After a long day of walking around and standing up, a short session of foot massage is the best thing you can do for your body, mind, and spirit. Foot massage dates back nearly 5,000 years ago to ancient China and Egypt and was not until 1913 when it was introduced to the United States. Since then, it has been regarded as a complementary and alternative medicine by millions of people to promote health and wellbeing. Basically, foot massage involves applying pressure to various reflex points on your feet, ankles, and toes in order to ease pains, aches and provide relief to tired feet. Whether you take a few minutes for self-massage before retiring to bed or book a massage session with a certified reflexologist, it will not just be your foot that reaps the benefits. Here are 10 amazing foot massage benefits you need to know.
1. Helps blood circulationAs you work hard to make ends meet, chances are that you put on the best shoes to impress your workmates and standout. Well, whether its high heels or running shoes, the circulation of blood in your feet is affected which could lead to mobility problems that range from difficulty walking to swelling. A 10 to 20 minutes foot massage at the end of the day will improve the flow of blood throughout the feet. During cold seasons, you may realize that your feet feel cold and stiff due to poor circulation but as soon as you massage them, the circulation improves.
2. Enhances Better sleepAre you having difficulty falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night and experience trouble going back to sleep? If yes, a soothing and relaxing foot massage will help you overcome insomnia and sleep disorders. One of the most celebrated foot massage benefits is improving the quality of your sleep. After a long day, spare some few minutes and massage your feet to help you relax. A regular foot massage will restore your normal circadian rhythm to help you sleep soundly and wake up the next morning with energy to face the day.
3. Improves skin and nail healthFoot massage involves applying rich moisturising lotions and essential oils. This means that if you massage your feet regularly, you help get rid of cracked heels, dry skin, and maintain healthy and beautiful feet. To make it even more interesting, essential oils you use to massage your feet, be it lavender or eucalyptus, it contains powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties that prevent fungal and bacterial infections of the nails and skin.
4. Lower blood pressureHigh blood pressure is a serious health condition that may increase your risk of suffering from stroke, heart attack or kidney failure. The levels of your blood pressure can be lowered by lifestyle changes such as eating the right food, and so can regular foot massage. One study found out that a relaxing foot massage improves the blood triglyceride levels and systolic blood pressure. Another study showed that a ten-minute session of foot massage three times a week leads to less anxiety, improved mood, and lower blood pressure.
5. Prevents injuryIf you are a runner or any other type of athlete, chances are that foot pain is not new to you. Most people with such problems tend to relieve the pain with medication but if you want to find relief without involving too many chemicals, a foot massage is what you need. According to experts, massaging your feet regularly strengthens your muscles thereby preventing injuries from occurring. A foot massage can also help reduce inflammation which leads to plantar fasciitis that affects your heel.
6. Reduces symptoms of depression and anxietyFoot massage has been proven to be very effective in treating anxiety and depression. Basically, your body produces a stress hormone famously known as cortisol which may lead to anxiety when elevated. Luckily, a 20-minute session of foot massage can do wonders in reducing the levels of cortisol and in turn reduce the symptoms of anxiety and provide an energy boost.
7. Increases endorphins and makes you feel happierIt goes without saying that endorphins are good for everyone as they act like happiness hormones that reduce pain and discomfort and increase the happy feeling. Foot massage releases endorphins that increase the feeling of calmness and reduce pain and stress. In other words, foot massage activates the happiness hormones which circulate around your brain and body thereby promoting happiness. Therefore, if you find yourself unhappy from time to time, a foot massage can surely change your life and help you leave a life full of merry.
8. Helps with headaches and migrainesMillions of people across the world suffer from intractable migraines and headaches and opt for medication to relieve the pain. Unfortunately, some of these medications may carry significant risks of side effects that may not be good for you. If headache has been giving you sleepless nights, your lucky star has finally fallen on you because foot massage can alleviate it, reduce muscular tension and help you calm down.
9. Helps reduce swollen feetYour feet can become swollen for various reasons such as heart failure, kidney disease, high blood pressure or pregnancy. Regardless of what makes your feet swell, you must come up with a way of getting rid of that excess fluid. Most physicians recommend foot massage for pregnant women and this shows how effective it is in promoting blood circulation and reducing foot swelling. In addition, foot massage stimulates dieresis and promotes kidney function hence ensuring that the salt balance of your body is optimal.
10. Foot massage helps maintain balanceA lack of balance affects the ability of people to move, walk, stand and participate in recreational activities. According to research, there are two main components of balance; the mechanical part and the inner ear balance, and the foot massage assists with the former. Lack of balance affects the elderly and people with osteoarthritis. A short session of foot massage regularly can give you both control of your mobility and relieve your pain.
Bottom lineMassage therapies have been practiced for many years to rehabilitate and recover health conditions in human beings. There are tremendous foot massage benefits from revitalizing your body and offering comfort to improving nervous system and brain function. If you want your body to respond effectively to activities and your brain to function normally, spare your 10 to 20 minutes and make foot massage a weekly routine.