By Dr. Janet Brill
When you hear the word massage it’s likely you have relaxing, pampering thoughts. Though getting a good professional rub down can make you feel great, there are lots of health benefits to getting a massage. From relieving pain and stress to getting rid of headaches and getting a good night’s rest, the proper massage techniques can aid you in living a healthy life.
The only problem for most people is that the cost of a massage from a professional can be expensive. Rather than paying high prices for a professional to do it, you can treat yourself at home. With a few basic supplies and a few massage techniques under your belt, you can experience the benefits without ever having to leave your home. Below are a few suggestions on how to set up shop and rub your way to a healthier life:
Invest in a Starter Kit
While rubbing the body can feel great, you want to make sure that you are using massage techniques that will generate the best benefits. Learning basic massage maneuvers doesn’t have to mean taking a class. Companies such as Earthlite.com sell massage starter kits for the home. Such kits include an easy-to-assemble massage platform along with a step-by-step DVD on various techniques. This is a great way to set up shop in the home and learn a few tricks of the trade.
From sitting at a computer desk all day to texting and driving, the body goes through a lot. To get the blood flowing and to relieve any pain and discomfort it helps to rub the right places. Below are a few basic massages you could try on yourself for immediate relief:
If you happen to sit at a desk all day long, you could develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This is when the nerves in your hands, wrists, and fingers become irritated. If not corrected, it could result in the need for surgery. A few basic workout steps can minimize the pain and discomfort you might feel.
Start by holding one hand up with your palm facing outward. Using the other hand pull all of the fingers back towards the wrist and hold it. Next, take the palms of your hands and press them together near your chest. Slowly lower your hands to your lap so that you feel your ligaments stretching. Lastly, gently rub your hands applying a little pressure to any areas that are painful or tender.
Whether you’re on your feet all day or not your feet can really ache by the end of the day. There are several ways to relieve any pain you may feel in your feet. If you don’t have anyone at home to rub your feet at the end of the day, you can still get some relief on your own. Using a tennis ball, place it underneath your heel and roll it around under your foot. Then repeat it on the other foot. Applying a cold compress can also be beneficial after giving yourself a foot massage.
Shoulders and Back
Both sitting and standing can damage your shoulders and back. Chronic back pain is certainly no laughing matter and can take tons of medication and therapy to repair. To prevent this from happening it is a good idea to give your shoulders and back a little massage on the weekly basis. Just as you did with your feet, use a tennis ball (or something a bit larger) and place it between your back and the wall. Begin moving around so that the ball is massaging your back making sure to hit the areas that are most tender.
Treating yourself to a massage on occasion is a great way to keep common health issues at bay. Each of the above described techniques is fairly easy to do yourself and require very little investment. If you’re new to massages, then investing in a how-to DVD would help you learn techniques that will really relive the tension and help you relax. Now that you know how easy and inexpensive in-house massages are, there should be no reason that you don’t pamper yourself a little more.