We probably don't have to sell you on the beneficial effects of massage. After all, it feels fantastic, and it's an amazing way to unwind at the end of a long, stressful day.
Massage can also increase circulation, help relieve anxiety and depression, and alleviate insomnia -- among a host of other health benefits.
There is one downside to massage. Having a professional massage can be costly. Not only that, but you have to book an appointment in advance.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a massage anytime you wanted, and in the comfort of your home?
For about the same price as one session with a masseur, you can choose a neck massager or a chair massager that will provide stress relief anytime you need it.
There are a few important guidelines to using an electric massager, however. Read up on what not to do!
How to Use a Neck Massager Effectively
Do Less, But Do It More Often
There's a general misconception that massage has to "hurt so good" to do any good. Another myth about massage is that an hour's session will get all those knots out.
Just as you can't work out just once a week and see any fitness or weight loss results, however, eliminating all your muscle tension in one session just isn't feasible.
So make a habit of using your massager, but on a gentler setting. Over time, you will feel the difference in the level of your muscle tension.
Apply Heat Before
Heat can help stiff muscles relax, which will allow for a more thorough massage. You will be able to use the neck massager on a lighter setting, but still get the same soothing results.
Heat also opens up blood vessels, so that more blood (and therefore oxygen) get to the affected area.
A heating pad is a good way to apply heat to the neck muscles, or you can use a hot/cold pack that is microwavable. If you don't have either one on hand, you can DIY it!
Some neck massagers provide heat while they work out the kinks in your neck, for the ultimate in comforting self-care.
Avoid the Carotid Artery
Using a handheld massager? This is the most important tip we can provide: avoid the carotid arteries. These are major blood vessels that are located on either side of the neck. They supply blood to the neck, face, and brain.
Over-manipulation of this area can actually result in a massive ischemic stroke. Use extreme caution when massaging the sides of the neck with a handheld massager.
It's probably best to limit your massage to the back of the neck. Working the muscles of the shoulders and upper back will also help ease neck pain.
If you must massage the sides of the neck, use the lowest possible setting, avoid applying pressure and keep the massager moving.
There is no denying that a great massage is one of the best stress-busters around.
Give yourself the gift of anytime access to the soothing relief that massage provides by choosing an at-home neck massager, and by following these tips for its safe and effective use.