Daily Self Applied Massage Keeps Your Muscles Pain Free

On this page we show how you can be your own body work specialist, so that you can keep yourself largely free from muscle pain by performing a simple daily self-massage.
 Initially you should be able to eliminate existing acute or dormant "trigger points" by using this technique (and maybe a visit or two to a professional bodywork person). This way, you can achieve a state where your muscles become limber and in a non-contracted condition.
 Then, as an on-going basis, you massage out any new trigger points as they may come up, and also warm up your muscles each morning (similiar to stretching). This keeps your muscles supple.
Translation: I want to show you how to keep doing the things you did when you were young, with no limitations!

Something to consider before you embark on this muscle work: Let's say you really "throw out/pull/overstretch" some muscle(s) such as your lower back (perhaps by picking up that 50 pound bag of pea gravel, or your 4-year old grandkid who no longer is light as he/she was as a baby)! If it really hurts to touch or massage the affected region, maybe it would be well to have a session with a body work pro. They can tell you if whether or not there was some partial tissue damage. If so, it would be well to let the area heal for a while before trying to massage it.

So, back to self-applied massage. This massage can be done while standing up, or while sitting. It is best done in the morning, usually before breakfast. Why is that? Because you will start your day with your muscles all warmed up and partially stretched. This alone will make you less likely to "pull" a muscle during the day.
 When you first start doing this, you will encounter some tender spots. (I'll point out the most likely areas in the pictorials below.) These are usually trigger points, as discussed on the previous page ("Eliminate Muscle Pain" - the "Back" button above). You can massage these out over the course of several sessions, usually by applying a firm pressure, along with a short stroking motion. When you are just starting out, it will be well to work the area only briefly. Then move on to other areas. After a few days, or maybe even a week or two for some spots, you will find that the tenderness will be gone.
 You might be tempted to really press hard on these irritated areas, in an effort to "release" the trigger points. I urge you to instead to start out with relatively light pressure and/or strokes. If you feel a burning sensation or other irritation, then stop, since you might simply be "spreading inflammation around"! The result will be that you are even more sore. Just revisit the area during the next few days.
 Unsure about the location of any muscle discussed below, or how to massage it? Just consult your Trigger Point Therapy Handbook On the previous page, a link to purchase this book is given under "Tools of the Trade", about midway down on the page.
 Oh, and one final note: if you have just massaged some tender or painful trigger points - or if you have just received a professional "trigger point"/"deep tissue" massage - drink some water! The body work pros would always give me bottled water after a session, pointing out that a good deal of toxins have been generated, and they need to be flushed out. Further, they consistently said that it is NOT wise to go out and take a long walk after a session of working trigger points.

On the other hand, if you have already over the period of a few weeks/months gotten your trigs under control, and are doing the daily - or at least bi-weekly - muscle work, then your self-applied massage can be a great way to warm up your muscles and prepare you for that walk, or applying those 40 lb sacks of mulch in the garden, or other household projects!

The Self-applied Massage


1 Start with the arms

Muscle names: biceps, triceps, et al.

Your hand and arm muscles are about to get a workout, since they'll be applying pressure to various points through this procedure. So It's well to warm up these muscles beforehand.
 The idea is to simply massage the arm and hand muscles with (relatively) firm strokes. In this image we're starting with the biceps, on the left, and the triceps, on the right. You are stroking along the length of your entire upper arm.


2 The forearms and hands

Muscle names: Extensor carpi, extensor digitorum, flexor carpi, bradioradialis and many others (forearms). Opponens pollicis, adductor pollicis, et al (thumb area)

Massage the muscles on the forearm (left) and then work the hand muscles around the thumb (right). Rub all around the thumb and the palm area. It's also beneficial to massage the back side of the hand between the thumb and first finger.
 Don't forget: if you have pain or discomfort in some part of the hand, it just might be muscles in the arm that are the cause. Why? Because many of the "hand muscles" are in the lower arm! So try rubbing the extensors along the back side of the lower arm. You may be surprised to find these to be tender, and that the hand pain is "referred pain" from the lower arm.
 Most of the time, all this can be kept quite simple. The "warming up" of the arm/hand muscles can be done in just a few seconds, actually (unless there are some tender spots.)
 Now that you have warmed up your arms and hands, you're ready to use them to massage everything else.

Wrist joint pain is related to these muscles. Have some wrist pain? Concerned tha it might be "Carpel Tunnel Syndrome"? Please see Joint Pain Example #1 below, before the "Stretch" section.


