Like aromatherapy and essential oils, massage provides huge health benefits that are rarely discussed although many of us are vaguely familiar with the relationship between Chinese medicine, acupuncture and massage. Our bodies seem to respond to a lot more than the chemicals of modern medicine (which I do not decry in general – after all – they work most of the time!). So what can we say about foot massages?
Well, it certainly feels good to have strong hands knead your feet for an hour. I always provide my own essential oils mix for this as follows:-
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
I combine these ingredients in a small pitcher or measuring cup and mix them really well – it’s just fantastic for your feet! Anyway – on to the details of the massage –
Usually, to begin with, there’s a steaming foot bucket. The masseuse pours a sachet of aromatic powder into the water – again, I always insist on essential oils. As an optional extra, after a good soak, you can have the dead skin scraped off the bottom of your feet. Now the preparation is over and the real work begins. Over the next hour, the masseuse will massage every bit of your feet and lower legs, which is so soothing you might actually fall to sleep!
Enough of my babbling enthusiasm! The following article on the benefits of foot massage is from healthyandnaturalworld.com (full accreditation and link below). Enjoy!
The Health Benefits of Foot Massage
In the realm of reflexology, the key to virtually every body part lies in the sole of the foot (and additionally, the palm of the hand). By massaging your feet each night before bed, you can not only bring relief to a pair of sore feet after a long day, but bring wellness to your entire body by stimulating pressure points.
1. Foot Massage Promotes Mental Health and Wellness
A daily foot massage can help keep the psychological aspects of your health in balance. According to a 1999 study performed by a team of researchers from the University of Hertfordshire and published in the Intensive and Critical Care Nursing journal, a five-minute foot massage served to bring about relaxation to critical care patients, helping to reduce their stress levels and measurably reducing blood pressure and heart rate.
Foot massage can also provide relief from pain, and not only pain in the feet. A 2004 study published in the Pain Management Nursing journal, performed by researchers from the Indiana University School of Nursing, found that post-operative patients reported a greater reduction in their pain symptoms following a massage of the feet or hands than those who used pain medication alone.
3. Foot Massage Brings Relief from Cancer Symptoms and Chemotherapy Side Effects
Foot massage helped cancer patients find relief from not only pain, but nausea, in a 2000 study spearheaded by researchers from the University of Canberra and published in the Cancer Nursing journal.
4. Foot Massage – Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Relief
Cancer is not the only physical ailment to have its symptoms improved through a reflexology-based foot massage. A multi-campus team of Iranian researchers recently found that reflexology was able to provide relief from the crippling fatigue that so many people with multiple sclerosis suffer from.
5. Foot Massage can Reduce High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure is another common illness that science has shown to be improved by reflexology foot massage. A study performed by Korean researchers from Pusan National University found that systolic blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels were both improved following a therapeutic massage
6. Foot Massage for Relief of PMS symptoms
Many women across the world suffer from intolerable PMS symptoms each month, including bloating, mood changes and cramping. According to a 1993 study published in the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal, researchers from the California Graduate Institute’s Division of Behavioral Medicine found that women who underwent reflexology—including foot massage—reported reduced PMS symptoms as compared with the placebo group.
7. Foot Massage for Swollen Legs
The term edema refers to the retention of fluids in the body. Sometimes it can be normal to have a bit of swelling in your legs, for example, after a day spent standing or sitting, or during pregnancy.
However, leg and ankle swelling, also known as peripheral edema, can also signal that there is an underlying issue that might need some attention and treatment. Kidney disease, heart failure, liver disease and certain medications can all result in fluid retention.
How to Give a Healing Foot Massage
One of the best ways to treat a friend or loved one is to give this person a wonderful foot massage. The video below shows you how.
Video – How to Perform a Foot Massage
Here is a video demonstrating how to give a foot massage: