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Massage, Acupressure, Exercise, & Posture

Massage is a clinically-proven way to ease muscle tension, to promote circulation, and to manage pain-inducing stress. Self-massage of the upper back/neck throughout the day is very effective, as are regular upper-body and full-body massages.

Refer to our Therapeutic Resources web page to find a recommended massage therapist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Outside this area, look for certified massage therapists (CMT) at chiropractors, health clubs, or independent pracitioners. There are many different specialties within the field of massage: myofascial release, deep tissue, cranio-sacral, acupressure, and many others. Try different therapists to find one that brings you the most relief in the areas and in the ways that work best for you.

Many effective massage tools are available to assist you in massage, self-massage, or self-acupressure. Please refer to the Self-care Products web page.

One easy and inexpensive way to massage your back is to put two tennis balls into a sock and tie the sock closed. Lean against a wall with one tennis ball on each side of your spine. Roll the tennis balls up and down the wall to massage your back.

Self-Massage Websites: self-massage

Desk Pilates video
This is a really great desk pilates workout that will help you reverse some muscle tightness from sitting postures:
10-minute Desk Pilates Workout

Self-Massage Book:
Chi Self-Massage: The Taoist Way of Rejuvenation
by Mantak Chia, Juan Li (Illustrator), ($9.56). Easy to follow and quick results with step-by-step instructions for rejuvenation and healing.

Self-Acupressure helps to relieve stress, muscle tension, and pain in many parts of the body. It is best to take a class first to learn the techniques and points, however, the following website provides information on how to perform self-acupressure for various different problems:

A schedule of classes taught by Jan Henderson, PhD, CMT and held at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara is given at:http://www.balanceflow.com/stress.htm#_Toc125473542
or call the Kaiser Health Education Center: 408-851-3800 for more information about these classes.

Copies of the handouts for Jan Henderson's classes are available below:

Exercises strengthen the muscles needed to support your back and can be extremely helpful in the treatment of back pain.

Back/Neck Exercise Book:
7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life : How to Rapidly Relieve Back and Neck Pain
by Robin A. McKenzie ($12.00)
Practice these seven unique exercises (the book includes seven each for the back and neck) consistently and at regular intervals. Just about anyone can cure his or her own back or neck pain without the help of professionals. McKenzie believes self-treatment is actually more successful than medical interventions like surgery, chiropractic, or physical therapy. Recent research does show self-treatment to be a highly effective method.

Posture Training. Balance significantly reduces pain, increases strength and agility, and improves your posture.

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