Is your job one that requires you to walk and use your feet all day? Or perhaps you enjoy shopping and running errands at home? Giving yourself a foot massage at the end of the day is not a bad idea!
Your feet work hard all day and require the same care and attention as any other part of your body. Aside from the relaxation it provides, a foot massage promotes health and well-being.
It has been practiced as a complementary alternative medicine in many cultures around the world for centuries and continues to be so today. It entails applying pressure to various points on the sole of the foot. These points are intricately connected to the rest of your body in ways you’ve probably never considered before but can have a significant impact on your life.
Listed here are six (6) benefits of a foot massage:
1. Promotes better sleep
With increasing age, older adults experienced less sleep quality and time, which can harm their physical and psychological health.
Foot massage before bedtime can help promote a more restful night’s sleep by relaxing the body, improving blood circulation, and relaxing the nerves.
According to a study published in the nursing journal JAN, people who received foot reflexology were less likely to have sleep problems than those who did not. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33615535/) Consider getting a foot massage if you suffer from insomnia.
2. Reduce premenstrual symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to symptoms such as tender breasts, bloating, cramps, mood swings, and headaches of varying severity that occur in 90% of women during the week before menstruation. An individual with PMS frequently experiences mood swings and uncontrollable anger. As a result, the symptoms of young adolescents may have a negative impact on school functions and social interactions.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Therapies and Rehabilitation Research, foot massage decreases the symptoms of women with PMS. (https://dergipark.org.tr/en/download/article-file/1233858) Another study published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork found that it can be an effective treatment for PMS sufferers who want to avoid taking medication. One patient stated that “At the end of the sessions, I realize that in addition to not only reducing stress during the premenstrual period, there is also a noticeable decrease in pain intensity. For the first time in many years, I didn’t need to take any medication for cramps”. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8629353/)
Foot massage may be regarded as an effective, safe, low-cost, and effective alternative treatment method for reducing premenstrual syndrome in adolescent females.
3. Fights depression and anxiety
It’s heartbreaking to see how this pandemic is affecting our health, particularly our mental health. Meanwhile, it’s encouraging to know that foot massage can help with depression and anxiety.
When your muscles and connective tissues become stiff, massage therapy can help relieve the tension. It effectively increases blood flow in your veins, promoting relaxation. Physical symptoms of depression, such as back pain, sluggishness, muscle aches, and sleeping problems, will be reduced.
Foot reflexology significantly improved adult anxiety in 26 randomized controlled studies, according to a 2020 study published in Evidence-Based Complement Alternate Medicine involving 2,366 participants. (https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2020/2654353/)
The Liver 3 acupressure point is located on the top of your feet, between the big toe and the second toe. To find the point, measure two finger widths down from where the two toes meet. This point will not only help reduce symptoms of depression but also with stomach distention, headaches, nausea, and insomnia.
4. Helps lower blood pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension or HBP, is a major risk factor for heart disease that can be managed with regular and up-to-date foot massages.
According to some studies, getting a foot massage can help calm the nervous system, which is responsible for involuntary responses to threatening or stressful situations (sympathetic nervous system).
Massage on the kidney, adrenal gland, ear, ureter, uterus, and head areas of the foot is beneficial in lowering your body’s blood pressure. To do this, locate the kidney, adrenal gland, ear, ureter, uterus, and head areas on your feet first, using a massage chart as a guide. Next, press down and firmly applies pressure to that area with your finger, knuckle, or the end of a smooth stick.
Another method for lowering blood pressure is to massage your foot for 10 minutes twice a week for improved mood, less anxiety, and lower blood pressure.
Although incorporating massage into your stress management routine may help you keep your blood pressure in check, you should not avoid or postpone standard high blood pressure treatment. If you intend to use massage to manage your blood pressure, consult with your doctor first.
5. Help relieves pain
Several studies have emerged suggesting that relaxation, which can be induced in a variety of ways, affects pain.
In various clinical studies, foot massage is gaining popularity as a method of pain relief and management. According to a Danish study, 81% of patients who underwent a 3-month follow-up said their treatments had benefited them or had completely healed, while 19% of people who had previously taken medication to treat their headaches were able to cease doing so. (https://europepmc.org/article/med/10234869)
Regular foot massages can benefit the majority of people. However, if you have certain conditions including burns, open or healing wounds on your feet, fractures, or severe osteoporosis, avoid one.
6. Decreased swelling
Edema is defined as the accumulation of excess fluid in a specific area as a result of trauma, most notably the feet and legs. The condition is common in people who have diabetes, heart problems, kidney problems or are pregnant. Night cramps, numbness, tingling, and pain are the most common symptoms of edema.
Consider massaging your feet in the direction of your heart with firm strokes and gentle pressure. This can aid in shifting the fluid out of the area and reducing swelling. During pregnancy, however, it is recommended to have it done by a friend, partner, or a qualified professional.
Foot massages are an easy and effective way to improve your health. It stimulates your body’s natural healing ability. It’s free, and you can do it whenever you need a health boost. According to the Harvard Medical School, foot massage “improves circulation, stimulates muscles, reduces tension, and often relieves pain.” Whether you’ve experienced any of the conditions listed above or you’ve just had a long day, a relaxing foot massage may be just what you need to not only feel better today but also live a healthier and longer life.