Not all of us can set aside the time and money for massages as regularly as we like to. It’s fabulous if you can request, sweet talk or bribe your way into a partial massage from your sweetheart but if that’s not in the cards for you here are four tips to keep you limber and pain-free between massages. They are all under 30 minutes and very affordable. I’m re-blogging about this because we all forget the help we can give ourselves with very little investment. The following are four remedies to keep you on track between massage sessions: Tip #1. Dig out your foam roller or buy one ($30-$50) and find yourself a fairly new tennis ball, preferably not one you have to fight the dog for. There are a lot of massage tools out there but these two will give you the biggest bang for your buck. The foam roller is best used on the floor, on your thighs, legs, buttocks and your back. Depending on your needs, s-l-o-w-l-y roll these areas daily to every few days. The tennis ball, when placed under the body can zero in on active trigger points in the back, buttocks and thighs. Learn to relax with the ball in place and then move your arm or leg through its normal range of motion to get the most thorough and long-lasting results. Tip #2. Take a quick bath. This is not your ordinary bath though. Add a handful of dissolved Epsom Salts, a handful of sea salt, a handful of baking soda and a very small scoop of coconut oil. Your favorite essential oils can go in too if you don’t mind cleaning the tub later. Make the water hot and soak for 20 minutes, topping up with more water to keep it hot. This recipe won’t dry your skin out, particularly if you gently dry brush before. Feels good and good for you. Tip #3. Stretch, breathe or meditate. Simple concepts right at our fingertips. If you are not sure how to go about it, just call me and I’d be happy to figure out an easy format especially for you, no strings attached. 10 minutes stretching, breathing or meditating on a daily basis can completely change how your body feels…for the better! Just find a quiet spot and relax. Tip #4. Ice, heat, ice, heat, ice, heat, repeat. When an injury is new (acute) ice is your best friend for the first day or two. Ice reduces inflammation and bruising and after about 10 minutes it also has a numbing effect so the pain diminishes. If you love heat then use it next. Heat helps blood rush to the injured area causing it to swell but it can feel very comforting. After the initial period you can alternate hot and cold to gently flush the area and keep it supplied with fresh blood and oxygen. You can safely use ice and/or heat for 20 minutes out of any hour. When I have small aches and injuries I am able to go to sleep more easily with an ice pack in place. Here’s to your health and well-being between massages!