Everyone deals with aches and pains, but not everyone has the time or cash for a professional massage. Here are 11 massages you can do to yourself that will leave you feeling so good.
BuzzFeed Life spoke to Sulyn Silbar, ACSM-certified personal trainer and founder of Body+Mind NYC, and Luke Bongiorno, physical therapy director of NY SportsMed & Physical Therapy, who recommended these simple self-massages. You can do some with your hands only, while others require the aid of a tennis ball or foam roller — but all are super easy and only take a few minutes, no professional required.
1. If your feet are killing you:
The best part about this move is you can do it under your desk without interrupting whatever you’re doing. You can use a massage therapy ball ,, which will leave you feeling airy on your feet.Here’s how to do it: 1. While sitting, step on the massage therapy ball with a bare or socked foot and roll back and forth from heel to toe with firm pressure — but don’t try to flatten the ball completely. 2. If anywhere feels particularly painful or tender, work those knots out by rolling in small circles. If you need more pressure: Do while standing instead of sitting.
2. If you suffer from tension headaches:
This will relieve tension in your neck and head often caused by crappy posture — like when you crane your neck while texting or push your head forward when slumping at a desk.Here’s how to do it: 1. Lie on your back with your legs bent. 3. Holding a massage therapy ball in each hand between your thumb and forefinger, rest your hands behind your head so the tennis balls are on either side of the base of your skull. 4. Alternate between shaking your head from side to side, then tucking and lifting your chin.
3. If PMS is making your lower back hurt:
4. If you have a tight, painful jaw in the morning:
Clenching when you’re stressed can give you a headache and a sore jaw. Do this right when you wake up or when you’re feeling anxious.Here’s how to do it: 1. Using the pads of your fingertips, press up under your cheekbones, starting at the apples of your cheeks. 2. Open and close your mouth as you press up into your cheekbones. 3. Do this all the way back, following an imaginary beard line. 4. When you reach your sideburns, press your thumb under your jawbone and pull your fingertips down the side of your face. 5. Repeat movement along your jaw, moving toward your chin. 6. Finally, grab chin and pull the skin down between your thumbs and fingertips.
5. If your knees get sore from sitting at a desk all day:
6. If your butt is sore from all that sitting:
Or if you just want to massage your butt because it feels good.Here’s how to do it: 1. Sit on the ground with your legs bent, your hands resting on the ground behind you, and a massage therapy ball under your butt cheek. 2. Lift your leg off the ground and roll around on the ball, working into the places you feel most tension. 3. Repeat on your other side.
7. If your forearms are sore:[video width="568" height="320" mp4="https://www.ritfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/forearm-sore.mp4"][/video]
This move feels good pain or no pain, but if you work with your hands a lot, whether typing all day at a computer or doing manual labor, it’s a lifesaver.Here’s how to do it: 1. Hold your arm out, palm up, and cup it just under the elbow with your opposite hand. 2. Flip your arm within you grip so your palm faces the ground. 3. Repeat all down your arm until you reach your wrist. Don’t squeeze too hard. Per Silbar: “We’re just taking the casing of a sausage and twisting. We’re not squeezing the meat out of it.”
8. If your legs and knees hurt after walking, running, or scaling stairs:
If you’re on the move a lot, you probably experience tightness in your IT band, the tissue that runs from the side of your hip all of the way down past your knee. Instead of rolling directly on your side, which can be painful, come at it from an angle instead.Here’s how to do it: 1. Lie on your side with your foam roller under your hip. 2. Using your hands to brace you, slowly roll down from your hip to your knee, rotating your body toward the ground as you go. 3. Roll back into the starting position.
9. If your neck and shoulders hurt:
Attempting to give yourself a neck or shoulder massage with your hands actually leads to more tension, even if it feels good at the time. Try this instead.Here’s how to do it: 1. Stand with a massage therapy ball between the wall and your shoulder. 2. Raise your arm above your head and shift your head from side to side. 3. Experiment with the ball in different positions along your neck and shoulders.
10. If you ache from slouching in front of your computer:
11. If you just want a head massage that feels so good.
This is great for headaches, but it also just feels good. A good head and scalp massage is pretty much the best part of going to the hairdresser, you know?Here’s how to do it: 1. Draw circles with your fingertips at your temples, increasing the size and pressure of your circles as you move toward your scalp. [embed]https://www.ritfitness.com/shop/massage-therapy-ball/[/embed]