Self-massage: Use a tennis ball to relieve tensionEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/TwilightEye
For tense feet, place the arch of your foot on a tennis ball (or golf ball if that seems too big), leaning one hand against a wall for support. Gradually put more body weight on the foot as the ball presses into your arch. Slowly move your foot around to target your heel, forefoot and toes. A tennis ball can also relieve tight hips. Sit on the ball, then wiggle your backside around and hold it still on areas that feel especially good. Plus, you can use a tennis ball to reach the space between your shoulder blades or in your lower back. Lie on the floor with the ball under spots that are hard to reach with your hands. Here’s more about the health benefits of massage, and here are more brilliant ways to use tennis balls.
Self-massage: Give your neck a breakEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/TwilightEye
Every hour, give your body some relief from hunching over your computer at work. Clasp your hands together behind your neck, and apply pressure to each side of your spinal cord with the bottom of your palms. Rub up and down slowly. Then press into the trapezius muscle along the left side of your neck just under the base of your skull using the fingers on your right hand. Tilt your head to the left, then rub in downward motions, working your way to your shoulder. Repeat three times, then switch sides. The front of your neck can also get tight while you work, so finish by stretching it out. Lay your head back to allow the top of your chair to press into your neck, just below the skull, and hold it there for 20 seconds. These are other ways to recover from sitting too much.
Self-massage: Hammer out kinks twice a dayEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/TwilightEye
Starting with your legs and arms, gently thump your body from top to bottom with your fists. Then pummel your torso from bottom to top. Using this technique in the morning will wake up your body and mind, while doing it in the evening beats out tension and stress, leaving your mind calm. One caveat: Avoid using this technique if you’re on a blood thinner or you could end up with bruises.