Mashing is a therapeutic practice of manipulating the body's soft tissues using the feet.
Nearly every area of the body can be mashed to create relaxation along traditional Chinese medicine meridians and offer the following benefits:
- frees up energy flow
- assists in removing waste products from muscles
- increases lymphatic flow and blood circulation
- loosens up tight and sore muscles
- addresses trigger points
- creates significant improvements in movement
- facilitates stress reduction
- concomitant improvements in physiological and psychological health
Mashing can be for one's whole body or can center on just one particular meridian muscle group. A whole body mashing can improve circulation and posture while targeted mashing can relieve deeper issues including chronic tenseness, knots, and adhesions within the muscles.
Using the feet instead of the hands allows for a deeper effect on the body with less effort and wear and tear on the arms, wrists, hands, and fingers. This is especially true when working on large muscle groups and areas that contain accumulated dense fascia and scar tissue, which require significant amounts of pressure in order to optimally improve the health of the tissue.
Mashing is a great way to warm up before exercise and is also helpful to flush the body afterward. People often get mashed before and/or after assisted stretching in order to facilitate their development. The same is true for self stretching. Of course, mashing is also a great activity just by itself!