Today's Daily Tip
On a Roll
You're caught in the grinding maw of a stressful day and your neck and shoulders have morphed into a tight mass of tension. As your demanding boss or cranky child drones on and on, complaining, you find yourself drifting into your favorite fantasy. The one where you have an on-call bodyworker who's attractive, attentive, and available day or night, strong fingers kneading just the right spots to melt that aching tightness away ... A piercing yell from your boss or child yanks you back to reality, and you sigh as the fantasy fades.
As it happens, that dream isn't completely out of reach. When you don't have time or money for a massage or when your yoga practice doesn't penetrate certain tight knots, you can pick up a few props and follow these tips from expert bodyworkers. Here's what you need to know.
WHAT YOU NEED Two tennis balls and a sock (stuff the balls in the sock and tie a knot at one end to hold them in place side by side), or a latex still point inducer ($15 from the Upledger Institute, at www.upledger.com or 800-233-5880).
WHAT TO DO Lie on your back on a comfortable surface with a pillow under your knees. Place the tennis balls or the inducer under your head, at the base of your skull (in line with the bottom of your ears, as viewed from the side). Rest your head on the inducer, close your eyes, and lie quietly for 10 to 20 minutes. When you're done, lift your head with one hand and slide the prop away with the other.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR Don't use the inducer if you're allergic to latex.
RELEASING A TIGHT BACK
WHAT YOU NEED A standard three-foot-long, six-inch-diameter foam roller like the one pictured on the front page or one of those swimming pool foam "noodles" rolled in a towel or folded sheet. For a deeper massage, you'll also need two tennis balls or racquetballs tied in a sock (see "Healing Headaches,") or a red Yamuna ball ($19.50 from www.yamunabodyrolling.com).
WHAT TO DO