Health and Self-Massage
Being proactive about one’s health is vitally important as we age. Last month I wrote about when to use ice or heat to help manage injuries. In addition to icing or heating, it is important to loosen up muscles in or adjacent to the injured area. One of the best techniques for this is to perform self-massage. There are a variety of massage tools on the market, but my favorites are the Thera Cane, foam rollers and a tennis ball.
Rather than getting into the specifics of how to use each of these devices to assist in injury recovery, I would rather explain what massage does for our overall health.
Massaging our muscles does several things all at once. It increases circulation and range of motion, but most importantly it decreases pain. Pain causes us to tighten up, shrug our shoulders and slouch. It has a negative effect on our physical and mental health.
Pain from overworked or tight muscles contributes to arthritic joint pain. Much of our arthritic pain may be coming from overworked, sore and achy muscles. That means that massaging the muscles can help alleviate pain in many mild to moderate arthritic joints.
It does take a little knowledge to perform self-massage techniques. There are plenty of helpful guides and instructional booklets. Then again, you can always make an appointment with our in-house professional Julie Ottis. (Her phone number is on the back page.)
Article by Scott Herman, Director of Wellness