Remedial Massage is something we would all love to be able to receive every day or at least weekly. I would even settle for monthly. Sometimes we get too busy to fit one in. Sometimes we forget to care for ourselves. And other times your favourite Remedial Massage Therapist is just not available. The best way to get through when you are too busy for a massage is some self care.
So here’s my tips on what to do when you can’t get a massage.
1. Foam Rolling:
It’s very effective in improving mobility and relieving the associated pain. Foam rolling works similar to the way I work when giving a Remedial Massage. You locate the myofascial trigger point and hold the position until the pain subsides. Then move to the next point. You should always try to buy a good quality foam that won’t compress under pressure.
2. Massage Balls:
Have you seen those spiky little balls that fit in your hand? Well these little torture devices work wonders in relieving pain and triggers points in muscles like a foam roller. The difference is they are much smaller allowing them to get in around the shoulders, chest and neck. Also great for the glute region. Be warned they are a more intense so ease onto them. Even try leaning against a wall with the ball in between to allow you to control the depth a little more. We have smooth or spiky balls available in our clinic for purchase.
If you are experiencing pain due to poor posture, headaches due to muscle tension or delayed onset muscle soreness then stretches are another way to ease your aches. When completing stretches you need to relax and take deep breaths. This helps the muscles to release and allows for a deeper stretch. Your muscles will not release if you are holding your breath. Focus on placing your body in good posture before you move into a stretch. Bending where you can rest your hands on your shins, rather than straining with a curved back to reach your toes.
4. Heat packs:
Heat is great for chronic pains and general muscle stiffness. It should be avoided if you have an acute injury or a throbbing headache. In these cases ice may be your better option. Use heat in conjunction with stretches. Apply a heat pack for 10-15 minutes max, then take a few deep breaths before starting some stretches. Together they will increase the circulation to the muscles and allow greater mobility.
5. Partner Massage:
I know this can be a long shot for some people but why not ask your partner to give you a massage? I regularly sit down in front of Tristan and tell him where to press around my neck and shoulders. If you communicate where you need the pressure, how much pressure you can tolerate and how long, you should have some relief from pain. A tip for those hubbies that say they have sore hands after a minute: Use bodyweight. Make sure you get above and lean into the body. Using thumbs and squeezing with hands will tire you out very quickly. It is safe for you to massage one another and she may even return the favour after your long day at work.
If you need help with foam roller, massage ball or stretching exercises, YouTube has thousands of exercises to target each body part. If you are still unsure, we can teach you a few tips during or after your next Remedial Massage. Or follow us on Facebook for regular videos on Self Care.