6 Ways to Get the Benefits of Massage Therapy (at Home)

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Massage Therapy at Home
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » 6 Ways to Get the Benefits of Massage Therapy (at Home)

You know those mini-quizzes on social media that ask if you could have one service for free for the rest of your life? The options usually include a gourmet chef, live-in housecleaner, or massage therapy daily.

It’s hard to choose (even in fantasy world), but personally I’d always pick the massage!

We often have a lot of stress as mothers, and since massage therapy has many health benefits, it’s a match made in relaxation heaven… except for the time and money!

Thankfully there are great ways to get massage therapy benefits at home.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy has many benefits besides the obvious one of relaxation. It is now often suggested by doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors for various reasons (along with other therapies such as cupping and acupuncture).

Massage can range from light pressure to deep tissue (a lot of pressure) and there are many types of massage, including:

  • Swedish– A gentle massage that uses gentle, long strokes. Mainly focused on relaxation and tension relief.
  • Deep Tissue– Uses slower strokes and more pressure to reach deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue.
  • Sports– A style that often uses a combination of different techniques to help relieve sports strain or injury.
  • Trigger Point– A focused type massage often used for relief of tension from overuse or injury.

No matter the type, massage can help:

Relax Muscles

Massage provides external physical pressure to muscles and helps remove tension. This is the most common reason people get a massage.

Improve Flexibility & Reduce Injury

The pressure and stretching of the muscles can help improve their ability to stretch. Athletes often get a regular massage to help increase flexibility and reduce the chance of injury (and to help rehab from injury).

Increase Immunity

Though less well-known, massage may also increase immune function by stimulating lymph flow in the body. This helps promote a strong immune system.

Shorten Hospital Stays

A study found that women who received regular prenatal massage had shorter hospital stays when they delivered their babies. The reason is not completely clear, but researchers suspect that it is the affects of increased relaxation and blood flow.

Improve Sleep

A number of studies have shown that massage has a positive effect on sleep. This is likely because of its affect on delta waves, the ones most connected to deep sleep.

How to Get the Benefits of Massage At Home (On the Cheap)

Of course, while it is fun to think about a live-in maid, chef, or massage therapist, it is unfortunately not very realistic. Even if money weren’t an issue, it would be impossible for most moms to sneak away for a daily massage.

Regular massage from a trained therapist is the most studied way to get the benefits, but there are some much cheaper and almost as good ways to get some of the benefits!

Whisk yourself away to a massage in the comfort of your own living room with these at-home ideas.

1. Lacrosse Ball or Racquet Ball

By far the most cost effective at-home massage option. In fact, my chiropractor recommended this to help relieve sore muscles at home and provide some back relief during pregnancy.

All you need is a couple of lacrosse balls (like these) and a wall or floor. Place the ball between you and the wall/floor and apply pressure by leaning into the wall. I was shocked at how deep of a massage this provided and for only about $5, it can’t be beat! With a little patience, you can get a great deep-tissue massage this way. This video shows how:

If you’re feeling really fancy, they even now make special “trigger point massage balls” that are essentially the same thing. You can also use a tennis ball, baseball, or even golf ball (these provide really deep trigger point due to the small size).

TIP: I also keep a lacrosse ball in my car and use between my back and the seat on long drives to avoid muscle tension.

2. Acupressure Massage Cane

massage-therapy-caneMy mom first discovered this, and I’ll admit that I joked her about having “a cane” until I tried it myself. This inexpensive s-shaped cane provides an amazing trigger point massage. It allows you to reach areas of your back you normally can’t reach on your own.

I keep this by my couch so when we are watching a movie I can use it for back massage. I’m still amazed at how this thing is able to reach the tightest spots on my back and provide direct pressure.

3. Massage Pillow

massage-pillowOne of my favorite Christmas gifts of all time: a shiatsu massage pillow. I had my doubts about this thing, but now I use it at least a couple of times a week. Of all of these at-home options, this one feels closest to a real massage, in my opinion.

This Shiatsu Pillow has infrared heat to help relax and loosen muscles and 4 rotating nodes that can move either direction. This thing was an absolute life saver when I was pregnant and up many nights with prodromal labor!

It is also half the price of one massage in most places! Several friends have come over and tried this pillow and ordered one from Amazon on their phone before even leaving my house. It is that good!

4. Rumble Roller or Foam Roller

Rumble Roller- great gift idea for men- deep tissue massage at homeA Rumble Roller is another great choice for at-home deep tissue work. The Rumble Roller is essentially a basic foam roller with spikes on it so it can reach deeper muscles.

These are more work than a massage pillow but can be super-effective if you are willing to use it regularly. If you’re feeling creative, you can always make your own for about $10!

A very similar option is the MOBO system that helps to release tight or sore areas that you want to work on at home. There are multiple ways to use it and is easy to pack and travel with. Use code wellnessmama10 for 10% off!

5. At-Home Massage Course

If you have a willing partner, the best option for a true massage is to take an at-home couples massage class together. This one is my favorite because it is a romantic but PG-rated massage course that teaches couples how to give great massages. We really enjoyed this series and I’d definitely recommend it!

6. Bonus: High Quality Massage Tools

Another option for getting a quality massage without an appointment is a handheld massager. My chiropractor one almost every time I go in to get adjusted, and it’s amazing!

It’s called the MyoBuddy and it is an electronic percussive massager that mimics the effects of a deep tissue massage for muscles and fascia. It also only costs as much as a couple good deep tissue massages and you can use it every day.

While it’s a bit more expensive than the other options listed above, if you use it instead of going for a regular massage you’ll save several hundred dollars in the first year alone!

What do you think? Noticed any benefits from massage therapy? Tried any of these?


Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


23 responses to “6 Ways to Get the Benefits of Massage Therapy (at Home)”

  1. Leanne Avatar

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks for your articles. You are one of my go-to resources for health issues and improving health!

    I’m looking into MyoBuddy. It doesn’t have that many reviews on Amazon. I’ve read that one person said it’s great on the big muscles like your thigh, lower back, legs, but too much for your neck, shoulder, and upper back. Is that your experience?

    I see that this article is a couple years old, do you still recommend MyoBuddy or is there other products you like more?

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      I do still like myobuddy. I found the lower settings and using the side or just a part of the pad works better for neck and shoulder.

  2. Mihi Avatar

    Hi, it’s good stuff and it has great information. I really enjoyed to read your blog.

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