It's no secret that taking care of yourself can be expensive.
Whether you're looking for a proper massage therapist or you're considering a personal massage chair, there's probably come at least one point in your research where you've looked at a price tag and balked.
Maybe you've even thought to yourself, "What's the point? I can do this myself for free."
To that end, we've collected a few different ways that you can do your own leg massage.
Why should I give myself a leg massage?
If you aren't experiencing leg pain right this second, you might be wondering what the benefits of a leg massage are for you.
But the truth is, a leg massage, even one given yourself, can have all sorts of benefits you never even considered.
Studies show that our first reaction to an injury is to massage it ourselves. There is some instinctive part of us that knows that this is a good thing for us.
Even if you aren't actively injured, indulging in that instinct can release the same feeling you would get from tending to an injury — in other words, relaxation.
Going off of the above, relaxing your muscles is a good way to reduce anxiety.
When we're feeling stressed or anxious, our natural inclination is to tense up all of our muscles. This leads to us feeling more stressed later, as the physical stimulus lingers even after the mental crisis has passed.
Massaging these tense muscles can help to ease the mental strain of stress and anxiety by tackling the physical strain of it. This way, you can get over both more quickly, which has all sorts of health benefits on top of the obvious relief.
Improve Postural Alignment
When we have bad posture, it can often lead to things like chronic pain.
However, there are several steps we can take to improve this. Massaging legs, along with other areas of the body, are one of these steps.
Studies have shown that the benefits of massage go beyond just helping the pain from bad posture. Subjects who benefitted from massages also showed a straighter posture from the treatments.
If you spend your days hunched over a desk, or a computer screen, massage can help minimize the damage done from that.
Basic Massage Techniques
Now that you know all the benefits of massage techniques, you probably want to try a few for yourself.
There are several massage techniques dedicated to specific parts of your legs. But before you get into more specific techniques, you might want to try learning some general leg massage techniques to help relieve pain.
That's why we found some very basic massage techniques developed by Rich Poley after consulting with licensed massage therapists. Although he developed them for athletes, these can easily help anyone looking for a little relief and relaxation.Try them for yourself!
Try them for yourself!
The Gliding Technique
This is a very simple technique used on your legs. Make sure you're hitting your calves, shins, quads, and hamstrings.
- Open your hands and relax your fingers.
- Starting at your feet, "glide" gently over your legs with your hands.
- Do this ten times, slowly working your way to a more intense massage.
- As you get more intense, dig in with the palms of your hands, moving in circles.
The Pressing Technique
This technique works with your toes as well as your legs. It's such a simple technique, anyone can master it with ease.
Basically, you squeeze — or press gently with your fist or elbow — every part of your body. You start with your toes and move up to your Achilles Tendon, then move up your leg slowly.
For stronger muscles like your calves, put more pressure on them. Slowly work out any tension in these muscles, but be sure not to squeeze too hard.
Remember that the end result here should be relaxation. While sore muscles may be tender to the touch, any severe pain is not normal and is a sign that you are squeezing or pressing too hard against them.
The Drumming Technique
This is the sort of technique often provided by massage chairs. But you'll find that you'll be able to do this technique, too.
There are three ways you can implement the drumming technique:
- With the palm of your open hand
- The side of your hand (like you're doing a karate chop)
- With a fist
Using one of these methods, "drum" your way up your leg by hitting it, stimulating the muscles.
Of course, you should still aim to be gentle. If you're leaving bruises, you're doing it wrong. This massage is about making yourself more comfortable, not causing more injuries!
Specialized Massage Techniques
In addition to the ones listed above, we found some more techniques for you to implement. There are often techniques that were designed specifically for certain leg muscles, rather than the whole leg.
Some of these might require special tools to complete. However, a lot of them might be ones that you already have around your house.
The Thigh Massage
If you sit all day, this can be the perfect massage for loosening up at the end of the day. Thigh muscles often get sore from prolonged periods of sitting, so if you have a desk job, it is very important to take care of them.
- Get a foam roller (only around $20 at a sporting goods store) or a tennis ball. Roll it along the tops of your thighs.
- If neither of those things are available, you can use the palm of your hands to make small circles, moving from your knee to the top of your thigh.
- You could also use your elbow to stroke along different angles of your thigh.
These are several techniques you can use to loosen the muscles in your thighs. Try varying the techniques used, and try to discover which one works best for you.
If you feel any discomfort or pain in your thighs, you might be overworking them instead of relaxing them. Listen to your body and take care of it. This way, you can be sure that you're getting the most out of your massage techniques.
The Calf Massage
Maybe you just went on a long run. Maybe you had to wear high heels to work. There are several things that can cause pain in your calves, but the end result is always unpleasant.
Luckily, we found some techniques that can be used to alleviate this pain.
- The foam roller can make a reappearance here. Roll it along your calves.
- The heels of your palms can also be used to knead around your lower leg. Work in small circles.
- You can drag the heels of your palms up to your calves, starting at your ankle.
When massaging your calves, it can be helpful to flex or point your toe while you do it.
These techniques will help improve your quality of life, and can help you unwind after a stressful day at work! Implementing them into your routine can assure that you get the relaxation you need for a healthy body and a healthy mind.
The Knee Massage
This massage, again, suggests that you use a foam roller. It also notes that if you don't want to spend the money, a PVC pipe from the hardware store can work as a good alternative.
This tool will give you a deeper massage. Here's how you use it correctly to help any pain or discomfort in your knees:
- Lie on your right side, with the roller underneath your right hip.
- Support yourself on your hands.
- Cross your left leg over your right, putting your left foot directly on the floor.
- Roll your body over the roller until it reaches your knee.
Whenever you feel any tension, stop and use the roller to give extra pressure on your body.
You can repeat these steps by flipping over onto your left side and adjusting accordingly. This will help you with tension in your knees.
If you're trying these techniques, you're looking for relief of some kind. But sometimes, what you can do on your own just isn't enough.
A therapist can be expensive, and also time-consuming. If you have a job, you can't always take the time off to go and visit a professional.
Massage chairs take away that worry, but they're still expensive. Maybe you aren't sure if they'll be worth it, and you're worried about making the investment on something you'll never use.
That's why we offer free trials in all of our stores. We're confident that if you see the effects our massage chairs can have, you'll agree that it's well worth the cost.
We want you to be comfortable and relaxed. That's why we've offered you these tips to take matters into your own hands. But when you're ready to take things to the next level, come see us in any of our stores.
We'd be more than happy to give you the comforting and relaxing experience that you deserve.