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Give Yourself a Self Massage  RSS feed

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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Whether it’s your head, shoulders, knees, or feet that need attention, there’s an easy massage you can give yourself

Massage therapy can be effective for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, lower back pain, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, circulatory problems, and recovery from a sports injury. Massage tips you can try on yourself to ease headaches, back pain, and to help you relax.

You may want to start off with a warm bath and have massage oil ready.

This one is great for tired eyes from staring at the computer -- it brings circulation to the area and relieves sinus pressure, eye strain, and headaches

Close your eyes. Place your thumbs under your eyebrows, starting at the inside corner of each eye socket. Press and gently move the thumbs in tiny circles, working slowly towards the outsides of your eyebrows and continuing this movement all around your eyes, ending back at the bridge of your nose. Repeat this several times, spending a little extra time at the indentation of the inner eye socket, where the bridge of the nose meets the ridge of the eyebrows - an especially tender point on many people.

Massage Therapy to Ease Headaches and Tension

Start by placing your thumbs on your cheekbones close to your ears, and use your fingertips to gently apply pressure and rub the temples (the soft spot between the corner of your eye and your ear).
Using very firm pressure and a tiny circular motion, gradually move your fingers up along your hairline until they meet in the middle of your forehead, massaging your entire forehead and scalp as you inch along.

Massage Therapy to Relax the Hands

Here are several moves that will relieve the strain from pounding the keyboard all day.

Stretch your hands and fingers out. Rub each finger from the base to the tip, gently pulling and twisting each finger as you go.
Next, rest your left hand, palm upward, on your lap. Squeeze the fleshy part of your palm between your right thumb and index finger, moving from your wrist to the base of your thumb.
Now squeeze that web between your left index finger and thumb several times, looking for any tender points.
Then rub the entire palm with your right thumb, applying firm pressure and using gliding strokes from the wrist to the base of each finger.
Repeat this process on your right hand.

Massage Therapy to Relieve Neck Tension

While you are sitting there at the computer, mold your hands over your shoulders. Exhale, letting your head drop back as you slowly squeeze your fingers towards your palms, gliding up the muscles of your back and shoulders towards your neck.  Now, rest your elbows on your desk, allowing your head to drop forward slightly. Massage your neck from your shoulders to the base of your skull using your fingertips to make small deep circles into the muscles on either side of your spine.  Place both hands on the back of your head, interlacing the fingers. Drop your head forward and allow the weight of your elbows to pull your head gently down, stretching the muscles of your neck and those that run down your back.

Massage Therapy to Soothe Tired Feet

Bring your left foot onto the seat of your chair so you can see your instep. Using your right thumb, apply very firm pressure along the side of your foot, working from the heel to the big toe. Walk your thumb across the ridge where the toes meet the ball of your foot. When you get to the small toe, use your thumb and index finger to squeeze and twist along the entire surface of the toe. Work each toe individually until you get back to the large toe. Take all of your toes in one hand and stretch them back and forth, bending and flexing.  While supporting the top of your left foot with your left hand, use the knuckles of your right hand to apply deep pressure to the entire surface of the bottom of your foot, working from the heel to the toes and back down.   Stretch your toes, flex and extend your feet, and do a few ankle rotations.  Repeat the entire process on the right foot

Another solution:  Whether you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day or you’re a devoted runner, lots of factors can play into foot pain. The key to keeping it at bay is to massage and ice those feet after a hard day (or a long run). Massage your feet with the tennis ball: Place it under one heel, and then stand and sink your body weight onto the ball. Slowly roll the ball from the heel to the base of the toes, spreading your toes wide when the ball passes near. Repeat on the opposite foot. A soup can or a golf ball can also work if you don’t have a tennis ball handy. Use the water bottle to ice your feet down afterward, rolling it back and forth under each foot.
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Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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I spend more time at the computer than one probably should, so I'm usually doing those kind of eye-massages more often in the last few years.

Hopefully not an off-topic, but I've found the best way to fix neck&backpain is to quit sleeping on a conventional bed and sleep almost directly on the ground. Probably a bit radical for some, but it's really quite enjoyable after awhile. When I was younger I was almost always at the end of a shovel, though I still am, and it always lead to semi-regular aches.

As you breath while your back is against the ground, it's like an 8 hour massage while you sleep since your body's own weight is providing a little pressure on your back muscles. One over-stretched or inflamed muscle can be almost completely healed over a 1 or 2 nights this way from my experience.

I'm sure even just a 1-2 hour nap on the ground would help most neck&back aches.

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