3 The front and back of the armpit

Muscle names: pectoralis (front), subscapularis (back)

NOTE: Likely tender areas!
 Left side. Massage the pectoralis section that is right next to the armpit. When you do this for the first time, you will find tender spots. There are usually several trigs in this area. Just massage them and move on. After some weeks of this activity, you will be able to massage this area without discomfort.
 But do note that, depending on how much exercise you do, or how much yardwork/sports/lifting that you have been doing, tenderness may arise from time to time in this area and the area shown on the right.

The whole point of the daily self-massage #1:
 After you have been doing this daily muscle work for a while, you'll be keeping your muscles supple and preventing any trigger points from causing your muscles to be in a state of contraction.

Right side: Now reach under your arm and massage the muscle that's in the back of the armpit. This is the "subscapularis", and will also likely contain tender spots. It might be helpful to lean against the wall (or the chair back if seated) to help reach this muscle. That is, if you are doing the right side, lean your left shoulder against the wall in order to help push your left arm into a better position to grasp the muscle.



4 Now a little work on your face and jaw

Muscle names: Masseter (jaw)

Left side: Place your fingers above the bridge of the nose and stroke outward. Your fingers should actually be right on the top of your eye sockets. This actually has a soothing (and partially clearing) effect on your sinuses.
 Right side: Stroke the backside of your jaw muscles repeatedly, using a relatively firm pressure. This helps greatly with TMJ issues! After you do this, gently stretch your jaw by placing your hands on your lower lips and chin, and pulling downward - not too hard. If you feel discomfort at the back of the jaw, let up a bit. Hold your mouth open for a few seconds, maybe even longer.
 After holding your mouth open, stroke the backsides of your jaws again.

The whole point of the daily self-massage #2:
 You can self-treat your TMJ!



5 Next up is the neck muscles

Muscle names: Sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae, suboccipitals, splenius, semispinalis

NOTE: Likely a tender area.
 Stroke up and down on the back of the neck. That is, start as shown on the left, and stroke down to the position shown on the right.
 Make sure your head is relaxed and erect. You don't want to be massaging muscles that are in a state of tension because your head is bending forward!


6 Some work on muscles near the neck

Muscle names: Upper trapezius

Now firmly pinch the muscles on top of the shoulders. To do this, fold your thumb into your palm and then pinch the muscles between your fingers and the folded thumb. Move up the side of the neck, pinching repeatedly until you reach your hairline. These areas, along with your neck itself, will likely be tender when you start this daily treatment, and for that matter any time you have been working at the computer for a while, or doing physical work, or exercises - that is, just about all the time!

The whole point of the daily self-massage #3:
 You'll soon find that these daily massages feel quite good, since you will be smoothing out all your daily posture sins, poor workspace habits, and/or "weekend warrior" excesses!

Now for the Theracane Work

Having prepped your arm muscles (and maybe working any sore area if necessary), and having massaged your neck, now it's time to reach for the Theracane to massage your upper and lower back, your glutes, and your hamstrings.
 I have a link to purchase the Theracane on the "Eliminate Muscle Pain" page, but in case you reached this page directly, I am repeating the link here. As noted before, I prefer to pad the "business end" of the Theracane with a couple of children's ankle socks, held in place with some thin nylon twine. But I decided to remove the padding for the pictures below.


7 The Upper Back

Muscle name: Trapezius

NOTE: Likely tender areas!
 The left side shows one way to hold the T.C. (Theracane). for upper and lower back massage.
 We start with part of the upper trapezius and stroke downward, as shown on the right. You might find it very helpful to bend over while working on this area. This gives you more leverage to apply pressure to the muscle and to help keep from slipping over the protrusion at the top.
 For greater pressure, do this while laying on the floor. SEE "Applying Greater Pressure" below.
 Note that you are just inside the shoulder blade (scapula). It helps also to swing the arm over a bit to help move the scapula out of the way and expose more of the muscle underneath.
 So for example, if you are massaging the right side, swing the right arm toward your left side. Or, just twist yourself to the left.
 More trapezius? Are you getting the idea? You'll come to not like your trapezius muscles! They're the ones that cause the most upper back and neck pain.

back back

8 Maintaining spinal alignment

Muscle names: rhomboids, serratus, quadratus lumborum.
 Possibly also semispinalis, and other deep spinal muscles.

