How to self-massage your arms after a day pf paddling

When you’re serious about kayaking, you tend to put your body through quite a lot. All that paddling can really wear you out and leave your arms aching both during kayaking and for the next day. But you can lessen those muscle pains by applying a bit of massage therapy as you continue along in your kayak. If you want to prevent pulling a muscle or causing more pain it’s vital that you take care of your muscles when on the water.


This is where massage therapy comes in. Numerous studies have shown the cumulative benefits that regular massages can do for you. It doesn’t take long to apply a few self-massage techniques to your arms which can help you make that extra mile. If the pain and discomfort ever becomes too much on a kayaking trip, follow these steps to help you through. Also, it’s worth making massage therapy by a trained masseur a part of your weekly routine. Adam Harris is one of the top practitioners in Vancouver and provides a range if different massage services.

Whether you’re on water or land you should be able to apply these techniques when your muscle pains become too much to bare.

Technique 1. Hand Strokes

Start by running the opposite hand along your arm in long flowing strokes from wrist to shoulder and around again. Keep doing this until you can feel your arm beginning to warm up then switch to smaller strokes around your forearms and upper arms. Repeat this process until your arm begins to feel better

Technique 2. Use a Tool

This is a much more effective method for relieving muscle tension, you just need the right sort of tool. Find a 1-3lb object that has both a smooth surface and an edge. A titanium water bottle is perfect for this or even a small food can.

Rest the arm on your thigh or the kayak and press down on your arm with your tool. Slowly roll it back and forth across parts of your arm until you feel tension in certain areas. These are your pressure points and where the pain is coming from. Continue applying pressure over these points in a circular motion. This will stimulate blood flow and oxygen through your tissues which will help release tension and reduce soreness.

If this isn’t enough to relieve the tension then you can apply another part of this technique. Rest your arm on something so that the outside of the forearm is facing you. Begin to probe the area below the elbow for any pressure points. Once you’ve found it take your tool and with the edge apply pressure to this point. As you do so stretch and flex your wrist to stretch the forearm muscle. This may be a bit uncomfortable but it’s the best way for relieving tension in a hurry. The pain will move around your forearm so follow it where it goes

These techniques are only meant for making fast relief on the fly. For a more through treatment of muscle pains see a trainer masseur who can apply more effective and longer lasting techniques