If your hands are the gateway to your body and you can’t see the rest of yourself, it only makes sense that hands are also the easiest way to start improving your health. It’s no secret that stress, anxiety, and a fast-paced lifestyle take their toll on our bodies, leading many people to experience aches and pains in unanticipated places like their shoulders, arms, and hands.
If not treated early on, these aches and pains can persist for years or even become chronic conditions that feel impossible to shake. However, there are things you can do to ease pain with simple movements of your fingers and hands. Using a massage ball is one of those things!
Let’s learn more about how a massage ball can help improve your health.
What is a Massage Ball?
A massage ball, also known as a rolling ball or massage roller, is a small, round tool that’s typically used to apply pressure to various parts of the body during a massage. The massage ball is placed in the palm of your hand and rolled over the areas you’d like to apply pressure to, like your neck and shoulders. Other versions of this tool can be shaped almost like a puzzle piece, with many different points and ridges that come together to form a single ball.
Massage balls come in a variety of materials, from hard plastic to squishy silicone and everything in between. They can also come in different sizes, based on the part of your body you’re targeting. If you’re shopping for one, a good bet is to buy a massage ball that’s about 5 to 7 inches in diameter, like the Massball.
Benefits of Using a Massage Ball
Using a massage roller is great because it’s so versatile. You can use it to apply pressure to a wide range of parts of your body, from your shoulders and arms to your feet!
Some of the potential benefits of using a massage ball include:
Reduced stress and anxiety: Massage balls are firm enough to apply a good amount of pressure, but they’re also soft enough to be gentle. This is why using a massage ball is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety, particularly in your hands, forearms, and shoulders.
Reduced aches and pains: As we mentioned above, massage balls are great for targeting achy spots like your shoulders, arms, and hands.
Improved mobility: When used in the right way and with the right amount of pressure, massage balls can help improve your joint mobility. This is especially important as you get older and could potentially help prevent the onset of arthritis.
Better sleep: Many people report that applying pressure to certain body parts (like their hands and forearms) helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. However, it’s important to note that not all massage balls are designed for sleeping – so check the product details before you buy!
How to Use a Massage Ball
While there are many different ways to use a massage ball, here are a few of the most common uses:
Shoulder rolls: Place the ball in the palms of your hands and roll it back and forth over your shoulders. You can also place the ball on the back of your shoulders and roll it forward toward your chest.
Arm circles: Place the ball in the palms of your hands and roll your arms in small circles, first clockwise and then counter-clockwise.
Palm rolls: Place the ball in the palms of your hands, with the ball facing down, and roll it slowly and evenly over your hands and wrists. Depending on the type of massage ball you’re using and the part of your body you’re targeting, you might want to apply more or less pressure. If you’re not sure, start with a lighter pressure and increase from there if you need to.
Shoulders and Arms
If you’re experiencing pain in your shoulders and/or arms, try this simple exercise using a massage ball:
Start sitting on the floor with your legs out in front of you, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Next, place the massage ball in the palms of your hands and roll your arms up and down, with the ball touching your shoulders. Finally, roll the ball in circles over the tops of your shoulders and up and down the inside of your arms.
This massage ball exercise helps relieve pain caused by repetitive motion and poor posture, like typing at a computer all day or doing other activities where your arms are constantly held out in front of your body.
Body (Especially Your Back)
If you have back pain, you can try this simple massage ball exercise:
Start lying on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Next, place the massage ball in the palms of your hands and roll it back and forth from your lower back to your tailbone. Finally, roll the ball in circles over the entire length of your back, from your shoulders down to your lower back.
This massage ball exercise is designed to help ease lower back pain. However, be careful not to put too much pressure on your lower back while doing this exercise – you can always put less pressure on your lower back by moving the ball farther up your back.
There are many ways to use a massage ball, and the best way to find out what works best for you is to try a few different exercises and see which ones feel best. Remember, even a firm pressure applied to your body in the right way can be healing. If you’re experiencing pain in your shoulders, arms, or back, a massage ball is a great way to reduce that pain and improve your mobility.