Self-Massage Tips for Those Long Days at the Office
If you’ve ever had a massage or heard about massage therapy from friends and family, then you know even a short massage can go a long way toward relieving pain and stress in the body. Massage can actually also make the body recover at a faster rate after an injury or illness. But hiring a massage therapist weekly can be expensive, plus it can be difficult to get an appointment right away.
If you’re stuck in the office all day, even if you have the best ergonomic chair, sitting behind your desk for several hours can feel like total torture. If you’re suffering from sore muscles, arthritic pain, or increased tension in the muscles, a self-massage can really help.
Our self-massage tips are just what you need to make it through the day as comfortable as possible. You don’t have to have professional training to give yourself a great massage, you just have to follow a few basic techniques correctly.
A self-massage in your office chair is pretty simple. You can easily give yourself a massage using tapotement, which is a type of technique that involves a series of blows using just your fingers. To do, you’ll need to keep your wrists loose and relaxed and perform rapid strokes using an alternating hand sequence. This type of massage will also involve kneading and squeezing strokes that are called petrissage.
Begin by tapping very lightly on your head using only your fingertips. Continue this motion down each side of your neck. Next, use one hand to tap along the side of your head and neck and your other hand to squeeze your neck.
As you reach your shoulders use the opposite hand to rub and knead each shoulder. You can continue the massage by squeezing down the length of one arm. Once you reach your hand, begin rubbing the palm gently using a circular motion. You can massage the fingers by walking your forefinger and thumb up each finger. Now it’s time to switch arms. You can repeat this massage one or two more times.
Self Back Massage
Sit forward in your chair. Tap your back using a loose fist, tapping up the back as far as you’re able to go. You can continue with this tapping motion along the base of the spine.
Next, using an open, flat hand, tap down your thighs and around the calves. Take one leg and cross it over your knee to rub your ankle.
Repeat on the opposite leg.
This type of self-massage will really help to remove the tension from your muscles, allowing the body to fully relax. It works best with a combination of deep breathing techniques.
Begin the massage by closing your eyes or you can stare at the floor.
Hug yourself lightly by crossing your arms over your chest. Try to hold this position for sixty seconds while taking a few deep breaths. During this time try to empty your mind of any thoughts, especially involving any work issues that currently have you stressed. Allow the thoughts to pass through your mind without focusing on them.
When you think the sixty seconds are up, keeping the arms crossed, place one hand on each shoulder. Try some deep breathing techniques during this time and try to hold this position for at least two to three minutes.
Once the time is up, with your arms still crossed place the opposite hand on each side of your neck, gently massaging your neck with your fingertips.
Next, place your fingertips lightly on the base of your skull, massaging gently. If you have a lot of tension in your neck you can actually feel the neck begin to lengthen slightly as you gently work on the muscles.
The Five-Minute Total Body Massage
Are you stuck working overtime at the office again? Are your muscles screaming out in protest? This mini self-massage is the perfect solution and it’s one you can do in five minutes or less.
Tension massage: Start off by using circular motions with your middle and index finger on either side of your spine. Move the fingers up the neck to the base of the skull, right behind the ears. At this point, you should be massaging the tender spot behind the ear where the skull and jaw meet. Next, move on to the temples, then right above the eyebrows. During this portion of the massage, try to use firm, light pressure.
Shoulder work: Stroke your right shoulder area using your left hand, moving from the skull down to your elbow while making circular motions with your fingertips. Switch sides and repeat.
Arming yourself: Rub down both of your arms from wrist to shoulder using a light circular motion. Make sure you gently rub inside the elbow where the arm bends. You can finish off this little arm massage with a few wrist rotations.
Hand massage: Don’t forget to massage your hands. This is so important for anyone with a desk job. Long hours at a computer can often lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. Start off by massing between the pointer finger and thumb. Work the meaty portion of your hand before slowly moving to the palm. Take your index finger and thumb and lightly massage each finger. Repeat on your other hand.
Reducing tension in the legs: To get the blood flowing again and remove some tension and stiffness from your legs, lightly punch both legs beginning with your quads, moving to the hamstrings and finally the calves. Next, stand up straight and shake out each leg for twenty seconds.
Footwork: If it’s possible, take your shoes off and use your knuckles to work the soles of your feet. Next, take your thumb and rub the ball and arch of each foot.