There are plenty of tools that you can use to help yourself feel better in between massage appointments. There are foam rollers, therapy canes, electronic devices that provide percussion or vibration, and different types of balls such as, tennis, golf, racquet, and lacrosse to use for massage purposes.
These can be great to have at home, work, or when you travel. They can help ease some pain in between appointments or when you can’t get in for a massage. Life events pop up and can make it difficult to squeeze a massage into your schedule, especially now during this SAH order when massage services are still not allowed (more on that below).
Massage is a great component in your life for taking care of yourself, but of course, it can’t be the only thing. It makes sense to have other activities and some tools to keep you feeling good on a regular basis. For example, rolling your sore and tired feet on a golf ball for a few minutes feels wonderful - and it helps get you up off the couch moving again; and movement really is the key to keeping your muscles healthy and mobile.
Now I’m not going to lie, the science on the effects of foam rolling varies and currently shows minimal impact if used in the short-term. But scientific research still has a long way to go. Modern scientific research on the how, why, and what the human body can do has roughly only been around a little over 150 years. New information and understanding evolves every year, almost on a monthly basis due to new and improved scientific tools, implementations, and techniques. So we need to give science a chance to be able to process, grow, and continue to allow the development of modern technologies to progress. With that said, almost all reports of recent scientific studies show foam rolling with regular use can have positive long-term impacts on a range of motion and soft tissue sliding (elasticity). So just like eating healthy and exercising regularly to stay fit, so should foam rolling become part of your regime to help you stay fluid and mobile. Follow this link for suggested foam rolling exercises and check out the link below to my favorite tools!
Should I ditch my massage therapist then?
Before you ditch your massage therapist completely, there are things to take into consideration.
* Most tools perform only one action and that is in compressing your muscles. But that is not all you need to feel better. In a massage, your muscles are pulled, squeezed, kneaded, and stretched as well as being compressed. One tool isn’t the solution to everything either. Hammers are good - for hammering. When you need to paint, drill a hole, or tighten a nut they become useless.
* Tools are not sentient in how your body works. Your tool won’t know when to stop and your muscles may get overworked. Working in some areas of your body can be dangerous and may cause serious problems. Obviously you want to feel better, not worse afterward.
* Massage therapists have learned and know how much pressure to use and how best to work on a muscle. They can evaluate the progress and change the pressure or apply a different technique. They may move you into different positions to change the angle to reach a muscle more effectively.
* Some tools may require you to get on the floor or bend a certain way. This can be a challenge to some who are lacking in mobility or agility.
* Pain can be tricky. You may feel the pain in one area but the real source can be somewhere else. If you only concentrate where you feel the pain, you will just treat the symptom and the pain will return. A massage therapist can often track down the source and help redress the real problem.
*There’s more to a massage than just working on your muscles. You get personal attention, are listened to, and cared for. Your body and mind can both relax as you let go of your responsibilities for a short while.
Tools for use at home can provide some nice benefits in between massages. You can do your own research or go to my "More Tools I Love" page on my website to check out the current tools I personally use. Most of us enjoy saving money but when we need something important done correctly we pay a professional, including myself. Recent research is also proving that "massage seems to be the most effective for reducing DOMS" (delayed onset muscle soreness). Taking excellent care of your body is paramount for good health, after all, it is the true “home” where “you” reside.
Notice to my clients,
Currently, I am still closed in accordance with the council, state, and local governing bodies. Massage Therapy is described as a personal care service and considered a Phase 3 business in California, meaning it will most likely be months, not weeks before I’m allowed to re-open. “Word on the street” is sometime in July. Once I receive approval from the state and local jurisdictions, I will evaluate when I can open my doors. This is all contingent on having everything in place which has been legally required for my type of business to be operational. I am currently waiting for some of these essentials to arrive. Until that time, I am doing everything possible to prepare for your return and creating a space compliant with the “new normal” aspects required by the governing officials so I can continue my devoted care for your health and safety. It may not look the same when you arrive, but rest assured, the same love and care will be there.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions as we all navigate this together.