Massage, regardless of the type should be relaxing and should promote a feeling of calmness. Many health practitioners associate foot massages with good health and general well-being. It is a common healing method especially in the East where it is practiced on both children and adults. Foot massage also known as reflexology operates in a similar manner to acupuncture. This is because each area of your foot directly corresponds to another body area. Therefore, by massaging every part of your foot, you are working on the stomach, colon, kidney, liver etc.
Foot massage is associated with several health benefits. This is because most of the sensory nerves belonging to internal organs are found in your feet. Practitioners use the foot as their detailed body map in a typical foot massage session. This allow them to treat health ailments through application of pressure and massage on meridian points with direct correspondence with specific organs.
Foot massage promotes both physical and psychological health in the following ways:
• Improved blood circulation
The sedentary lifestyles that most of us live does not promote the proper utilization of most feet muscles. Furthermore, improper footwear can hinder the proper circulation of blood in the feet. Ten minutes of foot massage on a daily basis can greatly enhance the circulation of blood. In turn, this helps in the transportation of oxygen to the cells of the body thus promoting overall health.
Nonetheless, footwear that is both comfortable and proper should still be encouraged. Foot massage also stimulates the lymphatic system thus preventing varicose veins.
Foot massage is very beneficial after a long and stressful day that was characterized by walking and standing. It relaxes and soothes the body. It releases potential blockages of energy thus relieving the symptoms associated with fatigue and stress. A regular foot massage of approximately 5 – 10 minutes can significantly improve the feelings of well-being.
One of the top health benefits of foot massage is fighting depression. It provides people with consolation so that they can easily balance their need or grief and how to properly adapt to changes in life. There are certain points located on the feet that can hep to alleviate the symptoms of depression. The notable points that are associated with mental health and emotional stability are the ball of the foot found under the big toe, center of the ball of your foot and center of the big toe. Applying pressure and massaging these points for about 2 – 3 minutes can relieve the symptoms that are associated with depression.
• Pains and aches
Foot massage can assist in the treatment of various kinds of aches and pains like upper and lower backaches, neck pain, migraines and headaches. Backaches can be eased by a gentle massage along your spinal reflex with the thumb, begin with the toe side to the ankle with small but circular motions. The tops and soles of the feet should also be massaged. Massaging the joints that join your toes for about 5 minutes can help with alleviating neck pain. On the other hand, massaging the entire ankle provides relief for migraines and headaches.
• Healthier feet
Regular foot massage is a sure way of keeping your feet healthy so that they do not experience various foot problems. This is because the massage helps in the stimulation of muscles surrounding your feet this making them less stiff. It also decreases the pain experienced in the heels and ankles. It makes the ankle flexible and strong to prevent unpleasant foot and ankle injuries.
Pregnant women can significantly benefit from regular foot massage as it decreases the negative effects associated with edema i.e. swelling as a result of fluid retention. This is a common occurrence during pregnancy particularly in the final trimester.
• PMS and menopause symptoms
During premenstrual syndrome, scores of women are afflicted by symptoms such as mood swings, headaches, fatigue, bloating, insomnia, irritability and feelings of sadness. A foot massage on a daily basis can help with this. It also treats menopause syndromes such as depression and hot flashes. Massage of the Grandfather Grandson point is the key to treating such symptoms. Women should have regular foot massages to experience decreased mood swings, sleep disturbances and hot flashes.
• Lowers blood pressure
Regular foot massage can help in controlling high blood pressure or hypertension. This can be achieved by targeting the solar plexus reflex. It can easily be located through squeezing either side of the foot, a hollow will form to reveal its position.
• Restless leg syndrome
The restless leg syndrome can also be effectively treated with foot massages. It is a type of neurological disorder that ca result in difficulty in sleeping because of unpleasant sensations such as the urge to shift the feet, pulling and throbbing.
• Flat feet and plantar fasciitis
Individuals who have flat feet lack a normal foot arch as a result of ligament laxity that makes the arch to collapse. This is the main cause of foot pain following a physical activity for such individuals. The deterioration or inflammation of plantar fascia can cause chronic heel pain. Regular foot massages assist significantly to lessen the pain.
• Healthy heart rate
The heart rate is closely tied to functioning of the heart. Foot massage helps in decreasing the heart rate thus relieving the heart of stress. If the heart works too hard, it might enlarge, and this can result in risk of cardiovascular disease and increased blood pressure.
The health benefits of foot massage listed above are not exhaustive as there are many more. Other health benefits of foot massage are as follows:
• It decreases nausea and vomiting.
• It decreases a one’s perception of pain.
• It positively affects stress and cortisol levels.
• It helps in activating regions of the brain associated with reward and pain control.
• It increases endorphins.
The above insightful information clearly indicates that a foot massage on a regular basis has a myriad of health benefits. This is why it is important to incorporate it in your heath regimen.