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We Often Times Forget Just How Important Our Legs Are!
Just wrapped up a 1 hour session at the massage clinic, and it got me thinking….we put so much emphasis on the rest of our body, but hardly ever our legs and calves. Don’t know about you but whenever I visit my therapist once a month, the focus is almost always on my back, arms and shoulders, and any remaining time is spent massaging my legs and calves.
We often times forget just how important our legs are until something goes wrong. And when something does go wrong, it’s usually very painful to deal with. I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you, but our legs are the reason we can stand, walk, run, and best of all dance! Why then would we not give them the treatment they deserve!? Next time you’re at the massage parlor, tell your therapist to spend more time working your legs. Trust me when I say you’ll reap the benefits. In fact, let’s touch on some of the benefits of leg massage below!
4 Noteworthy Benefits Of Leg Massage!
This list is by no means exhaustive. I’ve simply picked my 4 favorite benefits that I wish to discuss!
#1 Feels Great Especially After Strenuous Activity
Already done dreaded leg day for this week? Consider getting a massage to relieve those sore legs! Done kicking butt in that half marathon? Good, get a massage so you’re ready for the next one! Finish scoring a hat trick in the final match of your soccer league? Your legs sure could use a massage right about now!
I don’t mean to exaggerate, but hopefully you get the point. Getting a leg massage after completing some form of strenuous activity not only feels awesome, but also does a great deal to reduce recovery time (more on this later).
#2 It Can Significantly Reduce Pain!
Leg massage is no different than any other massage in that it can alleviate pain. What’s particularly cool about leg massage is that you don’t even need to see a therapist if you don’t want to; believe it or not, you can actually do a decent job massaging yourself! Sounds ridiculous? Watch HM Massage show you how it’s done (all credit to HM Massage).
And how do you get better at it? You practice more and more and more! For those who don’t want to massage their own legs, you have 2 alternatives: one consider a leg and calf massager, or two find yourself a good massage therapist. Doing both in my opinion is the most cost effective solution. For example, you spend the first 3 weeks of a month using an air compression leg massager, and the last week visiting a therapist for 1 hour. That way you get the best of both worlds…man and machine!
#3 It Helps With Circulation!
If done correctly leg massages can improve blood circulation, but there’s a caveat. If you think massages alone will magically change everything, you’re in for a surprise, and not the good kind! So what do you then to improve circulation?
I’ll answer that in 5 words: stop being a lazy bum!
Get up off the couch and take a hike, no seriously I mean it. If that’s too much for you, how about starting off slow and easy. Are you a fan of full body stretches? An even better idea is to join a yoga club. If that’s not your thing, join a recreational Frisbee team for Pete’s sake. Whatever you do, do something. Pick an activity you like, and roll with it. And then all you have to do is add massage to the mix. Bam, a winning formula!
#4 It Speeds Up Recovery
I briefly touched on this in #1, but let’s speak about it some more here. Massage after physical activity has the effect of speeding up muscle recovery. If you’re someone who consistently partakes in physical activity of some sort, this is a game changer. In fact, this is exactly why most professional athletes complete a massage session directly after a match or sporting event.
Massage is the not so secret answer to boosting recovery time. How you ask? I’m glad you asked. Here’s a short article on The Atlantic you should check out. Basically, it provides a brief summary on research conducted by a pair of McMaster University researchers looking to understand how massage speeds up muscle healing. It takes 2 minutes to read, so please check it out!
How Exactly Do Leg Massagers Work?
Up till now we’ve talked about why leg massage is so beneficial to our overall well being, but we’ve yet to discuss leg massagers and how they work. When it comes to massagers, there’s one question that I get asked every single time: can an automated massager replicate the motion, pressure, and movement of a trained therapist? My answer is always the same:
A trained qualified therapist who understands the art of massage can never be replaced by an automated machine!
However, visiting a massage therapist often can get quite pricey. A combination of human and automated massage is the best approach in my opinion. Back to leg massagers, let’s talk about how they work. Most leg massagers on the market today are actually air compression wraps. You strap them around each leg, select your desired intensity, and go through various cycles of compression massage. What does it feel like? It’s kinda like when you get your blood pressure checked at the docs office, except on the legs of course! I’d like to address one important point before going forward:
Almost all consumer leg massagers on the market have one major limitation; they can only do air compression!
See the issue here? Air compression is awesome, and feels great, but it’s not enough. If you want to experience the full benefits of leg massage, you need to have a combination of techniques and air compression alone won’t cut it. You need to have a good mix of kneading, rolling, pulling, and compression to reap full benefits. And this is exactly why I suggest doing a combination of both automated and human massage. A trained therapist can focus efforts on techniques like kneading and rolling, whereas a leg massager can be used solely for compression.
I always preach how it’s important to understand the drawbacks of a product before making a decision to buy. This is a good example of that. Hopefully it makes sense to you now, and if it does….then I’ve done my job. Always remember, automated massagers should never be thought of as a replacement to trained therapists. Instead, the best approach would be to see a therapist and to supplement that by using a massager!
What Are Some Of The Things You Should Consider Before Buying An Air Compression Leg Massager?
