April 3, 2021
One of the most used body parts is your legs. Whether you sit all day, stand up for the most part of your job, or you’re an athlete, your legs can take a beating at the end of the day. That is why a complete leg massage does wonders for your tired feet and legs. But do you have the time to have a leg massage every day? Or even once a week?
Let’s begin this guide by talking about what a self leg massage is. A massage is about putting pressure on your soft tissues to relieve pain, tension, and boost elasticity and circulation. The results of a good massage include lowered levels of stress and anxiety, relief from muscle tensions and aches, and even relief from muscle pain. While a professional masseuse can give you these benefits, the next best thing is a self-massage, where you practice basic massage movements on your own legs, from your feet to your upper thigh.
While a leg massage is generally beneficial, there are some individuals who might need to avoid giving themselves a leg massage. These include pregnant women who have a higher risk of blood clots when their inner thighs are massaged; people who are suffering from deep vein thrombosis; those who have open wounds, cuts, or rashes on their legs; those who are suffering from swelling on their feet or legs, and anyone who may have an issue with veins, bloating, swelling, and severe physical injury.
If you don’t suffer from any of these conditions and you’re not a pregnant woman, then this self leg massage guide will greatly help you in your journey of healing, recovery, and relaxation.
Before we begin with the steps and tips to doing a self leg massage, you need to know the basic massage movements typically practiced by professional massage therapists. Though there are many different variations to the movements, as well as different types of massages, these basic strokes are the easiest and simplest to do especially if you’ve never done a self massage before. So let’s get started.
Effleurage is performed using flat hands and fingers in a long, gliding stroke. The amount of pressure is somewhere between firm to light and is known to increase the temperature of the muscles. An increase in muscle temperature leads to an increase in blood flow, improving elasticity and flexibility, and the release of tension. It is also known to boost lymphatic circulation, which releases toxins and waste from the body.
Vibration is the rocking of certain body parts. This could involve shaking the arms, legs, or whole body. It is known to remove tension and improves sensations of relaxation.
The friction massage technique makes use of the fingertips and thumb. It can be movements along the muscle fiber or against it, or in a circular motion. Friction is also known to increase the temperature of the muscles, reducing tension and tightness, alleviating aches and pains, muscle spasms, and reduces muscle restriction.
Tapotement is a percussive stroke using the hands to stimulate a rhythmic application on the muscles and nerves. It can be done by cupping the hands with flat palms or using a soft fist, or with the fingers interlaced and using them to apply pressure on your muscles.
Petrissage makes use of several different movements, such as kneading, rolling, and wringing to work on the muscle’s soft tissues. It is done by lifting and squeezing the body’s soft tissue, which frees up knotted and tightened muscles. It is also known to improve blood and lymphatic circulation.
While these are the 5 basic massage techniques, you can also make use of devices that can apply pressure on your body. These can include rollers, balls, foot massagers, and other objects that you can press on your body’s soft tissue and muscles.
Are you ready to start giving yourself a leg massage using these massage techniques? Without the use of devices, you can use your own hand to give your tired legs a much-needed massage. These are simple steps to relieving tension and stress from your leg muscles and are in no way used as an alternative to physical therapy after an injury.
These easy-to-do tips can give you some form of relief and relaxation, in the event that you desperately want to relax your legs but don’t have the time or resources to go to a professional massage therapist. or you can’t find one near you. Self leg massage can do wonders for your stress levels and mild foot and leg sores. It can help cut stress, boost your energy levels, improve blood circulation, and keep your muscles and tissues healthy. A leg massage can also activate your nervous system to produce endorphin hormones, which can lift your mood and give you a calming sensation.
Before we get started with the steps, there are a few things you need to know. Oil can be used on your legs to aid with relaxation, as well as to make it easier to do long, gliding strokes. If you want to apply stronger pressure, your elbows can provide more powerful strokes. If you want lighter pressure, you can use your palms and fingers.
For mid to firmer pressure, your forearm, fist, the heel of the hand, and knuckles can be used.
Let’s get started with the steps on administering a self leg massage:
Step 1: Find a comfortable position. You can lie down or sit on a chair as long as it is comfortable for you to reach and bend over to your feet and other parts of your legs.
Step 2: Start your leg massage with your feet. Using your knuckles, gently stroke your feet from your toes to the ankle. You can also use your fingers to press on different parts of your sole.
