Ever wonder what exactly it is that makes a foot massage feel so heavenly?? Your feet are FULL of nerve endings! Stimulating these nerves (up to 200,000 in the sole of each foot) through reflexology, or massaging certain parts of the feet associated with different areas and functions of the body, has been linked to health benefits like shortened recovery time after injury, improved circulation, and treatment for headaches and migraines.
While a foot massage can be an expensive treat, you can do your own form of massage therapy on your feet, or other tight muscles, with a lacrosse ball. If you ever experience heel or foot pain from everyday foot movement, you can get some relief from the pain by massaging the sole of your foot with a lacrosse ball. Here’s how:
Sit in a chair with your knees pointed forward, and place one foot flat on the ground, and the other with your sole on a lacrosse ball. Move your foot back and forth over the ball, gradually applying more pressure. If you feel a sore spot, stop and keep the ball there for a minute or two with pressure. Switch sides and repeat if necessary. The pressure on the tight spots will help to release tension and alleviate pain. If a lacrosse ball is too much, you may want to start out with a tennis ball.
You can do the same with other parts of the body, like the glutes or hamstrings. Just laying down with the ball pressing against a tight muscle can help to loosen up tension without even having to move! The best time to do this is right after a workout.
Looking to take it one step further? Here’s a great guide with seven different lacrosse ball massages for sore muscles.