A long day on your feet can really take its toll on them, especially if wearing poor fitting or unsupportive shoes. Massaging your feet not only feels good and gives you some much needed relief but there are a number of health benefits too! Just like body massage, massaging the feet can put you in a state of relaxation which reduces tension and stress. It activates your nervous system which releases endorphins and feel good hormones such as oxytocin, which help with pain relief in the body. Tension and stress in the body leads to ill heath and poor bodily function, so time for relaxation in your daily routine is a must, and a 10 minute foot massage (with your favourite smelling moisturiser) before bed is a great way to do this.
Massaging your feet improves blood circulation and lymphatic drainage from the feet to the legs helping to remove toxins from the body, and transports oxygen to the cells in the body which help with overall health and healing. It also helps reduce build-up of interstitial fluid which can cause swelling in the ankles and feet, especially if you are pregnant or have a sedentary lifestyle. This is why exercise and drinking plenty of water is so good as it keeps everything flowing in the body! Plus the venous circulation in your legs and feet needs an extra boost as it is further away from the heart and gravity!
It also keeps your surrounding muscles and tissues healthy and improves flexibility in the ankles and feet, which help prevent injury in these areas. It helps relieve pain, and symptoms of flat feet, (where the arch of the foot has collapsed due to ligament laxity), and plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the connective tissue that supports the arch of the feet) as well as other foot and ankle pain. It not only improves foot health but the entire body due to the amount of pressure points and nerves in the feet. It has been proven to relieve headaches, migraines, anxiety, aches, pains, chronic fatigue and insomnia, as well as pms and menopausal symptoms. It can even help with sinus problems or digestive issues.
All the more reason to take off those socks and treat yourself to a foot massage!
Written by Kim Cuell - Massage Therapist at Vibrant Life Centre