You know the feeling all too well. The first few hours of working are fine. But before you know it—whether you’re sitting on the couch or at your desk—the butt numbness never fails to creep in. And when it comes to getting rid of it, using some self-massage techniques on your bum is really the only way to go.
“Sitting without a break contracts your hip flexors, which attach in the pelvic and sacral region—think deep under the glutes—and often create stiffness and mobility issues,” says Laura Krohn, MPH, director of spa and wellness at Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness at La Cantera Resort & Spa. “Massaging the bum not only releases tension in the area, but also helps relieve low back aches and leg numbing that develops from sitting for long periods of time.”
Aside from helping with pain and numbness, Krohn says trying some self-massage techniques also supports an increase in blood circulation and can aid in added oxygen delivery to soft tissue. Plus, it helps you de-stress and helps boost your mood. “The simple act of touch on our skin physiologically stimulates the feel-good hormone oxytocin,” she says.
The next time you need to tackle butt numbness, these two self-massage techniques from Krohn definitely won’t fail you.
The best massage therapist-approved ways to self-massage your bum
Pressure point method
According to Krohn, all you need to do pressure-point work is your fingers. It can be done in a chair or lying down.
- Sit on an open-backed chair or lie down on the floor.
- Open your hands, fingers stretched widely.
- Place your thumbs into the sacrum, oriented in a horizontal line just below the arch of the lower back. Your other fingers will be wrapped around toward your hips.
- Firmly press your thumbs into the sacrum and hold for a count of three. Move out toward the hip by an inch at a time and repeat.
- Continue moving the thumb toward the hip an inch at a time until you reach the top of the hip area.
- Repeat three times.
The tennis ball technique
If you want an even deeper release of the glutes, Krohn recommends the tennis ball technique.
- Lie down on a mat or somewhere you’re comfortable.
- Place the tennis ball under your bum cheek. Start with the middle of the bum cheeks, which is fleshier (it has more soft tissue).
- Roll the ball slightly up to the opposite side of the bum cheek you’re massaging.
- Gradually roll back onto the ball, adjusting depending on the pressure you want or your comfort level. This can be a sensitive area, so go slow. Remember to breathe in deeply and release the breath as you push into the tennis ball.
- Slightly move the ball to another area that’s tight. You’ll be able to tell if it’s tight because it will be tender.
- Repeat the sequence around one bum cheek until you feel that the muscles are relaxed.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
For some full-body relief, try these yoga poses that feel like a massage:
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