Regardless of the cause of your stress, it can harm your health in a number of ways, from affecting your quality of sleep to increasing your risk of a heart attack. Don't let stress get the better of you. A simple solution is to schedule an appointment with a massage therapist. While massages can address a wide range of issues, the soothing and skilled touch of a massage therapist, like those at Inner Beauty Concepts, can help to melt the stress from your body. If it's a couple days until you're able to have your appointment, try to pamper yourself with a few self-massage techniques. Sure, these will be pale in comparison to a professional's healing hands, but they can provide some relief in the meantime.

Scalp Massage

It's easy to develop a headache when you're stressed, but some gentle rubbing on your scalp can increase blood flow to the area and reduce your discomfort. Sit in a relaxed position with your neck supported and, with your fingers slightly bent, gently "knead" at your scalp. Work your way from your forehead down to the tops of your ears and to your neck. Find a pressure that is firm but not too deep. If you have some peppermint or lavender essential oil, adding a few drops to your fingertips can create a relaxing, pleasant sensation.

Hand Massage

A hand massage is often subtle enough to perform in a variety of settings. If you find yourself stressed at work or on your public-transportation commute, tending to your hands can promote relaxation. Hold one hand with the palm facing up and use the thumb and forefinger on the other hand to gently pinch and rub your fingers, along the edge of your palm, the center of the palm and the muscle beneath your thumb. When you're massaging your fingers, avoid making a pulling motion toward the tips; doing so pulls blood into the extremities and can feel unpleasant. When you're done with one hand, switch and massage the other.

Foot Massage

A foot massage is an easy way to unwind at the end of the day. While you can always grab one foot and use similar techniques to the hand massage, a simple way of relaxing the tired muscles in your feet is to simply place a tennis ball on the floor, remove your shoes and socks, sit in a comfortable chair and press the arch of one foot onto the ball. Roll your foot around on the ball, moving it from your arch to your heel and up toward your toes. The pressure you use depends on how firmly you step down. Switch to the other side when you're done the first foot.