Relieve Muscle Tension without a Visit to the Spa

You may know that muscle tension can be caused by a physical occurrence, such as overuse, but one of most common root cause is stress.  And it may even be the cause of those constant headaches. According to WebMD, muscle tension caused by stress, if left untreated, can lead to tension headaches. The main symptoms of muscle tension are stiff and achy muscles, often including the neck and jaw.   For general muscle tension, there are many alternative approaches.  And there are some simple ways to relieve “knots” in your muscles, without the expense of a massage therapist.

Not everyone knows about DIY reflexology or self-massage but they should. They are a simple self-treatment for chronic muscle aches and pains. Many people report that using at home tools like massage balls and foam rollers make them feel significantly better. It starts with identifying your trigger points. Muscle “knots” are sore, aching spots often called “trigger points”. Pressure point therapy is one of the most effective ways to relieve pain and can provide a sensory distraction. The pressure creates a small, local stretch that relieves the spasm. The pressure you apply squeezes stagnant tissue fluids out of the area. This self-massage technique also provides additional health benefits that complement exercise and stress reduction.

Best of all massage balls (or if you don’t have them, tennis balls) is a particularly cheap, handy, portable self-massage tool that you can use on “knots” in your muscles. It’s like a tiny little foam roller. Using a massage ball is like foam rolling but more precise.  The ball massage is usually the most useful in the muscles of the back, the hips, and the shoulder blades.

How to do it

The basic idea of a massage with a ball is to apply specific pressure to a stiff or aching spot in a muscle by trapping it between your body and something else. Most people usually start with the floor, but for many locations on the body working against a wall allows much better control over pressure.

Lie down on a tennis ball, placing it in approximately the right location. You do not have to be precise. Explore by moving slowly and gently, until you have just the right spot.

The goal is to achieve a release by applying just the right amount of pressure. The pressure level should feel like a good pain.  There are two different techniques- you can use- a hold, and rolling.

To hold and practice an active release, adjust yourself to achieve the right pressure, relax as much as possible and wait for the tight point of knot to ease, what we could consider a “release” or a “melting” of the knot. While this is subjective you should experience relief. This can take anywhere from ten seconds to a few minutes. Hold on various spots.

Alternatively you can roll over tender areas like below the shoulder blades, along the hips and the butt area. Some other tips are to; use heat in conjunction with treatment and  to move and stretch the muscles after the release of each knot.

Using the balls provided in the Winter La La Life box, along with a bit of practice, is like having is like having a good massage therapist on call. It’s also very inexpensive and safe to experiment!