An Introduction to Self Massage
“Rehabilitation is to teach a patient what they can do for themselves.”
one of the creators of BodyGuide
The following program provides a beginner’s guide to self-massage – but it’s bloody hard sometimes to work out if you’re doing it right.
The goal is to find a sore spot – that makes you go: “Oooooo, that’s tender!”
Pro tip: Before you start the timer on an exercise, experiment with the ball first. It might take a couple of minutes to find the right ball, for the right spot. Find that ‘good pain’ feeling before you press start – that way you won’t feel rushed.
The truth is, there is no perfect ball, for all spots. It pays to have a few different types. Here’s my stash of favourites, none of which cost more than $2.
Sometimes I’ll lie on one, and after 30 seconds, I’ll switch it for a harder one. The opposite happens too, where I start with a hard ball, but it’s too intense. I’ll switch it out for a softer tennis ball (squishier). Changing the ball halfway through a self-massage is good: it means you’re listening to your body.
- Harder/larger balls: perfect for hips or anytime there’s a bit more – uh – padding to get through 😉
- Softer balls (tennis ball): are great for angry shoulders.
- Spikey balls: great for feet, but sometimes it can be hard to find small ones if your feet are on the smaller side.
This is just a guide, not a rule. You’ve gotta experiment; you’ll find your own favourite. It’s a personal thing and will depend on how ‘angry’ the muscles you are working on are.