How to Ease Stress and Pain with Neck Massage Techniques

26. How to Ease Stress and Pain with Neck Massage Techniques1
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An explanation of how to massage your partner’s upper back and neck from a licensed massage therapist.

Massage therapy might help you feel better if you’re feeling tense or sore. It offers many advantages for the body and mind, such as pain relief and relaxation.

Fortunately, you don’t always have to visit a massage therapist to benefit. A self-massage can also be beneficial for some conditions or just for the joy of it.

Here are some of the best and safest self-massage methods to try at home if you want to try self-massage for pain relief.

What Are Self-massage Techniques?

“Self-massage is using your hands, tools, or objects to work on sore muscles and adhesions instead of seeing a licensed massage therapist or bodywork professional,” explains Massage therapist Elliot Ledley works in New York City.

You manipulate your own muscles while giving yourself a self-massage using your hands or other tools. This entails massaging the skin and applying pressure to specific areas.

Learning some self-massage techniques can be a helpful way to reduce pain and reduce stress that is brought on by bad posture or even some chronic conditions.

One of the common methods listed below can be used to start.

Using Your Hands To Massage The Head, Neck, Or Feet

You can give yourself a self-head massage, self-foot massage, or self-neck massage by using your hands. All of these areas are simple to access and don’t require a lot of pressure, so massaging them with the hands is simple.

Using A Foam Roller To Massage The Legs, Back And Glutes

A foam roller is a useful tool for easing muscle pain in the:

  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Thighs
  • Glutes
  • Lower back
  • Iliotibial (IT) band

Simply place the body on top of the roller after placing it on the ground. Next, sway your body side to side over the roller.

Using A Tennis Ball To Massage The Shoulders, Back, And Pectoral Muscles

For reaching more difficult-to-reach muscle groups, such as the shoulders, mid-back, or pectoral muscles, use a tennis ball or golf ball. Roll your body over the ball using the ground or a wall as a support.

Use a golf ball with caution and be extra gentle. The hard surface will require you to apply light pressure.

Using Specially Designed Self-massage Tools

Other self-massage tools can be used to more precisely target different muscle groups. These include:

  • neck and shoulder massagers
  • massage guns
  • cold or cryotherapy rollers
  • back massagers
  • heated massagers

What Rewards Can Self-massage Provide?

The advantages of massage therapy can be experienced easily and conveniently by self-massaging. It can be carried out at home using a do-it-yourself method.

Like massage in general, self-massage may help ease:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • headaches
  • digestive disorders
  • muscle strain
  • muscle tension
  • pain

Self-massage may also assist in the management of chronic conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis when incorporated into an all-encompassing treatment plan. However, it shouldn’t take the place of standard medical care.

Self-massage can also extend the positive effects of professional massages and offer relief in between sessions.

Benefits Of Self-massage Over A Massage Therapist

Even though self-massage can be a good way to relieve muscle tension, many people discover that it just can’t compete with getting a massage from a trained professional.

This is because when you massage yourself, you need to contract some muscles while attempting to relax others. The entire body can relax while getting a massage.

However, there are some advantages to self-massage over a professional massage. These include:

  • It costs less to massage yourself. Self-massage is almost entirely free. While you can purchase some tools, you can also give yourself a massage using only your hands.
  • Your body is familiar to you. Despite their training in anatomy, professional massage therapists still sometimes say that you should listen to your body. You can target the body parts that are hurting you by self-massaging them.
  • Self-massage is a fantastic way to energize and renew the body. The body’s blood flow and circulation are aided by muscle massage.
  • Long-term tension relief is frequently not achieved by professional massages. Receiving a professional massage can help to reduce tension for a few days, but many people discover that their pain and discomfort return after a week or two. Weekly massages are simply out of the question for the majority of people. You can relieve tension in between professional massages by learning a few self-massage techniques.

What is the best way to prevent tension in your body? Use a combination of self- and professional massage therapy.

“As a massage therapist, I suggest self-massage and stretching in between appointments,” says Ledley. “It can help to avoid pain and discomfort to be able to safely stretch and massage your own body.”

Self-massage Can Be Beneficial For What Kinds Of Pain?

Self-massage may ease minor types of pain, including pain in the:

  • Head
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Abdomen
  • Upper and lower back
  • Glutes
  • Hips

If a muscle is swollen, you might also experience nerve pain. A muscle pressing against a nerve can result in this. However, if you self-massage your muscles to relieve muscle pain, you might also do so to relieve nerve pain.

The self-massage methods for common types of pain are listed below.

Self-massage For Headache Pain And Tension

Self-massaging can help you release tension and deepen your state of relaxation if you’re suffering from headache pain. If your headache is brought on by stress, this may be especially helpful.

Here’s one technique for giving a head massage.

Steps to follow

  1. Distancing your shoulders from your ears will help. Straighten your neck and back.
  2. Find your skull’s cranium. Put the middle and pointer fingers of each hand together in the center, touching the tips.
  3. Slide your fingers outward or downward in the direction that feels most comfortable while applying light pressure.
  4. Make tiny, circular motions with your fingers. Pay attention to the tense areas and the surroundings.

You can also massage your shoulders, neck, and temples.

