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self care guide

Accessible possibilities for self care in your home. Connecting clients with wellness outside of the massage treatment room.



Define your Intention: Is it relaxation, pain relief, to quiet the mind, shift stress or tension, feel presence or reconnect with yourself? 

Intention is crucial in self care becuase it shapes your mindset and action. It helps you prioritize your wellbeing, guiding your choices and efforts towards practices that truly nourish and benefit you, adding purpose and direction to your self care routine. 

Don't just go through the motions, tune into how you want to feel.


The 'cue' initiates the self care loop or habit.

Self care can easily get lost in the day to day. How can we create a cue?​

  • Create a self care 'day of the week' to check in with yourself so that it becomes more likely for you to implement something that feels nurturing and aligns with your goals for the intention.

  • Plug in self care with an activity you are already doing. Examples: 

    • Taking a shower: This is such an accessible way to connect with self massage! Setting up massage oil isn't necessary becuase of the water and your body wash or soap. It is instantly a way to connect with yourself. Instead of going though your regular shower flow, slow down your cleansing routine on the face and body, pause, breathe in deeply and exhale 3 times, hold your hands on your face, the sides of your head, on one shoulder and then then next, both hands to the heart, the arms, the abdomen.

    • Standing in the kitchen: Use the counter for support for a stretch, place your hands on your low back or upper hips and sway or create figure 8's with your hips in a pain free range. 

    • Be creative with adding in bits of nurturing to your regular daily activites so it doesn't feel like another task to add to your list of things to do.


Always have self awareness and consult your physician as needed when initiating something new into your routines, especially if you have a high risk pregnancy. Nothing should be creating pain, lightheadedness, discomfort. 

With gua sha and massage, the following points are recommended to avoid during pregnancy:  Spleen 6, Large Intestine 4, Bladder 60, Bladder 67, Gallbladder 21, Lung 7.  Each point links to a visual of where the acupressure point is located. 

Gua sha spoon - lavender buds_edited.jpg

Gua Sha + Self Massage

I am a self care tool enthusiast! I have all the tools lol! -The theragun, theracane, roleo, infrared heating pad, TENS unit, yoga toes and the list goes on and on, but gua sha has been the only tool and technique in my career that truly shifts how I feel in regards to relaxation, clarity and tension relief.


It's my passion to share this Traditional Chinese Medicine offering.


I offer 1:1 tutorials if you are interested in connecting with a routine that fits your personal goals, but remember that even gliding the back side of the spoon over your eyebrows slowly or holding your hands in place on your forehead and the sides of your head can make a huge shift.

Compressions, Strokes, and Squeezing

These are 3 techniques that we will connect with in class that can be done without massage cream or oils.

Compression is sinking into the tissue with the palms of your hands

Strokes can be done from the top of your head, down your arms, across your chest, abdomen and legs within reach!

Squeezing: Grasping one shoulder at a time and squeeze for a 3 - 5 second hold. Try this on reachable regions of your body.

I also recommend the Magic Massager as an option to use on your own or have your partner use to facilitate ease with massage at home.


Foot soaks

Foot soaks can create an instant shift in how you are feeling. 


You don't need a fancy foot basin. Try a dishwashing tub, or a large bowl. You can even sit on the edge of your tub and fill it with a few inches of water to avoid a basin completely. 


If carrying a basin is challenging, fill it in the tub or shower, use a shower chair (I highly recommend a shower or tub chair!) Then when you are finished with your foot soak, you can just tip the basin over to drain in the tub or shower. 

Soaking salts can make the foot soak feel more special with aromatics and oils, but they aren't necessary and you will feel an impact and shift with plain warm water too. 

White Headphones

Music and Movement

Just one song can create a shift. Pick a favorite relaxation song to create stillness and focus on breath work, wrap your arms across your chest to give yourself and embrace and release.

Or try an upbeat and fun song for flowing movement - move your hips forward, back, side to side. Stretch your arms in the air, dance, connect with the beat and energy, how does the song make you want to move? 

Wall Clock

Pick a Number

I typically see participants and clients speeding through the strokes with Gua Sha, or compressions or strokes with self massage. Its natural becuase we are always on the go.


Picking a number of seconds to perform each pass makes a huge difference in your presence and quality with self massage and gua sha.


If you are in a rush try 3 - 5 seconds with each pass or hold, if you have more time, try 8 - 12 seconds. It makes all the difference in creating a more thorough ritual for yourself. 

So much to share!

I have so many possibilities to share. Please reach out to me if you have questions, if you would like more information on something we covered today, or if there is something that wasn't covered and you would like to explore more .

Thank You for the opportunity to connect with you!

Erica Craig LMT  607-377-6391

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