Foot massages can have many benefits to the human mind and body. Not only do they feel extremely good, but they can also alleviate pains and other troublesome symptoms you may be having if it is done right.
Why do foot massages have such great benefits? If done correctly, foot massages can have great benefits and have a lasting and positive impact on your mental and physical health. They promote a healthy mind, reduce pain, and strengthen muscles in your feet and ankles among other things.
Here are 12 Reasons to Get a Foot Massage:
- Great for pregnancy swelling
- Relieves Pain from Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis
- Relieves Symptoms of PMS and Menopause
- Can Lower Blood Pressure
- Relieves Headaches and Migraines
- Prevents Foot and Ankle Injuries
- Alleviates Depression and Anxiety
- Beneficial to Your Sex Life
- Improves Blood Circulation
- Benefits of Reflexology
- Improves Sleep
- Promotes Healthier Feet
What kind of magic is this, you ask? Well, it’s only the best kind. A foot massage doesn’t just feel like magic, it can also make your symptoms lessen like magic. They have so many impressive benefits, that I thought I would share them all with you.
Why Do Foot Massages Feel So Good?
Our feet have a lot of bones in them. In fact, they hold ¼ of all the bones in our body. Not only that, but our feet have more than 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons. That is a lot of muscle that needs a lot of tender love and care.
The best way to exercise those muscles is by walking. It is guessed that the average person walks more than 115,000 miles a lifetime. So, it comes as no surprise that around 75% of Americans have foot issues sometime throughout their life.
With this information in mind, it really goes to show just how much attention our feet need. We use them every day, so shouldn’t they be taken care of? If we don’t take care of our feet, then we won’t have healthy feet to walk on.
This will cause a lot of irritability. Imagine if everyone got foot massages, there would probably be world peace.
How many benefits can one measly foot massage have? Well, if you asked this question to a foot masseuse you might get an irritable humph and a long explanation on just how great foot massages are for you.
Today, we’ll be covering 12 of those great benefits you may get from a foot massage.
The Benefits of a Foot Massage
Getting a foot massage can be a great temporary fix to many problems in our stressful lives. Going to a foot massage session multiple times a week (article) can have even greater and longer-lasting benefits.
There are many reasons to get a foot massage. Whether it be to take a load off after a long day of work or because of some health concerns you may have, there is always something to benefit from having your feet massaged.
1. Great for Pregnancy Swelling
Pregnancy is full of all kinds of dreadful side effects. One of which is fluid retention in the feet and ankles. Ways to relieve this swelling are to put your feet up or get a nice, relieving massage.
Getting a foot massage for fluid retention will move the fluid out of your feet and relieve some of that built-up pressure. It will bring that welling down and relieve some of that pain that accompanies the pressure.
2. Relieves Pain from Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis
Flat feet are not usually the first guess when it comes to foot pain and further body pain as you age. They are caused by ligament laxity in the feet which in turn causes the arch to collapse, giving you flat feet.
Flat feet can cause some pretty serious pain in your feet, especially when you’ve been on them all day. A massage after a long day of standing can relieve some of that pain (article) and alleviate some of the symptoms of flat feet.
Plantar Fasciitis (article) is the inflammation of the tissue that runs from the heel of your foot to your toes. This usually happens if you continuously strain this ligament by overuse, inadequate shoes, (article) or landing wrong after a big jump.
Getting a massage for one of these injuries can reduce swelling and relieve pain.
3. Relieves Symptoms of PMS and Menopause
Periods are probably the worst time of the month for many women. Along with the normal cycle comes unpleasant feelings like depression, irritability, fatigue, and headaches.
The same could be said about menopause. Accompanying those unpleasant feelings are also hot flashes and cold sweats, which just makes the whole ordeal even more miserable. A foot massage every day during these trying times can help soothe some of these undesirable effects of womanhood.
4. Can Lower Blood Pressure
In today’s day and age, it is common to have high blood pressure. Unhealthy diets paired with the stress of everyday living can really take its toll on the human body.
