The reality is our feet are doing the bulk of our body’s work. They support us wherever we go, and to keep them strong and flexible, regular foot massage should be part of your routine.
THE BENEFITS OF FOOT MASSAGE
Foot massage has been practiced in many cultures for centuries as a way to promote health and well being. Today, foot massage is used by millions around the globe as a form of complementary and alternative medicine. Yet many people don’t realise the mass of benefits a foot massage delivers.
Many of your internal organs sensory nerves are in your feet. Through massage, a skilled practitioner can use your foot as a kind of detailed body map, and can help treat health ailments by applying pressure on the meridian points that correspond to specific organs. This pressure effectively sends energy to weakened or troubled areas of the body, promoting both physical and psychological health.
Receiving a foot massage can:
1.EVOKE HIGHER LEVELS OF CALM AND FEELINGS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL BEING
In a study conducted by Brighton University, patients that received foot massages after receiving a coronary artery bypass graft surgery experienced higher levels of calm and feelings of psychological well being than those who didn’t receive massages. This shows that foot massage can be an effective tool to not only decrease post-operative stress and anxiety, but to promote relaxation in your daily life.
2.PROMOTE HEALTHIER FEET
According to Harvard Medical School, foot massage stimulates your muscles, improves circulation, lessens stiffness and tension, and can eliminate pain. It also gives you a chance to properly check out your feet so you can get a headstart on treating blisters, bunions, corns and toenail problems.
3.RELIEVE HEEL PAIN
Heel pain is a common symptom that has many different causes. While many of these causes are the result of improper shoe wear, massage to the plantar fascia area can offer immediate relief. Plantar fasciitis – a painful inflammation of the fibrous band of tissue on the sole of the foot that helps to support the arch – can commonly cause pain when overloaded or stretched. People with flat feet in particular will benefit from a good foot rub.
Circulation is often impaired by tight and uncomfortable shoes, but even in the right shoes, a sedentary lifestyle may mean muscles are going for long periods of time without being used. Massaging your feet for 10-20 minutes can greatly improve circulation in the lower extremities, which is particularly important for people suffering from diabetes.
5.OFFER NAUSEA AND PAIN RELIEF
A study was conducted by the University of Canberra to learn if foot massage could be used as a healing tool for patients hospitalised with cancer. The results of the study showed that those who received foot massages for four-minutes increments per foot experienced an instant improvement of their nausea and pain.
6.HELP PREVENT FOOT AND ANKLE INJURIES
When massage is combined with foot and ankle strengthening exercises it can not only speed up the recovery of existing injuries, but can help prevent future injuries also. A short massage of the feet can help ensure you minimise your risk of injury by creating stronger, more flexible feet.
7.REDUCE THE EFFECTS OF DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Applying pressure in certain areas of the feet can relieve tension, stress and anxiety. This system is based on the theory that there are specific places called “reflex points” on the feet, hands and other areas that are linked to restoring proper functioning of the body. As proper relaxation is a crucial part of anxiety and stress relief, regular foot massages are thought to aid those suffering with depression.
8.LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
A study conducted on healthcare staff working with elderly people suffering from dementia – a job that is highly stressful and both physically and mentally taxing – showed that a 10-minute foot massage session up to three times a week resulted in improved mood, less anxiety and lower blood pressure.
9.PROMOTES BETTER SLEEP
Foot massage just before you go to bed can help you sleep better by improving blood circulation, relaxing the nerves, and allowing the body to unwind. Restful sleep is encouraged from as little as four minutes on each foot.