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Long hours sitting in an airport or on a train.
Miles of walking.
Travel is tough on the body.
About eight years ago I started battling pain whenever I traveled.
The large muscles up and down my leg and hip would get hard and tight, making sitting, standing or even sleeping painful.
Massages, Jacuzzi baths, ibuprofen and yoga alleviated the pain, but temporarily.
While all were helpful, no remedy really provided the "release" I felt I needed to undo those tight spots.
A physical therapist suggested pressure point therapy as a way to help the muscles relax.
She used a device called a Thera Cane, a deep-pressure massage device that's shaped like a large candy cane, to press down hard on my tight spots and help them release.
Viola! I experienced some relief.
However, the bulky Thera Cane isn't really travel friendly.
And it requires a second person to use.
I wondered what might work while traveling, even alone?
The ends of the Thera Cane are studded with hard, little plastic balls -- wandering through the aisles of a sporting goods store one day I stumbled across a possible solution: a Wiffle Ball!
For those who aren't familiar with them, the Wiffle Ball (there are a number of imitators) is a perforated, rubbery-plastic ball about the size of a baseball.
For kids, especially in the United States, they're used to play baseball in safe and confined areas.
I bought a three-pack for about $1.50 and tried one out on my legs -- it worked great.
Wiffle Balls are lightweight, durable and inexpensive -- the perfect accessory for on-the-road pressure point relief.
Following the exercises my physical therapist showed me with the Thera Cane, I came up with five "do anywhere" moves for instant tension relief.
1. Foot relief
Sit in a chair or on the edge of a bed, place the Wiffle Ball under your foot (starting in the arch) and slowly roll your foot back and forth over the ball for about two minutes.
The massage motion will increase blood flow and help release tightness in the arch.
2. Back rub