Which Massage Is Best for Blood Circulation?Beth Rush
Everyone experiences soreness from exercise, especially when taking on new challenges. And while your body’s circulatory system can hold its own, sometimes it needs some help to increase blood circulation. From self-massage to Swedish massage, here are the best massages to improve blood circulation.
The benefits of massage
A Massage can increase blood flow by releasing muscle tension and improving your circulatory system. Your circulatory system carries oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your internal organs through your arteries and veins.
When you have good blood circulation, this helps your body with:
- Increased oxygen in the blood
- Faster rate of muscle recovery
- Relieves Leg Cramps
- Lower blood pressure levels
- Lower cortisol levels
- Quicker healing time for injury recovery
- Better immune response
- Improved focus
- Venous return (how quickly blood returns to your heart for better circulation)
Massage Techniques for Blood Circulation
There are techniques you can use to improve blood circulation. Some work independently and others are used for massage experiences like Sports Massages or Deep Tissue massages.
- Effleurage – This technique applies light pressure with slow and long strokes toward your heart. It stimulates your lymphatic system and increases the temperature in your soft tissues to promote relaxation.
- Kneading – Kneading uses elbows, thumbs or firsts to rub and apply pressure to muscles.
- Wringing – This technique involves lifting, squeezing and twisting large areas of muscle tissue with both hands.
- Trigger Pointing – Trigger pointing places pressure and rubs on specific areas that are sore or tender.
Best Self-Massages for Blood Circulation
- Leg massage: You can use the massage techniques described above to release tension, improve blood flow and relax your muscles. Using steady strokes, move from your ankles towards your knees and thighs. This also helps to move lymph fluid and prevent varicose veins.
- Foot massage: Spent too long in uncomfortable shoes? You can relieve pain and stiffness from muscle exertion in your feet using a tennis ball. All you do is place your foot on the tennis ball and roll forward and backwards for five minutes to relieve pressure in tender areas.
- Foot massage using your thumbs: You can also perform a foot massage using your thumbs. For this massage you perform three steps: Rub circles around your heel a few times. With slight pressure rub from your heel to the ball of your foot, then use your thumbs to rub from the ball of your feet and around the edges.
Best Professional Massages for Blood Circulation
Here’s a look at some of the best massages for improving blood circulation:
Deep Tissue Massage
One of the biggest benefits of deep tissue massage is improved blood circulation is. Usually, people use this type of massage to remove knots in their muscle tissue. When you have a knot, fascia or the densely woven web of tissue that connects your bones, muscles, nerves and aries becomes tight and loses flexibility. Massage helps to release that tightness and get blood flowing through your muscles to release the tension.
A deep-tissue massage therapist will look for knots or myofascial trigger points in your body and then apply pressure through slow and firm strokes to relieve the muscles. They will do this through effleurage and kneading using their elbows or knuckles to apply necessary pressure.
Swedish massage is similar to deep tissue massage in that effleurage, or long slow strokes are applied to your muscles. A massage therapist will apply pressure in the direction of blood flow to help your blood return to your heart faster, so your blood can pump clean blood to your arteries and organs. In addition to increasing blood flow, Swedish massage can reduce muscle pain and shorten recovery time from exercise or muscle strain. It’s a gentle massage that helps with relaxation both in your muscles and your mind.
A sports massage combines effleurage, wringing, and kneading to relieve tight muscles. The friction between the therapist’s fingers and your skin free up congested areas in your body to improve blood circulation. It also reduces tension in tissue which makes it a popular option in physical therapy, surgery recovery and for athletes and competitive fitness
Best Massage Tools for Blood Circulation
When using your hands for a massage is challenging, an electronic tool can do the job well. You can get anything from massage guns, which use quick repeated pressure punches to relieve your muscles or a roller stick for ease in massaging your back. You can also get compression massagers that fit over your feet and calves or vibrating massage patches for your back. Look for a tool with professional massaging strength to get the most out of every massage session.
Foam rollers are an all-encompassing tool, they’re great for pre-workout stretching and post-workout recovery, relieving muscle tension for people with sedentary lifestyles like working behind a computer all day and also excellent for improving blood circulation when you have tight or sore muscles. With the many variations and sizes, you may ask yourself, where to start? If you’re a foam rolling beginner, stat with a smooth lightweight roller. The more experience you have, the more foam rolling variations and styles you can try.
To get the most out of foam rolling, try doing it in the morning. For muscle stiffness and pain, lie on a mat on the floor and place your body weight on the roller under the specific muscle you want to target. Roll back and forth over the area with the foam roller slowly for 30 seconds or more. Foam rollers can be used for hamstrings, your back, calves and quads to relieve tension.
Massage for Improved Blood Circulation
When you’re looking for a way to relieve muscle tension and ease muscle soreness, using these massage techniques will help. While you may not be able to go to a professional you can use self-massage techniques and tools to improve blood circulation if you need to get relief.