Relax with a self-massage


Ruth Woudstra
To really feel physical discomfort is something we often deny ourselves. In a world full of
distractions (work, cellphones, food!), it is often easier to move into the space of ‘not here, not

One way to acknowledge physical pain, is to touch the area of affliction. If your back is sore for
instance, you often naturally massage it. Such an action shows recognition instead of suppression.
Going to a massage therapist provides an important opportunity for relaxation, which actively
promotes healing. There are also ways in which we can give ourselves the TLC we need. After all,
nobody knows your body as well as you do. Self-massage is easy if you allow yourself the time for
pampering. It can be done anywhere and at any time, and the addition of essential oils and
moisturisers is entirely optional.

When you are in a state of dis-ease, your hands will intuitively make their way to the part of the
body that needs attention. For example, if your shoulders are stiff, you can place a warm towel over
them, then gently press the fingertips toward the nape of the neck and work back towards the

Working on head, hands and feet is also great for relaxation. For a scalp massage, sit comfortably
and run your hands through your hair from the front to the back. Then make circular movements on
the scalp, and then move the hands through the hair from the back to the front.

For a hand massage, apply moisturiser if desired and twist the fingers one by one or pinch from the
base of the finger up to the fingertip, applying as much pressure as you need.

A foot massage can be preceded by soaking your feet in warm water and applying moisturiser. Rub
the hands over the top and bottom of one foot simultaneously. Then gently twist or pinch the toes.
Finally press into the sole and heal of the foot with the thumbs or fingers.

The best method is often the one you apply without even thinking. Either way, allowing yourself to
feel the physical body through gentle self-massage is a sure-fire way to acknowledge both physical
pain and your body’s own power to alleviate it.

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