Being able to defuse stress in your muscles is a great way to self-soothe. Even though we’re not able to reach every part of our bodies, there are ways we can use self-massage to reduce tension.
Some of the benefits of this practice include renewed energy, better sleep, and even fewer headaches.One method is to massage your neck, shoulders, and arm. To do this, you should never reach backward, but reach across your body. Your right hand will massage your left side. Your left hand will massage your right side.
Start at your hairline and massage from the spine outward. Work your way down to your shoulder. Take a few seconds extra to focus on the point where your shoulder and neck meet. Then work across your shoulder, pulling the muscle upward as you go. Finally, continue down your arm. I like to go all the way to my hand.
Another great self massage you can do is for your feet. I know, many people get grossed out by feet. I’m not a fan of handling the feet of other people. Our feet carry us, literally, through our day. They deserve some appreciation!
Wash your hands and feet, grab a nice lotion, and go at it anyway. We store crazy amounts of stress in our feet, and anyone who has had a foot massage can tell you, it relieves so much tension throughout the body when we get a massage.
When working on your feet, remember, start from the heel and work toward the toes. To get started, rotate your foot from the ankle. Then, using both hands, slide your thumbs from the back of your heel to the middle of your foot. You’ll push them in a fan shape, so they move away from one another as you do this.
Next, put one hand on top of your foot and the other under your foot. Rub your hands from one side of the foot to the other. To picture how to do this, think about rolling a ball between your hands. You can increase pressure or speed as needed.
You can also continue working with your thumbs if yours aren’t tired after the heel like mine always are. Move your thumbs from the end of your heel, up and across your sole. When you reach the ball of your foot, split them apart in a “T” shape and go to the sides of your feet.
A good toe stretch is helpful for loosening tendons, increasing circulation, and relaxing those ten little digits. Simply place your palm under your toes and push them up. Hold that for 10 seconds. Then, do the same by pushing down. Wiggle your piggies when you’ve done a couple sets of this and feel the freedom.
When I do a foot massage on myself, I use a lotion designed for feet. It helps keep away those rough areas that look so bad in sandals and with summer coming, it’s that time! The lotion also helps my hands move more smoothly while combating the dry skin we’ve all gained from incessantly washing our hands.
Speaking of, do wash your hands again after you finish the foot massage, just because… feet.
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