HOW TO USE SELF MASSAGE TOOLS FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY AT HOME
What are some good self massage techniques?
The best self massage technique depends on your health and wellness goals.
Preparing for and recovering from physical activity
Whether you’re working out, doing yard work, or simply working at your desk, we recommend the “flushing” technique for all-around body care. Lightly make tool contact with an area of the body and move the tool back and forth over the skin. In “flushing,” the goal is to warm up the tissues and increase circulation to allow the body to move more easily during activity, or recover faster, by flushing away inflammatory molecules, lymph and toxins.
For body stiffness and mobility limitations, we recommend using the “compress, shear, and lengthen” technique. Make tool contact with the sensitive area and take a few deep breaths to relax. Then use the tool to help move the skin to either side while slowly lengthening and shortening the joint closest to the affected muscles. (For example, if working on stiff quads, you would slowly bend and extend the knee while using a self massage tool in the quad muscle area.) Take deep breaths throughout this exercise. If it’s painful to apply the tool directly to the stiff or “stuck” area of the body, start by gently treating the adjacent areas.
Discomfort And Pain Relief
If you’re in pain, it’s important to visit a clinical professional for advice. Once you’re certain there’s no acute injury or tissue damage in play, consider the “pin and hold” technique. Using a very light touch with a tool, scan the affected area and find several spots to apply mild pressure above, below or beside the central pain point; this release should not be painful. Settle in and relax while you take at least 10 deep belly breaths while pressing gently.