The sensation of touch is one of the most profound and healing experiences we share. Often, we become consumed and over-burdened with our mental thoughts that we are completely disconnected from our bodies. Through touch, we can reconnect our mind and body allowing relaxation and the unwinding of stress and tension.
We are not always able to receive a healing touch from a trained massage therapist. However, learning to reconnect with your body by yourself can be a profound practice. So let’s learn a few self-massage techniques that you can use to improve your health.
Qi Gong Tapping Massage
This form of self-massage is commonly used by many Qi Gong and Tai Chi practitioners while warming up before their meditative practices. You can use it to energize yourself in the morning or before a workout. Start by forming your hands into a loose fist so that you can firmly tap your body from head to toe along the meridian pathways. First, tap you body along both the inside and outside of each arm. Then tap your torso down the front of your chest, continuing down to the front of your thighs. Repeat the tapping on the inside, outside, and back of your legs to cover the entire lower body. Finally, tap along your neck and behind your back to cover the remaining areas. This practice can be repeated several times, until your feel your body warm up from the increased blood flow.
This type of self-massage is best used after meals to improve digestion and elimination or by women during their menstrual cycle. To perform abdominal massage, place one hand over the other as they lay above your naval. Breathe deeply as your move your hands together in a circular-motion around your belly in a clock-wise direction. The clock-wise direction is synchronous with the digestive pathway of your colon. Repeat this motion for several minutes focusing your mind on your hands and breathe to warm your abdomen and improve circulation.
Hand and Foot Massage
Reflexology is a system of treatment where specific points on the hands and feet are used to improve the health and functioning of the entire body. We can benefit from this practice even without a through understanding of reflexology charts. Use some basic massage oil or hand lotion to gently rub all of your fingers and toes. Continue to rub your palms and the soles of your feet, including the back of your hand and tops of your feet. Pay attention to any tender spots you find so that you can focus more on these areas. You will soon discover which places feel the best and which ones need more attention. A daily practice of Hand and Foot massage can relieve the tension we accumulate in these areas from working and walking around all day, as well as affect our entire body.
Auricular Ear Acupuncture is a micro-system of acupuncture that can be used to relax, relieve pain, and improve the functioning of our internal organs. While it is most effective when points are located exactly through charts and precision palpation, an overall ear massage can greatly benefit our health. By using your thumb and index finger, begin to rub the outer edge of your ear, also called the helix. Follow the helix down the ear until you reach your earlobe. Pull gently on your earlobe several times. Move above your ear lobe and begin to massage each of the remaining areas of your ear. The tragus, which is located just above your earlobe, is very helpful to activate the mind and relieve headaches.
Self-massage tools can help you work deeper into many areas of your body. The simplest tool is a tennis ball. A tennis ball can be used on the floor to massage hard to reach areas, such as between your shoulder blades. Place the tennis ball on the floor and lie down with the ball beside your spine. Use your feet for balance as you roll your upper back over the ball, moving several times over areas that need the most attention. A tennis ball is also an excellent tool to achieve a deeper massage of the soles of your feet. Stand with one foot on top of the tennis ball. Use a chair or the wall for balance as you shift your weight onto the tennis ball beneath your foot. This technique can provide an excellent massage of the arches of your foot.
Another commonly used self-massage tool is a massage cane, also known as a Thera cane. This product is a short, hooked shaped stick with several appendages that allows you to reach the back of your body and apply focused force to areas that are tight. By moving slowly along your back and shoulders, you can discover various active areas of your muscles that are tender to pressure. The massage cane allows you can reach difficult areas of your back and dig deeper into muscles without straining your hands.
Tips for Self-Massage
- Self-massage can be an excellent daily practice to keep your body healthier and your mind more relaxed.
- Remember to focus your mind on your breath to enhance the healing effects. When you hands become warm during this practice, you are guiding your own self-healing energy to your body.
- Self-massage can be done at home without any special tools or training. Just feel your body and it will guide you in your self-massage practice.