Recharge, renew and become more resilient with these massage practices

Massage and Muscle Relaxation Techniques

Body Alignment

  • Lie on the floor with head supported by a book so that skull is aligned with spine
  • Place legs at a 45 degree angle by supporting them on a chair or sofa
  • Concentrate on points of body touching the floor and parts of the head touching the book
  • Your mind will wander off,  but each time you notice it wandering  bring your focus back to the points of your body touching the floor and book
  • When the mind is focused on these contact points gravity will relax the body and allow the skeleton to find it's natural alignment
  • To return to standing roll onto your hands and knees
  • At this point you may do a few yoga stretches: the child's pose and cat pose and then go into downward dog with knees bent walking your hands into your feet, head down. 
  • Then with both feet on the floor and head down and remaining heavy roll up through your spine one vertebrae at a time, head coming up last
  • Raise your arms over your head and standing tall reach for the sky and gently arch backward.
  • Lower your arms and notice how you are standing. 
  • Feel your body and the space surrounding you
  • Feel the relaxation in your muscles even while standing erect.

5 minutes or more lying down is a great way relieve stress, rejuvenate your energy level, and align the body



Muscular Relaxation

  • Using a tennis ball, roll the ball under one foot while standing with your full weight on the other foot (use a support if you need help balancing )
  • Stand on both feet and notice how your body feels
  • Switch feet and repeat.   
  • Once again focus on how you are standing and the feeling in your body.

This exercise will not only relax your muscles but train you to have a heightened kinesthetic sense of your body. This is also a great exercise for sore or tired feet!

 


Pain Relief

  • For tight muscles use the tennis ball under the muscle group that is causing discomfort
  • While lying on the floor roll on the tennis ball in that area.

For prolonged or severe pain be sure to consult a medical professional

 


Relaxation Resources

It is well known that when our muscles are tense, sleep is difficult. So relaxing the body will greatly assist falling asleep and returning to sleep when one wakes too early. Here are a few guided practices that will aid relaxation:

  • Twenty-minute, breath meditation with Sharon Salzberg. 
  • A variety of meditations (audio recordings), ranging from ten- to twenty-minutes in length, with Tara Brach.
  • This guided, relaxation exercise begins at minute 46 and lasts for 10 minutes, after the gentle yoga routine led by Kripalu Yoga teacher Megha Nancy Buttenheim. This is great training to reduce stress and train the brain to change the mind to feel happier and be healthier.

Other Resources

Another wonderful resource on your journey is Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, who has excellent talks available online.