Getting a leg massage can be an effective way to obtain relief from cold feet, leg cramps, and leg pains due to lack of circulation, sedentary lifestyle, tension or overexertion. To give yourself a soothing and comfortable massage, find a quiet and peaceful place where you can relax and rejuvenate.
If you’re suffering from chronic leg pain, consult your doctor before undergoing massage therapy as the pain may be due to an underlying health issue.
Now before you begin, it is best to have a plan on how to go about massaging the legs for pain relief and better blood circulation. Visualize the whole process from beginning to end. The legs and feet suffer the most from poor circulation since they are located furthest from the heart, and so it takes longer for oxygenated blood to get there. Plus, the returning blood must surge against gravitational pull in order to reach the heart and be pumped back again to supply nutrients and oxygen to the entire body.
So in addition to alleviating leg pains, your goal in massaging your legs is to help increase circulation, thus helping the heart and lungs in keeping your body healthy and strong.
Kneading Techniques and Direction
Use a combination of pressure and direction. Varying the amount of pressure will encourage the blood vessels to dilate and allow blood to circulate more freely, helping the circulatory system function more efficiently.
Warm up the legs with long, shallow kneading action to prepare them to receive deep tissue massage. As the legs warm up with the gentle kneading action, gradually increase the pressure, alternating between long and short strokes for a more satisfying massage.
1. Emphasize the Upstroke
Spread some massage oil, balm or cream on the legs. Be sure to apply enough to ensure your hands and fingers can just glide on your skin and not cause irritation brought on by too much friction.
Massage the feet and calves first. Work your way up gradually towards the thigh. Use a combination of circular and linear kneading action. This will stimulate the blood vessels to dilate, improving the circulation in the area. As you move your hands from the leg toward the thigh, you are helping the un-oxygenated blood to return to the heart.
This is why we always use kneading motions that favor an upward direction to encourage stagnant blood to flow back to the heart.
2. Kneading the Calves
Place on hand on your heel while applying an upward kneading action to the calf with the other. Begin at the heel area and use your fingers, palm and thumbs to massage the heel and calves in an upward direction toward the heart.
3. Ankle Rotation
With one hand still holding the heel, rotate your ankle three to five times clockwise and then counterclockwise. This massage action loosens up the ankle joints, stretches the surrounding muscles and promotes better circulation.
4. Thumb Circles
Massage the dorsal portion of your feet using thumb circles. Start from the toe. Apply pressure with your thumb in a circular fashion. Keep pushing your thumb upward toward your ankle and legs.
5. Tug and Twist
Tug and twist each toe between your thumb and forefinger. Spend about three seconds on each toe and then move on to the next until you have completed massaging all 10 of your toes.
6. Toe Grind
Massage the ball of your foot, moving towards underneath the toes using a gentle grinding or swirling motion with your thumbs. This particular technique has been known to relieve stress and fatigue. So when you are feeling a little tired these are the points to target with your circular massage.
7. Knuckle Knead
Make a fist and knead the arch of your foot using your knuckles. Employ a gentle circular motion for a soothing, relaxing massage.
8. Finishing the Massage
Go back to using long light strokes. Always make sure you are sweeping the pressure toward the heart. You can also use more intense strokes to encourage better circulation.
Allow the pressure to get lighter and lighter when finishing the massage. This will soothe the muscles and nerve endings in your legs.
And now as a final thought; there will be times when we desperately need a massage, but have no access to a massage therapist. This is where portable, cordless massagers come in.
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.