Proper self-care is very important for any individual. Whether you live actively or sedentary, muscle pain and imbalances affect us all. Here at Unwind Therapies we’re all about proper self-care and learning proper self-massage. Nothing beats getting a massage and not only feeling good but also pain relief. Better than that is providing yourself with the same kind of massage without having to spend $60-$100. I’m going to teach you 3 simple affordable tools you can use today to give one amazing self-massage.
1. Tennis Ball
The first simple tool that you can start using for massage is a tennis ball. Very simple & basic, but once you’ve mastered using it there is no limit to their uses for self-massage. This wonderfully versatile ball is also perfect for beginners. They are soft yet firm enough to provide your muscles with the perfect amount of pressure. Portable & easy to use anywhere, making it the go-to self-massage and self-care tool. If the tennis ball doesn’t provide enough pressure a softball or lacrosse ball can be a great substitute. Simple to use for self-massage, just place on any achy or sore spot, and just roll the ball using your hand or resting on it using gravity/body weight for pressure. If you come across any tender points/spots, hold that position for 30 seconds or less, follow-up with mini circles with the ball. You can find these at any sporting goods store.
2. Foam Roller
The second and popular tool to use pre/post workout is a foam roller. The best tool for self-massage when dealing with big muscle groups, sore spots & trigger points. The foam roller is easier to use than a tennis ball due to its size and can be great when you want to self-massage larger areas faster, saving a lot of time and effort. Coming in a variety of sizes, the smallest size is 12 inches. Their size makes them easy to carry around whenever you may need to self-massage. A tennis ball is still great for massaging specific points. Using one is quite easy but a bit tricky in some areas, just place the foam roller on the muscle group you want to massage, use your body weight & gravity to apply pressure and proceed to roll over muscles. Under $10, but can get pretty expensive when shopping for more unique foam rollers. But if you’re just starting out a regular foam roller is more than enough to perform some self-care.
3. Massage Tools
These tools are my favorite type for self-massage, they come in a variety of shape, sizes, and purposes. Some tools can be very wacky making them fun self-massage & self-care tools. Most will come with a manual on how to use, or experiment and use them in the way that feels best. These are so great because there’s no limit to their uses, just as far as your own imagination will go. Most of these self-massage tools are portable. Some of my favorites include the “Massage Roller Ball”, “Bongers”, “Percussion Massager” and the amazing “Thera Cane”.
Most of the tools are self-explanatory and easy to use. Simply place them in the area you want to massage, then use a variety of motions and pressure, like small circles or long directional strokes along the muscle fibers.