If I told you that one of the major benefits of foot massage is that it can help you achieve great health, you probably won’t believe me. People generally go to great lengths in order to maintain their health, but not many are able to ascertain it. This is because they tend to ignore a simple practice that works like a charm for both their mind and body. It is perfectly alright to be skeptical about the many health benefits of foot massage, since I am talking not only about relieving pain in your foot.
The benefits of foot massage are not specific to one part of the body; rather, they are spread across the entire body. For instance, they are known to not only relieve a sore neck, but also provide you with improved liver health. It is surprising to hear that, I know; but you probably have heard a bit about reflexology and how it works. If you haven’t, let me introduce you to the basics of reflexology and how it works.
Reflexology is a simple, effective, and therapeutic method of improving health and relieving pain all over the body. It is achieved by targeting and then stimulating certain pressure points on the hands and the feet. A lot of people prefer going to a professional for reflexology, but you can easily obtain the many health benefits it offers by your own through a foot massage. It is a great way to promote health and wellness, while requiring only a few minutes a day to perform.
So if you’re looking to achieve greater health for your mind and body, here are no less than 25 major health benefits of foot massage that you achieve today. We have compiled information from health and fitness sources and created this beautiful infographic for you that teaches you numerous health benefits of receiving foot massage.
25 Health Benefits of Foot Massage
The science and art of foot massaging has been practiced by people for thousands of years. It has made its way in every culture in the world. Currently, there are over 80 different massage therapy styles, which provide a variation of techniques, movements, and pressures. Foot massaging dates back over 5,000 years, its roots reaching ancient China and Egypt!
Reflexology has been practiced since ancient times as well, but it was only in 1913 that it managed to make its way to the United States. The great thing about reflexology and foot massage is that it offers an astonishing number of health benefits, which you will find hard to believe. All the health benefits mentioned below are backed by scientific studies and facts, which makes them even more surprising!
Here are the 25 health benefits of foot massage you should know about:
1. Stress relief and relaxation
Reflexology has been very well known to target the neural pathways in the body, which leads to stress relief. When done properly, a foot massage can provide you with an overall relaxed state, since the technique will bring about calmness. This is why a lot of people believe that foot massage are great for people with insomnia, since it calms them down, and relaxes them.
A study conducted in 1999 found that foot massage does provide great stress relief and relaxation. Twenty five critically ill patients chosen for the study, and were given 5-minute foot massages, in order to find whether they managed to alleviate stress. Data was collected before and after giving the massage, and it showed that after receiving the foot massage, the patients had lower blood pressure, and a decreased heart rate.
The results clearly indicated that foot massage enhanced relaxation, and brought about positive changes to critically ill patients. There was another study conducted on long-term care staff, working with older people with dementia. The staff experienced burnout, and increased levels of stress. Foot massage was thought to be the best way to relieve stress, and the results showed that staff members who got foot massages experienced the greatest decrease in stress.
2. Better sleep
Another incredible benefit that you gain from a foot massage is the ability to fall asleep easily and have a sound sleep as well. There are a lot of people that struggle to fall asleep, while more are suffering from insomnia. Research has found that getting a foot massage before you go to bed can do wonders for helping you fall asleep.
The massage helps you relax and alleviates stress, which is why a person is able to fall into deep slumber easily. The solar plexus reflex should be massaged carefully, since it is here that all the stress accumulates. It is the little dimpled space that is on the top of your foot. Pressing and massaging this area has been known to provide you with a healthy night’s rest.
A research study conducted on 105 people with acute coronary syndrome, divided into 3 groups revealed that a foot massage before bed made it easier for patients to fall asleep, and also enhanced the quality of sleep. The patients that received foot massages were able to fall asleep faster as well.
3. Increased energy and rejuvenation
Metabolism is very important for the body, since it helps in energy production. Reflexology has been known to boost the metabolic rate, which in turn allows the body to create more energy. Getting a relaxing foot massage will help you feel energized once again, and will rejuvenate the body if the correct pressure points are stimulated.
The great thing about foot massage is that it allows a person to feel more energized when they are feeling sluggish. This is because the different techniques used in reflexology target specific pressure points, which leads to energy creation and rejuvenation in the body. You can read more on the healing and rejuvenating benefits of a foot reflexology massage here.
