Self-Massage for Self Care (Part 1)

Self-Massage for Self Care—The Benefits

Fay Porter, LMT

Massage is an important aspect of any self care routine, but it doesn’t have to be isolated to the massage studio a couple of times a month.  The benefits of Swedish massage are available to you in your own home every day, and are invaluable for stress relief, pain reduction, and increasing overall health.  Using regular skin lotion and intentional touch, you can give yourself the gift of massage whenever and wherever to keep your body up and going until that next sports massage appointment.

This can be especially important for new and competitive athletes.  When you begin new exercise programs or stretch to reach new levels of performance, you can experience lactic acid buildup in your muscles, which can lead to soreness, decreased performance, and a feeling of overall fatigue. A massage therapist specially trained in sports massage can work with you to achieve increased flexibility, range of motion, and increased performance, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking a couple of extra minutes for yourself when you’re getting out of the shower or when you have a moment.  Even sitting at your desk, you can take a minute to work on your forearms, hands, and neck to reduce the tension and stress that can build up from everyday work.

The Mayo Clinic has found massage to be helpful for:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Check back in with us here at Big Toe in Part 2 of our Self-Massage series where we will discuss the mechanics of how to give yourself a helpful, health-promoting massage.