Friday, February 25, 2011
Low-Tech, Do-It-Yourself Massage
When it's been extra stressful or extra cold, after heavy exercise or a day of non-stop yard work, sometimes your back just wants a massage. While no appointment massage centers are popping up all over and it's nice to be pampered, you can give yourself a massage.
Step One: Take two tennis or racquet balls, put them in a nylon stocking with a knot between them and another knot to hold them in.
Step Two: Lie down on the tennis balls under your upper back just inside the tops of your shoulder blades with each tennis ball on either side of your spine. Bend your knees so your feet are on the floor. Place a pillow under your neck if needed.
Step Three: Gently roll so the balls slowly slide down your back only as far as your midback. Do not roll the balls under your low back.
Step Four: Roll off the ball carefully and repeat as needed.
If you don't have tennis balls, you can get a similar effect with the Back Massage undulation, but this takes more core muscles.
1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor.
2. Press your tailbone to the floor then release.
3. Press your right hip to the floor then release. Then press your left hip to the floor and release.
4. Progress up your back about two inches at a time; press one side down and then the other, resting in between.
5. When you get to the top of your shoulder blades, go back to get any spots that feel missed.