According to historians, massage is a centuries-old practice started by ancient civilizations to help treat medical problems. Over the years, it has evolved into different types and techniques depending on where it originated. Even in this modern world, massage is still considered as one way to pamper one’s self and many businesses revolve around this treatment. There are no limits as to who can enjoy it, whether you are affluent or not, because this can easily be done in your home. One of the most favorite variations is the foot massage. Every single day, our feet are subjected to unmeasurable amounts of work from walking, running and so on. It basically bears our entire weight and acts as a shock absorber during intense work out and training, so it is no wonder why people constantly complain of tired feet.
The Essentials of a Foot Massage
When performing a foot massage, it is best to practice good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly and cutting your nails short to avoid discomfort. Clean the person’s feet using lukewarm water and gently dry with a soft cloth. Experts usually recommend avoiding using the light touch on the feet as it is uncomfortable for ticklish people so be sure to apply firm pressure. Although not really necessary, it is great to use a massage oil or lotion with a therapeutic scent to reduce the roughness and make the feet smoother. To help loosen the muscles, perform a circular motion on the ankles and soles of the feet and gently stretch and curl the toes. the secrets to a good foot massage are accurate knowledge on all the pressure points and making sure that the person is able to tolerate the pressure or you’ll risk stressing them out more.
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One of the most common types is foot reflexology which assumes that special areas or pressure points are present in our feet and they correspond to specific internal organs of our body. Reflexologists usually refer to a detailed chart that provides information about pressure points and its target organs in the body. This theory has not yet been proven scientifically but enthusiasts of alternative medicine strongly believe that this method truly works for them. Another type is acupressure which is slightly similar to reflexology due to the use of pressure points, although it mainly aims to improve general wellness and increase the flow of energy in the body. Aromatherapy through scented oils or candles can cause relaxation and is typically accompanied by tranquil instrumental music. Finally, there is the traditional foot massage that targets the joints and muscles and eases the pain.
Despite some uncertainties, foot massagers are actually very beneficial to us in more ways than one. First of all, it is true that it improves our circulation, especially for those who lack physical movement and exercise. According to research, it also helps lower a person’s blood pressure which is alarmingly more common today regardless of age. People who are constantly suffering from migraines and headaches also benefit from foot massage based on a study conducted in Denmark. In addition, a hot shower and a massage with a massage chair in your home, reduce feeling of anxiety and depression because it makes people relax instead of focusing on all their stressors. In line with this, women who are experiencing hormonal changes, may it be premenstrual syndrome or menopause, and often become irritable and moody can loosen up with a good foot massage.
Aside from these amazing advantages, foot massage also makes the joints and muscles in our feet to become stronger, thereby making it less prone to sprains and injuries that could affect our daily activities. Foot and ankle swelling or edema in pregnant women is also significantly reduced through regular massage if paired with enough rest.
If we notice the benefits mentioned above, we can see that foot massage is really a safe alternative to medicines or perhaps an adjunct to medical treatments.