Reflexology is an ancient healing practice based on the principle that there are reflex points on the feet that correspond to the body’s different organs and glands. Remember that human foot is an evolutionary marvel, capable of handling hundreds of tons of force and your weight in motion. It has 42 muscles, 26 bones, 33 joints, 250,000 sweat glands and at least 50 ligaments and tendons—plus almost 15,000 nerve endings!
A regular foot massage along with reflexology helps in promoting physiological as well as physical health. A foot massage and activates your nervous system, which increases feel-good brain chemicals like endorphins. A foot massage boosts your circulation, which helps with healing and keeps your muscles and tissues healthy. It helps stimulate the muscles around your feet, lessens stiffness and even reduces pain in the ankles or the heels. It treats pains and aches such as headaches, migraines, neck pain, lower and upper backaches. A foot massage is beneficial if you have health problems like high blood pressure, poor circulation, nerve damage, or diabetes.
Here are some health benefits of foot massage and reflexology:
Improves blood circulation:
Many people don’t use their feet muscles properly, impeding good blood flow. Wearing tight, pointed shoes, like high heels, hinder circulation. Massaging your feet for about ten minutes everyday 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.
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.
Reduces foot and ankle swelling (edema):
A regular foot massage, for pregnant women in their last trimester, can help reduce foot and ankle swelling, due to fluid retention.
Helps alleviate symptoms of PMS and menopause:
The most common symptoms suffered during PMS include feelings of sadness and unhappiness, irritability, anxiety, tension, insomnia, fatigue, headaches and mood swings. Most of these symptoms can be alleviated with daily foot massages during this period.
Lowers blood pressure:
High blood pressure has become too common in our society. A 10-minute foot massage session up to three times a week resulted in improved mood, less anxiety and lower blood pressure.