4. Faster recovery from injury
Foot massage has also known to be a great reliever in helping people and athletes recover from injury. Reflexology combines improved blood circulation, and enhancing nerve activity. The result is improved metabolism, which helps in generating new cells faster. This is why wounds are able to heal faster, and why injured patients always feel better after a reflexology session.
Rehabilitation can be a long and frustrating period, since it is in this time where the body recovers from the wounds and regains the strength and flexibility back. Foot massage has been found to play an instrumental role in helping rehabilitating injured areas to heal at a faster rate and become more flexible. Whether it is a sprained ankle, twisted knee, muscle spasms, or broken bones, foot massage helps because it flushes out swelling in the joints and it aids recovery by loosening scar tissue and stretching out tightness.
You can read more on how foot massage aids faster recover from injury here.
5. Increases intimacy
Foot massage has also been known to increase intimacy between couples as well. According to a California-based author and licensed massage therapist, Yasuko Kawamura, a foot massage can help increase oxytocin production in the body. This helps in boosting the sex drive, and will also increase the desire to be touched as well.
She makes it a point to help couples understand that in order to build and increase intimacy the act of touching and massaging regularly should be a part of their daily life. It shouldn’t only be during foreplay that they think about foot massage, and you can easily learn how to massage your partner’s foot in a non-sexual manner as well.
You can learn how to massage your partner in the right manner in this article.
6. Stimulates nervous system
The foot has got over 7,000 different nerve endings, which are all connected to separate organs in the body. Reflexology works on massaging the feet in a specific manner, which helps to clean and open out the neural pathways. This in turn sees improved flexibility and functionality in the body as well.
A study conducted on the effect of reflexology on baroreceptor reflex sensitivity (BRS), to help find out whether foot massage actually helps in stimulating the nervous system found that it was highly effective in stimulating the sensory nervous system found in the feet. The study revealed that people that got foot massages had a greater BRS, which was brought on by stimulating the nervous system.
Read more on how reflexology helps boost the nervous system here.
7. Enhances immunity
The benefits of foot massage reflexology also include increasing and boosting immunity in the human body. This has been backed by research, which has shown self-foot reflexology massage can actually boost immune functions in women. A study was conducted to find out what effect reflexology massages have on stress responses, depression, and immune functions in middle-aged women.
The study showed a significant difference in blood pressure, depression, perceived stress, and natural-killer cells. The results indicated that a foot massage is highly effective in reducing depression, strengthening the immune system, and decreasing stress responses in middle-aged women.
You can read more on how reflexology and foot massage actually enhance immunity over here.
8. Improves blood circulation
Regular foot massages can improve blood circulation, and it will lead to more oxygen being circulated in the body. This will enhance organ function as well, and will allow you to lead a healthier life. Restrictive footwear and lack of exercise can cause a lot of problems, because it causes poor circulation.
A research study conducted on the effects of foot reflexology on blood pressure, and serum lipids level was conducted in 2003, which showed a general increase in blood circulation from foot massages. The study concluded that blood circulation in the feet can be vastly improved with regular foot massages, and it was also helpful in decreasing diastolic pressure.
9. Lowers blood pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure can seriously affect your risk of suffering from kidney failure, stroke, or from a heart attack. This is why lifestyle changes are recommended, since eating the right diet will bring your blood pressure down. You can also lower your blood pressure by massaging your feet regularly. Foot reflexology has proven to be great in helping reduce systolic blood pressure, and also improves the overall well-being of individuals.
A study conducted on hypersensitive women, to gauge the effects of Swedish massage therapy on blood pressure, inflammatory markers, and heart rate had positive results. The study backed the claims that regular massages can help improve the general well-being of individuals.
10. Improves nail and skin health
If you want to improve the health of your nails and skin, then using natural oils and antimicrobial oils for moisturizing your feet will yield positive results. It will not only ensure that you get healthier skin and nails, but will also improve the condition of your nails.
Coconut or almond oil is recommended for cracked, painful, and dry heels, since it will help moisturize the skin, and will stop thick formation of calloused skin. It will also do the job of keeping your cuticles and nails hydrated. Regular use of essential oils, such as eucalyptus, lavender or tea tree, ensures that you don’t get fungal or bacterial infections of the skin and nails. It will also prevent the dreaded Athlete’s Foot.
