Our feet are extremely resilient, flexible and adapt to the most diverse soil conditions. They consist of 26 bones, 32 muscles and have almost 70 000 nerve cells. They carry our weight and endure some uncomfortable shoes that we wear. They tend to get sore and swollen due to long hours of standing or even walking around. Once you are done for the day and you get home, you find it too difficult to stand. All you want to do is to just lie down. But did you know that it is very important for you to have a foot message?
Already a 10-minute foot massage per day is enough to pamper the feet to keep strong and flexible. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are achieved by the foot massage of the vegetative nervous system. These in turn affect the blood flow, organ functions and our well-being. Here are more benefits of foot massage.
Promotes Better Sleep
Foot massage just before going to bed can help you sleep better. A soothing and relaxing foot massage will help the body unwind, improve blood circulation and relax the nerves. These in turn will encourage restful sleep.
There are certain acupuncture points (system of complementary medicine in which fine needles are inserted in the skin) on your feet that need to be massaged to promote sleep.
- Sit upright with your foot in your lap.
- Using your thumb, press in and around the large plantar pad of your big toe.
- Do this for at least 1 minute on each of the big toes.
- Next, massage the bottom of your feet for 10 minutes with warm coconut oil, olive oil or mustard oil.
Improves Blood Circulation
Due to sedentary lifestyles, most of us do not use the muscles of our feet properly. Also, improper footwear like tight shoes hampers normal circulation in the feet. You can improve your blood circulation with 10 minutes of daily foot massage. This in turn will help transport oxygen to the body’s cells, which is essential for overall health. Needless to say, you also need to opt for proper and comfortable footwear: Especially ladies that will rather choose to wear tight high heels that some can barely work in it.
Foot massage will also stimulate the lymphatic system and help prevent varicose veins.
- Put any massage oil in your palm and rub it firmly on your foot for several minutes.
- Then, stroke the foot gently but firmly from toes to ankle with your fingers.
- Finally, give a gentle massage to your lower leg also.
- Repeat the same with the other foot.
Helps You Relax
After a long tiring day, the best way to relax is a soothing and relaxing foot massage, particularly after a long day of standing and walking around, when our feet tend to swell up. Also, foot massage gives you energy by releasing any blockages that hold back energy and relieving symptoms of stress and fatigue. Regular foot massage of 5 to 10 minutes before going to bed can improve feelings of general well-being. Always use warm oil for foot massage so that it easily penetrates deep in the skin. Also, use gentle yet firm strokes.
Foot massage and reflexology can even help fight depression. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, receiving soothing hand or foot massages after the death of a loved one can help a lot to deal with the stressful grieving period. Foot massage provides consolation, helping people to balance the need to grieve and adapt to changes in life.
Certain points on the feet are helpful in alleviating depression symptoms. For instance, the spot in the center of the big toe, the spot at the center of the ball of your foot or the ball of the foot located under the big toe are associated with emotional stability and mental health. Massaging these points or applying pressure to them for a few minutes 2 or 3 times a day can help relieve symptoms of depression.
Relieves Aches and Pains
Reflexology can help treat different types of pains and aches, such as headaches, migraines, neck pain, lower and upper backaches. If you have neck pain, massage the toes as well as the joints that join the toes to the foot for 5 minutes firmly, and soon the pain will vanish. You can massage the whole ankle to reduce pain and swelling in the ankle and get relief from headaches and migraines. To relieve thigh pain or lower back pain, apply pressure with your thumb between the outer ankle bone and the Achilles tendon for a few minutes.
For upper backaches, massage the arch of the foot. Use your thumbs to apply pressure along the edge of the foot, using small circular motions. Also, massage the soles and tops of your feet.
Follow these due processes to relieve yourself of foot ache after a long and tiring day. It is also very advisable that you opt for very comfortable and free shoes that will aid the free flow of blood in your feet.
By: Pupwaya Timothy Dibal