Bob Hope attributed his longevity (he lived to be over 100) to his daily massage. If it was good enough for Bob Hope, it’s good enough for you.
If you’re like most office workers, though, you probably don’t have the time or the budget to get a professional massage every day. Here’s an affordable do-it-yourself option.
Take as much time as you can on this simple routine, but even a few minutes will leave you feeling tingly and energized.
This routine is based on a Swedish massage technique called tapotement. In tapotement, you use your fingertips and the side of your hand to tap on your skin and muscles to stimulate them. (You often see this technique in old Bob Hope-era movies, typically performed by a matronly European woman in a nurse’s uniform.)
You can do this self-massage routine either standing or sitting.
- Start at the front of your head, just above your eyebrows. Holding your fingers with a firm yet gentle curl, sort of like you are typing, tap all over your head in a path from just above your eyebrows to the base of your skull.
- Now move to the top of your neck, just under the base of your skull. Using the same typing-like fingers, firmly tap the muscles on the back of your neck and the top of your shoulders. Use the right hand on the right side and the left on the left. Explore as much terrain as your mobility permits.
- Now, with one hand, reach across your torso and over your opposite shoulder to pat yourself on the back of your shoulder. Explore as much of the back of your shoulder as you can reach.
- Continue down the back of your arm and then tap all around your upper arm and then down into your forearm, making sure to work all around the circumference of your arm.
- Your hand and fingers will flop around a lot as you tap them, but continue down into your hand as well, working all around all of your hand and fingers.
Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 with the opposite arm.
- Now move to your torso. Experiment here both with the fingertip/typing-style tapping and with a chopping motion, using the little-finger side of your hand. Around your chest and rib cage you can use the side of your loose fist to do your chopping (your fingers should be loose enough to make a flopping noise as you tap). On your abdomen, return to the gentler fingertip style. Work as much of your torso as you can reach, including your low back, using the thumb side of your loose fist there.
- Continue down to your thighs and legs, trying both the fingertip and chopping styles depending on the area. Be sure to get the front, sides, and back of your legs, from your hips down to your ankles.
- Finish up by sitting down (if you aren’t already) and tapping vigorously all over the top and bottom of your feet.