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Self-Care Sunday

I love a low key Sunday with no plans other than family time, maybe a dance party, yoga, and of course some knitting time. I also find it is a good day to fit in self-massage. The day before another week starts is both relaxing and can be stress inducing if there is a big week ahead. So extra time spent on self-care on Sunday can set you up for the week.

Massages get the blood flowing, release tension, and work out kinks in the body. And they feel great! If you can't get to a spa for a massage, a great alternative is self-massage with a tennis ball or massage ball. You can also use a cork ball or some crystals when handled correctly can help release tension in the hands and forearms.

Here are a few ideas for how to do self-massage with a tennis ball. I like to do these practices right after I finish knitting or when my body needs a little extra love.

Mala cowl in progress and cork massage ball.

You need a ball and a table for these self-massages. Massage balls are great, but a tennis or lacrosse ball will do the same job. I also love cork balls. Just remember that if you’re using a harder ball, like a lacrosse ball, be extra gentle, because it can bruise you if you push too hard. If you are going the crystal route, be extremely gentle and use some massage oil. I use a selenite crystal to workout tension in my thumb, and have a smaller pink opal crystal. If you're unfamiliar with the use of crystals in this way skip this and stick to the tennis ball it is the best for a self-massage beginner.

Selenite Crystal


Benefits: Releases tension in the hands and forearms. Props: Table, chair (optional), tennis or lacrosse ball

Note:If you have a hand, wrist, or forearm injury, avoid this practice.

1. Take the ball between the palms of your hands and roll it around. Go slowly.

2. Place the ball on the table and place your right hand down so the base of your

thumb is pressing into the ball. Then, in a circular motion, slowly roll around the

entire outer edge of your palm. Massage into the base of your fingers and the

edge of your palm.

3. Lean into the ball with the weight of your body and try pressing on a slight

angle. Remember not to apply too much pressure.

4. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths as you roll the ball while gently pressing.

5. Once you have massaged your hand fully, roll the ball up and down the front

and back of your lower arm. Adjust yourself to sit or stand to make it easier.

6. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths as you roll the ball while gently pressing.

Shake out your arm and repeat on the other side.

Forearm massage with cork ball.


Benefits: Releases tension in the back. Props: Wall, tennis, or lacrosse ball.

Note: If you have a back injury, avoid this practice.

1. Stand with your back against a wall. Place the ball behind your back on the

right side between your spine and shoulder blade. Don’t put the ball too close

to your spine.

2. Press into the ball with your back.

3. Gently rock side-to-side, then up-and-down, to massage the right side of your

back with the ball.

4. When you find a sweet spot, explore there. Try lifting your right arm and making

slow circles to explore opening your back further.

5. Adjust so the ball gradually moves down your back without falling until it


your upper buttocks. Go slowly and remember to breathe.

6. Take 10 more breaths here and then remove the ball. Stand and shake out your

body for a few moments.

Repeat on the other side.


Benefits: Releases gripping and tension in the feet. Props: Wall (optional), tennis

or lacrosse ball.

Note: If you have a foot injury, avoid this practice.

1. Stand tall with the ball underneath the heel of your right foot. Stand close to a

wall if you want to keep one hand on it for support.

2. As slowly as you can, roll the ball from your heel to your toes. Go back and

forth along the sole of your foot.

3. Take 5 to 10 deep inhales and exhales as you roll the ball.

Repeat on the other side.


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