By now it’s pretty clear how much our bodies benefit from regular massages.  While there’s nothing like having a massage therapist work their magic on you, there are simple techniques you can do on yourself to help your body feel happier. (By the way, have you seen the interview I did with massage therapist extraordinaire Melanie Vernon Sinclair?  If not, click here.  And if you want to schedule your very own session with her, click here.)

Because our muscles can feel tight, just taking a few minutes to manually knead our muscles can feel amazing.  But what if you can’t reach an area?  Or what if the act of the massage itself makes your body crankier?  No problem.  There are several devices out there to help with that.

One of my faves is this massage gun.  My partner got me one as a gift years ago, and it’s my go-to for when I need some help.  There are cheap ones out there and uber-expensive ones, but this middle-of-the-road option is perfect.

My loving partner also gave me this massager as a gift recently (yeah, he totally values self care), and it seriously feels like someone is standing behind you and giving you a massage.  It’s great if you’re like me and have traps of steel.

Another technique is to “pinch” and “roll” your skin as you move your fingers.  To do this, use your thumb, index, and middle fingers and gently grab/pinch some of your skin.  Then start crawling your index and middle finger away from your thumb while your thumb is essentially pushing the skin in the direction of your other fingers.  Think of this as you’re just working with the skin and not incorporating the muscles into the action.  If you need a visual on this technique, go watch that video with Melanie, because we talk about it there.  It’s great to help release your fascia.

Speaking of fascia release, you can also just put your hand on the cranky area and then move your hand side to side.  When you vary the amount of pressure you apply with your hand, it changes the experience from benefiting the more superficial layers to going a bit deeper and into the muscles.  Deeper isn’t always better when it comes to massage techniques, so mix it up and definitely don’t overlook the softer touch.

With the skin crawl technique, I usually do this on dry skin.  Same with the massage gun and neck massager.  But if you’re going to do muscle release on yourself, help lubricate your skin first a bit with either lotion or oil.  For my body, I prefer using a CBD oil because it’s doing double-duty – offering both lubrication and pain relief at the same time.  Here’s the company I use. They have all sorts of incredible products, including the CBD oil, lotions, tinctures, mints, gummies, and so much more.

Self-massage is a great way to not only help out cranky body parts but also to learn more about your body and create a loving relationship with yourself.  Why not add some self-love into your daily routine?  You deserve it.