11. Alleviates migraines and headaches
Reflexology is an analgesic treatment, which reduces pain brought on by headaches and migraines, by relieving tension and stress in the muscles. Applying pressure on the gap between the big and second toe has been known to relieve foot cramps, arthritis, and tiredness of eye, headaches and migraines.
There are lots of reflexology zones that offer you other benefits such as relief from migraines and headaches. Regular foot massages can be helpful for individuals that are suffering from severe headaches and migraines.
12. Decreases feelings of anxiety
Massage comes in various forms, and is a great method to reduce anxiety and depression, since it is able to help release chemicals such as dopamine in the brain. A study conducted in a Japanese community of men and women, looked at the effects of Aroma foot massage on anxiety and blood pressure. The study concluded that aroma foot massage greatly decreased the feelings of anxiety and managed to increase the mental health of the participants. The study suggested that foot massage is a highly effective method for enhancing blood pressure and improving mental health.
Another research study looked at the beneficial effects reflexology had in menopausal women. The results of the study revealed that foot reflexology was more effective than general massages in treating psychological symptoms brought on during menopause.
13. Natural pain relief
If you always have tired and aching feet, then you should definitely look at foot massage as a viable option for relieving pain. However, foot massages don’t just relieve pain in the foot; they can also kill pain in other parts of the body, especially when combined with essential oils. A study was conducted to figure out the effectiveness of foot and hand massage for post cesarean pain in pregnant women, and it proved to be very successful in controlling postoperative pain.
Massage therapy has been found to be highly beneficial for health purposes, and scientific evidence backs up the claims. Foot massages can help relieve back pain, and also enhance the quality of life for people with HIV, cancer, and depression. Reflexology therapy has been proven to have great benefits and no side effects attached to it, while there are many different techniques that can be used. Find out more on massage therapy for health here.
14. Prevents ankle injuries
When it comes to managing pain in the foot and preventing foot injuries, not many people will think of using massage as a technique. In general massage is often thought of being great for supporting healing and comfort after an injury. However, not many people know that regular foot massages can actually prevent ankle injuries and other foot injuries to a great extent.
It is because foot massage enhances blood circulation to the feet, which means more oxygen goes to your foot, and the tissues in your feet are healthy and can perform at their best. Athletes generally place a great deal of strain on their feet, especially the fascia, muscles, and the joints. This causes them to become inflamed and stiff, which results in an injury. Regular foot massage actually helps keep your feet healthy by countering the affects of strain on your feet.
You can check out the seven important acupuncture points on the foot to cure ankle pain here.
15. Helps with Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot condition that affects people of all ages. It is an annoying problem to have, and causes excruciating pain in the foot. Foot massages have been known to provide welcome relief from plantar fasciitis, and a study confirmed that it helps bring about myofascial release (MFR), which eliminates pain of planter fasciitis and functional disability and .
There are lots of foot massagers available in the market, which have been designed specifically to deal with plantar fasciitis. However, there are so many different options in the market that it can lead to confusion for choosing the best one. You can get a foot massager, by checking out this article, which covers the 10 best foot massagers for plantar fasciitis.
16. Cleans urinary tract to eliminate toxins
Reflexology has also been known to be beneficial for bladder health, since it cleans the urinary tract and eliminates toxins from the system. It should be noted that reflexology isn’t a cure for chronic bladder conditions, but can facilitate in helping you cope with a bladder condition. It does so by cleaning up the urinary tract to eliminate toxins, which then ensures stronger bladder control for people.
If you’re looking for more information on how reflexology improves bladder health, then check out this article.
17. Cures chronic sinus infections
Not a lot of people know this, but you can actually cure chronic sinus infections, congestion, and inflammation with a simple foot massage. A study conducted looked at whether chronic sinusitis could be treated with nasal irrigation and reflexology daily for about two weeks. The study group comprised of 150 adults, and all of them enjoyed a significant amount of improvement after getting foot massages.
18. PMS symptom relief
The most common symptoms associated with PMS are headaches, fatigue, insomnia, tension, anxiety, irritability, and sadness, while more than 50% of women experienced pain. Foot massages have been known to offer great benefits in terms of PMS relief, and research also backs up this argument, as regular foot massages have been known to counter common PMS symptoms.
A random study on premenstrual symptoms and how they can be treated with ear, hand, and foot reflexology revealed it was highly effective for the treatment of PMS.
