Self-massage can be very therapeutic for dancers as long as they follow some simple rules to prevent injuries. The easiest way to benefit from self-massage is to use gravity to allow the muscles to relax on to the roller. This method will ease one into greater compression and get to the deeper tissue areas. Wiggle one's way into the massage, moving the body back and forth as well as side to side, which will create cross-friction. Perhaps most important is do not attempt to roll over an injury. Avoid any areas where there is swelling or a tear.
- Make sure to wiggle while using a roller because it makes a big difference compared to mindlessly massaging an area up and down.
- Don't roll over an injury, as it is possible to make the injury worse by trying to massage it.
- Any area that the bone or nerves are closer to the skin should be avoided to avoid unnecessary pain and potential injury.
"When one is dancing for what feels like eight days a week, it takes more than just stretching to put the body back in order. One needs a good rub down. Unfortunately, most of us don't exactly have the money to afford an on-call personal masseuse."