Our feet work hard every day. Feet are necessary for sports and daily activities, and also bear the weight of the body. Unfortunately, foot care is often overlooked. In fact, it is important to keep your feet clean and relaxed.
Foot massage and Reflexology
Massaging our feet for a few minutes every day helps to relax the foot muscles, make them strong, increase flexibility, relieve tension, and improve blood circulation.
Reflex therapy is an effective way to care for feet, involving targeted pressure massage, which helps to restore energy flow.
What is reflexology?
Reflexology (1) is the practice of stimulating acupoints on the feet (as well as hands and ears) to actively affect the functions of different parts of the body (such as glands and organs).
It differs from foot massage in that the purpose of foot massage is to manually manipulate the soft tissue of the foot to enhance the convenience of movement and stimulate blood flow and energy flow to the area.
The practice of reflexology involves stimulating points on the feet (as well as hands and ears), which are “reflected” to the corresponding areas to produce positive results.
——Benefits of foot massage and Reflexology——
Foot massage and reflexology provide various benefits for our health.
Improve blood circulation
Relaxation technology is the main basis for increasing foot circulation. Foot and ankle relaxation will increase blood flow and promote the overall effect of subsequent treatment, whether massage or reflex therapy.
The tissues of the feet and ankles are manually manipulated back and forth and side to side in a manner that allows the therapist to assess existing mobility.
Regular massage helps promote better sleep.
Studies have shown that regular massage can improve sleep and circadian rhythm. (2) If the goal of massage is to improve sleep, please explain to the massage therapist. Available techniques include Swedish and myofascial massage.
We can also try various energetic methods, such as deep tissue and therapeutic massage, to alleviate discomfort or pain, as long as these methods do not cause more discomfort.
Relieve back pain
Due to the interconnection of body tissues, foot massage may help alleviate some aspects of back pain. However, the same interconnectedness may also mean that problems in other areas, such as the calf and hamstring, must be addressed.
In reflex therapy, back pain is resolved from the heel to the inside of the foot on the side of the big toe.
The most relaxing foot massage technique is Swedish foot massage, which uses various gentle techniques such as long manipulation and circular motion to create a calm feeling.
The speed and pressure of implementing these massage techniques are the key to creating tranquility. In massage, warm oil and gentle massage are combined to balance our body and mind.
Help fight depression
In reflex therapy, stimulating certain stress points may help alleviate depressive symptoms.
The points that reflect the central nervous system – the tips of the first three toes and the inside of the foot – stimulate the parasympathetic part of the nervous system for deep healing.
The point that reflects the endocrine system – the big toe pad – balances hormone levels related to emotion. The point reflected to the diaphragm – the area below the sole of the foot – makes each breath more effective in delivering oxygen correctly to body tissue.
This leads to slower and more efficient breathing patterns and helps to relax other muscles associated with inhaling and exhaling.
Help alleviate edema
Edema is defined as retention of fluid in body tissue. Reflex therapy can cause fluid movement in any part of the body, which may be too much for the obviously damaged lymphatic system, so be careful about the strength and time of massage.
However, if the practitioner is qualified for lymphatic drainage, massage may help alleviate edema, which can remove waste from the lymphatic system by stimulating exercise. (5)
Help reduce blood pressure
When the kidney area is stimulated, reflex therapy may help reduce blood pressure. This area is located in the center of the foot. The kidney is crucial for filtering waste from the blood, a process that has a direct impact on blood pressure.
However, other factors play a role in hypertension, which is not necessarily helped by improving renal function. Therefore, it is recommended that the patient communicate well with her (or his) health care provider.
Potential benefits of massage and reflexology also include:
⚡ Reduce stress and anxiety (6)
⚡ Improve immune system function
⚡ Enhance hormone maintenance (endocrine system function)
⚡ Improve fertility
⚡ Better digestion
⚡ Relieve arthritis symptoms (3)
⚡ Improve the activity of the area of the foot that may be scar tissue
⚡ Reduce muscle cramps (and adequate fluid intake)
Since everything about the foot will affect everything above the foot, relieving foot pain, improving the activity of scar tissue and improving blood circulation can have a positive impact on knee and hip pain.
These effects also help improve posture, thereby effectively relieving pain in the upper limbs, head and neck.
Key points to remember when performing foot massage or Reflexology
The most important thing to remember when considering foot massage or reflexology is to understand any health problems that may be contraindicated.
⚡ We should communicate very closely with health management experts to understand which alternative methods are beneficial to their pain relief.
⚡ The elderly should be cautious and know what drugs they are taking.
⚡ These techniques should be carried out under light pressure to avoid over stimulating the corresponding body system.
⚡ Reflex therapy is not applicable to edema, fracture, advanced diabetes, neuropathy, deep vein thrombosis, infection, beriberi and wart.
Deep tissue massage is best for giving attention to certain painful part in your body. The massage therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin. Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage may be therapeutic — relieving chronic patterns of tension and helping with muscle injuries.
It’s used for chronic aches and pain and contracted areas such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.
What is a Deep Tissue Massage beneficial?
- Sports injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- High blood pressure
- Help Reduce High Blood Pressure
- Improve Athletic Recovery And Performance