Poor blood circulation has been blamed for a number of conditions affecting the legs, including leg fatigue, leg cramps, peripheral arterial disease, varicose veins and shin splints. If you are suffering from chronic leg pains, it is likely your problem is attributable to any of these causes.
Oftentimes when we feel pain in the legs and feet, our first instinct is to try and touch the area to soothe away the discomfort. This is called massage. Unless it is something caused by diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, varicose veins and similar conditions of comparable magnitude, massage therapy for the legs can bring a whole new dimension to your overall wellbeing.
Leg massage stimulates blood vessels to dilate, warms the surrounding tissues and makes blood less viscous. This is how massage is able to improve blood circulation, which in turn helps speed up the healing of muscles.
1. Lubricate the Target Area with Your Favorite Oil or Lotion
Leg massage is best administered with the proper amount of lubrication. Use your favorite oil. This will help your hands and fingers to glide effortlessly, preventing your skin from getting pinched in certain positions.
The legs are prone to circulation problems. That is because nutrient and oxygen-carrying blood has a much greater distance to travel going to your lower extremities and back to the heart. So it is important to employ a strategy as to how the massage will be administered to maximize its effectiveness while ensuring a soothing and relaxing experience.
2. Use an Upward Stroke
The returning blood must overcome gravity before it can reach the heart. For this reason, the stroke of the massage must for the most part be directed upward. This will assist blood vessels in channeling blood back to the heart.
To be effective use a moderate amount of friction to heat up the massaged area and dilate the blood vessels. At the same time use a good amount of pressure to encourage blood to flow upward back to the heart.
3. Alternate Between Short and Long Strokes
Long gentle strokes are typically used to create some friction to raise the temperature in the target area. This not only prepares the tissue for the massage, but also helps release dopamine, a natural painkiller produced by the body.
Alternate this with shorter but deeper strokes to help the blood circulate better. This alternating long and short strokes is said to give an immediate feeling of wellbeing to the recipient of the massage.
Start with your thigh from just below your pelvis. Move your hands in a gentle circular fashion and gradually work your way down until you’ve massage the entire thigh.
Always make sure to punctuate the kneading action with an upward stroke to open up the upward circulatory pathway.
Next, knead the ankle and the foot. Employ the same upward motion to boost circulation.
4. Do the Back of the Legs
The back of the legs need special attention as this is the area that is often compressed and deprived of circulation when sitting for long hours. Our goal as usual is to stimulate and encourage stagnant blood to circulate.
Again warm up the area with a combination of short and long kneading action. Be careful when doing short strokes as you do not want to go in too deep all of a sudden. Increase the kneading pressure gradually as your tissue warms up. It’s nice to add a little circular motion here and there to relax tired knotted leg muscles.
5. Thumb Kneading
Thumb kneading is one of the most effective leg techniques for helping rejuvenate tired aching muscles. This is a particularly great relaxing technique for massaging the calves. If you are prone to leg cramps, thumb kneading must be applied with a swirling circular motion.
Find the widest part of the calf and put pressure there with your thumb. Be gentle at first. Employing a circular motion, increase the pressure gradually. However, don’t press too hard you are causing pain or discomfort. Do this along the entire length of the calves for about three minutes. Finish the leg massage with alternating long and short strokes.
You’ve learned the basics of giving yourself leg massage; you can now begin experimenting with other massage techniques. Giving yourself regular leg massage is part of staying healthy and fit. However, for a more relaxing experience, you can use a portable cordless leg massager to do the work for you.
If you would like to incorporate regular leg massage into your lifestyle but don’t have access to a professional therapist, then your next best solution is to use a portable, cordless leg massager.
The Verseo Air Compression Leg Massager helps improve circulation, relieves pain in legs and arms due to too much or too little movement, and offers 3 intensity settings for your complete comfort and satisfaction. Use this cordless massager anytime, anywhere and see the difference it makes in your life.