For anybody like me, a self-care enthusiast, having some sort of massage device is essential. They provide relaxation, therapeutic benefit, and even a much-needed break from the rest of the day. You can use a massage device before a workout, after a workout, as a morning or bedtime ritual, or even as a little pick me up throughout the day! The uses are endless, and that is not a hyperbole.

While many people think purchasing a massage device is out of reach, that’s simply not true.  No matter your budget, there’s something out there for you. I’ve created a list of the most popular massage devices that all backgrounds of people use for self-care purposes. But, before we get into the massage devices, let’s dive into what self-care is.

Self-Care and What It Means

When we talk about self-care, we don’t just mean doing our laundry, cooking, showering, and all that jazz. Self-care means actions, habits, or practices that are done with the intention of improving our well-being. Self-care can be practiced to improve our mental state, emotional well-being, and physical fitness and health.

While I don’t want to get in the weeds about all the forms of self-care, I’d like to give a few examples of common practices. Many people consider taking the time to make a nice, healthy meal as a form of self-care. Others find taking an hour or 30 minutes out of their day to read as self-care. However, regarding your physical health, taking a walk or going for a run could be self-care for you.  

When I talk to friends and family about self-care for my physical health, I automatically think of exercising, stretching, and massages. Personally, massages play a huge role in my physical self-care practice. However, I don’t go out and spend huge chunks of money on professional massages. Rather, I utilize what many other like-minded individuals have—massage devices.

Massage Guns

Anybody who is serious about massage devices for self-care should invest in a massage gun. These technologically advanced devices are powerful, therapeutic, and downright pleasing. Whenever you use a massage gun, you can control how hard you want to push and dig into your muscles. You can provide a soothing massage for relaxation purposes or a deep tissue massage to help with soreness and knots.

I personally use massage guns as I’ve found them to be the best type of device available. Massage guns use what’s known as vibration therapy. This therapy uses quick pulses of pressure to stimulate blood flow to your muscles which then aids recovery.  

However, the aid in recovery is not the only thing massage guns can do. They reduce the amount of pain you feel in your muscles. If you use them before a workout, they can reduce the soreness you’ll feel after a workout. Plus, they can improve your flexibility and range of motion.

If you’re interested in a massage gun, check out my post about how to find the best gun for you. You’ll learn what features you want, what makes a good massage gun, and even a couple of options to consider.  

Massage Guns to Consider

After having tested numerous massage guns, the best one I’ve found is the Theragun. This state-of-the-art device provides me with endless benefits. It helps warm up my body for a workout, reduces any muscle soreness or tension, and soothes my muscles after a long day of work.

Another option is the Hyperice Hypervolt. I’ve found this device to offer similar results in terms of reducing soreness and tension. However, the Hypervolt is much more limited due to a shorter battery life and a locked-in head. 

Foam Roller

Another widely used self-care tool is a foam roller. If you’ve ever belonged to a gym, you’ve likely seen many of these lying around—they are staples in the fitness industry. Professional athletes, trainers, and physical therapists regularly incorporate these into their training programs. The reason they’re so widely used is that they offer numerous benefits, and they’re affordable and easy to use.

Foam rollers use a technique, known as the self-myofascial release (SMR), to loosen up muscles. Fascia is a type of tissue that’s found around the body, and when it’s around muscles, it’s called myofascial tissue. Thus, foam rollers are the perfect tool for practicing SMR.

You can use a foam roller on your whole body. Many people use it on their hips, glutes, back, shoulders, quads, hamstrings, and even their chest. Wherever you have some muscle that you feel is tight, you can try a foam roller on. Some of the benefits that foam rollers provide include the following.

  • Easing muscle pain, soreness, and tension
  • Increasing range of motion of joints and flexibility of muscles
  • Manage symptoms of fibromyalgia

From my experience with foam rollers, I can say they truly play a role in self-care. Not only do they provide relief for my muscles and joints, but they also help me relax. Plus, you can get a foam roller that comes in different styles and incorporates different features. 

For example, some foam rollers have special points on the surface that dig deeper into the muscle to help break down that myofascial tissue. Others may even be electronically powered to offer vibration modes.

Anybody who wants a cheap, fun and easy massage device should consider a foam roller. If you want a basic, starter foam roller, check out the AmazonBasics Foam Roller.

Lacrosse Ball or Therapy Ball

Like foam rollers, therapy balls and lacrosse balls are tools for SMR. However, they offer something much different than a foam roller. As they’re small, dense balls, they can dig in deeper and break down tissue and knots much more effectively. I, for one, love using these.

Many companies will sell special therapy balls that are designed specifically for self-massaging. However, you can opt for something like a lacrosse ball that does the same job but is likely much more cost-effective.

Lacrosse balls are small and hard, and when rolled on correctly, they truly release your myofascial tissue!  You can use one of these balls while standing up by placing the ball between your back and a wall. Alternatively, you can lay on the ground and use it that way. Just like a foam roller, any spot on your body can benefit from these lacrosse balls!

However, as you use them, you need to be careful. While they’re must-haves in the self-care industry, you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful. As they’re small yet rigid, if you put too much pressure on the ball, you may end up with a sore back.

If you’re interested in investing in a lacrosse ball for self-care, check out this Signature Lacrosse Ball Set!

Back and Neck Massager

If you want something that takes very little effort, and yet provides soothing comfort and relaxation, a back and neck massager is for you. I’ve used numerous back and neck massage products, and they’re the ultimate relaxation tool.

You can benefit from one of these massage devices no matter the time of day. Whether you’re taking a break from work, just finished the workweek, or recovering from a workout, you’ll be in heaven with one of these tools.

Neck and back massagers come in different styles with different features. Today, virtually all devices utilize some sort of moving part that can emanate heat, change rotation patterns, and speeds. When you want to care for yourself, kick back, put on your neck and back massager, and reap the benefits. You’ll experience a soothing massage that can roll out knots, release tension, and relax your mind and muscles. Talk about self-care!

This Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager is a perfect entry-level massage device to use when you want to indulge in a little extra self-care.

Massage Roller Stick

Back to the manual massage devices, massage roller sticks are wonderful choices for anybody who wants a hands-on approach to self-care and physical maintenance. Roller sticks are easy to use, cheap, and effective for self-care.

When you use a roller stick on your muscles, you can reduce the soreness after a workout, ease any stiffness, and improve your circulation. Similar to foam rollers, you’ll be able to find a massage roller stick in any gym or physical therapist office you walk into. They, too, are staples in the health and wellness industry, which is exactly why they’re self-care tools.

To get started with a massage roller stick, all you need to do is place it over the desired area, use two hands, and roll it back and forth over your muscle. Many of these massage devices come with grooves on the massage part that allow for penetration into myofascial tissue, thereby breaking up any knots and reducing tension. A great first option for anyone is the Idson Muscle Roller Stick.  

The Bottom Line

There are many massage devices for practicing self-care. These tools can improve your physical health by reducing stiffness, preventing the onset of soreness, and improving flexibility. However, when you want a truly effective tool for self-care, a massage gun is your best bet. If a massage gun, like the Theragun, is out of your price range, check out these cost-effective manual massage tools!