Self massage is helpful when you are consistent with it because it takes time to release tension and trigger points- they didn't happen overnight and they won’t go away in one treatment.
1. Use a tool
Tennis ball, la cross ball, foam roller, rolling pin, or bouncy ball work well. (Just remember to be gentle and don't bruise yourself.) The intensity should be a 5 or 6 on the pain scale if 0 is no pain and 10 is severe pain.
After massaging an area stretch the muscle out gently. Tells your brain that there is a new range of motion and connects the body and brain. Remember to always stretch when the muscle is warm like after massage or exercise. If you stretch before with a cold muscle it will be counterproductive because the muscle can tighten to protect itself.
3.Frequency over force
The less pressure you use in an area but more frequently massage, will give better
results. The body needs time to process and heal, when you massage any area you are helping the body move stagnant lymph and allowing better circulation of blood that carries nutrients. But if you do this too much or too deep it can overwhelm the area and then the body will try to protect itself. Three times a day with light to moderate pressure is better than once a day with deep pressure. Start out massaging one time per day for 10-15 minutes 3 to 4 days per week. Once you’ve mastered that increase self-massage days per week or increase the frequency to 2-3 times per day for 10-15 minutes.
There is a learning curve for self massage and you also don't know how your body will respond to massage at first. So until you become familiar with the tension in your muscles and how they react, error on the side of caution.
5. Keep it moving
Light exercise helps move lymph and improves circulation. When things become stiff or painful we tend to stop moving. If you can take 5-10 minute breaks to loosen up and move the body around that can help the muscles from getting over taxed by staying in the same position or doing the same motion.
6. Call a professional
If you aren't getting anywhere on your own or would like to be educated on what muscles you should be focusing on and how to self massage then come get a professional massage. After you receive a massage I can show you specifically which muscles you should be working and how to do it on yourself. This will help increase the effectiveness of your massage session and help your body heal faster.