Self-Care Tools

Here are some products I frequently recommend to those who come to me for massage and bodywork. They can help with pain, posture, feeling better, and self-care. I have used every one of these items myself and love them. Feel better now!

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Adissage Athletic Sandal. $17-30 depending on color and size. These sandals are the bomb for getting a foot massage with each step. Tiny nubs do the job, providing you with easy-on, easy-off treats for the feet. Whole sizes only, and sizing may run large (if you wear 7.5, order 7). Wear them around the house, when running errands, after a workout, after being on your feet all day — or make them your everyday shoe if lifestyle permits. Some reviewers say they relieved their foot pain and plantar fasciitis.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 12.49.31 PMCranioCradle. $42. Place it under your head, neck, shoulders, back, or sacrum, or use two of them at once under head and sacrum — position to induce relaxation and provide profound renewal for body and spirit. Takes only 2-5 minutes a day to relieve your neck, back, hip, or leg pain. Here’s a video showing ways you can use it. Try one on your next visit to my office.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 1.51.39 PMEpsom salt. $13-56 for 5 to 40 lbs. I recommend adding it to your bath for muscle soreness and for stress. Put two cups into a tub of hot water and soak for 12-20 minutes. Add your favorite essential oils if you like — try lavender, rose, citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint. Or add 1 cup epsom salt to a gallon of water to soak sore, tired feet. Makes water feel silky and softens skin. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is a mineral that an estimated 80% of people are deficient in, and it calms the nervous system and helps you sleep better. It is easily absorbed through the skin without giving you diarrhea, which can happen when you take too much orally. You can water your plants with the bath water! Also makes a great gift if you add a bit of essential oil and package it prettily.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 7.53.01 AMThe Gaiam Pressure Point Roller Massage Stick
. $14. If your upper traps get tight, this is magical. You sit on a chair and get someone to roll this across the top of your shoulders. Experiment to find the right pressure (use over clothing for best results). Those little spikes do something the best massage therapist in the world cannot do with their hands. (I think it works on muscle, nerves, lymph, fascia.) Some people feel a tingle all the way down their legs! Ask for a demo next time you come in for a session. Although someone else needs to roll your shoulders, arms, and back, you can use it by yourself on your legs. It makes a great hit at the office as well as at home.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 1.17.10 PMSacroWedgy. $54. Have you ever had a bodyworker slide their hand under your sacrum and just let your pelvis rest there? Did you feel a sense of relief? Here’s how to get that relief at home. For people with low back and/or hip pain, sciatica, pelvic girdle tension, fatigue, or pain or numbness radiating down the legs, the SacroWedgy can help. Slide it under your sacrum while reclining and rest for up to 20 minutes. You’ll feel relief from tension you didn’t even know you had. The pink version is wider and shorter for typical female pelvises, and the blue version is narrower and longer for typical male pelvises. Used regularly over time, it works with gravity to help your muscles rebalance, correcting poor posture. Two versions exist, because male and female sacrums are shaped differently: get blue for males and pink for females. Very tall women with a narrow torso may find the blue version works better.

insolesProKinetics Natural Body Balance Insoles. $60. These insoles are specially designed for people with Morton’s foot/Morton’s toe/Greek toe, a common condition in which the second metatarsal is longer than the first metatarsal, which can cause postural issues over time. These insoles keep your feet from pronating each time your foot rolls forward as you walk. My hunch is that having this condition may not bother you much when you’re young, but as the decades pass, it can create postural problems and pain up the body’s structure. These insoles are a fairly inexpensive and simple solution. When I first started wearing them, I quickly felt more stable in my hip joints. If you have this foot condition and you have musculoskeletal issues, it’s well worth your while to try these to see if you get some relief. Google “Morton’s foot” to learn more about it.

pillowTherapeutica Sleeping Pillow. $81 and up, depending on size. Comes in 5 sizes based on shoulder width. Designed by a chiropractor and an ergonomic designer, this pillow will serve you well if you sleep on your side or back, keeping your neck vertebrae properly aligned and relieving pressure on the jaw. Since you spend a third of your life sleeping, this is an investment in your immediate and long-term well-being. Measure your shoulder width before ordering. Comes with a 5-year warranty — works out to $15-25 per year to relieve your neck, TMJ, and sleep issues.

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