Step 3: Massage your calves. Start by doing gliding strokes from your ankle to the entire length of your calves. Start the stroke from the bottom up, to improve blood circulation directed towards your heart. This direction of strokes helps to improve oxygen circulation throughout your legs.
Step 4: Massage the side of your lower legs, moving your way up to your thighs. Use a loose fist to make long, gentle strokes from the side of your lower legs to the side of your thighs, slowly stroking your back thigh, then moving towards the front thigh area. You can also use your palm to massage the entire area of your thighs.
You can repeat these leg massage techniques until you are relieved, relaxed, and achieve the decrease in tension that you’re looking for. A good 30 minutes to one hour of self leg massage will do wonders for your leg health and overall body relaxation.
While a self leg massage is generally simple and direct, a foot massage can involve more strokes and massage techniques. There has been scientific evidence to the benefits of a foot massage, such as relief of lower back pain, reducing stress levels, helping to reduce blood pressure levels and other health benefits.
Beginning your leg massage with an extensive foot massage can be more helpful rather than giving your feet a quick and simple rub down. Here is a simple massage technique you can do on your feet using your bare hands:
Step 1: Sit on a comfortable chair.
Step 2: Put one foot on top of the footsie thigh. Apply lotion or oil if desired.
Step 3: Hold your ankle with your thumb and forefinger, and glide them towards the edge of your heel. This part of your foot is known as the Achilles Tendon, and this is the area that gets the most tension and aches from exercising or standing for long periods of time. It can also be strained or become sore from wearing high heels for several hours.
Step 4: Using your knuckles, create a circular motion all over the sole of your feet.
Step 5: Rotate each of your toes.
Step 6: Using your knuckles, apply pressure in a gliding stroke from your toes to your ankle.
This foot massage is quick, effective in relieving aches and tension, and easy to do. If you don’t want to use your hands or fingers, you can also use leg and foot massagers to do the trick. These can be electric or mechanical leg and foot massagers with rollers or indentations, or heat therapy that can provide the very same benefits of an actual professional massage therapist doing work on your feet and legs.
These devices can be bought online or at specialty shops and are great aids for self leg massages at home.
Foam rollers are a simple aid to leg massage at home as they're made of high-density foam that you can rub on the soft tissues of your legs. They can help decrease tiredness and can even increase athletic performance. They're not ideal to use over a joint, however, as well as over bones. They may irritate your joints and the tissue that protects your bones. You can lie down on a floor, place your calves on the roller and start rolling as the foam gently puts pressure on your calf muscles. You can also place the sole of your feet on the roller and glide it to apply light pressure on your feet.
These are electric devices where you place your legs in the machine, and rollers will start to move in a circular motion, massaging different parts so your legs. Some of these machines can reach up to your knees while some machines can only cover slightly above your ankles.
These are typically used by professional physical therapists but have been made available to the general public for commercial use. The ones you can use at home covers your legs and provides a compressing motion on your legs, as well as featuring oscillating mechanisms that provide circular pressure for compression and massage effects.
Generally, leg massagers are safe to use. It only becomes a health hazard when it’s not used properly., A good 30 minutes of massage in these electric massagers should be enough for most people. However, if the intensity is too high or the unit is too tight or used for more than an hour, muscle damage might occur.
A thigh massage can relieve tension and stress within the muscles and relieve sensations of pain and aches. It is especially recommended for athletes or those who exercise regularly. A thigh massage is focused on the hamstring and quadriceps muscles, which are found on the upper half of the leg, both front and back.
Benefits of a thigh massage can include improved circulation, injury protection, improved recovery, and decreases muscle aches and pains. Four massage techniques can be used on a thigh massage, which are: Effleurage, Kneading, Friction, and Wringing.
Effleurage, as we’ve mentioned earlier, is the movement of long, gliding strokes. Kneading is the movement of squeezing and pulling the thigh’s soft tissues. Friction, as we’ve mentioned, uses the fingertips and thumbs to apply pressure on specific parts of the thigh, especially on areas with muscle knots and tension. And lastly, wringing is the movement of pulling the muscles on both sides of the thigh and pushing them towards the middle. Wringing stretches the thigh muscles, helping to relieve tightness and relax the tissues.