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Best Massage Techniques

It’s time to get that deep tissue work done. Whether you’ve been sitting on your tailbone for the past two weeks, or have had a long day of hiking in the mountains or playing with the kids, a massage is what will get you back to feeling good again. Here are some techniques to try out at home:

Swedish Massage – With this type of massage, you can relax all of your muscle groups and release tension throughout your body. To do this, use long strokes up and down the entire area being massaged, moving around the muscles so they don’t become too tight or tense. After doing this for about 10 minutes, you should be feeling more relaxed than before.

Shiatsu – This technique involves using your thumbs to apply pressure to the main meridians on your back, which can be very relaxing. You can also use your palms or fingers for this type of massage. It’s best to start at the base of the skull and slowly work your way down through the center of each leg toward the feet.

Reflexology – The pressure points of your hand and the feet are connected to meridians throughout the body, so applying pressure in certain areas can give you some relief from tension. Apply firm pressure using thumbs or fingers at these spots:

  • Between your big toe and fourth toe on each foot,  to stimulate the large intestine
  • On your thumb across from your index finger, to stimulate the stomach and digestive system
  • Between the webbing of each finger, for circulation throughout body.

Aromatherapy – Essential oils such as lavender can be added to warm bath water, or used in massage oil that is rubbed into the skin.  Some people also use massage oils that contain lemon or tea tree oil to keep the skin moisturized.

Hot Stone Massage – Instead of rubbing your back with oils, have a loved one rub heated stones directly along the muscles in either a front-to-back or side-to-side motion. This technique helps relax tight muscles and can release trigger points that cause pain in different areas of the body.

Cupping – While this is normally used for acupuncture, cupping involves placing glass jars over certain parts of your body and then using a pump to create suction within the jar. It releases pressure from deep within muscles and tendons.

Massage Chair – If it’s just not possible for you to fit a full-body massage into your routine, you can use a massage chair. The vibrations and rolling action of this type of chair helps relieve tension from the back and neck muscles.

Foam Roller – If you enjoy working out but tend to feel sore after doing so, using a foam roller may help. Rolling over this device with each body part improves flexibility while also breaking up any lactic acid or scar tissue that has built up as a result of your exercise routine.

Hot Tub – Rather than having someone else rub oils on your muscles, just get in the hot tub for 20 minutes or so before bedtime. When you’re finished soaking, dry off and try lying face-down on a towel for 5 to 10 minutes while another towel is placed over your back. This will help move any lactic acid buildup out of your muscles, giving you incredible relief from soreness the following morning.