NOTE: May be tender areas next to the spine

There are two sets of short muscles in the upper back that connect individual vertabrae to the scapula (shoulder blade). And there are others in the mid/lower back that connect individual vertabrae to some of the ribs and/or the top of the pelvis.
 You want to keep these muscles loose and free of trigger points, so that they don't pull on the vertabrae. This will help make chiropractic "adjustments" last longer. This helps you maintain spinal alignment and eliminate nebulous pains along the spine.
 You work these muscles by applying pressure right next to the spine. These areas may be tender at first, but you should find that the tenderness will subside with subsequent treatments. Don't forget to make small strokes along these muscles. The direction is not important, but it is important to not go back and forth.
 In my experience, if I have an ongoing dull pain in the upper back that is not relieved by theracane work, it's ususally time to visit a chiropractor for some "alignment" work.

back back back

More Tools of the Trade: Vive Double Lacrosse Massage Ball set

Massage Balls

 To help massage the muscles that connect directly to the vertabrae, it is often helpful to place a joined set of Lacrosse Balls behind you on the wall, such that your spine is between them. Move up and down by bending your knees while leaning firmly against the wall. This is also really good exercise for your leg muscles!
 This is shown on the left. Try it on all portions of the back - upper, middle, and lower.

 To order a set, just click on the Amazon link on the right. The package also comes with a single Lacrosse Ball, which can be used to massage other muscles by placing it against the wall or on the floor.

Lacrosse Balls

9 Shoulder Areas of Upper Back

Muscle names: Supraspinatus, infraspinatus, deltoids

While you are tending to your upper back, you will find it comforting to massage the muscles in the shoulder area next to the scapula (left), and sometimes the deltoids (right).


10 The Lower Back

Muscle names: longissimus, iliocostalis, quatratus lumborum

NOTE: More tender areas!
 The left side shows a possible way to hold the T.C. for working the lower back.
 Start low, press firmly, and stroke upward a few times, as shown on the right.

shoulder shoulder

11 Applying greater pressure

Muscle names: Various

Having a little extra discomfort in the back muscles? You can apply greater pressure by lying on a mat and prying up with the T.C.
 Left image: Working the upper trapezius. For your left side, hold the left arm in front of you as if reaching for something on the right. This pulls the scapula out of the way to expose the trapezius a bit more. Pry up slowly with the right arm until the T.C. knob slides out near your shoulder.. (Not too much pressure. Roll to the right a bit instead of having all your weight on the T.C.)
 Right image: For the lower back muscles, just hold the Theracane with both hands and let your elbows rest on the mat. Apply pressure by flexing both arms, while stroking the muscles.

 The white sleeve on the Theracane knob is a child's tube sock attached with some twine wrapped around the sock. As mentioned above, I have removed the sock for all the other pictures for clarity, but I actually prefer a bit of extra padding on the hard knob of the T.C., so I left the sock on for some of these pictures.


12 Working on the glutes

Muscle names: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus

Place the T.C. on the lower part of the glutes and pull upward. You can use quite a bit of pressure here. The gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle, and it covers the medius and minimus.
 NOTE: If you have lower back pain, massaging the glutes firmly can often eliminate, or vastly reduce, the back pain! The reason is not clear, but perhaps some of the lower back muscles have their "insertion points" in this area.

The whole point of the daily self-massage #4:
 This "quick" reduction of back pain only comes after you have done the self-applied massage for a month or more, and have released - or have begun to release - all your trigger points.
 Slipped or stumbled on something and ended up with a sudden pain in your leg? Felt a sharp twinge in the back while lifting? Not to worry. Just go work the area with your Theracane or hands and then go on about your business. The pain doesn't go completely away, but it will after a few more sessions later in the day - or a couple the next day.
 But the point here is that such events no longer condemn you to a week of discomfort vaguely shrouded by aspirin or anti-inflammatories.


13 Your hamstrings

Muscle names: Biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus

This is the last item for the T.C. Start just behind the knee (left side) and stroke toward your bottom (right side).
 Do this both on the inner and outer sides of the back of your legs. For example, if you find that the back of your thighs are uncomfortable when you drive, working the outer edge of the backside of your legs will help.



