TOhen I slid under the covers on the massage table, it was only fair to warn my masseuse, Lulu, of the challenge ahead.
“Sorry,” I said sheepishly. “My calves and hamstrings are so, so tight.”
Lulu got down to business and did some serious work on my body. My feet, calves, and hamstrings received a particularly intense kneading. She felt like she was unraveling the stiff strands of a thick rope in an incredibly necessary way.
When we finished and I was thanking him, he gave me some advice: “You have to soak your feet in warm water for 15 minutes every night,” said Lulu.
“For my calves?” I asked. “And legs,” Lulu replied.
“Okay, but…” I couldn’t finish my question of, well, “why?” before Lulu rushed out of the room, with the next lucky customer of hers.
The muscles in my upper and lower legs are tight from running, lifting dead objects, and sitting non-ergonomically on a regular basis. I also have fairly flat feet, which can pull on my calf muscles and tendons when I walk, putting even more strain on them and causing strain. However, tension like mine is, in fact, very common.
“Muscles get tight just from the repetitive stress of twisting, turning and bending day after day,” chiropractor Jeffrey Klein, DC, founder of Broadway Chiropractic & Wellness Center in New York City, previously told Well+Good.
Lower-body tightness can start in the feet and progress from a variety of sources, including “standing on your feet for long hours, the type of shoes you wear, sitting too long, flying, or strenuous exercise,” he says. the masseur. Gilma Linares, Assistant Spa Manager at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles.
I asked Linares if my masseuse Lulu’s advice to soak my feet every night to reduce tightness was retaining water. She was in favor.
“Soaking your feet in hot water reduces inflammation and stimulates circulation,” says Linares. “Therefore, it will help reduce pain or discomfort in the lower extremities, such as the lower back, hips, and legs.”
Sitting or standing for long periods of time causes blood to pool in the lower body, “which adds pressure to the veins in the legs and compromises their structural integrity,” said Kate Denniston, ND, a licensed naturopathic physician. at the Los Angeles Integrative Health clinic, a Well. +Good. That’s why Linares says that paying attention to your feet can pay off in other parts of your body.
“Warm water will increase circulation, which helps with cell recovery,” says Linares. Those muscles that are knotty or sore from exercise or sitting still get a little extra blood and oxygen, which helps them rebuild. “The feet carry all the weight, so it is necessary to pamper them.”