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This is going to sound weird, but I always travel with a tennis ball. I know people who cannot travel without their special pillow (recalling memories of a 50-year-old senior partner at a firm where I used to work always travelled with a huge vintage LV travel bag and a suit bag containing his special pillow!) or even scented candles; but my thing is a tennis ball. Why? Because a tennis ball is a fantastic little tool for massaging the little knots that you inevitably get from hours upon hours sitting on a plane or train. Last year I travelled to eleven different countries; that’s a lot of time to build up aches and pains in the body! And I can never really tell whether the “massage service” provided at some of the hotels are … you know, actual massage services. So I give myself a massage using a tennis ball. It’s perfect because it’s small and light, yet the massage can be as firm as you want it to be, plus it can get into the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.

Tennis ball

My little ball of magic

This is how I use it: to massage my back and that hard to reach place beneath the shoulder blade, I put the tennis ball against a wall and I lean my back against the ball to hold it up. I then simply move my body to roll the ball around to find and massage the knots. I adjust the pressure simply by pushing up harder against the ball. For my glutes: to massage my left glute, for example, I will put the ball on the ground and sit on it with my left glute on top of the ball. I cross my left ankle over my right knee (forming a triangle between my left leg and right thigh) and slowly roll around on the ball to find and massage the knots. To massage my foot: I put one foot on top of the ball and roll it around, adjusting the pressure by stepping harder on it. By holding it in my hand, I can massage the front of my thighs and chest… practically anywhere else on the body! It’s absolutely magic.

Do you have any handy little travel tips – weird or otherwise? I’d love to hear about it.

bisous, mon ami

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