At-Home Self-Care Techniques
Massage therapy isn't the only tactic for keeping your soft tissues happy and healthy. There are several self-care techniques you can apply in the comfort of your home. See a couple of suggestions below.
Foam rollers can be found at most sporting goods stores and can be an excellent self-care tool. These rollers help to keep your muscles, ligaments, and nerves healthy by forcing out toxic materials and increasing healthy blood flow. When combined with regular stretching, foam rollers are a powerful tool to increase your flexibility, which helps you avoid injuries.
Foam rollers can be used on every healthy muscle group. Please see your doctor first if you are uncertain about a particular area.
Low back pain is common for many people. It can be helpful to foam roll the muscles of the back, buttocks, and hamstrings in particular. Foam rollers are great for releasing tension and breaking up knots that may have formed in these areas. Use your body weight to apply moderate pressure on the tight areas and hold until the pain level is mild. Then release and repeat.
Foam rolling can be very beneficial if done properly. For more detailed instructions and how to videos, visit drbenkim.com/mobility-exercises-library.htm
It's nearly impossible to overstate the importance of stretching in keeping your muscles, nerves, and ligaments healthy. If you've been to Everett Therapeutic Massage before, you've heard us talk about the importance of stretching.
Our daily lives constantly contract our muscles, especially while at work, on the computer, and driving. These repetitive motions can cause knots to build up and leave you with pain and reduced motion in your joints. Regular stretching works wonders to reduce these imbalances and restore flexibility.
Here are some great tips to keep in mind while stretching:
Warm up before stretching to increase blood flow and reduce injury
Stretch slowly to mild discomfort, not pain
Concentrate on your breathing. Take long, deep breaths and exhale slowly to make stretching more effective
Hold your stretches a minimum of 10-20 seconds
Stretch often throughout your day. Remember that for every 55 minutes of work; you should stretch for at least 5 minutes.
Stretch every day and watch your flexibility improve!