14 Starting on the Legs

Muscle names: None

We start with the foot. The main purpose for massage here is to keep the foot "loose". This helps eliminate the occasional pinched nerve in the bottom of the foot. This presents with the classic symptom of the sensation that your socks are all bunched up.
 There may be tender spots in the feet. For example, have you noticed that your foot hurts when you step on a shovel to push it into the ground? That may be muscle trigger points on your foot, but it is much more likely to be due be due to trigs in the muscles of the lower leg. Why? Because many of the "foot muscles" are in the lower leg! That's what all those tendons in the top of the foot are for: to connect the foot/toes to muscles in the lower leg. Recall that in the "Forearms and Hands" section above, we pointed out that many "hand" muscles are in the forearm!
 So, if you encounter tender spots, it's the massages in the next few sections that should result in elimination of this discomfort.

Start with pulling on the big toe. Pull it outward as if stretching it. Also move it around a bit. The intention here is to keep the foot structure loose. Think of it as a chiropractic "adjustment" on the big toe.
 Now firmly stroke the bottom of the foot from front to back (right side images). Do this several times.

foot foot

15 The Calves

Muscle names: Gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis posterior

NOTE: Likely some tender areas, particularly for you ladies that like platform shoes!
 Now place your "supported fingers" on the lower calves next of the foot and stroke upward.
 "Supported fingers" means you are supporting the fingers of one hand with those of the other hand. This way you can apply lots of pressure without wearing out your fingers. In some areas where you are using your thumb, it's sometimes well to support it with the other thumb.
 Standing position shown on left, sitting on right.


15a More Detail on the Calves

Muscle names: extensor digitorum longus, extensor hallucis longus

While you are working the lower leg, from time to time you can massage the "extensor digitorum longus". This muscle is responsible for flexing the toes upward. It is on the front side of the leg, next to the tibia bone. This is the side facing "outward" (where the fingers are positioned in the images).
 From time to time you can also massage the "inner" side as well. This is the "extensor hallucis longus". This flexes the big toe upward. You may find that either of these muscles is tender if you do a lot of walking.
 Standing position shown on left, sitting on right.


16 Lower Part of the Soleus

Muscle name: soleus

From time to time, massage the lower part of the big soleus muscle, on the lower part of your calves. This is where the thumbs are positioned in the images
 Standing position shown on left, sitting on right.


17 The quads and the "I.T. band"

Muscle names: Quadriceps: rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis. Side of thigh: iliotibial band

Using supported fingers, stroke your quadriceps repeatedly (shown on left). Note that the quads really like to be massaged, and will reward you with some "feel-good" endorphins.
 Next massage your iliotibial band (shown on right), an area along the sides of the thighs with a distinct tendon.
 You can sound like a real bodywork jock by referring to this as the "I.T. band". Likewise, the upper trapesius on the back is often referred to as the "upper trap".

Knee joint pain is related to all these muscles. Have knee joint problems? Please see Joint Pain Example #2 right below.


18 Back side of leg

Muscle names: Various
  Although we did a little hamstring work with the Theracane, and a little calf work above, a couple of firm strokes on the backside of the legs seems to be therapeutic. With both hands, stroke from the middle of the calf to the upper thigh. This helps keep several muscle groups supple - the calves, the back of the knee, and the hamstrings.

Hamstrings Hamstrings Hamstrings

"Joint Problems" Solved by Eliminating Trigger Points, 2 Examples

Joint Example #1: Wrist

I have had joint pain in my left wrist - off and on - for years. A couple of years ago it became somewhat "acute", and I began to think about getting an MRI and possibly going for some joint surgery for "arthritis", which was offered by a local University. I had received their ad in the mail a few months earlier. The ad referred to a process called "Joint Debridement".

"Arthroscopic debridement is a surgical procedure that removes the broken down bits of cartilage and tissues to help reduce pain and improve movement."

Sounded pretty convincing to me. Surgery always does! But I thought I might just try working trigger points instead, in part because the surgery location was 80 miles away!

So I began to concentrate on the forearm muscles. I introduced these in section 2 above. But this time I throroughly worked these muscle a couple of times each day. Sure enough, there were some tender spots on these muscles. After a week or week or so, I was quite surprised to find that the wrist pain was almost gone. Soon after, my "wrist joint" issue was gone. This was over a year ago.
 Now I give these muscles extra attention during my morning self-massage.

wrist wrist

On the inside of the arm (palm up), stroke down the length of the forearm until you reach the wrist. There is a set of muscles on the "left" side of the inside arm and another set on the "right" side. So it's two sets of strokes along the length of the forearm. Do these massages firmly. These will be the "flexors" and a few other muscles. Then massage the wrist area itself with your thumb.

On the outside of the arm (palm down), do the same thing. Two sets of muscles. These will be the extensors, along with a few other muscles. Also massage the back side of the wrist as well.


