11 Ways To Give Yourself The Perfect Massage

Treat yo self.

It's easy to underestimate how stiff your muscles can get, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting in front of a desk. Massages are a great way to relieve stress and muscle tensions, but you might not always have someone around to give you a hand.

Check out these images and captions from an Imgur gallery posted by user Earlkay to learn to take better care of yourself. A lot of them involve a tennis ball, so go ask a nearby dog to spot you one.


1. For your hurting feet.

"Here's how to do it: 

1. While sitting, step on the ball with a bare or socked foot and roll back-and-forth from heel to toe with firm pressure — but don't try to flatten the ball completely. 

2. If anywhere feels particularly painful or tender, work those knots out by rolling in small circles. If you need more pressure: Do while standing instead of sitting."

2. For tension headaches.

"This will relieve tension in your neck and head often caused by crappy posture — like when you crane your neck while texting, or push your head forward when slumping at a desk. 

Here's how to do it:

1. Lie on your back with your legs bent.

3. Holding a tennis ball in each hand between your thumb and forefinger, rest your hands behind your head so the tennis balls are on either side of the base of your skull.

4. Alternate between shaking your head from side-to-side, then tucking and lifting your chin."

3. For lower back pain.

"This will help the tenderness and pain you get in your lower back before and during your period due to inflammation.

Here's how to do it:

1. Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet firmly planted on the ground. 

2. Place two tennis balls under your lower back around where your sacrum — the large, triangular bone at the base of the spine — meets your hip bone.

3. Raise and lower your hips, kneading the area with the tennis balls."

4. For tight jaws in the morning.

"Clenching when you're stressed can give you a headache and a sore jaw. Do this right when you wake up or when you're feeling anxious.

Here's how to do it:

1. Using the pads of your fingertips, press up under your cheekbones, starting at the apples of your cheeks.

2. Open and close your mouth as you press up into your cheekbones.  

3. Do this all the way back, following an imaginary beard line. 

4. When you reach your sideburns, press your thumb under your jawbone and pull your fingertips down the side of your face. 

5. Repeat movement along your jaw, moving toward your chin

6. Finally, grab chin and pull the skin down between your thumbs and fingertips."

5. For knees, sore from sitting.

"This will work out the bound connective tissue fibers called fascia — aka what you probably think of as knots — that form when your legs are bent for too long.

Here's how to do it:

1. While sitting, unbend your leg and let it rest so the muscles in your quad are soft.

2. Press into where it hurts with a fingertip or a knuckle and massage in a star shape for 10 seconds.

3. Bend and straighten your knee twice. 

4. Repeat 2–3 times for each place it hurts."

6. For A Butt, Exhausted From Sitting.

"Or if you just want to massage your butt because it feels good.

Here's how to do it:

1. Sit on the ground with your legs bent, your hands resting on the ground behind you, and a tennis ball under your butt cheek. 

2. Lift your leg off the ground and roll around on the ball, working into the places you feel most tension. 

3. Repeat on your other side."

7. For tired forearms.

"This move feels good, pain or no pain, but if you work with your hands a lot, whether typing all day at a computer or doing manual labor, it's a lifesaver.

Here's how to do it:

1. Hold your arm out, palm up, and cup it just under the elbow with your opposite hand. 

2. Flip your arm within you grip so your palm faces the ground. 

3. Repeat all down your arm until you reach your wrist."

8. For legs and knees worn out from exercise.

"If you're on the move a lot, you probably experience tightness in your IT band, the tissue that runs from the side of your hip all of the way down past your knee. Instead of rolling directly on your side, which can be painful, come at it from an angle instead.

Here's how to do it:

1. Lie on your side with your foam roller under your hip. 

2. Using your hands to brace you, slowly roll down from your hip to your knee, rotating your body toward the ground as you go. 

3. Roll back into the starting position."

9. For shoulder and neck pain.

"Attempting to give yourself a neck or shoulder massage with your hands actually leads to more tension, even if it feels good at the time. Try this instead.

Here's how to do it:

1. Stand with a tennis ball between the wall and your shoulder. 

2. Raise your arm above your head and shift your head from side to side.  

3. Experiment with the ball in different positions along your neck and shoulders."

10. For backaches from hours before a computer.

"You should feel this in your mid-back, where your muscles pull tight and get sore when you slouch.

Here's how to do it:

1. Lie face up with feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor. 

2. Center the foam roller on your mid-back, beneath your shoulder blades so it's perpendicular to your body.

3. Rock your body toward and away from your feet over the foam roller."

11. For your head, because you earned it.

"This is great for headaches, but it also just feels good. A good head and scalp massage is pretty much the best part of going to the hairdresser, you know?

Here's how to do it:

1. Draw circles with your fingertips at your temples, increasing the size and pressure of your circles as you move toward your scalp."

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