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How to Self Massage for Relaxation

By Debra Rodzinak 

There is nothing more delightful for sore and tired muscles than a professional massage.  A good massage can help with headaches, muscle pain, and stress.  The current trend for massage therapists is to use certain techniques to help patients relieve stress, but massage can be used effectively to treat a variety of conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, and arthritis. 

Even if you can’t get to a massage therapist, there are some self-massage techniques that you can try on yourself.  Try these simple techniques throughout your day to help boost energy, increase concentration, or to relax to get a good night’s sleep. 

Tired Eyes

Staring at a computer all day can cause eye strain, headaches, and even sinus pressure.  To relieve eye strain, try this:

  • Closing the eyes, place your thumbs on the inside corner of each eye.  Move the thumbs in tiny circles toward the outside of the eyebrow all the way around the eye. 
  • Repeat this several times.  Spend time where the bridge of the nose meets the eyes.

Tension Headaches

  • Place the thumbs close to the ears on the cheekbones.  Gently rub the temples with the fingertips.
  • Using a tiny circular motion, travel along the hairline until the fingers meet at the middle of the forehead.  Massage the entire forehead and scalp in small increments.

Hands

The hands contain reflexology points that correspond to different parts of the body such as the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and sinuses.

  • Stretch the hands and fingers out.  From the base of the finger, rub gently while pulling and twisting up to the tip.
  • Next, place your hand, palm up, on your lap.  Squeeze the area of the hand between the index finger and right thumb.  Move from the wrist to the base of the thumb.
  • Finding any tender points between the web of skin between the thumb and index finger, squeeze gently.
  • Rub the entire palm firmly with the thumb of the other hand.  Use gliding strokes and work your way from the wrist to the base of each finger.

Neck

  • Cross your arms and clasp the shoulders.  Let the head drop back as you exhale and squeeze the fingers together.  Move up the back and shoulders toward the neck.
  • Next, placing elbows on a table, drop the head forward slightly.  Massage the neck from the shoulders to the back of the skull making small circles into the muscles on each side of the spine.
  • Finally, place both hands on the back of the head.  Interlace the fingers.  While dropping the head forward, stretch the neck muscles by relaxing the arms.  Let gravity pull the elbows downward which will stretch the neck and back muscles.

Be mindful as you do any massage on yourself and remember to stop if you experience too much pain.  However, tender areas are a sign of tightness and should be massaged.  After you massage your tender spots, stretch out the muscles and feel the relaxation take over.

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