Foot massage has been traced to the ancient Egyptian and Chinese traditional healers over three centuries ago to cure pains and cleanse deposits of toxic substances in the body. These ailments range from back pain, spine, liver, spleen, kidney, ears, and eye aches, headaches to the pituitary gland related pains. A simple yet thorough kneading of the foot has been proven effective enough to cure these pains faster than pills.
However, the use of foot massage therapy has evolved over the years and most people now engage in it out of pleasure, fun, and something to help them connect with mother nature better in a more relaxed mood. What then is foot massage? Foot massage in the simplest sense is the act of applying pressure to the foot to improve blood circulation, heal ailments, balance the body’s energy, and general immunity boost.
What are the benefits of foot massage?
The foot is the base of all the 7000 nerve cells of the body. It is regarded as the root of all reflect points, therefore a feeling of discomfort and pain felt in any part of the body can be directly linked to either the sides, toes, and even the soles of the feet. Massaging the foot provides a wide variety of benefits to the general wellbeing of the body;
- It is used as a therapy to treat bipolar and depressed patients, as it helps in releasing endorphins- the happiness hormones known to minimize stress reactions in the body, it is highly recommended for its effectiveness in mental health care.
- Highly emotionally deranged people benefit from foot massage as it is also effective for emotional management. Because of how relaxed it leaves the body you become more open to your emotions, which helps release tension saving you from irrational tantrums.
- People who go on regular foot massage therapy have subtle anger-related issues and heart attacks as opposed to those who hardly take foot massage sessions.
- Foot massage comes in handy if you are trying to sleep soundly for long hours because all tightness has been released from the body during the massage session, the body naturally relaxes and sleeps better. With regular foot massage sessions, you get to experience lesser body pains.
- Foot massage is also the best natural method to clean toxins off the body, massaging the foot helps boosts the ability of the lymphatic system to remove toxins from the body which in turn allows the tissues to get more blood pumped into it for optimal kidney and liver functions.
- Most doctors also encourage their patients to go for foot massage sessions immediately after surgical sessions for quick pain relief and speedy healing.
How To Massage The Foot
Application of the massage to the foot has evolved, hands were the basic and only tool the ancient Chinese need to carry out the foot massage sessions, before the introduction of sticks and now different massaging rollers and machines are being used to carry out massages. Professional Massage sessions can be done using an 8 step approach:
- Starting with the warm-up twist of the foot, carefully rubbing off the arch
- Bending of each toe, spreading of the foot,
- A squeeze of the heel,
- Knuckle/ fist work, thumb work
- Applying pressure to each point of the foot,
- Cycling of each side and tip of the feet,
- Massaging of all ten toes, and
- The final stroking of the whole foot.
However, for a detailed DIY foot massage, you have sit or stand in a most balanced posture to starts with soaking the feet in warm water for few minutes as directed by the massage therapist, this allows the dry feet get wet for better penetration of all liquids to be applied and also for optimum result. Use a towel to pat it dry, essential oil i.e. lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, and neroli oil will be applied evenly on each foot and allowed to sit still for few more minutes afterward spread the massage oil going from the tip of the toes up or down to the ankle depending on the position you take. Great care should be applied when there is a cut on the foot or any other internal injury during a massage.
How To Pick The Best Foot Massage
Choosing the best foot massage machine for yourself can be quite confusing and tough as recommendations from others may be detrimental to your body; what works for others may not work for you and vice versa. However, you can carefully select amongst these top five massagers worldwide to determine the right one for you.
- The Invation machine is considered the best of all and undoubtedly the most expensive, it has a built-in massage roller to soak the feet with multiple water bubble jets, a motorized foot roller, and 122°F water heater.
- The Miko Shiatsu foot massager rated next after Invation has a switchable heat feature with air pressure, a separate 12foot chamber, and washable cover cloth.
- You can also consider buying the Thera flow dual wooden foot massager having four ridged rollers, one rubbed roller, and anti-slip strips for the foot.
- The Homedic Shiatsu air-max foot massager has two cozy pocket for the feet, air compression, and a high/low air intensity with 3dial speed option to choose from.
- The Moji foot massager is a mobile, handy stainless steel massager with a non-slip base surprisingly performs better than expected as regarding the low price.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How often should one take a foot massage session? A foot massage session when taken at least once a week for six weeks consecutively is said to give optimal results.
- How long should a foot massage session last for? A foot massage sessions like other body part massage should be between 15- 20 minutes.
Anatomical parts of the body have been linked to zones of the foot, pressures applied to these zones, Therefore, Understanding how interconnected each body organs is to the foot zone would also help in selecting the right foot massage for you, the liver is connected with the outer part of the right foot, the spleen is connected with the outer left foot, head/ face is linked to the toes, the kidney is linked with the sole of the feet, lower back, lower limb and the genital are all linked to the heel of the foot. Therefore, the foreknowledge of this would help the massage therapist apply pressure to the right spot on the feet that are connected to the organ in pain.