10 Secret and Subtle Fringe Benefits of Foot Reflexology
Our feet, which support all the weight of our body, enable us to move around and do lots of work. Yet, they’re the least pampered part of the body. It’s no secret that a short foot massage from time to time can really help us unwind – especially after a strenuous day spent standing and walking (that can cause our poor feet to swell like a balloon). Of course, who doesn’t want to indulge in a soothing and relaxing foot massage, but does foot therapy really have any other benefits besides making us feel a little more mellow and taking away some of the pain?
It is a long-held belief that our feet are a gateway to good health. They provide an in-depth map of body health and stronger energy. Targeting and massaging specific parts of the feet can eliminate conditions that affect the brain, eyes, ears, neck, shoulders, organs such as the stomach, liver, kidneys and many others. Whether you’re consistently suffering from body aches, headaches or any other day-to-day aches, one or more massage sessions can be the way to bid farewell to these annoying soreness.
Let’s take a look at some benefits of foot reflexology (all backed by scientific research). These vitues can have an immediate effect or be felt after a couple of weeks.
1. Kick Away Throbbing Headaches and Migraines
Let’s face it, headaches suck! Whether it’s that stabbing pain that pierces our eye, the visor-like grip that radiates from head to shoulders, or the incessant pulsation that leaves us cranky, grumpy and foggy, we all resent the throbbing effects of dull achy head pain!
If you frequently experience killer migraines and headaches, I’ve got some pretty good news for you! Foot reflexology can actually do wonders! Not only does it kick away your head pain, but it also prevents future headaches. It may sound crazy how one part of the human body is connected to another. This means you can massage a different location — like your feet— to treat a different area, like your head.
For migraines, a massage therapist usually applies pressure to the inside of your big and second toe, which reduces your temporal lobes. They may also target your little toes as well as the tops of your big toes near the nail bed, which can relieve pain in the face and sinuses. Generally, you will experience pain relief during the session, and the effects may continue for up to five days.
2. Better Circulation
With a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, it’s no lie that most of us have become unaccustomed to use our muscles regularly. As a result, this impedes blood flow. Talking about lifestyle, we cannot miss how some voguish shoes can hurt the feet! (Ouch!). Almost all of us have a penchant for wearing trendy footwear like leather shoes without socks, stilettos and pumps to look super classy and on fleek (even if sometimes, they can be a real torture for our feet).
Growing up, many of us must have heard the famous saying “One must suffer to look beautiful”… but c’mon you don’t need to let your poor feet be racked with so much pain to be a bombshell. Beauty is not just a physical thing; it’s about being healthy and staying healthy – so you better wear something comfy that won’t hinder blood circulation. Wearing tight, uncomfortable shoes, especially high-heels, can harm our feet’s muscles, as they hardly get any exercise and do not circulate. A 10-20 minute pre-bedtime foot massage can vastly improve circulation in the lower limbs, which is especially beneficial if you have diabetes.
3. Prevent Future Foot and Ankle Injuries
From facilitating injury recovery to relieving unbearable muscle and joint pains, foot massage is a real treasure trove of benefits for everyone. When combined with foot and ankle strengthening and stretching exercises, it can also prevent future injuries and speed up the healing process of existing wounds. A short session two to five times a week can greatly help lower injury risk. We all have our cack-handed moments, but with a flexible and strengthened foot and ankle, we can avoid those pesky injuries.
4. Lower Your BP
If you suffer from sleep disorders, high blood pressure or other types of discomfort, a soothing foot massage is ideal for you. High blood pressure has become quite common in today’s generation. It can be caused by several factors, like stress and poor diet. However, in most cases, it has no specific cause and is believed to be the result of environmental and genetic influences.
5. Relief For Flat feet & Plantar Fasciitis
People with flat feet don’t have a normal arch due to ligament laxity, which causes the arch to collapse. This may not have a major effect on a person, but some people can, unfortunately, experience foot pain after the slightest physical activity. Inflammation or damage to the plantar fascia (the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot) can cause chronic heel pain. Regular foot exercise, coupled with deep massage (involving intense pressure on the foot arches), can significantly alleviate the pain and even cure these conditions.
6. Great Hack To Kick Depression and Anxiety
Frequent massage sessions are also helpful in reducing anxiety in cancer patients. The techniques can be learned relatively quickly and can be an effective way to combat depression and anxiety.
7. Reduce Swollen Feet in Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, you often feel that any minor pain or body ache you feel is particularly painful, especially if it is your feet. And when your feet hurt, one of the first things you want to do is rub them, right? A gentle, soothing massage can do wonders for your body when you’re pregnant (especially to relieve swollen feet).
Swelling, or Edema, during pregnancy, is normal (especially in the last trimester), but it can make the mother-to-be uncomfortable. It can be controlled by massaging the feet daily, getting plenty of rest and eating a proper diet. New research has shown that foot massage reduces swelling in the lower legs.
Note: Yes, you can still get a foot massage during pregnancy. However, if you receive a foot massage, some areas near your ankles and on your feet should not be overly pressed to avoid encouraging uterine contractions.
8. Say Goodbye to Horrible Menstrual Cramps!
Being a girl can be tough. From swollen breasts, a yo yo-like mood, anxiety, fatigue, throbbing headaches and back pain, insomnia, pimples sprouting on your nose out of nowhere and a twitchy tummy, menstruation doesn’t really put you in a party mood. We all know menstruation pain can be such a nuisance sometimes (okay, all the time!). According to statistics, up to 90% of women suffer from period pain. Looking for natural relief from these severe cramps is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
And as you know, troubles don’t come alone; they always like to arrive in groups and so does the period with its unwanted best friend, PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)! Good news is that most of these symptoms can be alleviated with daily foot massages during this period. Foot therapy also relieves symptoms of menopause.
9. Spice Up Your Sex Life
Yeah, you read that right! All you need is massage oil, a few scented candles and some light music to create the picture-perfect atmosphere for a night of passionate lovemaking. A foot massage is a selfless gift for your partner, helping him or her forget the small inconveniences he or she has had to face throughout the day, and it’s an exquisite form of foreplay. Feet are a great place to start as they can provoke a slight excitement and offer a smooth transition to more powerful erogenous zones such as the back of the knees and inner thighs.
In today’s fast-paced world filled with constant mental and physical stress, a massage is much-needed therapy. So, from time to time (or more, as you wish), treat yourself to a well-deserved massage session and be treated like royalty. It only takes some 10–20 minutes a few times a week.
Visit Bourke Street Massage and reap the tremendous benefits of foot massage. Based in Chinatown, Melbourne, they also provide a variety of professional massages for people of all ages. From full body and couple massage to facial and scalp massage, you will be treated with the utmost care from dawn to dusk amidst a peaceful, loving and serene setting. Take your significant other and allow yourself to let out a much-needed ‘ah’ (something we all need from time to time).