Self Massage Tools
Massage is most frequently performed with the hands and forearms, yet tools offer an alternative that is especially attractive for those who wish to do self-massage. Self-massage devices can be very simple, utilizing standard household items, or more complex such as mechanized tools with magnet or infrared light therapy. Though professional massage offers more in-depth therapy options, the use of self-massage tools may provide relief from every day muscle tension or strain.
Handheld self-massage tools include household items such as a baker's rolling pin or golf balls to roll under the soles of the feet. Tennis balls--used to apply pressure to points on the back of the body, when in a lying position or when pressed against a wall--can provide muscle tension relief in hard-to-reach areas. Manufactured handheld tools can be purchased in large retail stores, in specialty body care shops or online. These self-massage tools are often made of wood or plastic, fit easily in the hand and have projections or roller balls to apply pressure to specific muscles.
Therapy cane options include everything from a standard walking cane with a curved handle to S-shaped hard, plastic canes and straight-shaft canes with trigger point knobs on the shaft. The basic walking cane curved handle is used by pressing the end into the top of the shoulder muscle and applying tolerable pressure to release muscle tension. The "S" or trigger point canes are useful for applying pressure to the hard-to-reach back muscles or to the back of the thighs. Therapy canes are durable and are available through massage or physical therapy equipment suppliers.
Motorized Massage Tools
Percussion massage instruments are for either professional or layperson use. For self-massage, these have an extended handle to offer versatility of use for most areas of the body, including the back. Percussion tools are battery-powered or electric. They provide a vibratory type of massage and sometimes include magnet, heat or infrared therapy to offer further relief from muscle pain and tension. Percussion tools are for sale in retail stores, specialty body shops and through massage and physical therapy equipment suppliers.