Have a Ball and Release Stress with This Simple Massage Technique

by Aileen

red playground ballPicture by David Morris Flickr

(Part two of the three part Simple Stress Release series)

I would be denying you a true gem if I didn’t share this with you. I call it the magical ball. The photo above is a picture of it, and although there are many massage balls in existence, this little playground ball rocks! It’s the Mikasa Playground Ball p500. You can get them at your local sporting goods store or online. At the local store the price of the ball is only $3.99

I don’t know specifically why or how it works, but I do know that it works and it works wonders!

I’m a huge fan the Thai massage and Deep Tissue massage but they can get expensive. At the same time I don’t like having tight muscles and knots. The ball is my at home affordable solution.

How I met the Magical Ball

It was sometime last year when I was in Pilates Class and the instructor brought in these red playground balls for us to use. I was doing my best to keep my balance on two of them when one rolled up between my shoulder blades and I felt the tension in my shoulders release.

I thought of G (my husband) and how his shoulder and upper back muscles are always in knots which, happens to most people who are on the computer as much as he is. After class, I went to the local sporting goods shop to get a foam roll, which I also love, and I saw that magical little red ball. They were about four dollars, so I bought one for him and two for me.

When he came home from work I introduced him to the ball. At first he gave me a perplexed look and a confused nod. I plopped down on the floor to demonstrate how to use it and when he tried it, he was happily surprised. He said it worked better than some of the deep tissue massages he’s gotten because it goes deeper into the shoulder blade region. Even today he says the ball is the best gift I’ve ever given him.

How to use the ball

(1) Inflate the Ball if you don’t already have a ball pump then don’t forget to purchase one. The ball will slowly deflate over time and you will want to keep about 1.5 pounds of air in it.

(2) Lie Down on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent with your pelvis raised above the floor. This will allow your feet and legs leverage to move the ball.

(3) Place the Ball on your lower back or up between your shoulder blades. It is also a nice neck rest. I don’t recommend having the ball directly on your spine, better to have it work into the muscle.

(4) The Shoulder Position you may want your hands behind your head as if you are doing a small sit-up. Have your feet are flat on the floor, your pelvis raised off of the ground, this increases the pressure on the ball and muscle. Use your legs to move you over the ball.

(5) Experience the Release by staying in it as long as you feel the muscle and tension release. Have fun and explore. Your body will tell you where you need the ball the most.

I know some people like to use tennis balls. I find them more uncomfortable and there placement needs to be more specific. The playground ball is much softer and you don’t need to be as precise.

Please share your favorite massage tips and stress relief tips. Since, “Variety is the spice of life” we might as well mix it up.


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean Sarauer July 7, 2010

Inexpensive and simple! My favorite things :) Ah, but wait . . . my inner minimalist is reminding me of my agreement not to bring more items into the house. This looks lovely though!
Jean Sarauer´s last [type] ..How to be Your Own Blog Post Fairy


Aileen July 8, 2010

I completely understand the wise advice of the inner minimalist. I strive for minimal and although I’m not yet a minimalist, it has helped me to become far, far more minimal than I would have been if I wasn’t striving for it.


LOUISE July 8, 2010

I can’t wait to try this out! It should be fun :).


Aileen July 8, 2010

Oh please share your experience when you try it! I’m curious to hear how you find it.


Angela Artemis July 8, 2010

I never heard of this wonder ball! I can only imagine that if feels like heaven under your back and shoulder blades though. I’ve only had a massage once in my life and that was on vacation years and years ago, so I think this sounds like a great solution and so much less expensive!

The photos you used were great illustrations of just what to do too!

Thank you so much for introducing me to something so valuable!


Katie July 9, 2010

Aileen, I have something similar but it’s more like a tube shape. Does the same thing. It is amazingly like getting a massage, but you have to do the work so it gets the core active too. Great tip.
Katie´s last [type] ..5 Tips to Help You Get Back in the Game


Manal July 11, 2010

Hi Aileen,
I have been using something similar. A few years back I bought a small set of two balls and a little book called the Miracle Ball Method. It is really great for managing back pain and releasing muscle tension.

I haven’t been using it much lately but I think it’s time to revisit. If the little balls I have get worn out, I will get the one you suggested. Thanks for the tips.
Manal´s last [type] ..Is It Time to Stop Playing Catch-up


bellevue chiropractic October 10, 2010

This is a nice article. Thanks for sharing your informative write up. Looks like this type of exercise is a must try for managing back pains and releasing muscle tension.


Amy Putkonen August 2, 2011

Great idea, Aileen!

We use a tennis ball but it is a bit shocking to the muscles. I will try this. We also bought an agate sphere (slightly larger than a tennis ball) and we rub each other’s back with it. It feels great and does wonders for our backs and gives my husband and I another opportunity to do something nice for each other.


AliceGaunt August 3, 2016

hi Aileen!
i found your tips of releasing stress with ball very interesting . I would love to share this information with my friends.will look for more interesting tips from you.
god bless you.
Alice Gaunt


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