Sometimes, clients ask me what tools I use to take care of myself. Here are a few I love – and the good news is, they’re inexpensive things you probably already have!
Tennis and golf balls. They’re hard enough to support your weight and put a lot of pressure on hard-to-reach spots. I like to roll around on a tennis or golf ball at the attachments around my hip joint, where my hip meets my leg. I also like to roll a golf ball on my forearms, which, because of massage, tend to become tight.
Rubber bands. Sometimes, muscle tightness or soreness can be an indication of a muscle imbalance. For example, the muscles on the inside of your leg sometimes become sore because they’re working hard to correct the fact that the muscles on the OUTSIDE of your leg need to be strengthened (or vice-versa). For me, I realized that the muscles on the palm side of my forearm were tight, and that I needed to exercise the muscles on the back side of my forearm. So every day, I use a stiff rubber band that I pulled off a bunch of asparagus and use this to resist the extension of my fingers – it’s a miniature exercise band!
Rice and socks. When your soreness is due to muscle strain, heat can feel GREAT. One easy way to apply heat to your neck and shoulders, which frequently feel strain, is to fill an old sock with rice, tie up the end, and throw it in the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds. The sock wraps nicely around a sore neck (and doubles as a nice bedwarmer in the winter).
Don’t forget: If you suspect injury, or if you’ve been involved in an accident or other trauma, get checked out by a doctor or chiropractor. And for tightness in hard-to-reach places, or to develop a treatment plan, consult your friendly local massage therapist!