High blood pressure can even be caused by things such as genetics and the environment. So, the only thing we can do is get a foot massage. A short foot massage a few times a week is proven to improve mood, lower blood pressure, and relieve anxiety.
5. Relieves Headaches and Migraines
A foot massage has been shown to reduce the symptoms of a headache or migraine. Even more, getting regular foot massages can completely heal you of your migraines or drastically reduce them.
That means no more light sensitivity, no more medications, and nor more canceling plans or going to bed early. Getting regular foot massages may be all you need to a more positive lifestyle.
6. Prevents Foot and Ankle Injuries
Having weak ankles can cause some serious pain and injury to the feet and ankles. A foot massage can help relieve some of that pain and muscle tenderness. And if you have recently injured your ankle, foot massages can even help the healing process speed along.
This is a temporary relief to the pain. To avoid any future injuries, you could pair foot massages with exercises that will help strengthen (article) and lengthen the muscles in your feet and ankles.
7. Alleviates Depression and Anxiety
Getting a foot massage can be extremely relaxing and, for a time being, make you forget about all of the stressful things waiting for you when you leave.
But it is believed that getting foot massages regularly can have a lasting effect on someone’s mental state, causing more positive thinking and lessening depression and anxiety.
So, it won’t just be a momentary break from the world. With regular massage sessions, it will be lasting peace of mind.
8. Beneficial to your Sex Life
This one is a little different than the other mentioned benefits, but it is no less important than they are. A healthy sex life can benefit your relationship and your own mood in the long run.
Adding some massage oil and quiet music to a massage session can quickly take your significant other’s mind off of the day’s stresses. A foot massage can encourage your body to produce endorphins.
This can benefit both of your moods and show your significant other that you care about them.
9. Improves Blood Circulation
As civilization has advanced and progressed into the future, our feet have suffered. Wearing ill-fitting or too tight shoes (article) have caused our feet to get little to no exercise (article) and causes poor blood circulation.
A short foot massage at the end of the day can alleviate these issues and improve blood circulation in the feet and ankles.
This is especially important to do if you are suffering from diabetes as the blood in the lower extremities oftentimes needs a little help circulating.
10. Benefits of Reflexology
Reflexology is the practice of using pressure points during a foot massage that will benefit different organs and parts of the body.
There is a specific spot on the feet for each individual body part, and by massaging these spots it can help alleviate any pains or unpleasant symptoms you may be having.
A reflexology treatment is used to alleviate symptoms in a different part of the body and can sometimes include the ears and hands during the session.
11. Improves Sleep
Not only does improved blood circulation help improve your health, but it is also beneficial to promote restful sleep.
In order to do this, having your feet massaged or massaging them yourself before you go to sleep will relax both your body and your mind. Before you know it, you’ll be sleeping like a baby.
12. Promotes Healthier Feet
Massaging your feet on a regular basis will stimulate the foot and ankle muscles and reduce any pain and swelling you may have. Not only that, but it helps strengthen and lengthen your muscles which will help avoid accidents.
You can massage your feet without any lotion or oil but adding a small dollop to your massage session will promote hydration and oftentimes reduce pain and inflammation.
Getting a Professional Foot Massage
Having a professional give you a foot massage is the best way to get the full array of benefits out of it. Usually, when you receive a foot massage at a spa or masseuses office, it is pair with a full body massage, though those can get a little pricey.
Usually, to start a massage, the therapist will begin with a foot bath or exfoliation to tenderize the muscles and tendons. They will take this moment to work the targeted areas with their thumbs and knuckles.
If you can’t get to a massage therapist, some people opt for a massage gun to get a professional like message. It can help lossen tight muscles like a massage therapist if done correctly. (See video)
Yet, a foot massage that is done at a professional’s office or spa has the added benefit of a relaxing environment with music and scents that are meant to soothe.
You could imitate the environment in your own home, but it could be difficult to do and more trouble than it is worth.
Finding a qualified and experienced masseuse is important if you want to receive a massage that was worth your while.