Joint Example #2: Knee

From time to time, I would have some issues with my right knee. Occasionally, when I would squat down fast, a quick sharp pain would prompt me to get right back up. "I surely have torn something", it seemed. I got into the habit of squatting slowly.
 Then recently the knee became quite weak. This was more noticeable when going down stairs rather than going up. I became concerned that it would give out on me when climbing on the rocks that surround the nearby bay. (Few things are more unsettling than climbing around on sharp rocks with a trick knee!) "Surely this is more than trigger points", I told myself, and I looked up that "Joint debridement" ad again.
 But, mainly because my wife gave me a pep talk about past successes with massage, I began to try some concentrated work on the leg muscles. I even dragged out the Trigger Point Therapy book, and read and re-read the "Hip, Thigh, and Knee Joint" section repeatedly during lunch and dinner. Sure enough, it described many case studies of restoring knee joint function by way of treating trigger points.
 I promptly could tell that muscles on the right leg had more tender spots than the left leg. Further, there were rope-like knots in the quads - just above the knee. Also muscles on both sides of the right knee had tender spots, along with some behind the knee joint, in the hamstrings. I concentrated on these specific massages during my morning muscle massages, but also found myself taking a few moments throughout the day to sit on the stairs and work the leg muscles a couple of extra times. "You're on a big time roll here", I told myself.
 After about a week, I became aware that the knee seemed stronger - less and less discomfort while climbing the stairs. No more pain behind the knee. I still "babied" it, for example by going up and down the stairs one at a time instead of my usual two at a time. Soon it became apparent that the knee was fully normal. I got my confidence back for climbing on all the rocks!
 Indeed this was so successful (and frankly so unexpected!) that I felt the need to put this out on my "Self-applied Massage" page: It's possible (at least in some cases) to restore a knee joint by releasing trigger points that have held the associated muscles in a state of contraction.

The whole point of the daily self-massage #4: You can fix many "Joint Issues" without surgery!

So now, as with the wrist joint described above, I give these muscles extra attention during my morning self-massage.


Muscle names: Quadriceps: rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis. Also the Sartorius.
 We start with the quads. They actually have quite a few possible trigger points that affect the knee. Start the stroke right at the top of the upper leg and stroke downward. The quads are very thick - they are the largest muscle in our physical form. So press hard.

upper quads upper quads

Continue the stroke down the leg. You can even go down to the knee joint, even though we are actually going to repeat this stroke starting closer to the knee - explained in the next two sections.

Now for a key area. We are going to massage the quads near the knee joint. Start somewhere in the middle of the upper leg, with the "supported fingers." Press hard and stroke down to the knee joint. You will likely encounter some rope-like structures buried in the muscle. These are trigger points, perhaps the main ones causing all your joint issues. Press hard.

lower quads lower quads

To get more concentrated pressure, try using a supported thumb. As a matter of fact, while I was sitting on the stairs one evening with my head propped up on my arms and my elbow on my legs, I could feel the tenderness in this area (lower quads just above the knee joint). So, in addition to the supported fingers or supported thumb, try just using your elbows for massage in this area!
 Try to do all this twice a day, at least once a day. But do note that releasing trigger points is a process that usually takes several days, perhaps even a week or more, particularly if the trigs have been around for a while. Indeed, if this is the first time you have massaged these muscles, it's quite possible that the related trigger points have been there for years!

 And don't forget one of the main rules about muscle work: Muscles do not like assymetry! Anything you do on one side of yourself needs to be done - not necessarily with the same vigor - on the other side. I had a professional massage person tell me once "I gotta stop and work your other leg. You won't like me if I don't!"

lower quads lower quads
outer edge outer edge

It also seemed to help to do a little extra work on the "I.T." band (#17 above). This band and its associated muscle (Tensor Fasciae Latae) runs along the entire outer edge of the upper leg. You can actually start all the way from the top, at the hip bone.

inner edge outer edge

Of particular interest were the muscles on both the inner and outer side of the lower leg, just below the knee joint. Both of these muscles were tender and showed signs of embedded trigger points. In the left picture, it's the thumb doing the work on the inner side. It will be likely be easier to use the fingers for on the outer side (right picture).

