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Last Medical Review: April 6, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Luis Alberto Vallejo
Self-Massage (April 6, 2020)

What is self-massage?

Self-massage is a homemade therapeutic method. Its main objective is to treat oneself. Its disadvantage is that it is limited to certain techniques and areas of the body.

It is based on the application of massage techniques such as friction, rubbing, kneading and vibration.

Benefits and effects

  • Improves body awareness
  • Better mastery of basic techniques
  • Relaxation
  • Decontracting
  • Give relief
  • Improve manual sensitivity

General recommendations

  • The techniques are executed along the course of the venous and lymphatic pathways to favor venous return.
  • The muscles should be relaxed.
  • The skin must be clean.
  • The right position must be taken. The most recommended is the sitting position in bed.
  • It should not last more than 25 or 30 minutes to avoid fatigue.
  • It works slowly and without pain.
  • It must be accompanied by breathing exercises.


  • Acute pain
  • Stress
  • Joint pain
  • When required to favor venous return
  • In athletes

Self-massage application

  • Foot: With both hands a rub is made from the fingers to the heel or ankle. Followed by frictions in the same direction.
    A sliding friction is also applied in the interdigital areas.
    Kneading with the hands on both sides of the foot.  
  • Achilles Tendon: Frictions are applied with the thumb and index in the direction from distal to proximal.  
  • Ankle: Rubs and frictions are used. It is done from the malevolent to the Achilles tendon.  
  • Leg: Here friction, friction, kneading and vibration will be used by placing the hands on both sides of the leg. You must work hard on gastrocnemius, vibrations are left to last.  
  • Thigh: In this area frictions, kneading and rubbing are applied. On the inner side the opposite hand of the leg to be massaged is used and on the outer face the same hand; both hands are used in the quadriceps.  
  • Buttocks: It is done standing, supporting weight on the other leg, flexing the knee, supporting it on a bench or, it can be carried out by lying on the side.  
  • Hand: The elbow rests on the thigh on the same side of the massage, starts on the fingers with straight friction, Lugo on the palm and the back is followed with friction and friction.  
  • Forearm: Here friction and friction are practiced in the front and back, as well as kneading upwards.  
  • Biceps and triceps: With the elbow resting on a table friction, friction, kneading and pressure are carried out.  
  • Trapeze: Sitting, with the opposite hand to the side to massage rubs, frictions and kneading accompanied by pressure.  
  • Chest: You can be on your back or sitting. It starts in the lower chest with a contralateral hand, from the sternum to the side and vice versa.
    Use kneading, fiction and pressure on the pectorals.  
  • Back: Sitting with arms back. Start with friction and friction from the lumbosacral part to the middle back.
    Then with the right arm in front rubs on the left middle back and vice versa.

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