What Self-Massage Can (And Can't) Do For You


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We've all experienced it - tight, achy muscles, tension in the neck or back areas, and painful cramps. Muscles that are over-worked, tense or even stretched can cause pain in so many areas of our body. A natural reaction to the pain is to massage the area. Self-massage helps to work out the cramp or tension, but there are many other benefits, too.

Destress

When the job becomes stressful, or kids are dancing on your last nerve, soothing strokes with your hands or self-massage tools can promote a feeling of calm and well-being. Try using your fingers to gently rake across the corded muscles of your neck while simultaneously moving the head from side-to-side. This relieves tension in the neck and helps you relax. Use some coconut oil mixed with a drop of lavender essential oil and rub onto your feet. With your thumbs, press into the arch of your foot, sliding your thumbs upward along the arch and over the bed of the toes for instant stress relief. You could also place a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot over it for a great self-massage.

Energize

Instead of coffee or other caffeine in the morning, try an invigorating self-massage. Use coconut oil mixed with a drop or two of peppermint essential oil all over your body. Try quick, short strokes over your arms, down your legs and trunk. Be sure to use your knuckles to knead your lower back quickly. This type of massage will promote blood flow and oxygen. This helps you to shake off sleep and get ready for your busy day. The smell of the peppermint oil opens nasal passages and allows a cooling feeling to invigorate you.

Detoxify

Self-massage has another important health benefit - it helps you to detoxify. Think about it. Your skin covers your whole body, making it your largest organ. When you use self-massage daily, you are promoting blood and oxygen flow, which allows the built-up toxins in your body to be released. Your skin purges the body of these toxins, helping you to stay healthy and feel great.

 

While self-massage has many health and mental benefits, you can only do so much on your own. For a more relaxing and significant health-promoting experience, try a professional, full-body massage or similar spa treatment.

Posted on June 19, 2018 and filed under Massage & Bodywork, Healthy Living, Self-care.