We’ve talked a lot about massages lately. If you missed our last “episode,” check out the surprising benefits of a foot massage! Meanwhile, it’s time for us to move up and look into the calves, since it is one of the more painful massages to get.
So, to justify the experience, let’s start with the benefits of a calf massage.
Foot massages improve circulation too, but that’s no comparison to what the right pressure on the calves can do. Both shiatsu and traditional kneading techniques, when used on the calves, can stimulate circulation through your muscles and veins. For even better results, combine a calf massage with heat therapy and essential oil.
Faster Injury Recovery
Sometimes, you need stimulation for faster revoery. That’s what calf massages do. If you’re coming back from muscle injuries, consider giving yourself a weekly calf massage. These sessions shouldn’t be long, as recovering muscles can’t withstand excessive pressure. However, a short, ten-or-fifteen-minute massage on the calves will help you heal faster from injuries.
Activate the Lymphatic System
Massaging your calves from top to bottom is an effective way to drain youra lymphatic system. This could help with post-surgery recovery, or in general improves your health since you’re tapping into your body’s immune system.
Thanks to this lymphatic draining effect, calf massages are extraordinarily beneficial for those suffering from asthrits and chronic venous insufficiency.
Why Are Calf Massages So Painful
One major reason why many dislike calf massages is the pain. Compared to a regular foot or back massage, calf massages can definitely hurt more. However, that’s actually a good thing.
But, have you heard some people call massages a cleanse? Like it pushes bad things out of your body? Calf massages hurt because it is releasiong chronic muscle tension by slowly kneading loose your tight muscle fibers. Therefore, your first few times getting calf massage will probably be painful, but it should become more bearable as time goes.
However, if you think your calf massage is hurting too much, consult your physician, give yourself a break, or try a different massage therapist.
Does Massage Reduce Calf Size?
Yes and no. Only a specific method can help reduce calf size. If that’s what you want, soak in warm water for about fifteen minutes first. Then, massage your calf vertically. Keep in mind it might take a good ten-plus session for you to see significant calf reshaping and size reduction.
How Long Should I Massage My Calves?
Overmassaging your calves can cause more harm than good. Therefore, you should know how frequently and how long to massage your calves. As a safe rule, give each leg ten to fifteen minutes. Start from the top, then slowly move to the legs and ankles. You can also use a warm towel to help your calves relax before and after the massage.
How to Massage Sore Calves
Loosening tight calf muscles with a massage isn't as difficult as you may think. Start with both hands around your ankle and slowly move up your calf. Use your finger pressure to tackle trigger points — knots you feel in your muscles. Since your calf technically only ahve two main muscles, do one at a time then switch sides.
However, giving yourself a calf massage can be exhausting, especially if you're not a trained massage therapist. Therefore, it's far more effective to invest in a percussive calf massager.
Massaging Tight Calf Muscles
It takes a little more force and technique to massage tight calf muscles. Use your thumbs, heels of your hand, or even forearms and elbows while making upward strokes. This allows you to cover more pressure points along the calves. When massaging for tight muscles, make sure you go all the way up to your thigh or hip on each leg.
Masssaging Tight Hamstrings
Tight hamstrings are one of the most common issues causing calf pain. You an use your thumbs or knuckles to build more pressure and stroke upward along the hamstring. Stroke three to four times on each side of your calf, than repeat on the other calf.
Using a calf massager is the easiest way to massage tight hamstrings.
Should I Use a Calf Massager?
Why go to a massage therapist when you can take care of yourself at home? An ankle and calf massager would make your life so much easier, especially if you’re getting over an injury. Meanwhile, if you’re too busy for foo massage sessions, look into getting a handheld massage gun. Use it to massage the calves or every other body part on the go.