As a massage therapist, self-massage has been an absolute saviour, much like yoga. Giving massages for hours on end, even with rest and stretching between appointments, can still leave you exhausted and laden with a bunch of tension of your own. A busy schedule or low bank balance doesn’t always allow for one to splurge on a spa treatment. The solution? Self-massage! Now some may think this sounds a little risqué, but that’s really not what I mean. It’s more to do with being your own massage therapist and combatting muscular tension and stress.
In this first video, Caroline Jordan demonstrates how to target the upper back muscles by using a therapy ball, like this one, which can be purchased on Amazon. Alternatively, you could use a tennis, lacrosse or large bouncy ball.
Caroline explains: “The sequence is suitable for all levels and is perfect if you are looking to get rid of pain and tension. You can complete these exercises at home, while traveling, at the gym, or at the office. Often pain comes from repetitive movements and overuse. It can come from too much typing, lifting, or playing a specific sport. Taking time to treat your pain before it gets worse will help you live an active, fit life! Be preventative and heal your tight muscles with these simple and effective self-massage exercises!”
This next video shows pro Yuri Elkaim guiding us from feet to shoulders with 8 different positions using one therapy ball. These 8 steps are the perfect full-body self-massage combo, offering a gentle workout whilst simultaneously smoothing away accumulated tension. Just watching this video made me “ooo” and “aaa” in approval. This guy certainly knows his stuff.
It may seem strange that a practicing massage therapist would share a video titled “8 Massage Ball Exercises To Put Massage Therapists Out of Business.” But I don’t see self-massage as a competitor. It’s simply an extra tool we all could use to help ourselves, and I’m all for that! Here’s the thing, those who like to spend their money on receiving a therapeutic treatment, are not going to suddenly stop requesting treatments due to the discovery of a therapy ball. I have personally recommended these techniques to a handful of my clients who travel frequently and can not always make time for a spa session whilst away. It also helps them out if money is tight, when their rhomboids are too.
As a therapist, it’s important to have the clients wellbeing in mind above all else, and recommending aftercare is part of the job. Sometimes, certain stretches are recommended, or a change in posture or lifestyle habits. In some cases, when a client needs their body to be performing at it’s best at all times, such as a professional dancer, I would definitely suggest self-massage. This can be accomplished through foam-rolling or therapy balls and is best when accompanied with a set of stretches focusing on the main areas of tension.
There are some other popular tools which can be used in addition or instead of balls, such as foam rollers or thera canes. Check out this next video of fitness trainer Jeremy Lee from Fitsom Studios showcasing all 3 of these tools in a one and a half minute session, focusing on Myofascial release:
(Myofascial release is a manipulative treatment that attempts to release tension in the fascia due to trauma, posture, or inflammation. Connective tissues called fascia surround the muscles, bones, nerves, and organs of the body.)
Become a qualified massage therapist
Here at The School of Natural Health Sciences our Holistic Massage Therapy course is fast becoming one of our most popular, due to the massive increase of treatment demand worldwide. Our diplomas are internationally-recognised and entitle you to start practicing the moment you receive your qualifications. There’s no deadlines, no stress, no commute and no fuss.
We strongly believe in a mindful style of education, where the learner can create their own timetable, have the option of being tutored and most importantly, have access to health education at affordable prices!