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3 Self-massage Techniques to Decrease Pain, Depression and Anxiety

Amy Bowman, OPTP Staff Writer - August 12, 2020

August is National Wellness Month. Make wellness a priority with self-massage techniques using a foam roller. For centuries, massage has been helping people feel good, and medical research confirms the health benefits of massage to enhance function, assist healing, and promote relaxation and wellbeing.
According to Angela Kneale OTD, MA, OTR/L, in her book PRO-ROLLER Massage Essentials, “One single massage decreases your stress hormones. Twice-weekly moderate pressure massages improve range of motion, decrease pain, reduce depression and anxiety, and enhance immune function.” These three foam roller techniques can help you experience the benefits of self-massage during National Wellness Month and beyond.
Forearm Massage
Release tightness in forearms while improving forearm and wrist mobility.
1.     Kneel on the floor with your hips flexed and place your forearms on the roller.
Foam Roller Forearm Massage 1
2.     Moving your body from your hip joints, gently press your forearms into the roller to move it away from you and draw it back. Roll with palms in, and then rotate palms up to roll outer forearms, and down to roll inner forearms.
Foam Roller Forearm Massage 2Foam Roller Forearm Massage 3
Low Back Massage
Release tension in the low back while increasing comfort and flexibility and improving posture.
1.     Place the roller crosswise beneath one side of your pelvis. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor in front of you, with your forearm on the floor behind the roller to support your upper body.
Foam Roller Low Back Exercise 1
2.     Reach your other arm to your knee, slightly rotating your torso. Gently roll the roller up and down next to your spine at your lower back. Repeat on the other side.
Foam Roller Low Back Exercise 2
Hamstrings Massage
Release leg tension while improving leg and lower back movement and comfort.
1.     Place the roller beneath the back of your thighs, with your hands on the floor behind you.
Foam Roller Hamstring Exercise
2.     Slowly roll down and up the back of your thighs, from your hips to your knees.
Foam Roller Hamstring Exercise 2
Find these and more self-massage foam roller exercises in PRO-ROLLER® Massage Essentials.


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Amy Bowman, OPTP Staff Writer

Amy is a Minneapolis runner, cyclist and yoga enthusiast who enjoys writing about health and wellness, physical therapy and fitness topics.

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