Massage therapy or the practice of using touch as a healing method dates back thousands of years to ancient cultures. Civilizations in the East and West found that natural healing and massage could heal injuries, relieve pain, prevent and cure illnesses. Likewise, it helped reduce stress and produce deep relaxation.
Today, massage therapy stands as a highly respected healing method being practiced across the world. According to the experts, there are more than 80 massage therapy styles with a wide variety of pressures, movements, and techniques. These massage styles involve pressing, rubbing, or manipulating muscles and other soft tissues with hands and fingers.
As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy is useful for many chronic conditions including low back pains, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and many more.
But did you know that the best massage is foot massage? Just like your neck, back, and shoulders, your feet can also benefit from a regular rubdown as some parts of our feet are connected with different organs in the human body.
Below are some of the benefits of foot massage that are supported by actual scientific research – benefits that are immediate or can be seen and felt after a couple of weeks:
- Improves circulation
- Helps prevent foot and ankle injuries
- Reduces the effect of depression and anxiety
- Helps with headaches and migraines
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps with flat feet and plantar fasciitis
- Helps alleviate symptoms of PMS and menopause
- Reduces the effects of edema in pregnant women
A professional foot massage is a treat, but not necessary to get the benefits. Here is a guide to 6 simple self-massage techniques:
- Hold your toes with one hand and the ankle with the other. Then you need to slightly rotate the foot, first in one direction, then in the other.
- Push the heel with one hand and push on the back of the foot (nail side) with the other hand in the opposite direction for about 15 seconds.
- Hold your thumb and your forefinger on the Achilles tendon just above the heel and push down on foot near the toes with the other hand so that the heel is stretching.
- Hold the foot on both sides with both hands then you need to turn it to one side and to the other side several times.
- Pull each toe one by one.
- Pull all the toes at once, holding one hand on the big toe and the other on the four toes. Pull the foot up and shake it.
Watch the video below: