Self-massage as a shortcut to beauty:
For relaxation as well as healthy skin!
Take up the habit of self-massage after running to ease fatigue and relax and you won’t regret it. It has other merits for women, too. ”Self-massage doesn’t only alleviate muscle ache but also speeds up metabolism and has a detoxing effect, making your skin healthier and brighter,” says Senko Negishi, researcher at Shiseido Cosmetics Value Development Center. This time model Narumi Kajimoto, who started running about a year ago, learns correct self-massage techniques from Ms. Negishi. She is using the body-firming BENEFIQUE Body Cream, winner of the Best Cosmetics Awards Grand Prize. ”Right after a run, the heart is working hard to pump the blood around the body; in fact, blood circulation may be so intense that blood doesn’t fully flow back to the heart. This may cause swelling and weariness in the limbs. So, the sooner you start body care the better. While outside, simply applying gentle strokes along your legs is good enough, but once you do self-care at home, use some massage cream for smoother experience,” says Ms. Negishi.
Senko Negishi: researcher, Shiseido Cosmetics Value Development Center. Works on developing beauty software and body care products, as well as massage theory. Certified beauty therapist of the Association of Japanese Estheticians and Beauty Therapists (AJESTHE).
Bye-bye swollen legs! Calves massage
First comes a massaging technique for runners as well as office workers who easily get leg swelling. ”Swelling of calves is a sign that fatigue products are accumulating in your legs. Let’s massage from muscles at the soles of your feet to the Achilles tendon and up,” instructs Ms. Negishi.
① With your thumbs on the instep, place the four fingers on the arch of your foot and massage toward the heel.
② Next, move from the Achilles tendon toward the back of the knee, massaging the calf gently with upward strokes. Let the weight of your body pull you slightly back, so the leg goes a little up and is easier to massage.
Fatigue products also tend to accumulate in the shin and instep muscles that extend the toes. Therefore, remember to work on the outer shin muscles with stroking movements from the ankle to the knee. Skin tends to get rough around here, so you’ll get double effect with the massage.
Circular massage for smooth elbows and knees
Muscles around the knees get tired with running and need care; so does the skin that easily gets dry and dull in this season. The skin around elbows, knees, and on the instep stretches and contracts repeatedly as the joints move, therefore the stratum corneum gets thicker and skin dullness stands out. Moisturize it by massaging with cream,” is Ms. Negishi’s advice.
① Sit with your knee bent, put your thumbs on both sides of the knee and massage sliding them horizontally. Repeat the same vertically.
② In the same position, wrap the knee with both hands and stroke gently in circular movements. Apply the same to bent elbows.
Give yourself a fresh complexion! Massage to improve body metabolism
Last comes a massaging technique to improve metabolism in the whole body. It stabilizes blood circulation, brightens up the skin, and revives complexion. Lymph vessels rest right under the surface of the skin, so use a very light touch.
① Stroke the inside of the leg from the toes to the knee and up to the thigh. Move upward, helping the lymph to drain.
② Stretch out your arm diagonally up and massage the inside of the arm from the finger tips to the armpit, helping the lymph to drain.
”It’s important to keep the pressure light. After a run, your muscles are tired and clogged with fatigue products. Extra pressure applied may result in more damage. On the other hand, if you are massaging muscles that are stiff with insufficient blood flow because you hardly get up from your desk all day, rubbing movements are more effective,” concludes Ms. Negishi.
Ms. Kajimoto seems to have discovered something new after trying the self-massage techniques by Ms. Negishi. ”I used to apply quite a bit of pressure when massaging tired muscles, and it was a surprise that gentle strokes work better than rubbing! I’ll definitely try it on my own today!”
Why not make self-massage your habit, not only for post-run relaxation, but also as everyday beauty routine?
Born in Shizuoka prefecture in 1989. Started modeling at 18 and is presently active in a variety of fields – bridal, fashion, sports. Started running marathons around 1 year ago and finished her first full marathon after just 2 months of running practice. At present, runs in the gym about twice a week.
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