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How to stroke yourself

  • Feb 6, 2009
  • by
According to this attractively presented book, professional athletes do it before, during and after workouts. Hey, if Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm say it's okay, who am I to argue?

Putting innuendo aside (with much difficulty) this book provides everything you need to know about self massage (and even some stuff you already knew.) It includes an introduction, and covers the advantages (cheap and available), benefits (reduced stress, pain relief, improved sleep, fewer illnesses) and much more, before getting to the juicy stuff in Chapter Eight.

Chapter Eight lists the seven massage strokes (different strokes for different folks), and these are:

Squeezing & Rolling
Pressing & Rolling
Rock & Rolling (yes, you read that right)

It goes on to describe and illustrate the correct way to perform each one, complete with tips and good advice. Later chapters show you how to apply the strokes to your entire body for a complete self-massage and when to use these techniques. There's even a chapter on massage tools (none involving batteries - but they DO mention a hard plastic, seven inch one shaped like a dolphin), shower massage techniques and information on when NOT to indulge in self-massage.

The techniques are easy to master, and after a stressful day, the routines for hands, shoulders, neck and feet are extremely relaxing.

Packed with photographs of healthy and fit people doing yoga, iron man events, and yes, lots of stroking - this book provides a useful self-massage guide for everyone, regardless if the most athletic thing you do is kick your shoes off vigorously, Fosbury Flop onto the couch and stretch for the remote. My only request would be for the pictures and illustrations to be printed in color, even though the crisp, clear B&W photos are gorgeous enough in their own right.

I'd write more, but it's time for my self-massage. Gotta go Rock & Roll!

Rated: 4.5 stars

Amanda Richards

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review by . October 11, 2008
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review by . March 03, 2008
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review by . February 27, 2008
OK, so I am not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I do try to exercise frequently and I do get normal aches and pains. And who doesn't love a massage? Rich Poley has designed a book that has a little something in it for everyone. Whether you are a tri-athlete or a couch warmer, there are massages in this book, probably more than a few that you can use regularly.    The book has 20 chapters broken into three parts:  Part 1: Why Every Athlete Needs Massage  Part …
review by . February 19, 2008
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review by . February 06, 2008
For those of you who don't know I practice yoga on a every other day basis and after reading this book it turn out to compliment each other. Although often thought of as a technique that requires two people, massage on yourself is also beneficial and can be done at any time during the day. Most people practice the art of self-massage without thinking about it, whether they are rubbing their forehead because of a headache, scrubbing themselves with a loofah sponge in the shower, or rubbing their …
About the reviewer
Amanda Richards ()
Ranked #41
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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About this book


Massage away your aches and pains. Self-Massage for Athletes will have you feeling better fast by showing you how to apply the same strokes and techniques used by professional massage therapists. With chapters on acupressure, trigger point therapy, shower massage, and more. Clearly written and beautifully photographed, this handy guide is your invitation to join the millions of active people who already use self-massage to improve the way they feel and perform. Complete with more than 100 photos, 176 pages, and index.

About the Author
Rich Poley is the world's leading authority on self-massage for athletes for good reason. He enjoys running, cycling, yoga, Pilates, swimming, weight training, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, triathlon, and more. Put them altogether and he needs all the massages he can get.

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ISBN-10: 0977608603 (perfect pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780977608607 (perfect pbk.)
Photographer: Tim Benko
Author: Rich Poley
Genre: Health, Mind & Body
Publisher: Two Hand Press, LLC
Date Published: February 10, 2007
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