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By Ugochi Obiajunwa

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts. Massage therapy treatment has a therapeutic effect on the body and optimises health and well-being by acting on the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems. Physical function can be developed, maintained and improved; and physical dysfunction and pain and the effects of stress can be relieved or prevented through the use of Massage Therapy. The day-to-day job stops us from taking a break to relax our body, mind and nerves. We find it hard to spare that little time to nurture a pain or an injury, thereby leading to more severe pain. Our neck, shoulders, back, feet, hands, and knees suffer a lot because of our negative attitude about health. And when it worsens we rely on pain killers to relieve us from pain. Instead of spending on these expensive medicines, you can go for a few quick exercises. A simple massage can save you from spending so much.

Below are self-care techniques you can try for relaxation or to soothe achy muscles:

 Feet Massage

Massaging your feet could comfort you from the pain associated with work-related illness. Get hold of a tennis ball. Keep it under your heel. Once you are comfortable, stand and sink your body weight into the ball. Now, you can roll the ball from the heel to the base of the toes. As the ball passes near, spread your toes wide open. If you cannot find a tennis ball, use a water bottle and roll it back and forth under each foot or sit with one foot across your other knee. Grasp each toe, rotate a few times clockwise and counterclockwise. Bend each toe forward and back, then pull out gently on each toe. Use both hands to grasp firmly on either side of the foot and wiggle hands back and forth, jiggling your foot between them.

 Knee Massage

You can use a foam roller or lacrosse ball for self-massage. Place a foam roller, which looks like a firm log, underneath your muscle. The pressure from the foam roller releases tension or relaxes trigger points in your muscles. This will help your knees get back to normal function, making your muscles elastic and healthy. Rolling also boosts your circulation.

Shoulders/Back Massage

The regular use of computer as part of your office work gives one a back ache. It is common among youngsters as they sit in a chair for prolonged periods. This static posture accelerates stress and puts so much pressure on your back muscles. Again, a tennis ball is your savior. Lay on the floor. Place the tennis ball near the area that hurts most. Roll the tennis ball. When it reaches the most tender area, let it sit there for 1 to 5 minutes. Continue doing this till you feel your muscles relax.

Hand Massage

Too much texting? Relax one arm, palm up, on top of your thigh. Push the heel of your other palm slowly along the forearm in the direction of your wrist. Use enough pressure to feel some heat, but not to give yourself a brush burn. Do the same thing across your open palm all the way down toward your fingertips, and again over the mound of your thumb, says Durkin. Repeat a few times, and switch.

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