5 self-massage tools to restore your body at home
Tiphaine Honnet – Madame Figaro
Practical and easy to use, self-massage accessories offer a well-deserved bubble of well-being at the end of the year. From the favorite massage gun of athletes to the spiked ball to pamper tired feet, here is an overview of the essentials.
Like it or not, 2020 has been all about anxiety. And this stress, associated for some with poor posture when working all day behind your desk, is causing muscles pains and creating tension in the neck, lower back and even the buttocks. Some self-massage accessories are there to gently to relieve aches, pains and knots. Of course, they will never compete with the hands of a healthcare professional, which is why it is necessary to seek medical advice before turning to this kind of relaxing supplement. Keep scrolling for a small list of these "new friends" of relaxation and advice for use.
The spiked massage ball
Foot pain can have several origins. If you are used to wearing pumps with heels, for example, the load on the body will be distributed more on the front of the foot and therefore exert too much pressure in the long term. The repeated rubbing of the sneakers against the skin during intensive running training also causes significant horn formation, which is sometimes responsible for this pain. This is where the massage ball comes in which, with the help of its small nubs, helps relax and soften the muscles of the arch and heel.
How to use it? You just have to roll it under your foot while standing. If you want to vary the intensity of the pressure, you can use your body weight by pressing more or less on the ball.
The massage roller
One of the simplest and most fun self-massages is the one performed using a roller. Slipped under the back, legs or feet, this foam tube, with a more or less hard texture, will massage the muscles in depth, as with the massage ball, thanks to the pressure exerted by the body. Recommended before and after sports, it facilitates joint mobility and restores flexibility to muscle fibers.
How to use it? Slowly roll it on the floor under the area of the body you want to stretch - upper back, hips, or calves - and perform back and forth movements for 30 seconds to 1 minute. It is also important to breathe during this exercise to help relax the muscles.
The ceramic massager
We think less about it, but the hands are the most active part of the body in a day. Clicking on your mouse, typing on your keyboard, writing, cleaning, are all gestures that can cause, if repeated too often, numbness, tingling and other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Inspired by traditional Chinese medicine, the Lanshin by Acera ceramic massager reproduces the relaxing action of hot stones on the body. The warmth associated with its ergonomic shape thus relieves stress points in the hand.
How to use it? Fill the ceramic part with hot water then close with the silicone cover. When the temperature is adequate, slide the base of the massager onto the hand and insist with circular movements on the areas of discomfort. Its use can be extended to all other parts of the body, including the face.
The massage gun
Let's face it, there is nothing more enjoyable than a massage provided by a professional. But while you wait to return to a salon with peace of mind, there is a formidable tool for stiffness, lower back pain and strained muscles: the massage gun. Thanks to the movements of percussions and vibrations, this tool with multiple tips (round, conical, flat ...), originally developed by a chiropractor, will stimulate the sore area, reduce its inflammation and untie the knots of the upper limbs and lower, from the shoulders, through the buttocks and lumbar, to the feet. While its effectiveness is not (yet) scientifically proven, its benefits are widely touted in sports circles - from NBA players to tennis champion Maria Sharapova.
How to use it? Once you have chosen your tip, apply the gun to the injured muscle area. Start with low speed and gentle pressure for about ten seconds, performing lateral movements on the muscle. Over time with repeated use, when your body gets used to it, you can take it to the next level and increase the speed-intensity combo.
The acupressure mat
An ancestral Chinese practice, acupuncture is an effective therapeutic technique against many chronic pains, including back pain. You still have to put up with the small needles that lightly penetrate the skin. The acupressure mat seems to be a good in-between for those who dread this technique. Less invasive, it consists of a large number of small "flowers" with spikes that stimulate different pressure points in the body and thus release endorphins believed to help general relaxation.
How to use it? Lie on it gently on your back, preferably dressed to start. Once the first few unpleasant minutes have passed, relax all the muscles of the body as much as possible and stay in this posture for 5 to 10 minutes. Depending on your tolerance level, you can then prolong the experience for up to 20 minutes and also try it against bare skin.