Everyone knows that a good massage can help relieve pain and tension in various parts of the body, right?
Well, what many people may not know is that you can massage yourself in the comfort of your own home without any special skills or instruction.
In fact, some people even call it “self-massage” – and believe us, it can be just as relaxing and therapeutic as getting a massage from a professional.
(if you do want a professional massage, check out our post here to see which one would suit you best)
Disclaimer: You should always consult a medical professional before attempting any techniques described in this article.
Ok, with that out of the way, let’s get going!
Table of Contents
- What is self massage?
- What are the benefits of self-massage?
- What are Self Massage Techniques? Know your basic strokes: effleurage, petrissage, and friction.
- Should I Use Massage Tools?
- What are some of the precautions you should take when doing self massage?
- First, create the perfect spot for your massage.
- How To Massage Yourself At Home – techniques and tips
- What to Do After a Self-Massage
What is self massage?
Self-massage is a term that refers to massages you can perform on yourself.
It can be done on the body directly, or through the use of massage tools such as massage balls, massage guns, oils, and lotions.
Massage is a great way to relieve tension, stress, and pain.
Whether you are looking for a quick self-relaxation or want to treat yourself to an indulgent massage, there are plenty of ways to give yourself a good massage at home.
What are the benefits of self-massage?
Aside from being much cheaper than a massage from a professional massage therapist, self-massage has a number of other benefits:
• Reducing pain and muscle tension in various parts of the body
• Improving circulation
• Helping to improve sleep
• Improving mental well-being
What are Self Massage Techniques? Know your basic strokes: effleurage, petrissage, and friction.
Before massaging yourself, do a little reading up, so you can get the most out of your experience.
There are many different massage techniques to choose from, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs.
Some of the more common techniques include effleurage, petrissage, and friction.
Effleurage is a light touch that stimulates the skin with long, gliding strokes.
It’s often used on areas like the neck and shoulders. To do effleurage, start by lying down on your back with your head and shoulders elevated off the mat. Then use your hands to glide lightly along your body.
Be sure to pay attention to any areas that feel particularly sore or tight.
Petrissage is a deep-tissue massage technique that uses kneading motions.
It’s good for conditions like tension headaches, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
To do petrissage, press down firmly into your body, use your thumbs and fingers to work into the muscle tissues below.
Friction massage uses rubbing or slapping motions against the skin in order to stimulate circulation. It can be used on various parts of the body, including the feet, neck, and back.
To do friction massage, start by sitting with your feet flat on the floor. Then place your hands where you want to massage and then use gentle slapping or rubbing motions against your skin.
Should I Use Massage Tools?
If you’re looking for a way to give yourself a relaxing massage at home, you may be wondering if using massage tools is the best option for you.
While there are many techniques that can be used without any tools, using massage tools can make the massage process more comfortable and help ensure that all of the pressure is applied evenly.
Before deciding whether or not to use massage tools, it may be helpful to consider your own anatomy.
For example, people with a lot of tension in their shoulders often find it easiest to use a massage gun when massaging their neck and shoulders.
Other people may find that they get the most benefit from using a handheld pressure brush on areas like the back of their thighs.
Whatever type of massage tool you choose, remember to take care when using it. Always (always) read the instructions.
Be sure to avoid overworking any painful areas and always consult your physician before starting any new exercise or health regimen.
What are some of the precautions you should take when doing self massage?
Before beginning, it is important to heed these precautions:
• Make sure to oil your skin before the massage to avoid friction
• Always use caution when using massage tools – they can be dangerous if not used properly
• Always speak to your doctor before beginning self massage, espeically if you are pregnant, have any health concerns, or are taking any medications
• Always use caution when using hot stones – it can cause burns
It all sounds a bit boring, but heh, massage is meant to be relaxing and soothing, not test your strength and pain thresholds!
First, create the perfect spot for your massage.
If you’re in the mood for a relaxing massage, there are plenty of places to get one at home.
You can use a masseuse’s table or chair, or even a couch or bed.
To create the perfect massage spot:
- Choose a comfortable quiet, peaceful spot where you can relax completely.
- Choose some massage essential oils and light some candles that will scent the room with a relaxing aroma.
- Make sure the room is free of distractions so you can fully focus on your massage.
- Put on some relaxing music
- Turn off your mobile phone!! There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a massage and getting a call or notification from your phone.
- Turn the lights down (or close some curtains)
How To Massage Yourself At Home – techniques and tips
Here are some tips to make the experience as pleasurable as possible for you.
First, choose the right type of massage oil.
A light, carrier oil will help keep the massage oil from becoming too slippery and making it difficult to work the muscles.
Choosing a massage oil with a high content of antioxidants can also improve your circulation, providing extra benefits to your massage session.
Now get out those sheets and comforters!
A good way to heat up before beginning a massage is by soaking in a hot bathtub or shower. This will help relax your body before starting any massaging.
Once you’re ready, lie down on your back on the bed or floor, with feet flat on the surface.
Place hands in opposite directions on top of your head, palms facing down.
Start massaging by pressing down firmly with thumbs into temples and pulling up towards front hairline (or eyebrows).
For deeper pressure points, use fingers instead of thumbs; press in from outside towards center of point desired and then pull away equally quickly, before repeating.
Work entire head, concentrating on areas of tension.
If you feel comfortable, you can also start with your feet. Start by massaging them downwards, using long strokes from heel to toes.
Be sure to work the whole foot and use circular, upward and downward motions.
Once your feet are nice and relaxed, work your way up to the calves and thighs.
Move slowly at first, gradually increasing pressure as needed. Many people find their calves and thighs to be the most sensitive areas, so take your time and be gentle.
Finish by working your way back down the body, focusing on any areas that felt particularly tense.
When you finish with the legs, move to your lower back.
To massage your own back, lie down on your back with palms flat on the floor.
Press down into your back with elbows and heels pressed firmly into the floor.
Use thumbs and fingers to work in circles around the spine, concentrating on any knots or tight muscles.
When you’re done, press heels and shoulders off the floor, then roll onto your side for a few minutes of rest.
To massage your own shoulders, lie down on your back with palms flat on the floor.
Press shoulders and hips off the floor, then use your hands and fingers to work in circles around the shoulder blades.
When you’re done, press hips and shoulders off the floor, then roll onto your side for a few minutes of rest.
These basic massage techniques can give you a great start to self-massaging at home.
Massage is an incredibly effective way to reduce pain and tension in the body, both from everyday stressors and from more serious conditions like chronic pain or fibromyalgia.
By giving yourself a massage at home, you can get the same relief without having to fork over a couple of hundred dollars for a professional massage session.
The key is to find the pressure point that hurts the least and work slowly towards increasing intensity until you reach your desired level of relief.
Remember to focus on areas of tension before starting, as this will help you target specific problems more effectively.
If you want to end your massage on a more relaxing note, you can use some of the following techniques:
- Take a couple of deep breaths, exhaling slowly and deeply
- Relax your whole body by tensing and releasing different muscles one at a time (e.g. neck, shoulders, upper back) for 10 seconds each
What to Do After a Self-Massage
Afterward, it is important to drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins that may have been released from the muscles. This is because it can be very strenuous on the muscles.
When toxins have been released from the muscles, it can cause inflammation, pain, and even muscle soreness. So drink plenty of water, and try to take it easy.
Speaking of taking it easy, you may also want to take a few minutes to relax in a comfortable position before getting up, as some people can feel light-headed after a massage.
It is also a good idea to avoid alcohol and caffeine for at least 24 hours, as these can dehydrate the body and interfere with the benefits of the massage.