Thursday,25 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1368, (9 - 15 November 2017)
Thursday,25 April, 2019
Issue 1368, (9 - 15 November 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Relaxation techniques

Let’s talk about better living! Our interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

Relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques

Have aches and pains? Need to destress? No time or money to get a professional massage? Cheer up — you don’t need expensive equipment, trainers or lots of time. There are many self-massage techniques you can try for relaxation or to soothe aching muscles and leave you feeling good.

Whether it’s your head, shoulders, knees or feet that need attention, there’s an easy relaxing massage you can give yourself with no expensive medication. You can do some massages with your hands only, while others require the aid of a tennis ball or foam roller but all are super easy and only take a few minutes.

Between talking, texting, typing and cross-training, our hectic modern life can really affect our bodies. Fortunately, massage can be just as effective as pain relief pills in some cases and almost free.

Here are some self-massage techniques recommended by massage therapists and personal trainers:



For a morning painful jaw

Gritting your teeth when you’re stressed can give you a headache and a sore jaw. So when you wake up or when you’re feeling anxious press up under your cheek bones using the pads of your fingertips, starting at the apples of your cheeks. Open and close your mouth as you press up into your cheek bones. Do this all the way back, following an imaginary beard line. 

When you reach your sideburns, press your thumb under your jawbone and pull your fingertips down the side of your face. Repeat movement along your jaw, moving towards your chin. Finally, grab your chin and pull the skin down between your thumbs and fingertips.


For sore knees

While sitting, unbend your leg and let it rest so the muscles are soft. Press into where it hurts with a fingertip or a knuckle and massage in a star shape for 10 seconds. Bend and straighten your knee twice. Repeat for each place it hurts.  


For tender feet

Sit down, step on a regular tennis or spiny ball with a bare or socked foot and then roll back and forth from heel to toe with a firm pressure. Use mild pressure and try not to flatten the ball completely. In case you need more pressure, try standing instead of sitting. If anywhere feels particularly painful or tender, try to roll in small circles. 

Alternatively, you can sit with one foot across your other knee. Grasp each toe, rotate a few times clockwise and counterclockwise. Bend each toe forwards and backwards, and then pull out gently on each toe. Use both hands to grasp firmly on either side of the foot and wiggle hands back and forth, jiggling your foot between them.


For tense neck and shoulders

Stand with a tennis ball between the wall and your shoulders. Raise your arm above you head and shift your head from side to side. Repeat with the ball in different positions along your neck and shoulders.


For tension headaches

Use your fingers to lightly draw little circles along your hair line, cheekbones, above your eyebrows and where your jaw connects. Gently rub your ears and earlobes between your fingertips.


For an aching lower back

Place a tennis ball or a foam roller on the floor and lie on it, or position it between your back and the wall. Move your body slowly up and down and side to side so that the ball massages any areas of muscle tightness. Avoid your spine to prevent injury. Press hard enough to squish the ball a little but not so hard that you’re feeling pain. Just a few minutes of rolling are sufficient in order not to aggravate already irritated tissues.


For a head and scalp massage

Place the heel of your palms under your hair on either side of your head near your temples. Push the scalp up toward the ceiling, hold a few seconds and release. 

Work in sections across your entire scalp.


For aching legs and knees

Lie on your side with a foam roller under your hip. With the support of your hand, slowly roll down from your hip to your knee. Rotate your body toward the ground as you go. Then roll back into the starting position.

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