage boosts your immune system. This is especially good because stress depresses it.
To Learn Self Massage Techniques
You have a few options to learn how to massage yourself.
You can start with general massage like “How to Massage your Foot“. Any massage, anywhere will increase your relaxation.
Or, if you have specific pain you want to alleviate, look at the pain charts to see where the source of your pain may be. The pain you feel from stress is not always where your tense muscle is.
Sometimes pain is referred. For example, the muscles on the side of your neck (scalenes) can be tense but you feel the pain down your arm and into your hand.
I have grouped the massages by muscle group. Don’t get bogged down by this. If you want to just give yourself a massage, ignore the muscle names and pick your body part.
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