Another area is on the back side of the knee joint. The hamstrings on the back side may also be involved with constricting the knee joint. For me, these muscles also contained tender areas, and seemed to be associated with occasional discomfort that I would experience when straightening the leg while reclined in bed.
 We are grasping the hamstrings and stroking upward, underneath the knee joint and stroking all the way up past the knee joint. Actually we start beneath the knee joint, even though it's the calf muscles on the lower leg - not the hamstrings. It just seems better to start there.

back of joint back of joint back of joint

Muscle names: Popliteus, Plantaris
  While we are on the back side of the knee joint, we want to massage two small muscles called the Popliteus and Plantaris. They may actually have a big effect on knee joint issues, particularly when the leg is straight, as while sleeping. Use the thumb and stroke downward around the back side of the knee. Stroke on both the inner and outer side, to be assured in eliminating trigs in either muscle.


Some Stretches to do After your Muscle Work

You will find that after you do this daily self-massage, you will have warmed up quite a bit. This self-massage is a great way to take away the early morning chill before you eat breakfast. It's also a good time to do a few of your favorite muscle stretches.
 NOTE: The keyword is after your self-massage! Your muscles should be warmed up a bit first.

Stretch Guidelines:

No stretching on muscles with trigs! Muscles with active trigger points are muscles that are already contracted and tight. Trying to stretch these muscles is a bit like trying to stretch a rubber band that is holding a 10 pound weight!

Stretches should be gentle! This ain't exercise. It's actually a form of relaxation. Pull the desired muscles slowly at first and then with gradually increasing force. If there is any discomfort, pause, let the muscles adjust, and then maybe resume stretching. Or stop and go to another muscle group. You can even empasize the "relaxation" part by exhaling slowly when pulling on the muscles.

After a few weeks of the self-applied massage and gentle stretching, the muscles will become pregressively less "stiff", and you will notice that you are able to go tighter with the stretches.


Calf Stretch and Psoas Stretch

On the left, we show the typical calf stretch. Lean against the wall or a doorway and stretch your calf muscles, both left and right. In this picture I am stretching the right calf.
 On the right is the psoas stretch. The psoas attaches to several lower vertabrae on the top of the muscle and to the greater trochanter (top of the femur) on the bottom. It is stretched by standing more erect than you would in stretching the calf muscles, and by "locking" your back and hips together. It's a subtle stretch and a bit difficult to master at first. But if properly done, you can feel the stretching action inside your abdomen. I'm showing the right side in the pictures; do both sides.
 Do this stretch carefully! The arms should be low, even with your chest so the back is not arched. I have noticed that if the arms are held high, some upper back muscles seem to really object!
 Nonetheless, this is an important stretch, since it helps eliminate the "old person slump"!

stretches stretches stretches

More Stretches

On the far left, I show a good stretch for the quadriceps.
 NOTE:The quadriceps do not LIKE to be stretched! So pull gently at first, since they will initially object. Slowly increase the tension; you may even have to let up a bit and then begin to squeeze again. This is a good one to remind you to be mindful, to forget about rushing to finish this pesky muscle work so you get on with your daily activities, and to relax. After a few gentle stretches, your quads will open up and you can give them a stronger pull.

 In the middle image is shown a good stretch for the glutes and lower back muscles.

 And on the right is shown a good stretch for those of us who are "tight". This stretches various muscles in the upper legs, as well as the lower back. You cross your legs and then lean forward gently. OR: you can pull the bent knee upwards, gently at first, then with stronger upward pull.

Three More Stretches

Finally, I lean over and touch my toes (with 3 or 4 "warmups" before trying to fully touch my toes).
 Another great maneuver is twisting the upper torso, so as to stretch the trapesius.
 And finally turning the head from side to side (gently) to stretch the neck muscles.

stretches stretches stretches

A Final Reminder: Make It All Last!

Doing all this muscle work would be a great way to start your day in the morning. Preferably every day, but at least consider it two or three days a week. Remember, it is quite possible to eventually eliminate muscle soreness from your life.
 But don't let the Well Being Mindfulness stop after these self-treatments. Keep it thoughout the day. How? By observing your posture throughout the day. You know. Everything your mom, your chiropractor, your massage therapist have been telling you to do:

Stand and walk upright (like you are winning the war against gravity).

Sit up straight. No, really!

And don't be reading books or working on laptops with your head down (and having to be supported by all your suboccipital muscles). Prop up the books and get an external screen for that laptop - if you use one on a daily basis.

And last but not least. . . let your shoulders relax every chance you get. They're all scrunched up right now, aren't they, supporting your tensions, your worries, your work-related stresses, maybe even your weekend or vacation plans. Play some soft music and listen to that quiet voice that says "Be still."


Copyright © 2022 J.A.