Reflexology is a type of therapy that uses gentle pressure on specific points along your feet (and possibly on your hands or ears as well). Foot massages are therapeutic massages that provide several health benefits, including what we’re all looking for…relief from daily stress.
This type of massage can be applied to the feet and lower legs, stimulating the reflex zones in the feet and stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. The massage could be performed by a masseuse or a massage tool. Specifically, a foot massager that is designed for the feet and lower legs. Here are some ways foot massages can help relieve stress:
- Stimulating the reflex zones in the feet can help relax the body’s muscles, which can help reduce physical tension and stress.
- Foot massages can also help stimulate the body’s natural healing processes, improving overall physical and mental health.
- Massage helps improve circulation, which can help reduce inflammation and improve overall physical health.
- Foot massages stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones, which can help relieve stress and reduce the intense feelings of anxiety.
- Foot massages can also help reduce stress-related headaches and insomnia.
- Regular foot massages can help maintain overall balance and relaxation, which can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Talk to a healthcare provider first before considering massage; ask about the number of treatments that might be needed, the cost and type, and the insurance coverage, if any. I was recently diagnosed with chronic pain, and my doctor wrote a prescription for massage. I would have never known had I not asked my doctor. And please remember, despite its benefits, massage is not meant to replace regular medical care, and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans already in place.
Is massage good for stress relief?
What about the rest of the body besides the feet? Does an all-over body massage help reduce stress too? For so many people, the overwhelming answer is “Yes!” Generally, massage is considered part of an integrative medicine strategy and is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of conditions that may include the following but are not limited to:
- Reducing stress and increasing relaxation
- Reducing pain and muscle soreness, and tension
- Improving energy and alertness
- Lowering heart rate and blood pressure
- Digestive disorders
- Chronic headaches
- Insomnia related to stress
- Lower back pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Upper back and neck pain
Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort, and connection. And in a world where so many feel “disconnected” despite the 24/7 technological “connection,” the more we can seek out a way to connect with each other, the better. Be a massage buddy to someone you love who deals with chronic pain, they will appreciate it. If you need help, ask a trusted person to be your massage buddy.
Surprising benefits of massage
While more research is definitely needed to confirm the benefits of massage, studies have found massage may also be helpful in providing the following:
- Lessen depression and anxiety
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin
- Increase joint flexibility
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation
- Paresthesia and nerve pain
- Reduce spasms and cramping
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller
- Relieve migraine pain
Despite the so many benefits of massage, there are certain times when massage is not the answer. So again, always consult with a physician first, especially if you fall under any of the risk factors listed below.
Risks of massage
Massage may not be appropriate if you have:
- Bleeding disorders or taking blood-thinning medication
- Burns or healing wounds
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Broken bones (fractures)
- Severe osteoporosis
- Very low platelet count
Some forms of massage can make you feel like you have taken a beating and are a bit sore the next day—specifically, those deep tissue massages. I have always felt better the following days, but gosh, I had a lot of bruising and felt like I was run over by a truck! Remember to ice or heat the rest of the day and add in an Epsom salt bath too while you’re at it! That will help with the soreness of the first day.
However, a regular massage should not necessarily be painful or uncomfortable. Should any part of your massage not feel right or is just plain painful, say something immediately. The serious problems that might happen during a massage are usually from too much pressure.
Ok, let’s go back to the feet. How do I know which brand of foot massagers I should buy? Well, first things first, do your research and ask around. You can also read further in this article to see which brands we found to be the best.
Best foot massage machine
Now that the decision has been made to invest in your feet, what brands are people looking at and buying the most of? Below is a list of five favorite quality brands to consider:
- HoMedics Quad Roller Foot Massager
- Zarifa Foot Massager – Shiatsu Kneading and Rolling Massager
- Naipo Shiatsu Foot Massager
- Belmint Shiatsu Foot Massager
- TheraFlow Dual Foot Roller Massager
Investing in regular foot massages is essential for our overall well-being. A foot massage machine is a great way to give yourself the same benefits as a professional massage. Foot massage machines come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. They are designed to target different areas of the feet, depending on where you feel tension or pain. Some foot massage machines are designed to specifically help with plantar fasciitis, heel pain, neuropathy, or any other foot ailments.
Investing in a foot massage machine is a great way to care for your feet and your body.
Foot massages relieve stress
Foot massages are a proven way to relieve stress and tension, as they stimulate the reflex zones in the feet to relax the body’s muscles and improve circulation. Any type of massage will help stimulate the release of endorphins that scientifically and biologically reduce stress as well as anxiety levels. In addition, regular foot massages will help maintain balance and relaxation, also, again aiding in reducing stress.
An investment in you just might be the most beneficial investment you make. Self-care is the best care; no one else can do it like you!