Using Self Care Tools
In my last post I listed a few of my favorite Self Care Tools that I recommend to clients. In this post, I will describe how to use these Self-Care Tools.
PINKY BALLS (or alternatively tennis balls) are useful to massage your back. Lie on the floor on your back, feet flat on floor and knees up. Place the balls where you have tension, under your back on either side and perpendicular to the spine. Relax on the balls or rock & roll around a little to massage the area.
You can also use a single ball either on the floor or against the wall to access shoulders and hips or along the spine.
Some people put the balls in a sock and knot the end to keep them together. I have a set in my car to put behind my back or under my hips and also suggest them for plane trips if you travel a lot.
Caution: this technique may be too much for acute back pain.
RUBZ BALLS are particularly good for feet. Roll them under your foot as you are sitting, focusing on tender areas. For a much deeper massage, stand up and roll your foot around on the Rubz. Good for Plantar Fasciitis and Peripheral Neuropathy or Plain Ole Sore Feet. Pinky balls and tennis balls are less specific, but will work too.
MASSAGE TOOLS such as Theracane or the Answer can be incredibly helpful for reducing muscle pain and tension. I use mine almost every day. You can look online for Theracane or Backknobber tools. I have some links listed in the previous blog.
To massage shoulders-let’s say the left shoulder- place the upper end of the crook on top or back of the shoulder near the neck. Your right hand would be holding the bottom end and your left hand near the top of the curve. Rub the ball at the end of the crook back and forth and up and down where ever you are sore or where it feels good. Or just press on a particularly sore spot for a couple minutes. You can use the upper hand for weight and lever the tool for depth with the bottom hand. Experiment for the most effective position for you. You can work over the entire back but don’t massage right on top of the bony part of the spine and take care in the neck area especially.
To massage the lower back-let’s say the right lower back-hold the tool horizontally hooking around your back, left hand at the bottom, and right hand at the top of the crook. Move the ball at the upper end back and forth or up and down across the large muscles running vertically along the lower back and also the top of the hips and buttocks. You can massage gently over the bony sacrum area if comfortable.
Don’t overdo your self massage at first to avoid soreness. Experiment and have fun! Call me if you need more instruction. Good luck!