Getting a foot massage is a great way to pamper yourself, especially after doing a lot of walking or when you’ve been on your feet all day. Even just 10 to 20 minutes of applying pressure and gently rubbing the soles can feel great. It’s best enjoyed when administered by another person but you can also give yourself a foot massage while seated or with the help of a machine and rolling tools.
Unlike full-body massages, a foot massage allows the stimuli to be applied to just a few areas. The toes and soles are the primary targets, but you may opt to include your ankles and calves as well. Whether you do it on your own or visit a foot specialist Singapore residents trust, this focused touch therapy can provide benefits for the good of your overall health.
Improve Blood Flow
Physical activity helps to ensure that your body is healthy and functioning properly, but sometimes, you simply don’t have the time or energy to workout. This lack of movement can lead to poor blood circulation, which can impair the function of other body systems. While a foot massage cannot replace physical exercise nor provide the same benefits, the stroking motions can help to improve blood flow to the area and keep the surrounding muscles healthy. This is particularly helpful for diabetics as their condition often leads to poor circulation and for people who are bedridden.
Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Massages are a popular way to relieve stress, and there is scientific evidence to support this. As you or the massage therapist push pulse points and stroke muscles during a foot massage, your body’s central nervous system is activated and releases endorphins. These hormones function as natural painkillers and create that feel-good experience that you associate with getting a foot massage. This also lessens the cortisol or stress hormones in your body.
Additionally, some foot massages utilize similar techniques to reflexology, which one study has shown to be effective for addressing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Reflexologists believe that applying pressure to certain points on the feet promote healing in other parts of the body because they share “energy channels”. Whether or not it affects the healing process, a foot massage can soothe the body and help to ease the worries of people who may be struggling with other sicknesses.
Minimize Risk of Injury
You might be recommended to get a foot massage to speed up recovery after an injury, but it can also be helpful for preventing them from happening in the first place. Apart from providing pain relief, foot massages stimulate the muscles and tissues in the area, which helps to keep them healthy and strong. It may even promote flexibility in your joints and strengthen the ankle structure, so you’re less likely to experience sprains and strains while performing physical activities.
Soothe Headaches and Migraines
While your feet are the farthest body parts from your head, foot reflexology may help to relieve your headaches and migraines. This practice believes that the big toes of each foot have a connection to the head. Following the principle of handedness or the idea that one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body, reflexology might apply pressure to the inner area of your left toe to relieve a migraine that is felt on the right side of your head.
Reduce Pain from Feet Conditions
You might get achy feet from standing or walking all day long but some people are especially prone to experiencing this. They may have naturally flat feet or have a condition like plantar fasciitis—both of which can result in painful inflammation of the arch or the heel. Regular foot massages can help reduce the symptoms of these conditions and provide complementary treatment to medication.
As they approach their last trimester, pregnant women become prone to having swollen feet and ankles. This swelling is referred to as oedema and caused by a combination of retaining more fluids and the uterus becoming heavier. The condition is fairly common but can cause discomfort and slightly delay the circulation from the legs to the heart. To ease the swelling and encourage better circulation, a gentle foot massage may be the perfect treat for the expectant mother. However, it is best to first get clearance from her doctor and to have the massage done by an experienced therapist because some pressure points on the feet can induce early labour.
Foot massages are a great way to relax while reaping other health benefits, but what makes them especially useful is how accessible they are. You can get a professional therapist to maximize its benefits, but you can also easily learn how to massage your own feet. Do a light massage for a few minutes before bedtime to trigger the release of endorphins and let that enhance your sleep quality as well.