What is foot reflexology?
The Chinese believe in foot reflexology and its ability to both prevent and cure many health problems. Foot reflexology is based on the belief that every reflex zone begins in the foot, and then travels to the head through the vital organs. Reflex zones are pressure points located on the tips of hands and feet, and they are believed to connect directly to the nervous system. Therefore, by exerting pressure on different parts of the soles and sides of feet, various muscles and vital organs can be reached.
Ancient Egyptians also used foot massage, presumably for the same reasons. Archaeologists have found drawings of foot massages in Egyptian caves and digs.
However, in recent times, people have turned to foot massage as a way to relax hard-working and sore feet.
What should I expect during a foot massage?
During a foot massage, your feet undergo a very relaxing experience as the reflex zones are manipulated and rubbed. You will take off both your socks and shoes, and sit in a comfortable chair. Therapists will sit on benches, stools, or the floor while they work on your feet.
Some therapists may ask about your ailments, and use the reflex zones in your feet to help alleviate them. Others may just knead and massage your feet from the heels to toes to release any tension.
What are the benefits of a foot massage?
In reflexology pressure is applied to these reflexes on the feet, which promotes good health. Here are some health benefits of foot massage and reflexology:
Improves blood circulation:
Due to a sedentary lifestyle, many people don’t use their feet muscles properly, thus impeding good blood flow. Also, tight, pointed shoes–especially high heels–hinder circulation. Ten minutes of foot massage daily helps in transporting oxygen to the body’s cells, which is essential for overall health.
Helps in relaxation:
After a tiring and stressful day, a foot massage is a soothing and relaxing way to relax, particularly after a long day of standing and walking around, as the feet tend to swell up. Massage and reflexology of 5 to 10 minutes before going to bed can improve feelings of general well-being.
Promotes better sleep:
The best time to do foot massage is before going to bed. A soothing and relaxing foot massage improves the blood circulation. This helps in getting a peaceful sleep.
Relieves body pains:
This is the best part of reflexology. If done carefully, it treats pains and aches such as headaches, migraines, neck pain, lower and upper backaches.
Improves mood and fights depression:
Foot massage and reflexology helps in fighting depression. Certain points on the feet are helpful in alleviating depression symptoms. Massaging these points or applying pressure to them for a few minutes 2 or 3 times a day can help relieve symptoms of depression.
Makes feet healthier:
One easy way to help keep your feet healthy and free from foot problems is a regular foot massage. It helps stimulate the muscles around your feet, lessens stiffness and even reduces pain in the ankles or the heels. Plus, a short 5-minute foot massage daily will make your ankles strong and flexible, thus preventing unpleasant ankle and foot injuries.
Alleviates swelling (edema):
Regular foot massage during pregnancy can help reduce the effects of edema, which is swelling in the feet and ankles due to fluid retention. This is very common during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester.
Foot Massage Increases Endorphins:
It is no secret that endorphins are good for us. Whether through exercise or eating chocolate, endorphins act as happiness hormones, robbing us of pain and discomfort and leaving happiness in their wake.
Foot Massage Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure:
Blood pressure is a major measure of a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease . A higher blood pressure makes the heart work harder, resulting in increased stress and strain of cardiovascular muscle. For every extra 20 milligrams of mercury above a systolic pressure of 115 mmHG, a person’s risk of heart disease doubles. Given that heart disease is, in essence, a spectrum of disease spanning from angina to heart attacks, it is important that blood pressure be kept under control.
Extra Tip: It has been found that massaging your feet with warm olive oil or coconut oil can give much relief from the pain and inflammation caused by foot tendonitis.
At the Tampa Massage Clinic, located in Tampa, Florida, nothing is more important than human touch. To schedule an appointment with Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Pediatric Massage Instructor, Jakki Bosco LMT, please call (813) 298-5603.
Serving patients in and around greater Tampa Bay, Town N Country, Clearwater, St. Pete, Carrollwood, East Lake, Westchase, Land O Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Lutz, University of South Florida, Brandon, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Dundin, Hillsborough County, and Pasco County Florida.