If you have tried foot massage, you know the amazing feeling it creates, since it relaxes the entire body.
According to experts, our feet benefit the most from massage. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the feet are the center of numerous reflexology points that are linked to internal body organs and systems, and their stimulation causes numerous benefits for our overall health.
There are more types of foot massage, like Thai foot massage, Swedish foot massage, and reflexology, and they all seem to provide miraculous effects. Therefore, foot massage has been practiced for centuries as a natural way to promote health and well-being, and nowadays, it is considered a complementary and alternative medicine used by millions to relieve pain, lower stress, and anxiety, rehabilitate injuries and improve health.
Foot massage has several components. The physical aspect of the massage, the manipulation and massage of muscles, boosts blood flow, sooths local joint pain, and the lymphatic drainage, so it provides a therapeutic effect in and of itself.
Researchers have found that foot massage has numerous other benefits, like decreasing pain, assisting in keeping blood and heart rate low, and treating some mental health problems like anxiety and depression. These benefits are due to the combination of the physical effects of massage, and the psycho-social aspect of getting foot massage.
In most cases, any type of massage provides most of these benefits, even though there are some benefits that are unique to foot massage, such as increased balance, increased sensation, and range of motion in the feet.
Therefore, a simple self-administered foot massage before going to bed for 10 to 15 minutes daily, can do wonders for your health!
Numerous studies have confirmed the therapeutic properties of massage:
- Self-acupressure reduces stress and treats allergies, nausea, and pain
- Chinese massage for 10 minutes stimulates relaxation
- A 15-minute massage boosts the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being in patients in geriatric care
- Thai foot massage improved balance, motion, and range of motion of diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy
- Pre-operative anxiety levels were reduced after just four 20-minute sessions
- Foot massage boosted mood, relaxation, and alertness of dementia patients
- A 30-minute massage twice a week reduced the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease and stress in infants
Therefore, start massaging your feet for 5-10 minutes every night and you will reap all the benefits of this ancient practice.
-- You can soak your feet in a tub of warm water first, and you can add a few drops of some soothing essential oil. Then, sit down on a chair, prop one foot onto the lat, and let the other rest extended in front of you. Apply a small amount of lotion or oil.
-- Then, while holding the bottom of the foot with both hands, rub the top of the foot using a firm motion, while the thumbs slowly work their way down the sole. Tap the sole with a loose fist to boost blood circulation.
-- Next, while holding the foot beneath the arch with one hand, stretch the toes back with the thumb and the index finger, and pull each toe in a steady motion. Slide the index finger in the gap between the toes, move back and forth, and rub the base of each toe. Next, slide all five fingers between each of the toes simultaneously.
-- Place the right foot on top of the left thigh, and with the help of your hands, rotate the foot at the ankle and gently rub the fingers over the top of the bone. Grasp the ball of the foot with the other hand, and turn the foot at the ankle, a few times in each direction.
-- Next, overlap the thumbs, press the arch below the heel bone, and push slowly up to the bone of the big toe. Again, start pressing into the lower arch near the heel bone, spread the thumbs open, and stretch the full width of the arch. Overlap the thumbs once more, press higher on the arch, and start rubbing in large circular motions with the thumbs around the arch.
-- In the end, wrap the hands around the foot while your thumbs meet at the bottom of the soles, and the fingers are curled lightly onto the top of the foot. Press the thumbs into the soles, sweep them up the center of the soles, and fan the thumbs out toward the sides of the feet. Stretch the foot outward.
After this amazing massage, your body pain will be alleviated, your mind will be calm, and your nerves soothed, so you will sleep like a baby!