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Leg Massage

Abhay Burande
A leg massage is a helpful way to release stress after a long, hard day at work. It improves blood circulation, and can ease the pain caused due to standing for long periods. Here are a few tips for self-massaging your legs.
It is rightly said, "Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are" ~ Chinese proverb ~
A massage is a good way to heal illnesses, or release stress. There are different massage techniques used all over the world for different body parts. Those who stand all day at work, or are generally on their feet for a long time can benefit immensely from a leg massage.
Leg and thigh massages not only give pleasure and relaxation, but also tones the body, tightening the muscles, and making them stronger. It also helps in blood circulation.

Hip and Upper Thigh Massage

  • Start by massaging your hips and upper thighs. This is done to warm up the body, and start blood circulation.
  • Rub the hips and thighs gently with your palm applying light pressure.
  • Start massaging from the hips and move downwards to the thighs, and back up.
  • If it feels good, repeat the same 5-7 times.
  • You can also use a little oil for smoother movements and more pleasure.

Lower Thigh and Knee Massage

  • After massaging the upper thighs, gently rub the areas just above your knee and move upwards.
  • Knead the front and back of your thighs with less pressure in the beginning, slowly increasing the pressure. Use your fingertips to apply pressure.
  • Beat the front and back of the thighs using loosely clenched fists.
  • Such a bouncy movement causes blood to reach the surface, and gives relief from stiffness, that may arise from sitting down for too long.
  • Make use of your palm to apply pressure at the back of your knees and thighs.
  • Use your thumb to press certain pressure points and to remove knots.
  • Rub around your kneecap with your palm, making circles in clockwise direction.
  • Use your thumb to apply force, and press the area around your kneecap in circles.
  • Knead the back of your knee using the heel of your palm.

Front and Back Leg Massage

  • Once the body is warm, you can begin massaging your legs.
  • Apply a little oil on your legs.
  • Start massaging from the ankle, and move upwards all the way to your thighs.
  • Stroke your leg using your hands, from the ankle to the thighs, and then back down.
  • Use your thumb and index finger to stroke your legs in a downward direction.
  • Now move back towards your calves.
  • Gently stroke your calves, and then knead your calves with your hands.
  • Interlock your fingers, and press the calves between the heels of your palm.
  • Repeat the same process 4-5 times while stroking the legs gently at regular intervals.

Foot Massage

  • For more pleasure, you can massage your feet, gently pulling the toes.
  • Place your hands on the front of the foot, with your fingertips resting on your sole.
  • Press the bottom of your sole with your fingers, squeezing and massaging gently.
  • Press the ankle with your thumbs, applying little pressure. Repeat as many times as you like.

Some Other Massage Techniques

Full muscle flush

This is a surface stroke that prepares the muscles for deeper work. The fibers are loosened and the blood flow raised to wash out lactic acid and other toxins. It is necessary to start from the calves. The palms are placed flat against the lower muscle, and stroked towards the heart in a continuous manner. Then knead the muscle during the strokes by working the center of your palms.

Broad cross-fiber stroke

Use the same palm position at the center of the muscles. As compared to the flush, press harder. As the hands move across the muscle fibers, separate them, and make them pliable so that the effect of the massage can go deeper. Due to this, muscle fibers are less likely to tear.

Deep muscle press

This is also known as muscle stripping. Fingers, knuckles, or elbows are used to penetrate the muscles. Pressure is applied till the comfort limit is passed. Rather than stroking the entire muscle, concentrate on specific areas. However, you have to work towards the heart.
Pampering yourself with a massage once in a while feels great! But make sure you know your body well, and the exact pressure that can be applied. If, at any time, you feel uncomfortable while massaging and pressing certain body parts, make sure you consult a professional.