Wherever you go and whatever you do, your feet continuously work hard for you. You walk everyday and it is actually a good form of exercise. However, walking for long periods of time in just one day can cause too much strain in your feet. This is why you have to give them a break and pamper them by having a foot massage. The great thing about this is that it does not only provide relaxation for your feet but an overall improvement to your health and entire body as well.
Foot massage has been a form of relaxation that has been existing for hundreds of years in different cultures around the world. It has not only been used to relax the body, but it was also done to improve the body’s health. Today, the majority of the forms of foot massage have incorporated elements from other types of disciplines like shiatsu and reflexology. Shiatsu is a Japanese massage and bodywork that revolves around the concept of traditional Chinese medicine like the application of chi meridians to provide effective medical treatment. On the other hand, reflexology is otherwise called zone therapy is a massage and practice that incorporates the application of pressure on particular points on the hands or feet which uses a specific thumb, finger, and other hand massage methods that do not require the use of lotion or oil. Basically, these traditional massage and therapeutic forms work by applying pressure to at least seven thousand nerves so that the foot will release energy blockages throughout the body. A foot massage partnered with reflexology is beneficial in relieving pain, easing stress and anxiety, and help in speeding up recovery from injuries.
In a traditional setting, foot massages are performed using the hands, but treatments may include the use of rollers and sticks sometimes so that it could be easier to stimulate the reflex areas in the foot more easily. Nowadays, the massage is performed in almost every spa by a professional massage therapist or reflexology practitioner.
Incorporating reflexology into foot massage is one of the most common ways to perform it because it is proven to be very effective. To understand its benefits, it is important to know the science behind it. The human’s feet are composed of 26 bones and 33 joints with approximately 7,000 nerve endings termed as reflexes. These reflexes are connected to each organ of our bodies. With that, applying gentle pressure to particular reflex points on your foot will stimulate the nervous system to open up energy pathways that may have been congested or blocked. Here are some pressure points and the organs that they are linked to.
This treatment is one of the most common ways to relax and enjoy and it provides a positive impact not only on your feet but on your entire body. To expound on these, here are some benefits of foot massage.
Provides a sense of balance and well-being.
One of the objectives of a foot massage is to bring back our body’s natural balance. Also, if you are looking for a great way to relax and rejuvenate yourself, a foot massage would be for you. The massage provides a pause from the troubles of everyday life. When you leave the spa, you will be refreshed and have a feeling of contentment.
Stress is reduced.
A foot massage will stimulate the drop of cortisol, the stress hormone in your body. It works when firm pressure is applied to the solar plexus area of your foot, by doing this technique a significant decrease in this particular hormone will be encouraged.
From a study featured in the Journal of Clinical Nursing in 2010, undergoing a soothing and relaxing foot massage when you are stressed because of a death of a loved one can help you deal with this stressful grieving period. Experiencing a foot massage during these times provides consolation and can help you balance the need to grieve and adapt to changes in life.
In relation to this, a foot massage is also beneficial for those suffering from depression. This is because specific pressure points on the feet are capable of alleviating the symptoms of depression. To cite an example, the area in the center of the big toe, the spot in the middle of the ball of your foot, or the ball of the foot located under the big toe are linked with stabilizing emotions and mental health. Targeting and putting pressure on these particular points for a few minutes two to three times a day can be helpful in relieving symptoms of depression.
A foot massage improves blood circulation. Since a foot massage involves massaging the extremities, it helps with the circulation of blood around the body which in turn promotes cell repair and cell growth.
It relieves pain.
Our feet are carrying us everyday but we forget how much pressure they must endure especially when we are overweight. We only tend to notice them only when they start to ache. Before they even hurt, they actually received a lot of tension already. Since the massage helps in improving circulation, your muscles will be stimulated and there will be a reduction in tension. With this, pain is often eased.
It will help you sleep better.
From an interview made by Michele Stevens, a reflexologist for Healthista, performing foot massage and reflexology can help in getting a good night’s sleep. The massage help you relax which makes falling asleep easier.
It helps your body get rid of toxins.
This type of massage improves circulation in your feet making it easy for your blood and lymph systems to carry away toxins.
A foot massage gives you the chance to check for feet problems.
If you usually neglect your feet because you are busy, going for a foot massage will give you an opportunity to see whether you have blisters, corns, bunions, and toenail problems and be able to treat them immediately.
If you go to a spa, a licensed professional massage therapist will receive you. A foot massage is included in every full-body massage, but some people really enjoy having the full time spent on massaging their feet. Undergoing the procedure in the hands of a skilled therapist is very effective and beneficial for your overall health and relaxation. If it is your first time to have this kind of massage, you will expect to have it before or after a foot bath and skin exfoliation. The massage therapists will apply pressure on your feet using their thumbs and fingertips and prioritize areas at the top, bottom, heel, and toes of your feet to give you the best relaxation experience.
The reason a foot massage feels awesome is that it allows your muscles to relax and stimulate the release of hormones in your body that makes you relax and feel a sense of calmness. Every time the levels of these hormones are high, you become more tense and stressed. Basically, a foot massage makes the entire body relaxed because it does not only target the foot but the entire body as well. This works by stimulating specific areas of your feet to ease the tension in your body, especially in your lower back and legs. Furthermore, the massage corrects all imbalances in the body.