Personal Massage Techniques

I wanted to take another post to talk about the incredible glory of massage and some of its benefits. In the last post on massage, The Glory of Massage, I spoke about some of the benefits of massage and how to find the right masseuse for you.

For those of you that don’t have a lot of cash to burn on massage, I recommended trying a massage school where the students practice on you. While these massages can vary in quality depending on where the student is at in their education, they can be much more inexpensive than a professional.

Another option I want to talk about today is do-it-yourself massage. We actually do this to ourselves all the time. We rub areas that are sore, tight or hurting in order to relieve the pain. I often take this one step further and make it a routine.

Since I tend to run a lot, I pay special attention to my feet. Actually, there are some that feel the feet are connected to the entire body and massaging particular areas of the foot will directly benefit corresponding parts of the body.

I’m not too sure about the above theory, but I do know that a foot massage feels really good. It also helps increase circulation, which is almost always a positive thing. It is really important to take good care of your feet on a consistent basis. Foot injuries are incredibly frustrating. The healing process for a foot injury can be hampered by the fact that we have to use them so much. Therefore, take care of your feet.

You can soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salt to get them ready for a massage. After that you can spend five minutes massaging each foot. A little massage oil or something similar will help reduce friction. I also like to lie on the floor with my feet elevated for about five minutes. The idea is to have your feet elevated above your heart at the least. I like to get right next to a wall to position my feet so the bottoms are facing the sky.

There are also many do-it-yourself massage devices on the market. I have experience with three that I find to be worthwhile. The first is simply a hard foam cylinder with a diameter of about 6 to 12 inches (depending on the type you buy). They are usually a foot and a half or so in length. They are known as foam rollers if you would like to Google that.

These devices are used on hips and the sides of your upper legs. They feel amazing! Seriously. So many people suffer from tightness in their hips. It is an area that can carry a lot of stress that is often ignored. Once you massage this area, you will realize how much tightness it can carry, and you will be amazing at how great it feels.

The second massage device I used semi-regularly is a vibrating massage wand. I believe min is from Sharper Image. It does look a bit like it is for private fun time in the bedroom, but I have found it beneficial. I especially like it for my feet and my shoulders and upper back. I can be a bit cumbersome, and it is often hard to reach some areas of the back while staying relaxed (staying relaxed while enjoying a massage is surely the best way to go!).

The final device I have is, I believe, from Brooks Brothers, and it is a massage chair for your back. It actually isn’t a chair, but it goes on a sturdy chair to turn that into a poor man’s massage chair. This device is decent. I don’t find that is very effective in relieving problems, but it does feel nice and get the mid and lower back massaged quite well. It is not too great for the upper back and shoulders, as it doesn’t seem to have been designed for this. You can get a decent rub on them by sliding down in the chair, but it is inconvenient

Remember to experiment with all these different types of massage to find what works best for you. You can also get your significant other to perform some work on you but it is always polite to return the favor. My girlfriend and I find that it is best to rotate days that we take care of each other. We do this because it really sucks to be all nice and relaxed from a good massage and then have to give one. Oh, and one final thing. Remember that you really shouldn’t get a massage before you exercise. You really don’t want your muscles that relaxed. I find they are much better after a workout or even a few days after an intense workout when the muscles are rebuilding.