Freed Bodyworks is a big fan of self-care. Below are four of my favorite ways to help pain you may be experiencing either once or on a day-to-day basis.
1. Water. Lots of water. Our bodies hold so many toxins! Although it is designed to have a great system to eliminate them, water is what will - literally - help flush them out. Hydrate like your mama told you. And no, juice, coffee/tea/Redbull, and soda don’t count. Sorry, kids, H20 is the only way to go!
2. Tennis ball. If you have had a massage with me, I have likely recommended this little piece of joy. Using your own bodyweight and gravity, placing a tennis ball below “that spot” on your back is a great way to add pressure that you can easily control, and get the spots around it without having to adjust other parts of your body. The tennis ball is pliable enough to provide space for the muscle and also firm enough to also provide an appropriate amount of pressure.
For your forearms (all day computer users and texters I’m looking at you!), place the tennis ball at your wrist and simply roll back and forth. I keep one in my backpack for exclusively this purpose. (I’ll evangelize about backpacks next blog post.)
Available at Target, Modells/etc, a million places online, or the locally owned Tennis Zone in Glover Park.
3. Breathe. Ok, hear me out on this one. Breathing not only provides necessary oxygen to your boodstream, calms the mind, and slows your heart rate - a physiological response to lower stress levels, which then can ease tension in your body. Here’s a simple exercise anyone can do, anytime.:
Count to five while you inhale, hold the breath while counting to five, breathe out also on a count of five. For a deeper affect, close your eyes and visualize your favorite place, person, scene, or color. Hold the moment as your image counts with you.
4. Foam roller. Ok team, this is maybe some of the best $35 I have ever spent on Amazon. Runners and walkers pay attention: I’m not going to sugar coat it: this exercise for your tight IT band hurts like hell but is super effective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoHBDim_fzk. There are a ton of different ways to use it on different muscles. One of my favorites is actually using it to open up my chest in what I affectionately call “Jesus Position.” Place the end of the roller at your sacrum (tail bone), lie with your spine along the roller all the way up to support your neck. Arms out to the side.
How do you self-care? Have any of these techniques work for you? Post on our Facebook page to share ideas!