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Tips from Massage Experts

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Breathe deeply and soak. “One of the nicest things someone can do for themselves is some deep breathing or soak in an Epsom salt bath. My other recommendation is taking some time away from cellphones and computers. These are the biggest culprits to poor posture, neck and thumb pain.” —Kari Ainsworth, Kia Massage

Stretch that back. “I always recommend that clients lie flat on their backs with arms extended out to the sides and their feet together. While raising one knee, bring one foot up to the other knee, then place it on the other side of the knee, so that it is crossed over. For example, bring the left foot up to the right knee and place it on the outside of the right knee. Gently grab the knee with the opposite hand and pull it slowly to the floor, keeping the opposite shoulder on the floor so that you get a twisting motion with the trunk.” —Scott Blackston, Y Chromosome Massage

Roll, heat and stretch. I’m a firm believer in the foam roller. Roll the tight or sensitive area. Also heat. Apply heat for 15 minutes and then do a slow stretch of that muscle area.” —Jen Carbone, Every Body Needs a Massage

Ice it. “Don’t use ice directly on skin. Instead, cover the target area with a light towel. Alternate ice rubs with time off: ice for 10 minutes, no ice for 10 minutes, ice again.” —Ann DiStefano, Peak Cryotherapy and Massage

Stretch everything else, too. I suggest a lot of stretching, including a 5-minute routine of stretching, such as range-of-motion for neck and shoulder issues. Do big circles with the head, left and right. For the shoulders, move the shoulder blades in big and small circles.” —Carlos Estrada, Magical Escape Therapeutic Bodyworks

Roll some more. A foam roller, 36 by 6 inches, is a wise investment and a great choice for self-massage. Any part of the body can be rolled out by lying on your back on the roll length-wise (parallel) with the head and torso supported by the roll. Gently massage, rolling gently side-to-side, for 20 minutes a day. The time can be broken into smaller increments such as two 10-minute sessions. This really helps combat the stress of sitting in a chair or hunching over a computer.” —Nancy Hawkins, Forever Fit Foundation

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