“Oh, yes, more please” is usually the refrain from anyone getting a foot massage. Not only does it feel good, though, it can add to one’s health and well-being. According to oriental medicine, the sensory nerves in both the hands and the feet connect with one’s internal organs, and can be used to treat health ailments.
Reflexology as a part of massage therapy
Reflexology is the use of correct pressure to reflex points and areas on the feet, ears and hands that correspond with certain organs, bones and body systems. Many massage therapists have incorporated version of it into their practices. Although it is not use to diagnose, treat or cure disease, it has been shown to help as an adjunctive treatment for anxiety, sinusitis, asthma, kidney issues, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, PMS and headaches.
When the massage therapist or reflexologist uses pressure on the area that correspond to the various body parts, energy is sent to that body part that can assist with healing. For instance, putting pressure on and massaging a spot on the arch of the foot has been known to chase away a bladder infection.
Foot reflexology has also been shown to help with plantar fasciitis, ankle injuries, and resolving foot nerve pain for diabetics. The acupressure points in the foot may hurt a little when pressed by a massage therapist. That is usually indicative of a problem with the area of the body to which the acupressure point corresponds.
Health benefits from a foot massage
- Helps with sleep
A foot massage just before going to bed promotes better sleep. So, drive slowly on the way home from the massage therapist and jump in bed as soon as you get home. Better yet, get your massage therapist to tech your partner how to give you a foot massage right before bedtime.
- Improves circulation in the feet
Because of the sedentary lifestyles many of us have, the muscles in our feet do not get a really good workout often. Many of us also wear tight shoes that hamper the circulation in our feet. A foot massage improves the circulation not only in the feet, but encourages proper circulation throughout the body, transporting needed oxygen to many areas that may not receive sufficient oxygen in sedentary lifestyles.
- Foot massages help fight depression
A 2010 Journal of Clinical Nursing study indicated that receiving foot massages can help reduce the stress of grieving, and increase adaptive behavior. There are points on the feet that are known to be helpful in lessening depressive symptoms.
- Provides pain relief
A good foot massage can also help with relief from the pain associated with a wide variety of conditions such as regular headaches, migraine headaches, back pain, and neck pain. Thigh pain, a burning sensation in the feet, and foot tendonitis also benefit greatly from a foot massage.
- A foot massage can relieve edema in the feet and ankles
Fluid retention can be a problem during pregnancy and with certain other conditions. A good foot massage stirs up the fluids so that the body can offload them via the regular channels.
There is nothing like a great foot massage to get all the body parts humming.