Just the thought of getting a foot massage makes me want to get a foot massage. Especially after a long day of standing up or walking around, there’s nothing quite like the relaxing effect a foot massage can do to make all our cares go away.
But foot massages don’t just help us feel relaxed, they also have health benefits you may not have been aware of.
Here are 6 surprising benefits of a good foot massage:
1. Alleviate symptoms of PMS and menopause
PMS brings a host of uncomfortable sensations such as irritability, feelings of sadness, anxiety, insomnia, tension, headaches, fatigue, and mood swings. Studies have found that most of these symptoms can be alleviated by daily foot massages. The same also applies to symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes and bouts of depression can be effectively minimized with regular massages.
2. Improves circulation
The muscles in our feet rarely ever get any exercise and circulation is often impaired by uncomfortably tight shoes. A 10-20 minute massage session before bed can already improve the blood flow in your lower extremities. This is especially important for diabetics.
3. Helps reduce the occurrence of migraines and headaches
A research study done in Denmark revealed that people suffering from migraines and headaches showed significant improvement after receiving reflexology foot massages. The participants stopped taking medication and in just 3 months after completing their reflexology treatments, 65% reported a decrease in symptoms while a small number claim they have been cured.
4. Helps prevent foot and ankle injuries
Foot massages can speed recovery from joint pain or injury, as well as decrease muscle soreness. Partnered with foot and ankle strengthening exercises and stretching, foot massages can help prevent future injuries. 3-5 sessions a week is usually enough to minimize risk.
5. Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure is commonplace in our modern age due to the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles and increased amounts of stress. A study was done on healthcare staff working with elderly people suffering from dementia and they reported that a 10-minute foot massage session up to 3 times a week helped lower their anxiety, put them in a better mood, and lower their blood pressure.
6. Reduces the effects of anxiety and depression
Good foot massage, particularly reflexology, has been studied to go beyond than just put people in a relaxed state. Frequent reflexology sessions have been found to significantly reduce anxiety among cancer patients. It’s a skill that’s relatively easy to pick up and teach and is an effective way of relieving symptoms that accompany anxiety and depression.