With an ever-growing body of scientific research showing the benefits of massage therapy for people of all ages, there has never been a better time to try this alternative to medication. With Americans increasingly aware of the danger of resorting to addictive opioids for managing pain, massage offers a low-risk solution for relief by stimulating the body's ability to heal itself.
1. Use a Tennis Ball to Relieve Back Pain
It's hard to believe that such a cheap piece of sports equipment could be so powerful in treating pain, but tennis balls can become your back's best friend. Many people who suffer back pain have poor posture as a result of sitting too much. Others have jobs that require lots of bending over and lifting, which can also cause problems.
Regardless, with just two tennis balls, you can give your back a break.
1. Lie on your back on a yoga mat or supported surface like a rug.
2. Bend your knees and put your feet on the ground.
3. Lift your hips straight up in the air.
4. Slide the two tennis balls under your back, shoulder blades, neck, or under whatever spot is in pain.
5. Let your hips down and relax your weight onto the floor and tennis balls for at a least a minute.
2. Use a Hot Towel to Relieve Pain
Just like the tennis ball trick, you don't need to do anything fancy to find a quick solution for pain. Either at the gym, at home, or even at the office, you just need a towel and a way to warm it up.
1. To begin, take your towel and twist it until it becomes braided.
2. Grasping each end of the towel with your hands, put it behind your neck.
3. Keeping your head straight up, begin rubbing the towel around the base of the neck.
3. Stretch and Self-Massage
While the advantage of having a professional masseuse work on you is clear, there's a great deal that you can do yourself to relieve pain.
1. Stand up tall with your spine straight.
2. If you are right-handed, put your left arm over your neck and push down on the trouble spot. If you are left-handed, try your right hand.
3. Once you find your pressure point, apply consistent pressure with your hand for at least 30 seconds.
4. Moving your hand around the area, if you come across other places where you feel pain, repeat the procedure.
5. Hot Stone Massage
6. Ayurvedic Massage
Developed in India as part of an ancient system of medicine that emerged over 3,000 years ago, Ayurvedic massage focuses on specific energy points within the body and uses essential oils to help in relieving stress and maximizing relaxation. Masseuses may also use tuning forks, which vibrate at particular frequencies and can help release tension.
7. Thai Massage
8. Deep Tissue Massage
This last technique is fairly self-explanatory. Advocates believe that by using lots of sustained pressure, they can work their way into the areas beneath the skin where the pain and discomfort originate. Whereas traditional massage uses light to moderate pressure and focuses on the skin level, deep tissue can be momentarily uncomfortable as the masseuse delves into the muscle area.