Self-Massage Techniques You Can Do to Relieve Tension, Stress, and Pain

self massage techniques

A massage by a professional massage therapist is a terrific experience. But right now as we practice social distancing and self-quarantine to combat the spread of Coronavirus/Covid-19, you might not be able to book a massage session by a Licensed Massage Therapist.

Fortunately, you can still enjoy the benefits of massage with self-massage. Whenever you feel sore, tense, anxious or stressed, you can give yourself some self-care with simple self-massage techniques you can perform yourself at the comfort of your home, office or even car.

How Do You Give Yourself a Self-Massage?

Self-massage is simple. Just use your hands, knuckles, fingers or a tennis ball to explore the muscles where you feel soreness, tension or pain until you locate the point of tenderness then apply stronger pressure in slow movements. This will help dissipate the tension and make you feel better. Below are some simple self-massage techniques that you can do yourself to enjoy relaxation and relieve stress and tension.

Self-Massage Techniques for Different Body Parts

Self-Massage for Head

Position your thumbs high on your cheekbones by your ears and use your fingertips to apply gentle pressure in a round motion. Keep making the circles until your fingertips meet. The acupressure points to apply pressure to for migraine relief include where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead, behind the jaws, and at the base of your skull where your spine starts.

Self-Massage for Neck

Have a stiff and sore neck? Place two or three fingertips on the back of your neck where your neck and shoulders meet. Apply firm pressure and release when you experience relaxation. This will alleviate the pain and tension in the neck. Massaging the base of your big toes will also alleviate neck and shoulder pain, 

Self-Massage for Shoulder

To alleviate shoulder pain, position your fingers over your shoulder, squeeze the muscle under your palm (this is the upper trapezius) and then roll your fingers over the muscle starting from the outside and moving towards the base of your neck. You can also place a tennis ball between your shoulder and the wall and use it to massage problem areas and eliminate tension. Lean into the ball and roll up and down so the ball will be rolling along your shoulder blade. 

Self-Massage for Back

Feeling stress and pain in your neck, shoulders, back, and head? Tight back muscles could be the culprit. To loosen the tightness, give yourself a back rub using a tennis ball. Position a tennis ball between your back and a wall. Move your body slowly up and down, or side to side and apply stronger pressure to any tender spot you discover. This will release the tension and ease the pain.

Self-Massage for Feet

To help soothe aching feet after a long day on your feet, position a tennis ball under your foot, roll your foot back and forth from heel to toe. When you locate a painful or tender area, work it by rolling in small circles. This simple exercise will stimulate foot muscles, improve blood circulation and reduce soreness and pain. You will also feel more relaxed thanks to the many pressure points located in the foot.

Self-Massage for Hands

If your work involves typing on a computer for hours, here are some self-massage techniques for sore and stiff wrists: Place one arm palm up on top of your thigh. Push the heel of your other palm and slowly move it along the forearm in the direction of the wrist.

Hold one hand in front of you with your palm facing upwards and use your other hand to gently bend each finger inwards towards the palm. Make a fist with the extended hand, fingers facing down and use your other hand to gently bend your fist backward towards you.  

Pressure Point Self-Massage for Whole Muscle

When you want to work on a whole muscle to alleviate tension, pressure point is the self-massage technique to use. Palpate the muscle, press on it or pinch it and then make it move – you will feel the muscle sliding under or between your fingers. When you feel a tender spot, raise the pressure slightly and slow down the stroke in order to relieve the tension.


Although self-massage can’t match a massage session, self-massage is also effective at relaxing the body and relieving tension, pain, and stress and can help you get through these difficult times. The best thing is that you can massage your own muscles wherever you are and whenever you need a massage and you don’t need a lot of time. Just a few minutes of self-massage every day goes a long way. Consistency is also important. To reap the most benefits, make self-massage part of your daily routine.

More Resources

Benefits You Reap from Self-Massage

Get in touch with Higher Living Bodywork at (929) 500-2041 for a consultation on the best type of massage for your needs!  

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