Getting a massage once a month is GREAT maintenance for your body, and great preventative care for your health. But you still need to take care of yourself between those massages. Here are my top recommendations for at home self care, and the best places to purchase them.
I would like to get this out of the way right now... I DO NOT recommend the "Fascia Blaster". If you have never heard of this, it is a popular tool that claims to help people with cellulite, weight loss and muscle pain. It is a stick with knobs on it and they instruct users to rub the knobs onto their muscles DEEP, hard, and fast, often causing bruising which, according to the company, is "normal".
Bruising is NOT ok. This will never get rid of cellulite and it will never help with weight loss. It is basically a deep tissue, cross-fiber massage technique that should ONLY be done by a professional, otherwise there is a great deal of risk for injury.
Even as a professional, I would never use this or this technique on my clients, it is just too rough.
Now, moving onto tools that I DO recommend:
1. Shiatsu Massagers
One tool that is worth paying for is an electronic shiatsu massager that mimics the finger pressure of rotating thumbs.
This type of device can be effective on specific area, mostly the back and neck, and a decent one will run you $50-$200. (but it is worth it!) You can check some of these out >>>> HERE
Things like tennis balls, baseballs or softballs can be very effective. You can roll one on your foot to help with plantar fascitis pain. You can use a smaller ball like a golf ball to lay on and hit trigger points along the back.
A rubber lacrosse ball starts at around $5, and offer the right size and firmness for self-trigger-point work. You can even sit on one of these balls to help reduce sciatic pain.
I would recommend this set >>>>>>> HERE
3. Foam Rollers
I did an entire blog post on foam rolling because, well, it's MAGICAL. You can read that >> HERE
In addition to massaging muscles, foam rollers help with myofascial pain by compressing trigger points. Because of their shape, rollers are best for back, hips, buttocks and legs. Rollers are made of dense foam and come in different lengths. The most effecitve and versatile are the 24-36 inch sizes. These will run around $20.
You can find these at any sporting goods store, and there you can feel out which one you want. They make some harder, or with little bumps on them for a deeper massage. Choose what feels best to you.
I recommend this foam roller >>>>>> HERE
Cane-shaped tools with nodes and handles are another major group of tools that, like balls, put pressure on small points.
The Thera-Cane is awesome, but there are other versions of this that are longer, shorter, and some can be taken apart to fit into a gym bag.
With these tools, you position the tip of the cane or one of the nodes on a trigger point and place pressure on it by pulling on the handles or leaning on the device. There are thousands of YouTube videos that demonstrate how to use these (and all the other tools listed as well).
These canes are durable and affordable and offer a great way to administer self-trigger-point techniques, even on hard to reach areas on the back.
You can find the Thera Cane >>>>>> HERE
In addition to your monthly professional massage, I highly recommend getting at least a couple of these great tools to help you always feel your best!
Your massage therapist,