Self-Care in a Time of Covid-19
A day off work to relax at home is a stress reliever, but spending every single day at home has quite the opposite effect for many people. The loss of work-home rhythm, the frustrations of children suddenly home all day, 24 hour spouse time, all exist on top of concerns of health and job security. Add to this the inability of people to access physical care providers, gyms and other sources of pain relief and stress reduction and it’s clear that quality of life deteriorates quickly.
The good news is that with the aid of a few easily available items, you can build both stress reduction and pain relief into your daily at home schedule. Bob Alonzi, author of “I Stretch-Strengthen Take Everywhere Exercise System”, and an advanced practitioner of the deep massage therapy of Rolfing, offers these tips.
While not as effective as the services provided by professional body workers such as Rolfers, Structural Integration, and Massage Therapists, self-massage can relieve stress, reduce pain and produce improvements in limitations in movement. The demands of work from home or the time demands of family members can be set aside with scheduled “self-care” time to recharge your batteries and gain both the physical and emotional benefits of self-massage.
Your self-massage kit pictured here contains a variety of self-care tools to help reduce muscular and skeletal pain, improve flexibility and range of motion, reduce stiffness and help strengthen areas which have grown weak. Included are a green Therocaine, a yellow S-Caine, a hand roller and therapy balls of various sizes.
These tools can assist in self-massage. The canes are used to hold pressure points on top of the shoulder and around the back. The hand roller is used on the quadriceps, IT bands and the front and back of the lower legs. The therapy balls are useful in applying pressure to a variety of areas that have become tight or tense. They are used with the weight of the body and are applied in a slow, sustained manner.
The black foam rollers, used slowly, will help lengthen soft tissue. It is used very slowly by allowing the weight of the body to sink down it and then moving incrementally. As with most self-massage, slower is better – fast movement does not achieve sustained benefit.
The white exercise band is a sample of a range of exercise bands that can be purchased in a range of levels and resistance. These are an excellent way of strengthening muscles and improving range of motion in joints. These are particularly helpful in strengthening small muscles around joints.
There is a wealth of material available to help get started. “ I Stretch-Strengthen Take Everywhere Exercise System” by Bob Alonzi, is a helpful start. Amazon also offers a wide variety of books and guides, and YouTube has a substantial number of helpful videos. with demonstrations.
Taking care of yourself is important to maintain both your physical and emotional health during this stressful time.