It’s easy to overlook your feet. Sturdy and dependable, they are simply there at the end of your legs carrying you throughout your day. Most people neglect their feet; however, it is actually very important that we take good care of our feet. We have only the one pair, and they must carry us throughout our lives.
Luckily, one of the best and easiest ways to take care of your feet is simple massage. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of foot massage and introduce the concept of reflexology. Read on to learn more.
Reflexology is a method of healing that is quite ancient. It is greatly used in Chinese medicine. It is based in the notion that certain reflex points in the feet and ankles correspond with internal glands and organs and other parts of the body. It is believed that by applying pressure to these reflexology points, it is possible to heal and relieve problems throughout the body.
Foot massage & reflexology bring synergistic benefits
With a combination of comforting massage and effective reflexology techniques, it is possible to combat a wide variety of problems and illnesses. For this reason, the effects of foot massage are said to be synergistic in that the benefits far exceed the amount of effort invested.
Here are 10 of the top foot massage benefits:
1. Cardiovascular benefits
Foot massage helps promote better blood circulation. Many people wear improperly fitted shoes and do not walk enough. This combination causes a great deal of damage to blood circulation in the feet. Luckily, it is easy to rectify this damage with only 10 minutes of gentle massage every day.
Massaging your feet with a olive oil, coconut oil or mustard at bedtime or while watching telly will help improve blood circulation and stimulate your lymphatic system. This small, simple step helps reduce the risk of varicose veins and boosts your immune system.
2. Foot massage lifts your spirits
Naturally having your feet massaged can help alleviate pain in the feet and put you in a better mood. Moreover, studies have been conducted involving people who are grieving. It has been found that reflexology and foot massage helps to console people who are in mourning following a death.
The reflexology points you should concentrate on to help overcome grief are the ball of the foot and the big toe. Apply firm and gentle pressure to these areas for several minutes twice or three times daily. This is said to help lift your spirits and alleviate depression.
3. Heal damage to your feet
Feet can become damaged with years of standing, walking and wearing improper footwear. Luckily, it is possible to correct some damage to the feet with reflexology and foot massage. Use a warm, nourishing oil such as coconut oil or olive oil for your daily 10 minute foot massage.
Pay close attention to painful areas such as the ball of the foot, the arch and the heel. In addition to massaging with your fingertips, you may also wish to use a foot roller. This simple device can be placed on the floor in front of your chair so that you can roll your feet back and forth over it while relaxing.
4. Foot massage can relieve hormonal difficulties
Problems caused by the hormonal fluctuations associated with post menstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause can be effectively addressed with foot massage and reflexology.
The reflexology point that corresponds with problems such as hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, sadness, disturbed sleep, irritability and bloating is called the Grandfather Grandson point. It can be found at the base of the big toe.
Use a warm massage oil to apply firm and steady pressure to this point for at least two minutes. Follow-up by massaging the entire foot and lower leg.
5. Get relief from hypertension
Because foot massage is relaxing, it can be very helpful in treating hypertension (a.k.a.: high blood pressure or HBP).
In addition to daily foot massage, applying pressure to the reflex point called the solar plexus point can be specifically helpful. You can find this reflex point by squeezing the sides of your foot to form a hollow on the sole. This hollow is the solar plexus point. Once you have located it, apply deep pressure using your thumb.
Practice deep breathing while applying pressure for up to one minute at a time. To positively affect your blood pressure, you should practice this treatment two times weekly.
6. Conquer insomnia with foot massage & reflexology
When you massage your feet at bedtime, you will naturally get a better night’s sleep. Paying close attention to these acupressure/reflexology points will help ensure your rest. In addition to your regular foot massage, apply deep pressure to the plantar pad found on the big toes. Press deeply on these pads with your thumb for a full minute at a time.
7. Foot massage promotes overall relaxation
At the end of a long hard day nothing is more relaxing than a gentle foot massage. This is especially true if you can take the time to soak your feet in warm water or use a relaxing foot spa. Follow this up with a gentle, overall foot massage using warm coconut oil, olive oil or mustard oil. Adding relaxing essential oils such as peppermint oil and/or lavender oil for aromatherapy can also be very effective.
8. Using reflexology techniques helps relieve bodily aches & pains
Knowing the reflexology points on your feet can help you address specific aches and pains in your body.
For example, pain in your neck can be addressed by massaging your toes very firmly for five minutes. Migraines and other types of headaches can be addressed by massaging your ankles. Pains in your lower back and thighs may be helped by massaging the Achilles tendon.
A complete reflexology chart will show you exactly which parts of your feet and ankles should be massaged to address various areas of your body.
9. Foot massage helps relieve edema during pregnancy
Swelling of the ankles is a common problem for pregnant women. Regular massage accompanied by elevation improve circulation in the feet and ankles and helps to relieve swelling.
10. Address restless leg syndrome
Massaging the feet, ankles and lower legs helps relieve restless leg syndrome. People who have restless leg syndrome, which is a neurological disorder, can often find relief with regular, deep massage of the feet, ankles and lower legs.
When massaging to treat this disorder, it is important to use a warm, soothing oil (such as coconut oil) and to massage using firm, circular strokes for at least 10 minutes per foot and leg daily Begin on the soles of the feet and work up the leg toward the heart. Do this at bedtime to prevent having your sleep disturbed by your restless legs.