Canyon Ranch Blog

Enjoy a Self-Massage

When it comes to relaxing and soothing achy muscles, there are few activities that rival a full-body massage. But engaging in self-massage, while often underestimated, can be just as effective in alleviating tension, increasing circulation and lowering stress levels by applying pressure to key points from head to toe. Learning some simple self-massage techniques that employ the same rubbing and kneading methods you’d benefit from in a professional appointment will allow you to self-soothe at home—or anywhere.

Whether you want to loosen stiff muscles, relieve your tired feet or diminish that dull ache behind your eyes, try these tips when giving yourself an at-home massage:

How to Prepare

Settle in a relaxing spot. The great thing about self-massage is that you can do it anywhere. However, choosing your favorite chair or spot on the couch can help you unwind and truly enjoy the massage. Turn off the TV, your cell phone and anything else that may disturb you. Lower the lights, spark a scented candle or put on some soft music—whatever makes you feel at ease.

Consider accessories. While you may not always have products on hand (if you’re at work or in the car, for example), incorporating lotion or cream into your self-massage when possible can help pamper and soothe you—especially when you’re working on your hands and feet. Consider options infused with essential oils, like calming cedarwood or jasmine.
How to Self-Massage

Head, Neck & Shoulders

This can be a powerful release if you tend to hold tension in your neck and shoulders.

Start by squeezing the base of your neck with one hand, moving your hand upward, squeezing and releasing as you go. Then, using both hands, move your fingers in a circular motion as you rub the base of your skull, moving down the neck and along each shoulder.

Next, use your fingertips to slowly massage your whole head in small circles, as your thumbs move along the bottom of your scalp where your head meets your neck. Place your hands in your hair (if it’s long enough) with your palms facing down, then interweave your fingers and catch hold of your strands. Gently pull them up away from your scalp.

Hands

Whether daily activities like typing put a strain on your hands or you suffer from occasional arthritic pain, this hand massage is a great way to self-soothe.

Start by rubbing all the fingers of your left hand with your right, moving in a circular motion from the base of the finger to the tip, focusing on the joints. Then, gently pull each finger away from the hand, sliding your grip up from the base of each finger to the tip.

Next, give your palm a massage with your thumb on the palm and your fingers on the back of the hand. In a circular motion, rub the pads of your fingers, the fleshy part between your thumb and wrist, and any other tense or tender points. Switch hands.

Feet

Even if you don’t play tennis, it might be worth investing in a few tennis balls for these at-home massages that help soothe your aching feet.

Start by sitting in a chair and rolling a ball gently beneath each foot. Roll it under the arch of the foot, along the outer edge and under the pads of your toes and your heel. Next, try the same movement standing up, gently applying the weight of your body onto the foot that is on the ball.

Of course using your hands to give your feet a good rub is also effective. For this, apply pressure on tender areas with your thumbs, working your way up and down the foot. Scented foot lotion (try refreshing peppermint) engages your senses while moisturizing your skin for an enjoyable experience. And because of the acupressure points in your feet, adding pressure to certain areas can help relieve discomfort you may be feeling elsewhere, like in your stomach, shoulders and even your sinuses.

Eyes

This at-home technique can help subdue a mild headache or relieve any strain you may feel from staring at a computer all day.

First, rub your hands together briskly to warm them, then close your eyes and cup your palms over your eye sockets. Breathe for about 10 seconds, letting the warmth and darkness fill the space behind your eyes. Then begin a gentle massage by putting your thumbs under your eyebrows, gradually working them outward in a circular motion around your eyes. Spend a little extra time on your temples, as well as the area where the bridge of your nose meets the ridge of your eyebrows—two tender spots that can be soothed by a few minutes of light pressure.

More: How to Give a Good Massage

Reflexology for Better Health
Explore the body benefits of pressure point therapy
Read More
No-Time-Required Meditation
Simple ways to bring mindfulness to everyday tasks
Read More
5 Quick Cool-Down Stretches
Give your body a mini-massage with these effective post-exercise moves
Read More
5 Key Practices to Remember When You Exercise
These details can be easy to overlook—but here’s why they’re important
Read More
At-Home Fitness Equipment: Our Top Picks
You don’t need a lot of equipment to get a great workout
Read More
Cardio Machines: Get Your Best Workout
Not-so-common knowledge about your favorite calorie-burning machines
Read More
5 Simple Seated Stretches
Get that ahhh feeling as you release tension and soothe your muscles and joints
Read More
6 “This-or-That” Fitness Questions Answered
Take the guesswork out of your workout and make it time well spent
Read More
5 Yoga Poses for a Stronger Spine
This practice can strengthen your spine and help you stand tall and pain-free
Read More
Use Your Own Bodyweight to Strength Train
10 exercises you can do anytime, anywhere—no equipment required
Read More
Your Workout Back-Up Plan
What to do when circumstances get in the way of your original intentions
Read More
Fitness Trackers: Motivation Through Technology
Logging your exercise sessions with technology can help you reach your goals
Read More
Book Online or Contact Us
Book Now Contact Us

Questions & Reservations

Tucson, Arizona +1 800 742 9000
Lenox, Massachusetts +1 800 742 9000
SpaClub®, Las Vegas +1 877 220 2688
Groups: +1 877 862 0583
SpaClub®, At Sea Queen Mary 2: +1 866 860 4662
Oceania Cruises: +1 877 329 1924
Regent Seven Seas: +1 877 329 1924
Celebrity Cruises: +1 844 860 4662