A professional massage is a treat and all of us deserve the pampering of a spa massage, but cost and time can be the restraining factors. Self massage is the answer. All you need is your hands for a self massage and just about 15 minutes to feel rejuvenated.
Sometimes we have muscle knots or trigger points which hurt once the pain sets in. With a self massage you can relieve the tension before the muscles knot up and stiffen. As the blood flow increases you can feel the body relax and you are able to work better and think better.
- Massaging the eye: Working for hours in front of the computer or reading, causes the eyes to feel very tired. First blow on the palms to warm them and cup them over closed eyes. Now close eyes and place your thumbs above the eyes and move them in a circular motion over the eye sockets. Cover the area of the eyebrows and temples massaging gently all the while. Rotate the muscles with the thumb gently at the junction of the eyebrow and bridge of the nose. Repeat 3 to 4 times.
- Massage for headache: To relieve fatigue and headaches, gently apply pressure to the temple area with thumbs. Making circular motions, with fingers and thumbs, progress towards the center of forehead, this time using firm pressure. Cover the scalp area, all the while massaging firmly. Repeat twice to clear the knots and built up pressure.
- Neck massage: Now gradually advance towards the nape of the neck where it meets the hairline. Using both hands (and all fingers) knead with light to firm pressure along the top of shoulders. You may be surprised by the knotted muscles you find in this area, especially when you have been working hard. Keep going back and forth with massaging to remove all the kinks and relax the muscles. Loosen the painful spots by a rotating pressure with fingers. Repeat till you can actually feel the relaxation.
- Massage for clogged sinus: Place your thumbs on the cheek bone close to the hairline, move to the jaw and chin while applying light massage on the jaw and chin. If you have clogged sinuses due to a cold, place your thumbs at the beginning of your eyebrows and end of your nose, massage firmly and with circular pressure for 5 minutes.
- Shoulder massage: With your left hand firmly massage/stroke your right shoulder from neck to elbow. Knead and hold the flesh in your hands and squeeze firmly. Travel from shoulder to elbow and back to shoulder. Actually massage whichever way relaxes your muscles and feels right. Now repeat with right hand and left shoulder.
- Massaging the hands: Join your hands together and rub the heels of hands (the part where your hand meets the wrist) against each other, entwine your fingers and massage one thumb with the other. Press each finger individually and also the webbing between the fingers. With the thumb press the palm covering all the pressure points. Massage the webbing between the thumb and index finger as this will ease body tension too.
- Arm and leg massage: Fill a tube (or a long athletic sock) with raw rice and tie the end with a rubber band. Rock salt can also be used. Microwave it for 20 seconds. Use the sock to stroke up and down the arms and legs firmly. The sock can be stored and used whenever required.
- Massage for good digestion: Rub the abdomen area with your palm in a clockwise direction; this can be done after a meal for better digestion.
- Lower body massage: Fist your palms loosely and pummel your thighs, lower back and hips with quick movements. Take care not be too hard as you can bruise.
- Foot massage: Take one foot between both hands and firmly stroke from toes to ankle. Repeat 3 to 4 times. Knead the sole of your feet well and massage the toes and the webbing in between the toes. Take extra care of the soles as all the pressure points are found here. Repeat on other foot. Layer a shoe box with golf balls, place your foot and rub firmly so that the golf balls move and press against the pressure points in the soles of feet. You can also use a tennis ball and rotate the ball with feet.
You might find self massage a bit cumbersome to do at first but as you keep at it you will know instinctively all the strokes that suit your body best. It can soon become a ritual in front of the television. The relaxation is unbelievable.
Latest Publications and Research on Self-Massage Types
- Rehabilitation of companion animals following orthopaedic surgery. - Published by PubMed
- Current Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: An Evidence-Based Review. - Published by PubMed
- The effect of brief pre-anesthetic exercise therapy of jaw and neck joints on mouth opening, neck extension, and intubation conditions during induction of general anesthesia: a randomized controlled trial. - Published by PubMed
- Comparative Effect of Mother's Hug and Massage on Neonatal Pain Behaviors Caused by Blood Sampling: A Randomized Clinical Trial. - Published by PubMed
- Use of Complementary and Integrative Therapies by Fibromyalgia Patients: A 14-Year Follow-up Study. - Published by PubMed