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Are there types of massage I can do myself to help improve my flexibility?

Self-massage can be done on certain areas.  However, it can be very difficult, as you need to remain relaxed during the treatment.  An example would be if you want to massage your neck, you need to be lying on your back with your head supported and your shoulders relaxed.  If you work on your neck while you are seated, you will need to use your neck muscles to hold up your head and you will not be able to apply most techniques.

If you are working with something such as scar tissue to improve mobility, depending on the location, self-massage might even be preferred.  Cross-friction over the area can be done easily, and any discomfort is better tolerated when you are the one providing the treatment. 

Yes, self-massage (using a foam roll) can be done on your own. A foam roll is a tool to used to apply self-massage to varies muscles in the body. Place your body weight on the foam roll and move slowly up and down on a muscle, searching for tender areas or "knots" in the muscle. Once you find a tender area, stop and hold the pressure for 30 seconds. The pressure will cause the nervous system to send signals to the muscles causing them to relax. The cummulative benefits of self-massage include greater relaxation, a decrease in knots in your muscles, a decrease in tension, and an increase in blood supply to help flush out toxins. The premise is the same as a getting a deep-tissue sports massage, although the foam roll cannot penetrate as deeply as a well-trained massage therapist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.