Self-massage For Constipation Relief

Constipation can result in discomfort and pain in the abdomen. A self-abdominal massage may be helpful in addition to using laxatives to treat constipation.

This kind of massage relieves discomfort by encouraging bowel movements. Additionally, it can ease cramps, bloating, and tightness in the abdomen.

The steps below can be used to self-massage yourself to relieve constipation.

Steps to follow

  1. Lie on your back. The right side of your lower stomach, close to your pelvic bone, should receive your hands with the palms facing down.
  2. Move up to your ribs while gently massaging in a circular motion.
  3. Continue across your stomach until you reach your left ribs.
  4. Ahead is your pelvic bone; proceed down the left side of your stomach.
  5. For two to three minutes, rub your belly button in a circular motion.

Constipation can also be relieved by increasing your water intake, consuming adequate fiber, and engaging in regular exercise.

26. How to Ease Stress and Pain with Neck Massage Techniques2

Self-massage For Neck Pain

Overuse and bad posture are two common causes of neck pain. This can result from routine activities like slouching over a phone or laptop or reading in bed without proper neck support.

Try this healing self-massage technique if your neck is sore and tight. If you have a knot in your neck, it might also be useful.

Steps to follow

  1. Your shoulders should be farther from your ears. Your neck and back should be straight.
  2. Find the spots on your neck that hurt. Use your fingers to firmly press.
  3. Circular finger motions should be used gently. Go back and do it the other way.
  4. Continue for 3 to 5 minutes.

Tennis Ball Self-massage

Laying on top of a tennis ball is another way to massage your back. Your back can feel less tense thanks to the ball’s firm pressure.

Steps to follow

  1. With your knees bent, lay on the ground on your back.
  2. The knotted area of your back should be directly beneath the tennis ball. pause for 20–30 seconds.
  3. Leaning on the tennis ball requires a gentle body rotation. To exert more pressure, you can also cross one ankle over the knee of the opposite leg.

When you’re done, roll away from the ball, then get up. The pain might get worse if you roll onto the ball.

Self-massage For Back Pain

A lot of people experience back pain. It can have many causes, including but not limited to:

  • muscle strains or spasms
  • nerve irritation
  • disc damage
  • structural issues

Back pain may be reduced by doing gentle exercises like walking, yoga, or particular kinds of stretches.

Using heating pads or cold compresses on your back, as well as over-the-counter painkillers, may be helpful. Self-massage is one form of massage that may provide some relief.

Here are two techniques to try for back pain:

Lower Back Self-massage

Your lower back will benefit from the self-massage for lower back pain. No equipment is required.

Steps to follow

  1. Cross your legs as you sit on the ground. Straighten your back.
  2. Your sacrum is the flat, triangular bone at the base of your spine. Place your thumbs on either side of it.
  3. Your sacrum can be moved up and down by swiping your thumbs in small circular motions.
  4. Any tense areas should be pressured. Pause, then release.
  5. Continue as necessary, and take deep breaths as you go.

As an alternative, consider performing this massage while sitting down. Make sure to sit up straight and place your feet firmly on the ground.

Self-massage For Foot Pain

Overexertion, painful shoes, arthritis, and tendinitis are a few causes of foot pain that can occasionally develop.

With a few easy methods, this stress can be reduced at home.

“When self-massaging your feet, there’s no better way than using a ball on the ground and rolling your foot over it,” says Ledley. “Just roll it around and apply pressure where it feels a little tender; it shouldn’t hurt.”

Self Foot Massage With A Ball

This foot self-massage will release tension and pain in the heel, arches, and ball of the foot.

Steps to follow

  1. Golf or tennis balls should be placed on the ground.
  2. Put your other foot over the ball while standing or sitting on one leg.
  3. Roll the foot over the ball back and forth, adding weight to the ball if it feels comfortable.
  4. Continue for 3-5 minutes more.

Self Foot Massage With Your Hands

Additionally, you could use your hands to massage your feet.

Steps to follow

  1. In your hands, cradle your foot.
  2. Rub the heel in a circular motion with your thumbs. Repeat 3-5 times.
  3. To relieve pain in the arches, rub the foot in a straight line from the heel to the ball. Repeat 3-5 times.
  4. From the center to the edges of the ball, rub your thumbs together. Repeat 3-5 times.

Safety Tips For Neck Message

If you are in mild pain, you should self-massage. However, it is best to speak with a healthcare provider before attempting self-massage techniques if the pain is severe or persistent.

Self-massage might make your symptoms worse if you’re unsure of what’s causing your pain.

Self-massage and other forms of massage may also be risky for some people. Use caution or talk with a healthcare professional first if you have:

  • Fractures
  • Burns
  • Healing wounds
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Severe thrombocytopenia
  • Cancer

After the massage, pay attention to how you feel. Self-massage might not be the best choice if the pain worsens or doesn’t go away.

The Bottom Line

Self-massage may help relieve your symptoms if you’re in mild pain. It’s a practical, simple method of releasing stress and discomfort. It is also a form of proactive self-care.

Be kind to your body and pay attention to your pain for the best results.

Get medical help if your pain persists, gets worse, or if you start experiencing new symptoms. A medical professional can identify the source of your pain and recommend the most appropriate course of action.

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