Updated: Feb 17
I used to think massage was a luxury, something you would do If you happened to have the money and the time. Now I see it as a key to managing stress and building resilience as a highly sensitive person.
When we are stressed, our bodies become more tense. When we are more tense, we become more stressed. This is a vicious cycle if we do not interrupt it.
The fact that we are more sedentary than ever before does not help with this tension. The more we sit at computers and stare down at our phones, the more the tension builds, so we need to find ways to counteract this strain. Self-massage is one of the easiest ways to release tension and find more resilience as HSPs.
In addition to releasing tension, massage has many benefits. According to the mayo clinic, massage can help with anxiety and depression, increase energy, reduce pain and soreness, strengthen the immune system, improve sleep, increase circulation, help with headaches, improve digestion and more! Given that HSPs often struggle with many of these issues, it only makes sense to incorporate more of this into our lives. Massage, when done consistently, can allow us to thrive and share our sensitive gifts with the world.
While getting a professional massage is wonderful, it is not always available or affordable. And as HSPs, we need something that we can do with consistency, daily if possible. Self-massage is perfect because it is something that is easy to do, free and always there when you need it.
My Top 5 Favorite Self-Massage tools for HSPs
1. Gua Sha
A Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese medicine healing tool that Is used to release pain and tension. While it can be used all over the body, I typically use mine on my face and neck. I love to practice Gua Sha after washing my face before bed. You want to make sure to use massage oil to help the tool glide. I love this rose quartz Gua Sha. I like to wash it under hot water before using it to make it nice and warm. (Just make sure not to drop it as it can break easily on tile floor. I have broken mine more than once!)
2. Foam Roller
I love my foam roller, especially for rolling under my mid back. Make sure you get one that is comfortable for you. I find some to be too hard, while others can be a bit too soft! It is also important that it is large enough. This foam roller is similar to the one I have and I love it.
3. Acupressure Rings
Acupressure rings are wonderful for stress relief and anxiety. It is like a fidget tool with added massage benefits. When I was dealing with nervous system dysregulation, I would bring these rings with me everywhere I went. You simply massage it up and down on your thumb and fingers (or toes) and feel it help you refocus and release tension. Just don’t leave it on your finger like a traditional ring, as it will start to cut off the circulation. I use these rings.
4. Tennis Ball /Other Massage Ball
Laying over a tennis or massage ball is a fantastic way to release tension. You simply place the ball under a tight area, and either hold, or roll back and forth. I recommend these massage balls. They come with a manual and guide with different ways to use them for trigger point release and deep tissue massage, however, a simple tennis ball or two will also do the trick.
5. Acupressure Mat
I saved the best, albeit most expensive choice for last.
If I had to get rid of all of my possessions and only keep one item, I would keep my acupressure mat. I know that sounds extreme, but it's true. It helps me release tension, relax and sleep like nothing else does. It works wonders on the HSP nervous system, I am obsessed.
The mat does take a bit of getting used to, as it is like laying on a modern-day bed of nails, so take your time with it. You can start with just a few minutes and build up to more. Keep in mind that the first few minutes will be the most intense, so if you can stick with it, it will likely start to feel better soon. Always listen to your body if you feel it is too much.
There are different ways to use the mat but my favorite is to place it on my bed and lay my back over it with a comfortable pillow under my head. I use my mat every day, sometimes twice a day. Prana Mat is my favorite brand and most comfortable to me, although there are cheaper brands out there, such as this one.
With love and sensitivity,
Please Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and purchase something, I may receive a small commission. Please know that I only recommend products that I use and love. Thank you for supporting my small business and mission of helping empower highly sensitive people.