You love to get pedicures, but you don’t love the hefty price tag that goes along with it. The good news is that you can get many of the same benefits at home, using a foot massager (also known as a massage gun).
This handy device can be used on both feet and hands and helps to relieve stress and soreness in your muscles and tendons in much the same way that getting a professional pedicure does. However, you want to make sure that you are using it correctly and to maximize its results, which we will cover in this article.
Step 1: Set up your massage gun
To use your massage gun, you will need to connect it to your electrical outlet. Then apply lotion or oil of your choice. Be sure not to place any type of oil directly onto the barrel of your gun; instead, put it on top of plastic wrap or parchment paper that is covering your barrel.
Step 2: Work out the kinks in your calves and feet
If you’re wearing high heels or even flats, your lower legs have been constricted for long periods of time. Give them some TLC with your massage gun by pressing it against your calves and feet and working out any kinks that may be lingering there.
Start off gently, then work your way up to harder pressure as you become more comfortable with how best to use it. In only ten minutes, you should notice some relief from tightness!
By sticking to a schedule of regular massage sessions, you can ensure they stay loose. This will also ensure that walking will remain pain-free since muscle tension is one of the main causes of heel pain!
Step 3: Warm it up with some deep tissue pressure
If you’re giving your partner a foot massage, stand with one foot directly behind them (you can have them rest their head and shoulders against your shin if they like) so that you’re not actually touching their heels. Now slide your massage gun down toward their toes.
Be sure to hold it firmly—if you loosen your grip, it will slip and slide around instead of digging into tight knots.
You want to make sure that each pass of your feet stretches the muscles as deeply as possible without putting too much pressure on any one spot; most people need at least 20 passes from heel to big toe before they feel any effect. If there are very few knots, do another round or two just for good measure!
Step 4: No cramping, no problem!
If you find yourself cramping up, simply stop and take a break. Then stand up and keep massaging. As long as you’re moving your feet around, it’s impossible to overwork one muscle group or area of your foot too much.
Overworking muscles leads to pain and soreness, which is exactly what we don’t want with these kinds of products! So instead of forcing through an intense session, do five minutes per day at first, working your way up as you get more comfortable using them.
Eventually, you might be able to complete entire sessions without needing breaks—and that makes for some seriously effective wellness treatment!
Step 5: Next up, your thighs and hamstrings
Lift your right leg, bend it at a 90-degree angle, and rest it on your left thigh. With pressure from your hands, push down and out toward where your leg meets your butt; also press gently inward toward your body. This step works to loosen tight hamstrings. Repeat with your left leg/right thigh combo.
Step 6: Finally, use those knuckles for some serious knots
Focus on your big toe and its surrounding muscles. Remember, with massage gun use, you have complete control of your movements, so don’t be afraid to go at it hard if needed.
For those who really suffer from sore muscles and ligaments (hello, high-heels wearers), try focusing on one section of your foot at a time. It might hurt more—but that means it’s working! The more you do it, the better pain tolerance you will build up…and trust us: The more you use your massager tool, it will become easier and quicker each time.
Step 7: Completely exhausted? Cool down with some soothing strokes.
At some point, you may need a bit of calming. Massaging your feet at night is ideal as it lulls you into sleep and leaves your skin feeling silky soft. Focus on smaller areas and work toward larger muscles like your calves and heels.
As with any type of massage, apply more pressure to knots or tense spots that feel tight or painful. Make sure not to forget those toes! Even if you can’t see it, work around them to loosen any cramps or tension issues around them. Be sure not to overlook their importance for overall health!
Step 8: Go through each step again if necessary (it will be)
If your feet are feeling very sore, you may need to go through each step again. If that’s what it takes for your feet to feel relaxed and comforted, then by all means do it! This is especially true if you have plantar fasciitis or other serious foot problems.
You’ll want to make sure all of those muscles are as relaxed as possible! Having loose muscles will prevent any further damage, reduce swelling, and allow your feet time to heal.
Step 9. Now go forth and loosen every stiff muscle in your body.
If you’re looking for some gentle relief, you can use your massager as a tool that targets pressure points. There are hundreds of pressure points throughout your body, and they usually correspond with specific muscles.
For example, if you press firmly into your shoulder joint—just above where it connects to your collarbone—you should feel it contact an acupressure point that’s often used to relieve muscle tension.
You can also try using a foot massager (or just rolling up some towels) under your neck or upper back while you sit at your desk all day. If nothing else, there’s always massaging yourself!
Bonus Tip! Invest in a pair of flip flops so you don’t have to put them back on over wet feet when you get out of the shower.
The flip flops will have just gotten rinsed off and may still be wet. That’s OK! That way they can absorb extra water from your feet. You may even want to invest in an extra pair of sandals or two that you leave by your shower for just such occasions.
Now you won’t have to worry about forgetting about your toes, or reaching for your towel too quickly when all you want is a relaxing soak. As long as those pesky flaps fit over your heel and stay on when you walk around, you are good! So happy rubbing!
You need different tools for different situations and your feet are no exception. The smaller size of many massage guns make them perfect for massaging larger areas. This makes them ideal for working out knots from your feet and legs.
They’re also particularly useful if you have an injury or sore area that needs to be targeted as an area with a larger contact surface gives you more flexibility when targeting specific areas.
Best of all, these handheld devices are easy to use and can be used by almost anyone at any time. With affordable options starting at less than $30, there’s no reason not to give one a try!