After a tiring working day, getting a leg massage can play a vital role in making your body relaxed and refreshed. However, you might have a question about how to massage legs on your own.
Though professional therapists’ support is always beneficial, it might not be feasible for all to visit a spa regularly. It can also be costly. So, to do so at home with the help of your partner, you must be aware of the procedure, techniques, benefits, and possible drawbacks.
In this article, you will learn about all aspects of leg massages to perform them accurately and enjoy maximum benefits.
Before digging deep into the importance and effectiveness of leg massages, it will be vital to know how this massage work. In general, they are therapeutic for the body and mind. They promote relaxation by activating the nervous system for an involuntary response to a massaging touch.
In this way, a leg and foot massage relax muscles, slows down the heart rate and breathing, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the production of stress hormones by initiating the production of serotonin. Consequently, you feel your mind more easily, stress, and anxiety-free.
The physical effect of this massage is the relaxation of soft tissues, including ligaments, tendons, and connective and muscle tissues. It also improves blood and lymph circulation. During the massage, the chances of painful contractions and spasms get reduced due to the relaxation of muscle tissues.
Leg massage is a process of applying selective pressure on the selective parts of the feet and legs. Massaging legs is beneficial in several ways. The following are some undeniable benefits of this massage type.
A soring leg is a clear symptom of leg pain. An intense leg massage benefits when it acts around the ankle. Basically, it helps in relieving the tension in joints and muscles and provides pain relief. Similarly, if you feel pain in your knees, this massage technique works really well.
These massages lose the muscles and knead the connective tissues, which also helps in improving muscle relaxation and reducing pain.
Our extremely weary lifestyle significantly declines blood flow and movement in our legs. In this regard, massaging legs is a beneficial way to go. A simple leg massager for circulation improves blood movement in the muscles.
So, if you are facing issues with blood flow or blood pressure, this massage therapy can help you.
Stress and anxiety are the most disturbing ailments that cause restlessness in life. They are also major reasons behind the lack of quality sleep and insomnia. Leg massage therapies are also effective when it comes to getting rid of stress and anxiety.
As these massages promote relaxation and improve dopamine production in our body, they effectively reduce stress and anxiety and make recipients feel happy and fresh.
If you are fond of exercising, you may have witnessed the soreness after a high-intensity workout that might demotivate you from further exercising. This soreness is also called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
A leg massage can help you treat DOMS and speed your muscle recovery. These massages are also effective for decreasing the expansion and aiding in healing damaged muscles.
Correction of posture is also important when it comes to avoiding muscle stiffness and chronic pains in the back and legs. According to experts, getting leg massage therapies regularly always helps in improving the postural alignment of the lower back and hips.
Are you a sports person who wants to avoid injuries like hamstring, cramps, or muscle stiffness? Getting a leg massage can be a great activity to prevent such injuries. It helps increase mobility and blood supply and stretch muscle tissues.
Relaxation of muscles significantly decreases the probability of leg injuries while performing an exercise or participating in any sports game.
There are multiple techniques to do a leg massage at home and at a massage center. 6 prominent techniques of massaging legs that professional therapists use are listed below.
Warmup twists should be the primary thing to do if you are just starting with a leg massage. This will help you prepare your legs and feet for upcoming movements and exercises. You can do so in the following steps.
- Start by placing your palms on the side of your foot and pulling the right side forward while pushing the left side backward.
- Now do the opposite of it. Pull forward the left-hand side of your foot while pushing backward the right-hand side of it.
- Repeat the twisting process and work your way up from ankle to toe.
If you want to improve the flexibility of your leg muscles, this massage technique can help you get the job done. Here is how you can perform it.
- Grip the heel of your foot in one hand.
- Twist all the toes of your feet back and forth at the same time with the other end.
- Repeat this motion by increasing pressure slowly and moving the toes to their full range of motion.
If you are looking for a massage technique specific to relieving leg pain, the pressure points massage technique is the best option. To perform this massage technique;
- Support the topside of the foot with one hand while using the other hand’s thumb to press and release the instep.
- Continue this movement gradually while pressing and releasing it on the rear side of the heel.
This leg massage technique is found beneficial for relieving pressure on the Achilles tendon. You can apply this massage technique in the following steps.
- Hold the Achilles tendon between the index finger and thumb of your hands.
- Now go for the stroking motion down to the heel.
- Repeat this activity multiple times.
The knuckle massage technique is effective for massaging the bottom of the foot. You can perform it in the below-listed steps.
- Grasp the backside of the foot with one hand.
- Now make a full fist of the other hand and place it on the bottom of the foot for the kneading purpose.
- While kneading with knuckles, apply moderate pressure.
- You should repeat this process all over the backside of the foot.
The technique that can give your leg and foot massage a finishing touch is stroke massage, which you can do at the end of your massage session. To execute this technique,
- Place the palms of your hands on either side of the foot.
- Then softly pull forward the right side of the foot while pushing back the left side of the foot.
- After that, do vice versa of the previous step.
- While doing so, keep the pressure low, gradually lower it, and gradually lift the hands from the foot.
- Repeat this and go from ankle to toe.
Though the prominent techniques of leg massages are discussed above, here is how you can give a leg muscle massage to recipients.
- Get the recipient laid down on the back and pick one foot.
- Apply the leg massage oils to prevent friction during the process.
- Hold the sole of the recipient’s foot in the palm of your hand and massage it with the thumb of the same hand.
- You should move from the feet up to the calves and then reach the hips.
- Be careful with pressure around the stiff muscles and leg knots in the sensitive areas of the legs, like where joints and bones are near the skin surface.
- Now you should be using the palms and fingers of your hand to vary surface area and pressure. Always pull or push towards the heart.
- Perform the massage for about 5 minutes on one leg and then go for the other for the same time span.
There are plenty of things to consider while giving someone a leg massage. Here are some important points discussed below that you should not ignore to provide the best massage experience to your massage recipients.
Caring for the comfort of the massage recipients like Meridian Spa is of great importance. It would be best to ask them about the acceptable pressure intensity, the height they allow you to go, and undressing. Go to the extent your massage recipient is comfortable.
While giving someone a leg massage, be gentle if the recipient’s legs are swollen. Go with light pressure to swollen legs. You should ensure that the respective person is comfortable with the pressure and kneading you are applying.
Put the right volumes of pressure for the right time interval on soring areas of the leg and continue the process if it feels good to the recipient.
Leg massages are always found beneficial, but this might not be true for the people listed below.
- Pregnant women
- People with deep vein thrombosis or blood clotting issues
- People with legs with water retention
- People with open wounds
- Diabetics and high blood pressure patients
- Osteoporosis suffering people
- People prone to bruising
- People with lower platelet count and those who are on blood thinners
If your massage recipient has any of these medical issues, do not give this treatment at all.
Massaging legs is beneficial if it is done rightly. The above guide helps give someone leg massages in a very professional way. If you are still confused or unsure, get assistance from professionals at Meridian Spa in this respect.