Some things that you should be able to ask to see are their license or certificate to practice and their documentation of over 500 hours of massage specific education, whether it be done at a school, an internship, or with a massage guru that practices out of a temple.
With their education comes communication skills, safe work practices, a clean work area, and questions to gain knowledge of your health and wellness. This should all be verified before the massage session as to avoid any harm that may come to you.
Giving Yourself a Foot Massage
Massaging your own feet isn’t extremely hard and everyone has the capacity to learn how to do it. Generally, if you are giving yourself a foot massage it is because you want to unwind after a long day of work or relax before bed.
To do this you will need to sit in a comfortable chair with your leg bent and your foot resting on your thigh. This will give you easy access to your foot without compromising your comfort.
Using lotion or oil may help your fingers and knuckles glide against your skin easily and increase the likelihood of your massage to have the desired effects. You will need to rub your chosen oil into your skin and over the entirety of your foot and ankle.
There are two ways you can massage your foot. By using your knuckles, you will be able to knead the muscles deep in your foot and work out any tightness or knots that may have formed there throughout the day.
You can also hold your foot with both of your hands and work your muscles with your thumbs to relieve some of the pain you may have in your feet.
During your foot massage, remember to pull and stretch the toes. This is often a forgotten portion of the foot but requires just as much attention as the rest of it.
By working your toes, you will be able to stretch the muscles and allow the pressure and tightness to release. This will improve the overall effectiveness of the massage drastically.
If you just aren’t getting the desired effect from your foot massage, you can always look into buying a massage device from your local Walmart or drugstore.
These devices can help relieve some tension and pain that you might have in your feet while saving your hands from tender and overworked muscles.
Why Foot Massages are Worth It
Your feet are beaten up and walked on all day every day. They are worn down and sometimes need a little pick me up. When your feet get cramped, sore, and stiff that is usually when you know you need a little bit of massage therapy.
A foot massage can have so many benefits (article) in such a small span of time. It increases circulation and carries toxins out of your feet. It is the best way to relax and relieve that achy pain that has been bothering you lately.
If you are having issues elsewhere in your body, you can look into reflexology, which will ease tension in the rest of your body and promote good health for the targeted area.
Once your body is able to relax, it is encouraged to release hormones and endorphins to promote happiness and a calm mind.
The practice of massage actually stems from traditional Chinese medicine. They believed that our “chi”, or our energy, flows right through our feet as well as other parts of the body.
By massaging these spots, it will unblock the buildup of chi and allow for it to flow freely. The scientific study that has been done on reflexology is inconclusive, but there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows just how effective it can be.
Here Are Three Massage Techniques That Will Help
The first technique is to treat anxiety. If you curl your toes you should see a small divot in the center of your foot. Using your thumb, you will want to massage small but firm circles in this divot to relieve any anxiety that you might feel.
If you fluctuate between hard and soft pressure while changing the direction of your massage, it can help alleviate any pain you may have in that portion of your foot. Once you’re done, switch feet and repeat the process.
The second technique is meant to relieve any pain you might feel in your foot. It is called myofascial release therapy and targets the tissue surrounding your muscles, bones, and organs.
You can achieve pain relief by using gentle pressure on the targeted areas for a short but effective massage session. To do this, you’ll need to sit in a comfortable chair and roll your foot back and forth over a tennis ball.
Once you find the tender spot, press down for 3 to 5 seconds and release. After this, you’re done. Continuing to roll the ball around won’t get deep enough into the tissue, so it won’t really help you much.
The third and final technique I’m going to mention is to relieve lower back pain. This technique focuses on pressure points to relieve pressure and pain, which is called reflexology.
Find a comfortable place to sit and place your foot on your thigh.
There is a pressure point in the arches of your feet that you’ll need to find and add some oil or lotion too. Now all you need to do is rub your thumb in firm strokes from the top of your arch to the bottom, and you should feel some relief.
This massage is much like how you rub lotion into your skin after a shower and is probably one of the easiest massages to do.
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