Yoga is great for easing aches and pains and melting tension, but sometimes you need a more hands-on approach. If I won the lottery I would get a massage every week. Until that happens, I’ve found a fabulous alternative.

Let me introduce you to the shiatsu massage cushion*. If you have lingering muscle tension yoga wont shift, you need this in your life.

This gadget is the closest thing I’ve found to an actual masseuse: 4 deep-kneading nodes rotate in an alternating pattern to ease out knots and tight spots. You can even use it while you’re working at a desk, watching TV or in the car (passengers only please). It also has a warm setting, using infrared heat to soothe aches and pains and boost circulation.

It can be quite intense, if you’re not used to a deep massage, start off using if in a chair without so much pressure. If you’re using it lying down you can take some of the pressure off by propping yourself up on extra pillows.

As well as just feeling ahh-mazing, studies suggest massage can turn off genes associated with inflammation and turn on genes that help muscles heal. Not bad eh?

I use it:

Sitting at my desk – put it on the floor for a foot massage or on the chair behind you to target lower/mid back

Lying on my bed/sofa – on neck, shoulders, hamstrings, calves and feet

Long journeys in the car – foot/neck massage

Absolute heaven.

Other tools for your achy muscle tool box:

Foam roller* – I find foam rolling particularly good for tight leg muscles (quads and hamstrings). You can control the speed and roll slowly or hover on pressure points to release knots. Great article on foam rolling here.

Ball roller – I use a Rad Roller* on extra stubborn knots as it’s stronger and more targeted than a foam roller. Excellent for back, glutes and calves.

Hot Bath – It’s hard to beat the stress relieving, tension easing bliss of a warm bath (filled with bubbles if possible).

Share your own achy muscle remedies in the comments below.

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