Two months after September 11, de-stressing still feels like a big priority. Mini-massage joints are popping up in office tower basements, and we've never seen more subway ads for massage school discount services. Relaxation is something you can also do at home, with the help of some simple tools.
The classic squishy ball is great for working out your fingers after a long session on the keyboard. There are some great-looking squishies at Know Your Body Best (1, $4.95, Carrot Common, 348 Danforth, 416-466-1515, and others), a store where the pros shop.
The brilliant acrylic Vibra Massager (2) helps work out kinks along your spine, $19.95 at the Great American Back Rub (BCE Place, 416-214-9603, and others).
The electronic Pocket Therapist stimulates muscles, which some people find aids in relaxation, strengthening and pain management (3, Showcase, Eaton Centre, 270 Yonge, $139.99). Use your body's weight to help it heal by rolling on the nubbed Dyna-Flex ball (4, $45.95, Great American Back Rub).
The Helping Hand may look goofy, but it's a serious tool (5, $9.95, Great American Back Rub). The Body Shop's H-shaped wooden model -- a fair trade initiative -- does the job with style (6, $9.95, 71 Wellesley East, 416-323-1878, and others). The colourful Fantastick Fingers is great for rolling out knots all over your person (7, $12.95, Know Your Body Best).
The Thera Cane helps get at shiatsu pressure points (8, Know Your Body Best, $56.95). Sex toy store Come as You Are sells a lot of the classic Magic Wand (9) to people who actually want to use it as a massage aid -- in fact, manufacturer Hitachi tells therapists to send their patients there, since it's always in stock ($75, 701 Queen West).
Traditional Bongers improve circulation, beat out knots and are kind of fun, too (10, $19.98, Know Your Body Best). Get your circulation going with some loofa-like textured gloves (11), $7.95 at the Body Shop.