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Giving Yourself a Massage

By Edited Jun 17, 2015 1 1

Nothing feels better then a good massage, but finding someone who is willing to rub you down, get you to relax, and help remove aches and pains isn't always easy. While you can't give yourself a total massage, you can get the benefits of massaging certain parts of your body. It isn't hard to do, can be incredibly relaxing, and feels great as well.

Arms and Hands.
A massage that can be done anywhere is the massaging of your arms and hands. You can even do the hand massage without massaging your arms. For this massage lotion or oil is helpful for making your movements slow and sensual. If you want to make your own massage oil check out the article Making Your Own Massage Oil.

Arms- To massage your own arms apply a generous amount of oil or lotion. Start at your shoulder and massage in a gentle but firm circle. Slowly work your way downward. Make sure you get the your elbow as well. Once you have reached the wrist do a few long firm strokes all the way up and then down again. Apply pressure as you desire.

Hands- To massage your own hand hold it out and apply a generous amount of lotion or oil. Start at the wrist and place your fingers so they touch your palm and your thumb so that it is on top of the hand. Work your way around the hand rubbing in circles on both the top and the bottom. Finish with long strokes from the wrist and down each finger and then back to the wrist. If you are not pregnant it is also good to massage the webbing of the hand between the forefinger and the thumb. This is a pressure point that can make you feel really good, but make sure you don't do this if you are pregnant because it can cause labor pains that lead to labor.

Calves and Feet.
While massaging your calves and feet is a little harder to do just anywhere, it can feel wonderful when you have the time and the location to do so. These massages are also really good with lotion or oil. You can choose to do both together or pick just one to help with specific aches and pains. Massaging the calves can also help relieve muscle tension caused from exercising and even from cramps in the calf.

Calves- To massage your own calf apply a generous amount of lotion or oil. Turn your hands so that your thumbs touch the top of the calf and your fingers the bottom. This will allow you to apply as much or as little pressure to the muscle as you wish. It is easiest to run your hands up and down in long stokes applying the desired pressure, however strokes that kneed the muscle can also bring relief and relaxation.

Feet- Massaging your own feet can feel great and lead to a lot of relaxation. It is a good idea to wash your feet before you massage them and then apply a lot of lotion or oil (I prefer lotion for my feet though oil works best on most of the other body parts). If you can turn your feet in a way that the bottoms face up enough that you can massage them well it will work best, but isn't necessary. If the bottoms of your feet are facing upward then use your thumbs to massage the bottoms and the other fingers on the top. This allows you to rub specific spots and kneed your feet well. You can also use your knuckles for great strokes on your feet. If your feet are such that the bottoms are facing down then kneed them with your fingers while your thumbs remain on top. Try a variety of circular, kneading, and long stokes to find what you enjoy best.

Shoulders and Neck.
Often times we feel stress in our shoulders and neck more than anywhere else. At these moments a massage can be a great way to get rid of some of the tension and to bring some relief to the area. There are tips for massaging these areas anywhere and there are ones for massaging them at home. A home massage is best, but the immediate relief of a few minutes on break time or at your desk can be wonderful.

Shoulders (anywhere)- Massaging your shoulders anywhere doesn't require anything special. However, it is a good idea for you to sit up as straight as possible. Place your hands so that the fingers touch the back of your shoulders with your thumbs off to the sides. Start at the base of your neck and rub in circular motions. Work your way all the way outward and then back again. Now do a few long strokes along the tops of the shoulders and finally down along the shoulder blades as far as you can reach. All of this can be done with your clothes on.

Neck (anywhere)- Many of us get headaches that stem from our necks. This can be because of too much time at the computer, poor sleeping position, or even from stress itself. To give yourself a neck massage anywhere, sit up as straight as possible. Gently rotate your head letting it drop all the way to the back, then one side, then the front, and then the other side. This will help loosen you up a little. Then turn your hands so that your fingers are resting on the back of your neck near the base (where it connects with your body) and your thumbs are off to the sides. Once again you will start with slow circular motions. This time you want each of your hands to be on either side of the vertebrae so your massaging takes place next to it, but not on it. Work your way all the way up to the top of the neck. This is actually a few inches past where you head starts, but if your hair do will be a problem you can stop a little early. Now that you have loosened up some do a few long strokes. You can move your neck along with the long strokes allowing you to get the areas that need it most.

Shoulders and Neck at home- At home it isn't that much different. However, a dab of lotion or oil (especially oil) can make it feel a whole lot better. To get just a dab add it to your palms and then rub them together to coat your hands. Then proceed as normal. Sitting up is best for the shoulders, but to rub the neck really well lay down on the floor, work on getting your back as straight as possible, and then rub it. Deep breathing exercises can also help relieve some of the tension.

Head.
The last location that you can give yourself a great massage is your head. It is best to do so at home and not while you are out and about since it can certainly do a number on your hair. It shouldn't be done with oil or lotion (since your hair is there, though if you are bald or shaves you can decide for yourself). To massage your head sit up straight. Place your hands so that your fingers are reaching toward the top of your head. Use your fingers and your thumbs to massage in small circular motions starting at the base where your head and neck connect and working your way upward. Continue to massage your whole head moving your fingers and thumb in small circles or back and forth. I used to imagine that there was a sucker on the palm of each hand and that it was working on sucking the pain and tension out of my head, this helps you get the right motion down. Then you can rub your forehead and temples in circular motions. Close your eyes, breath deep, and gently rub your fingers over you eyelids, down the sides of your nose, and along your sinuses. Then bring your fingers down along your jaw bone and to your chin. This is a great way to finish the massage. You can do the face portion while laying down in bed. The rest can also be done while laying face down in bed.

While giving yourself a massage isn't going to give you the best massage you could ever get, it is good and it is easy to talk yourself into do in it (for free). A few good tips and away you go with making yourself feel better and giving you a chance to do a lot of relaxing. Whether you are at home or out and about, you can enjoy a little bit of massage.




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Comments

Aug 27, 2009 7:19pm
ladybella248
I love massages, especially on my shoulders. Great article!
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