Stress is all too common in today’s hectic world — whether it stems from work, health concerns, family, or an overall busy schedule. But even though you might deal with stress daily, it doesn’t make it any less challenging (or exhausting) to deal with.
In the past, you might’ve tried popular stress-busting remedies, like exercise or deep breathing. But what about massage for stress relief? What are some easy self-massage methods that could help you unwind after a long day?
In this post, discover the benefits of massage for stress, along with four of the most powerful self-massage techniques to try today.
How Can Massage Help With Stress?
While you might picture stress as a mental experience, it can also manifest in your body. For example, it affects your musculoskeletal system because it triggers your fight or flight response. This causes your muscles to tense up and prepare for action. And in cases of chronic stress, this muscle tension can eventually lead to pain.
Fortunately, research shows that massage therapy can help with stress — both physically and emotionally.
One study found that massage enhanced feelings of positive well-being and lowered stress perception in older adults. Some research has also shown that massage may affect levels of cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone.
Reducing your stress also comes with some remarkable health benefits, including:
- Better sleep
- Weight management
- Boosted mood
- Increased energy
- Faster recovery from sickness
- Lower blood pressure
Self-Massage for Stress Relief: 4 Techniques
Here are four step-by-step self-massage techniques you can use to ease stress today:
1. Shoulder Self-Massage
If stress leads to muscle tightness in your upper back, a shoulder massage might be just what you need. You can ask a partner to help you, but a shoulder massage is also fairly easy to do on your own.
- Gently knead the top of your right shoulder for a few minutes.
- Use circular motions to rub the surrounding area, focusing on muscles that feel especially tight or sore.
- Repeat this process on your left shoulder.
- Use these techniques for 10-15 minutes, or for as long as feels good to you.
2. Head Massage for Stress-Related Tension
It’s not uncommon for stress to show up as a headache that feels like a tight squeeze around your forehead or pressure behind the eyes. If this has ever happened to you, a gentle head or scalp massage may help combat it.
Before you get started, choose a comfortable place to sit. Then:
- Glide your hands across your head, from your hairline to the nape of your neck. Apply any level of pressure that feels soothing to you.
- Starting at your ears, use your fingertips to massage up each side of your head.
- Repeat steps one and two several times.
- Finish the massage by using your fingertips to massage your scalp in circular motions. You can do this for a few minutes until you feel fully relaxed.
3. At-Home Neck Massage
Your neck is one of the first places in your body where you might notice stress. This is because your entire upper body tenses up when you get anxious, which can lead to the muscles around your neck tightening up as well.
Here are some steps for a quick and easy at-home neck massage:
- With light-to-medium pressure, use your knuckles to glide from below your left ear to the top of your shoulder. You can deepen this relaxation by stretching your neck to the right as you knead away the tension.
- Place your knuckles a little further behind your ears and repeat this same gliding technique.
- Afterward, use your thumbs to rub the side and back of your neck in circular motions.
- Repeat these steps on your right side.
4. Use a Home Massager
The recent rise in at-home massage devices means it’s easier than ever to get a relaxing massage session in your own home. These devices come in many different shapes and sizes with a wide range of price tags. But for ultimate relaxation, it’s best to look for brands that use therapeutic technology.
One such brand is MedMassager, which offers high-quality devices that come with a range of wellness-related uses. Here are two ways to use MedMassager’s devices for stress relief:
Use a Foot Massager for Stress Relief
One popular device for stress relief is the MedMassager MMF07 foot massager, which targets pressure points and uses oscillating technology to relieve tension in the feet.
To use the foot massager:
- Turn the device on, starting with a slow speed and gentle pressure.
- Place your feet on the device for a minute or two.
- Adjust the settings until it reaches your desired pressure and speed.
- After a few minutes, take some time to gently glide each of your feet across the arch bar.
- Use the device for 10 to 20 minutes, or as long as feels good to you.
Use the Body Massager for Full-Body Relaxation
The MedMassager MMB05 body massager is another therapeutic tool that can help you work out tension nearly anywhere in your body — including your shoulders, neck, back, and even your arms and legs.
- To reach your back and shoulders: Turn the MedMassager on, adjusting the settings to your preferred pressure and speed. Then, place it against a chair and lean back on it. You can use this technique to massage anywhere from your lower back up to your shoulder blades.
- To relax your neck: Using a gentle setting, apply the massager to the back of your neck for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also ask a loved one or partner to help you use the machine on harder-to-reach areas.
The Bottom Line on Massage for Stress
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, finding ways to manage stress is tough. However, certain natural remedies — like a massage for stress relief — can help you relax your mind and body with ease.
The beauty of massage is that you don’t have to visit a spa to reap the benefits. Instead, you can focus on the self-massage techniques covered in this post. These tips can help you work out the stress-related tension in your head, shoulders, and neck. And for restorative benefits each and every day, you can use a high-quality massage tool from a brand like MedMassager.