18 Self Massage Techniques For Different Body Parts

Self Massage Techniques

Those who are suffering from some kind of body pain due to muscle tension and stress look for some kind of massage therapy. While it is good to take a massage from a licensed therapist, not all will have that time due to the busy schedule or money due to limited income. This is when they will look for self massage techniques for different body parts. 

Such massages are done regularly by those having myofascial trigger points (sources of pain), as they have shown to reduce pain intensity when used with home exercise. So, let’s explore the different massage techniques that you can perform at your home or office.

Overview of techniques for massaging by yourself

As the name indicates, techniques for self massage are the ones that you can perform yourself to alleviate trigger points and muscle tightness across the body. You can perform several of them with your hands and fingers, while a few ones would need tennis balls and trigger point tools like the Theracane. These techniques can ease pain in the head, neck, abdomen, shoulders, lower back, buttocks, hips, and feet.

Certain things to remember while implementing massaging by yourself

  1. Consider massaging two times a day.
  2. Consider stretching the area after massaging it.
  3. Massage only for some seconds for mild conditions or symptoms and one or two minutes if they are severe.
  4. Always start with gentle pressure and then increase gradually.
  5. Do not put more pressure if you experience pain even after a massage.
  6. Find the spots that are painful or swollen while massaging and then target only them.
  7. Stop applying massage if you feel uncomfortable or experience more pain than before.

Self massage techniques to apply to your head to relieve tension and aeadache

A thumping headache can ruin your day if you do not take any action against it. The simplest and cost-free action here is to try a massage that works by relieving tension and pain. Such a massage works if the cause of your headache is stress or tension. Following are a few simple head massages to try using your hands:

Technique 1:

  1. Lower both shoulders and keep your back and neck straight.
  2. Detect the skull’s base.
  3. Position the tips of the middle and pointer fingers of both hands such that they touch in the middle of the skull.
  4. Glide the fingers down or outwards using gentle pressure. Take the most comfortable direction.
  5. Make small round motions using the fingers. Target the stressful spots and their adjacent areas.

Technique 2:

  1. Position your thumbs on the cheekbones.
  2. Apply mild pressure in a round motion up to your temples using the fingertips.
  3. Keep forming circles while going along the hairline, until the tips intersect in the forehead’s middle.

Technique 3:

  1. Grab your head by placing all fingertips on your scalp.
  2. Move the tips in round motion by applying gentle pressure for at least a minute. This is a simple scalp massage.

With any of these techniques for the head, you can listen to music for enjoying a more relaxing impact.


Self massage techniques to apply to your neck to relieve stress and pain

In most cases, sudden neck pain is the result of bad posture and neck abuse (using it in excess in one position). It can occur due to a lack of neck support or stopping over a laptop. Sitting in front of a laptop or a computer for prolonged hours can result in a sore and stiff neck. To heal a painful and stiff neck, consider one of the self massages using your hands:

Technique 1:

  1. Lower both shoulders and keep your back and neck straight.
  2. Trace the sore neck areas.
  3. Press them a bit tightly using your fingers.
  4. Make a round motion using your fingers.
  5. Make the same motion in the opposite direction.
  6. Do this procedure for three to five minutes.

Technique 2:

  1. Position two to three fingertips where the neck and shoulders meet on the neck’s back.
  2. Give tight firm pressure to that area and hold it.
  3. Release the pressure once you feel relaxed.
  4. Roll the shoulders back and forth in slow motion.
  5. Perform this procedure thrice.
self neck massage

Technique 3 (For Relieving Pain in the Neck’s Left Side):

  1. Place the left hand where the neck and shoulders meet on the neck’s back.
  2. Press using the middle and index fingers.
  3. Slide the fingers with sustained pressure to the scalp’s base and then downwards. Do so for up to 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. Perform all three steps on the neck’s opposite side.

Technique 4:

  1. Take both hands to the rear of your head. Ensure that the palms are in the forward direction.
  2. Put the thumbs at the skull’s base.
  3. Rub them in a circular motion. Do so for half or one minute.

Self massage techniques to apply to your shoulders to relieve stress and pain

Bending at a desk and bad posture can result in shoulder pain and rounded shoulders. Not many of us know that hunching or raising shoulders with much pressure are the common causes of painful levator scapula, a group of muscles. Similarly, they also badly affect the trapezius (triangular) muscle groups that join the upper back, shoulders, and neck.

A self massage pressing these affected areas relieves muscle tension and pain. For relieving painful shoulders, consider one of the self massages using your hands:

Technique 1:

  1. Place the right hand’s fingers above the right shoulder. Doing so will have the upper trapezius beneath the right palm.
  2. Squeeze thrice.
  3. Roll over the area beginning from the outside and then going towards the neck’s base.
  4. Perform the same steps on the left shoulder.

Technique 2 (For Relieving Pain in Left Shoulder):

  1. Place the right hand on the left shoulder.
  2. Grab it using your hand gently.
  3. Massage as if you were kneading dough.
  4. Keep kneading down the shoulder’s top and back to the neck’s side.
  5. Do so for 20 to 30 seconds.
  6. Perform the same steps on the right shoulder.

