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Massage & Exercise
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.
To create an effective back massager yourself, put two tennis balls into a sock and tie or sew the sock closed. Lean back on a wall with one tennis ball on either side of your spine and roll up and down the wall.
To learn more about self-massage techniques, visit the following websites:
This great series of videos can be performed right at your desk. Each lasts about 6 minutes. A 6 ft. theraband is used for most of these to increase the resistance of the exercises which you can pick up for less than $5 from sporting goods stores. You are required to join the BNET website to watch these videos: www.bnet.com.BNET: Desk Pilates Introduction http://www.bnet.com/2422-13950_23-187233.html?tag=content;col1
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:
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. 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.Back Info/Exercise Websites:
Balance significantly reduces pain, increases strength and agility, and improves your posture. Learn how to place yourself and practice balanced positions in a class under the guidance of a motivating instructor.
The Balance Center
560 Oxford Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Other movement therapies are also helpful in the alleviation of pain. The Alexander Technique, Tai Chi, and Yoga are a few examples.
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