You don’t have to check into a spa to unwind. For serenity now, try one of these 3 at-home massage methods.
1. Check The Stick, But Keep The Ball
Lacrosse balls are becoming the go-to tool for easing muscle tension after a workout, which is why so many fitness trainers love them. They’re perfect for easing out muscle knots or pressing into and stretching muscles to help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Try this: Place the ball against a wall between your shoulder blades and roll your body back and forth and in circles over it. You control the pressure pushing against the ball. Whether you like a hurts-so-good sensation or more gentle pressure, your muscles will thank you.
The coolest new gadget I found at this year’s IDEA convention was the Tiger Ball…a ball massage on a rope. Now, you don’t have to worry about the ball slipping! It’s perfect for busting out knots, trigger poitns, and sore muscles in the back, shoulders, legs, and other spots that want deep pressure.
2. Make The Beastie Your Bestie
This 3” ball, called the “Beastie” has firm but flexible bumps gets into nooks and crannies where you didn’t even know muscles were hiding. Try this for a mid-day relaxation break: Place the Beastie on your wall and move your back up, down, and around on top of it. Ahh…instant calm. 🙂
3. Smooth on the oil, smooth off the tension
Oil massage is considered a preventive in ayurvedic medicine. It is designed to tone the skin, smooth the muscles, stimulate circulation of blood and the lymphatic system, leaving your body feeling wonderfully sleek and alive. Sesame seed oil, olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil may be used. If you’re buying a prepared massage oil, make sure it has one of these oils as the main ingredient. When I have time, I like to blend sesame and almond oil and add a bit of essential oil such as frankincense, lavender, or eucalyptus for a “scent”-sational massage.
Start your self-massage standing up. For best results, leave the oil on your body for at least ninety minutes before showering off. I like to do this massage just after a shower in the evening. I towel off the excess oil, put on my comfortable nightclothes, and enjoy the lingering sensations and relaxing scents before going to bed. The oil is completely absorbed by the time I climb into the sheets
Unlike in Swedish massage, the hands do not knead or dig deeply into the muscles in an oil massage. Instead, the palms remain flat and are brushed, or drawn, evenly over the skin with only moderate pressure, as though you were smoothing wrinkles from a bed sheet.
In the ayurvedic tradition, oil massage is often done at a brisk tempo that can actually be aerobic if done for thirty minutes or more. But I like to do it at a slow, steady pace that allows time to enjoy the sensations. Feel free to linger over an area for greater stimulation. Try spending extra time on your ankles, wrists, backs of the knees, or any area that feels especially good.
Click here to learn more about specific motions to incorporate into your oil massage: https://www.kathysmith.com/?p=8113