With so many different massagers that are so differently priced, how in the world do you know what to get? Truth is it can be a little confusing. Not to worry because as always, I got you covered! The list of 6 below are some of the main things I would consider before buying. Go through them, understand them, and apply them!
Did you go through all 6 considerations presented above? If you have, high five! If not, I highly recommend you check them out before buying. A few more things to be aware of:
- Sleeve Type—Some air compression leg wraps can also be used as arm wraps, or wrist wraps. However, this isn’t true for all products. If you’re looking for both an arm and leg massager, maybe this is something you consider.
- Battery Time—This only applies to the cordless massagers that come with rechargeable batteries. You should verify how long the battery takes to fully charge, and how many hours of run time that gives you.
What Is The Best Leg Massager?
We’ve discussed what to consider before buying one, but let’s spend some time looking at the best leg massagers available today. Specifically, we will look at 2 different products: one is a medical grade leg massager, and the other is your basic budget air compression wraps. Why do I choose to speak about these 2 devices specifically? Simply because they are the best in their respective price range!
Air Relax Sequential Compression Leg Massager
What can I say about the Air Relax massager!? If you’re able to afford its exorbitant price, this will probably be the last leg massager you ever buy!
The Cool Stuff (AKA Pros)
The Fact That It’s Medical Grade!
Yup, this is a big deal and I’ll explain why. When we say a device is medical grade, we know it has gone through the rigorous process of testing and evaluation and has been cleared to perform for medical purposes. In contrast to consumer grade, medical grade devices are generally more reliable and accurate, and as a result some would say more trustworthy. If you want to read more about medical devices, here’s a quick link to the ever useful Wikipedia!
It Massages The Entire Leg
95% of all air compression leg massagers aren’t large enough to work the entire leg. In fact, most of them are only large enough to massage the lower portion only. As far as I’m concerned, having the ability to massage the entire leg all at once is a definite advantage. Maybe that’s why it costs as much as it does!
Auto Shut Off
Auto shut off is always an important feature when it comes to massagers. It’s even more important when talking about air compression wraps specifically. Why? Over compression is never a good thing and can actually be dangerous to your body, which is why it’s always a good idea to have a preset auto shut off. This one is programmed to automatically shut off after 15 minutes.
4 Different Pressure Levels
4 levels of pressure is about all you really need. If you’re new to air compression massage, you should always start low and then work your way up. Never jump into a high pressure setting when just starting out! For those who may be wondering, pressure range is from 0-230 mmHg (mm Mercury). That’s about 0-4.45 psi, if you were to convert units.
If You Suffer From Certain Medical Conditions…
When it comes to massagers, there’s usually 2 types of users; the first user is one who is only interested in the “relaxation” aspect, whereas the second is more interested in the “medical” aspect or to specifically help treat or relieve a medical condition. With respect to poor circulation in the lower body, there’s not many devices that cater to the second type of user. This is an exception. That being said, if you do suffer from poor circulation, maybe the Air Relax is a product you should seriously consider!
The Not So Cool Stuff (AKA Cons)
A Lot Of Moolah!
Definitely one of the more expensive leg massagers I’ve come across, and may be that can be attributed to the fact that it’s been FDA cleared and is considered a medical grade device. Is it worth the exorbitant price? Check out my “final words” section below to see what I think!
The million dollar question: is the Air Relax worth all those $$$!? Yes, and no. Yes if leg pain is a continuous problem in your life. Yes if you have a medical condition to which air compression may provide some relief. No if all you’re looking for is a leg massage for the sole purpose of relaxation. It really boils down to why you’re buying a leg massager in the first place. Good luck with whatever you may decide!
ComfySure Arm & Leg Massager
Can’t end this post without reviewing a budget option. If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love a good deal!
The Cool Stuff (AKA Pros)
If Your Purpose Is Relaxation, This Is Perfect!
Are you buying air compression wraps for medical reasons, or are you buying them strictly for relaxation? If it’s the latter, this massager from ComfySure is an awesome choice in my opinion. Why? It’s effective, very easy to operate, and doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet!
What’s nice about this particular pair of air compression wraps is that they can be used both as a leg massager and an arm massager too. If you take a look at some of the pics you’ll notice that the wraps aren’t too large at all, so they should be able to fit around the arms pretty easily.
One Size Fits All!
Large, medium, small, it doesn’t matter. Why? The Velcro like straps allow you to adjust size (tighten or loosen) to fit your legs/arms.
For All That It Offers, Price Is On Point!
Considering all that it offers (3 pressure levels with 2 operating modes, rechargeable battery which goes for 2 hours, and lightweight so it’s easy to carry), this ComfySure massager is a bargain!
The Not So Cool Stuff (AKA Cons)—Nothing!
Honestly I can’t think of anything in particular that stands out to me as a negative. Maybe the length could be a little longer, but that’s me being overly critical. Considering how much it costs, it’s hard to make this criticism!
To conclude this review, i’ll repeat what I said earlier: if all you’re looking for is a relaxing massage, the ComfySure is definitely a product you should consider. It’s more than capable of delivering an invigorating compression massage!
Questions & Comments Are Welcome Below!
That’s it for today folks. I hope you enjoyed reading, and if you did, please consider sharing on the socials. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and i’ll do my best to get back to you very shortly. Cheers and see you in the next post!