DIY Self Care Hacks
(using everyday items in your home!)
by Leah Levitan
How’s your social distancing summer treating you? A lot of my clients are reporting that their bodies are starting to feel the effects of working from home. I myself was closed for 8 weeks and spent some personal time with my couch, which led to neck and low back pain. Many people have been using a less than ideal workstation that they never thought they’d be sitting at for this long! If this is you, I’ve got some tips to help ease those aches and pains, no need to leave home and no fancy equipment required! Remember, movement is medicine. These tips will resolve the pain you may be experiencing now but to prevent pain from happening in the first place, we must move. So, don’t forget to take that walk, stream that yoga video or park a little further away from the entrance at the grocery store. No one can peel themselves off their couch and go run a marathon. It takes practice. It all starts with that first step. That first mile, that first 5K..10K etc. Break your movement down to a more manageable size so that it doesn’t feel so impossible. You can do this. Let’s get moving!
Use a broom handle to roll out your quads, calves or hamstrings.
Tip: You can also use it to stretch your shoulders and rib cage by treating it like a dowel and playing with different positions. See what works best and feels awesome to YOU. Oh yeah, and take the gross bristle head off prior to use…🙈
FROZEN WATER BOTTLE:
No foam roller? No problem! Throw a water bottle in the freezer (it can live there the rest of the summer) and grab it as needed to roll away the tension in your connective tissue and muscles. Since it’s hot AF, the ice roller is going to feel extra awesome. Use it anywhere you’d normally use a foam roller and if it’s a little too cold, simply place it in a sock.
Tip: Buy a large bottle and it’s almost the same size as an actual foam roller!
Stretch and release those inevitably tight, anteriorly rotated computer shoulders using a wall or door way.
Tip: Target all the different areas. Our shoulders don’t move on one plane so make sure to stretch them above, below, across and behind you. You’re simply using the wall for balance and support. Relax into these stretches and show your walls some love at the same time.
Using a towel / scarf / sheet can take any stretch to the next level. I like to use a pillowcase for neck stretches but that’s always my main problem area, so use it where you need it! You’re looking to achieve something magical, called passive motion. The muscle you’re targeting isn’t actually meant to do the work, your hands and the towel are. This is an amazing trick for your brain (which doesn’t trust you to NOT hurt yourself) allowing for maximum stretch.
Tip: Use this concept to stretch your shoulders, quads, hamstrings or calves because they can be super stubborn too.
Rocks?! Yes…rocks. You can find some just like these in any creek bed so this is a great excuse to take a hike and find some. Use hot or cold stones for:
Headaches/migraines, to reduce swelling, ease pain from sprains/strains, whiplash, arthritis, menstrual pain and much more! You can rest them on top of a problem area or lay on them for more of a trigger point vibe that allows for more specific pressure. Maybe you want to try your hand at hot stone massage? Apply lotion/oil to the treatment area, take one stone in each hand and start swirling, twirling and gliding on those superficial layers of soft tissue. It’s been a minute since I’ve done a hot stone massage but I assure you; it’s so easy, you’ll get the hang of it quickly.
Tip: Alternate between hot and cold therapy. If you’re heating the rocks please do not put them in the oven or microwave! You want them to heat evenly (for obvious safety reasons) so place them in a pot of water and bring the water up to 110-130 degrees.
For more self care tips and tricks follow me on Instagram @alignmassageco!
🙏🏻 Happy Healing Friends 🙏🏻