Remember back when you were a kid, and your mom would rub your back when you weren't feeling great? Nowadays, a massage pretty much only happens on a designated "Treat Yo Self" day, likely at a spa where they pamper you with essential oils, hot stones, relaxing music, and maybe a facial. But with less-than-rock-bottom prices, it's safe to say that a spa massage probably isn't happening on a daily basis.
That doesn't mean massages are off-limits, though. There are a few massages you can do on yourself to get rid of neck and shoulder pain, but if you really need some extra pressure, grab a friend or S.O. Okay, it probably won't be as incredible as a professional massage — and if you suffer from chronic pain that lasts more than 12 weeks, you should see a pro. But if it's just a few tight muscles after a workout, or a stiff neck after working on a computer all day, a simple shoulder rub from a pal could work wonders.
"Massage is a highly specialized profession, but it’s really instinctive," Elizabeth Bragg, LMT at Shift Integrative Medicine says. In other words, it's totally possible to DIY.
Here, Bragg and acupuncturist Zach Haigney, L.Ac. provide some tips on giving a basic back rub. Our advice? Share this story with roommates, friends, and partners, and swap massages after a long day at work.