We all love to think of summer as a laid back, happy, carefree time of year. And it can be…we relax outdoors in the sun, plan fun weekend activities like hiking or golfing, and spend more time with family and friends at barbecues.
What we don’t always realize however is the stress that certain summer activities put on our bodies. Think about it – you spend nine months of the year watching TV on the couch and baking cookies…then come Memorial Day, you burst out of hibernation and get active outside for the first time in a long while. Your body just isn’t used to it!
That’s why Michele Merhib, founder of Elements Therapeutic Massage is a big proponent of at-home massage techniques. Learning these will allow you to get the knots out frequently and keep your body in tip-top condition all summer long, even when you can’t get to an actual spa.
Here, straight from Michele herself, are some perfect DIY massage techniques that will allow you to find some relief from summer activities:
Summer Activity: TRAVELING – The body undergoes a high degree of physical stress while traveling. Whether it be sitting for long periods of time (like on a long flight), sleeping in different beds, or using different pillows, your body can be left in knots after you return from vacation.
- Tension Area: Shoulders/Neck
- DIY: Reach across with your right hand, resting the palm on top of the left shoulder (with fingers on your back) and with the knuckle of your thumb pressing against neck muscles. Slowly rotate your head and neck, pressing neck muscles against thumb knuckle. Keeping hand in same place, press into your back muscle (between your shoulder blade and spine) with fingertips and rotate your left shoulder blade.
Summer Activity: GOLF – This is one sport that typically involves a lot of walking…a quick mid-game foot massage on the course can go a long way towards keeping you relaxed (bonus: you’ll have all the materials you need with you on the course already!)
- Tension Area: Feet
- DIY: With your shoes off, start with a golf ball on the ground while seated on the golf cart or standing. Roll your foot forward and backward slowly; apply enough pressure to feel a pulling but not enough that you are in too much pain; then roll your foot side to side. Next place your heel on the ball to make circular motions; finally cross your leg over the left ankle and take the ball and roll it up and down the arch of your foot; repeat with the left foot.
Summer Activity: SPENDING ALL DAY IN THE SUN – Squinting outside in the hot sun all day can lead to dehydration and headaches (and exhaustion…who else always needs a long nap after a day outdoors?!).
- Tension Area: Head
- DIY: Start by placing your thumbs on your cheekbones close to your ears, and use your fingertips to gently apply pressure and rub the temples (the soft spot between the corner of your eye and your ear).Using very firm pressure and a tiny circular motion, gradually move your fingers up along your hairline until they meet in the middle of your forehead, massaging your entire forehead and scalp as you inch along. And make sure to remember to drink water!
Summer Activity: GARDENING – Shoveling dirt, pulling weeds or squatting requires the use of muscles that you might not be used to using (but the rewards of looking at beautiful shrubbery all summer make for a worthy trade-off).
- Tension Area: Lower Back
- DIY: Place a tennis ball between your lower back and the wall. Find the right spot for the ball, and rock your body in a tiny motion—up and down or left and right to work out knots and tightness in your back.
“Massages used to be seen as an expensive splurge, but now more and more people are beginning to recognize the value of massage in maintaining their overall health and wellness,” says Michele. And she’s right – massage has been proven to lower stress levels, which has a whole host of health benefits. So once you’ve exhausted all these at-home massage techniques, we’d say you’ve earned yourself a massage at Elements Therapeutic Massage-Coral Springs, call now 954.757.2939.