What to do about post-holiday ‘heavy legs’ syndrome

It is time to pack your bags, head off to the airport and fly away to the holiday of your dreams. However, dreams can sometimes be accompanied by nightmares in the form of what is politely called ‘heavy legs’.

Those slender, beautifully-tanned feet, ankles and legs that have been skipping through azure waves breaking on the soft sands of island beaches can turn into trunks of baobab trees by the time the plane lands back home. A combination of not being able to move around much in the limited space on planes, low cabin air pressure making it more difficult to get enough oxygen, and dehydration puts added stress on our bodies. Blood circulation is not as efficient; blood can pool in our feet, ankles and legs putting more pressure on the leg veins. As well as swelling, lower limbs may ache, and muscles feel tight and tender.

Keep the mood

There is a way to keep that holiday mood though, and a 10 to 20-minute Thai foot and leg massage will leave you feeling as if you are floating on air. Incorporating aspects of shiatsu, reflexology and Chinese massage, a therapist uses their hands, knuckles and sometimes a traditional rosewood or teak stick to perform a gentle rhythmic massage applying pressure to specific areas of the soles of the feet. This set routine stimulates blood circulation, aids lymph drainage, and improves muscle and joint flexibility.

Thai foot massage vs reflexology

Like reflexology, a Thai foot massage is based on the principle that reflex points on the feet reflect the internal organs of the body. But where reflexology tends to be customised to individual health requirements, Thai massage promotes general good health and well-being by clearing energy lines.

Reap the benefits

Research has indicated that Thai foot massages can be beneficial for various conditions including diabetic peripheral neuropathy, stress-related headaches, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and constipation. At the very least, you will feel tranquil and calm, almost like being back on that beach with the lapping waves. For more information about this fantastic massage technique, contact one of the therapists listed in our directory.

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