19. Reduces pregnancy edema
Numerous studies have revealed how reflexology is beneficial for pregnant women, especially when you’re talking about the length of time they have to spend in labor and the need for using analgesics during post-partum recovery and labor. Foot massages are great for reducing the chance of post-partum depression, and will also help the body to heal itself faster.
It helps encourage metabolic activity and provides numerous health benefits. A study conducted on the effects of foot massage for decreasing physiological lower leg edema, in late pregnancy, revealed positive results. It showed that foot massages actually helped reduce pregnancy edema in late pregnancy and also helped the body heal faster.
20. Relief from Gout
Gout is a very painful condition that can be found in any joint, but is generally common in the big toe. It causes the toe to swell, turns reddish in color, and is hot when touched. The condition is so painful that it can affect sleeping, and is generally caused by the kidney’s inability to breakdown and process urine. This is generally due to eating a diet that is rich in meat but low in water.
Foot massages have been known to provide relief from gout, as it increases blood circulation, and lessens the pain and swelling associated with gout. If you want to learn more about how foot massage can provide you with relief from gout, check out this article.
21. Relief from Neuropathy
Janice F. Wiesman, a massage therapist and author of a book on peripheral neuropathy, has stated that foot massage actually works better by ‘stimulating axons that mediate vibration and deep pressure. This is done through canceling the input from pain-conducting axons that are located near the spinal cord. Getting treatment from neuropathy seems to be an impossible task, but foot massages have proven to have the ideal solution.
Massage therapy improves blood circulation, which helps send vitamins, nutrients, and anti-oxidants to the damaged areas. It is safe to use as well. You can read more about this holistic approach for treating neuropathy over here.
22. Positive effect in Type 2 Diabetes
Poor blood circulation can result in diabetes, and causes a negative side effect on the feet as well. People with diabetes will even have minor foot injuries escalate into something serious, which seriously depreciates their quality of life. Foot massages have been known to increase blood circulation to the feet, and therefore result in better health for the foot, and less risk of infections or complications.
A study conducted on people with Type-2 diabetes revealed that foot massage actually has a very positive effect on them. Another study was conducted on determining whether foot reflexology would be much useful in the management of diabetes. It discussed the physiological effects of massage and how it reduces muscle tension.
23. Relieves symptoms of Cancer
Not many people may believe this but foot massage can also help relieve symptoms of cancer. This is backed by clinical research and a study conducted randomly found that foot massage was very helpful in managing the pain and nausea of hospitalized patients with cancer.
Reflexology foot massage has been found to ease cancer symptoms, which is helpful for patients, since it lets them manage the pain and get on with their daily tasks. It should be noted that reflexology is in no way a method for curing cancer, it can only ease the side effects of cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
24. Relieves symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Foot massages have also been known to provide relief from the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Foot massages have been known to help patients sleep better, and reduces nausea, and anxiety as well.
This is because foot reflexology is focused on clearing neural channels and improving blood circulation, which will help to slow down the spread of cancer. Do not expect foot massage therapy to cure Multiple Sclerosis, but it can definitely improve your mood and quality of life. A study conducted on comparing the side effects of reflexology on fatigue in women with multiple sclerosis, revealed that foot massage had positive effects on relieving the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
25. Relief from Arthritis
It has also been found that reflexology foot massage is also great for providing relief from arthritis. It improves blood circulation and reduces stress, while detoxifying the body as well. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a joint disease with painful inflammation, and also affects other organs in the body. The disease can occur at any age, and affects women more than men.
There is no cure for arthritis, but the quality of life can be enhanced greatly through foot massage reflexology. You can read more on how foot massage offers relief from arthritis here.
Don’t Delay – Get a Foot Massage Today
A lot of people don’t think that foot massages are a big deal, but it is because they don’t know about the many benefits of foot massage. Reflexology has been around for a long time, and has been practiced by ancient healers to counter numerous health problems. The health benefits mentioned in this article are just some of the great things that you can gain from a foot massage.
The great thing about foot massages is that they can be given by anyone, and with a little bit of practice and patience, you will be able to give yourself great foot massages as well. It helps the body with so many different benefits, which is exactly why it is considered as an ideal solution. You can achieve greater health and fitness for your mind and body through reflexology, and I would definitely recommend that you try foot massage to start benefiting from its many health advantages.