At Life Abridged, we know that keeping stress contained is a daily battle. (And during the final days of tax season—doubly so.) As much as we wish we could give all of you a personal masseuse, it’s unlikely that that we could pull together the cash. (And who wants to figure out whether a masseuse is a taxable gift anyway?) So, in lieu of that, we offer these easy-to-make self massage tools. Throw one together tonight—you probably have everything you need already in the house.
All you need for this handy massager is two tennis balls and a long sock (preferably one you aren’t too attached to). Push the tennis balls into the sock, then tie off the open end so that they are touching. You can use the massager in a couple ways:
- Lying Down: Lie flat on the floor and place the sock under the small of your back—one ball on either side of your spine. Gently roll forward and backwards. Alternately, you can position the sock under your upper back. If the pressure is too much, try lying on a bed instead of the floor. The tennis balls will press into the mattress and won’t push quite as hard on your back.
- Sitting Up: Place the sock massager under your leg if you suffer from tight hamstrings; roll your legs forward and backwards. If your chair back is high enough, you can also put the massager behind your neck. Slowly drop your head forward, then pull it back up.
If you don’t want to sacrifice a sock, you can also use a single tennis ball as a foot massager. While seated, place your foot on a tennis ball and move it in slow circles, applying as much pressure as is comfortable.
Fill a sock with marbles (or, if you don’t have marbles lying around, try the clear pearls typically used as vase filler). Tie off the open end. While seated, place the sock under your foot and rub it forward and back.
Fill a sock with two cups of rice and tie it off. Heat the sock in the microwave on HIGH for one minute. Although you can use the warm sock as a heating pad for any area, it is particularly useful for back and neck pain. Try putting it between the small of your back and your chair back—or lying on the floor and placing it under your neck.