Technique 3 (With a Tennis Ball):

  1. Stand straight against a wall or sit on a chair that gives proper back support.
  2. Position the tennis ball between the wall or chain surface and the upper back portion.
  3. Adjust and move your body around to get the ball rolling until it comes beyond the shoulder blade’s inner side.
  4. Give pressure by leaning or rolling as you feel comfortable.

Technique 4 (Using the Theracane):

In case of rounded shoulders, there are trigger points in the pectoralis muscles. It is essential to release these points to alleviate pain as well as restore the shoulder’s position. For this, consider massaging using the Theracane tool.

  1. Hold the tool’s hook and place the grove’s knob beneath the collarbone.
  2. Give pressure downward on the hook. Doing so releases the trigger point.
  3. Shift the hook to give pressure at various angles for targeting the entire muscle.
  4. Repeat the steps on another side.

Self massage techniques to apply to your lower back to relieve pain

Pain in the lower back is a common occurrence. However, if ignored, it can be incapacitating. Many reasons tend to cause it, including daily activities that require you to bend for long or sit for long. If you do not consider taking breaks, the lower back muscles receive excess stress, especially if you sit continuously.

A good rub can give these muscles good relief. Consider massaging the lower back when you feel even little pain and walking around after every 30 minutes of sitting to activate the muscles of the back and core. Following are some techniques to massage your lower back: 

Technique 1:

  1. Put both hands on the hips while you sit or stand straight.
  2. Clasp them into fists such that the palms yet face far from you.
  3. Glide the fists in, knuckles touching the lower back such that each fist is around three to four far from the spine.
  4. Give gentle pressure from the knuckles of the middle and index fingers to the lower back and rotate them.

Technique 2 (Using a Tennis Ball in Standing Position):

  1. Stand straight against a wall.
  2. Place a tennis ball between the wall surface and your lower back.
  3. Shift your body downward and upward or from side to side to spot the regions of tension.
  4. Put firm pressure into the sore spots to relieve tension.

Technique 3 (Using a Tennis Ball in Lying Position):

  1. Lie down with your knees bent.
  2. Put the ball beneath the sensitive site in your back.
  3. Give pressure to hold for up to 30 seconds. Initially, 20 seconds will do.
  4. Rotate your body mildly to put more pressure while leaning on the ball.

Technique 4:

  1. Sit on the floor by keeping your back straight and legs crossed.
  2. Position each thumb on its corresponding side of the sacrum, a triangular bone at the spine’s base.
  3. Make small round motions with your thumbs, going up and down the sacrum.
  4. Give pressure to the affected sites.
  5. Halt and now release.
  6. Continue as far as you feel fine and breathe deeply.
lower back massage

Self massage technique to apply to your stomach to relieve constipation

Constipation has become a common complaint, which can lead to pain and discomfort in the abdomen. While you can treat it using natural laxatives, a massage by hands on the abdomen can also help by kindling a bowel movement while alleviating bloating, tightness, and cramps. Following are the steps to perform a massage by hand on your abdomen to relieve constipation:

  1. Lie on the floor and put your palms down on the lower stomach’s right side, close to the pelvic bone.
  2. Massage mildly in a round motion, going to your ribs.
  3. Perform the above step across the stomach to the rib bones on the left.
  4. Go on down the stomach’s left side, towards the pelvic bone.
  5. Circularly rub the belly hole for up to two to three minutes.

Suggested article: Can Constipation Cause Lower Back Pain? – 7 Tips How to Prevent It

Self massage technique to apply to your hip or buttocks to relieve pain

You may feel uncomfortable if there are trigger points in your butt muscles. They can even result in pain in that area. To relieve this pain, consider trying the following massage technique using a tennis ball:

  1. Sit on the floor with bent knees.
  2. Place the ball under the right buttock with the right leg straight, left leg a bit bent, and hands behind the back resting on the floor.
  3. Raise the right leg and roll circularly on the ball, giving more focus to the tender spots.
  4. Repeat these steps using the left buttock.

Suggested article: 3 Proven Ways To Relieve Buttock Pain

Self massage technique to apply to your foot to telieve tension and pain

Simply but daily and intense exercises such as jogging and prolonged walking can have a bad impact on your feet. At the end of this exercise or the day, you may experience pain in your feet such that you may feel like screeching. Well, with a gentle massage, this pain can go away.

At times, you may be suffering from foot tendonitis, an inflamed condition that triggers from overstraining the tendon connecting the muscle and the bone. When you massage in this affected area, you can relieve the swelling, may it be on the bottom, side, outer, or inner foot. You can even put pressure on your foot by putting it against a round, firm surface such as the edge of the table. However, this is not always feasible. In that case, a tennis ball will do the job.

Following are the steps to massage your foot using a tennis ball:

  1. Sit in a chair with socks that leave your feet bare.
  2. Place the ball under one foot.
  3. Roll from heel to toe while applying firm pressure.
  4. Roll in small circles if you spot a swollen or painful spot.
  5. Repeat the steps for another foot.

If you can endure more pressure, consider doing this massage while standing.


No matter which of these self massage techniques you choose, you are ensured of relief if done correctly. However, they are not meant for replacing your medicines. 

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