Let’s say your neck has been bugging you. Or maybe you have a bit of low back pain. Not much, but a little twinge going on here and there. Nothing to be worried about too much. And then one day, you reach up in your cupboard to grab something, or bend over to tie your shoes and BAM! your muscles freeze up. Out of the blue, it seems.
Now, there are a few things going on here like not listening to the whisperings of your body so now it’s screaming at you or latent trigger points in the muscles that can all of a sudden become active by a quick trauma. But what I want to talk about today is now what? For whatever reason, that pain is there and it’s loud and it’s proud. And say it happens on a day like today where you can’t get into your massage therapist or chiropractor.
Let me tell you about some hip new self-care tools, guaranteed to soothe your muscles and massage those hard to reach places. They are so hip and cool that you don’t even need to leave your house to get them. They are probably stored in your garage or cabinets right now! I give you….a sock full of beans and a tennis ball!
First, let’s talk about beans and socks. These two things are all that you will need to make a lovely heating pad. Heat is one of the best things you can do for tight muscles. And with the latest research, heat is now proving to be more effective than the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method. Find an informative article about this subject HERE.
Heating pads can be expensive, so why not make your own? I found one of The Mr.’s old socks and some dried beans (rice works, too, if you have it) in the pantry. You fill the sock as full as you fancy, tie it up, and put it in the microwave for 1-2 min and you’re good to go for heated relaxation merriment.
Next, tennis! I mention tennis balls because it is one of the more common sporting balls laying around. I actually prefer lacrosse balls, but tennis or golf balls also work.
The uses of said balls are simple and vast. You basically just place it where it hurts and roll on top of it. Some of my favorite uses are rolling my feet over them or laying on the ground and rolling my hip and glutes over it.
And if you don’t feel like squirming around on the floor, you can put the ball in the matching sock of your new, hip heating pad, and throw it over your shoulder up against a wall. It’s a great way to get those knots in the upper back.
It’s similar to the foam roller approach, but be sure to read my post on the good/evil of foam rolling HERE.
In the world of products and promotions and fancy new do-dads and what-have-yous, it’s easy to think that you need to search elsewhere for what you need, especially when it comes to anything related to self-improvement. But one of the main takeaways from this post is that self-care is simpler than you think. You have so many tools at your disposal, even laying around in your own house!
I’ll talk more about self-care tools and how to use them in future posts, but for now, get creative! Grab your socks and beans and balls and get to work!