10 Benefits of Foot Massage and Reflexology Based on Science 

 March 1, 2021

By  Pham

The physical part of a foot massage consists of manipulating and kneading your foot muscles. While the therapeutic effects include a boost in blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, joint pain relief, and a lot more. These are the undeniable benefits of foot massage and reflexology as well.

About the reflexology treatment, it’s not the same as a foot massage. Although the benefits of both are pretty much on the same ground. So how about I discuss the ample benefits of both? Along with pointing out the differences between foot massage and reflexology.

Foot Massage - What Is It?

It’s the kind of massage that primarily targets your foot muscles. Did you know that foot massages date back to 3,000 years ago? They first emerged in China. The traditional Chinese culture uses foot massages for identifying as well as curing many diseases and illnesses.

But it’s not the same in the world we’re a part of today. Today, foot massages are mainly a very useful tool for relaxation after a long, hard day. The most functional ones like these do a great job of alleviating the sore muscles in your feet.

Foot Massage - What Are the Benefits?

1. Prevents Ankle and Foot Injuries

Needless to say, foot massages help in alleviating joint pain. They’re very useful when it comes to speeding recovery after ankle and foot injuries. A foot massage is actually an incredibly effective way of reducing muscle soreness as well.

There are power massagers that many athletes use for accelerating the process of recovery. In fact, this Tim Tam device here is a best-selling product that also helps in preventing potential sports-related foot and ankle injuries. So if you’re an athlete, then you can combine this form of treatment with stretching and strengthening exercises.

After all, muscles in the foot and ankle that are flexible and strengthened are less likely to get injured or damaged during physically challenging movements.

2. Boosts Blood Circulation

Many of us live a sedentary lifestyle, don’t we? Meaning not many people in this world use the different muscles of the body on a daily basis. In that case, it’s only natural for the foot muscles to feet stiff. On top of that, uncomfortable, tight-fitting shoes only make matters worse.

Keeping that in mind, how about infusing some life into those feet! Just a 10-minute or 20-minute foot massage session is enough for boosting blood circulation. And this is even more beneficial in case you’re dealing with medical conditions like diabetes.

3. Reduces Blood Pressure

It’s only common these days to come across people dealing with high blood pressure issues. It’s only explainable since factors like increased stress levels and unhealthy eating habits have become so prevalent. So it’s more important now than ever to keep your blood pressure in check.

One very effective way to manage high BP concerns is getting a foot massage. And why is that? Simply because just a 10-minute session has been proven to lower the blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and improve the mood of old people burdened with dementia. And this is a highly stressful medical condition that interferes with daily functioning, both mentally and physically.

So if a 10-minute foot massage thrice a week can help those dealing with dementia, then it possesses the ability to have such a drastically positive impact on your blood pressure levels as well.

4. Helps with Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet

Many people complain of chronic heel pain. More often than not, this is a result of the deterioration or inflammation of your plantar fascia. It’s the tissue that connects and supports the natural arch of your foot. So when that gets injured or damaged, then foot pain is only unavoidable. And this brings effective remedies like foot massage into the picture.

A deep massage is what helps a great deal at such times. It consists of applying strong pressure over your arch region. So the pain minimizes significantly. And the massage also helps in eventually treating the injured or damaged plantar fascia tissue.

Such kind of effect is often brought about by foot massagers specifically crafted for reducing the swelling and pain commonly associated with plantar fasciitis. Much like these top 15 highly functional, high-quality foot massagers.

Then there’s flat feet, which is actually the absence of a foot arch. The most common cause here is ligament laxity, which causes the collapse of the arch. For the most part, flat feet don’t give rise to any negative effects.

But, sometimes, they do tend to cause foot pain in the case of even moderate physical activity. So for instant relief and long-term treatment, a regular foot massage seems like an effective solution.

5. Minimizes Edema Symptoms Among Pregnant Women

The condition is the swelling of the ankles and feet because of fluid retention. It’s a very common occurrence among pregnant women. And it takes form mainly during their last trimester. However, the condition can be managed and treated by daily foot massages. Along with a healthy diet and ample rest of course.

Also, the benefits of a foot massage are not just physical but mental too. And the good news is that now you don’t have to go out of your house to get a professional foot massage. A more convenient and even more affordable option is to simply buy the best foot massager.

Did you know that there are water foot massager spas for the feet as well? Intrigued? Then have a look at these for pampering your tired, swollen feet every day for 10 to 20 minutes. That too without having to step out and draining your wallet.

6. Reduces Anxiety and Depression

First off, a foot massage or foot massager doesn’t cure depression or anxiety. It just minimizes the effects of these mental conditions.

As you might already know, a foot massage encourages relaxation during the session. And if you incorporate these more frequently into your life, then your anxiety levels are bound to reduce significantly.

The techniques of even a self-performed, manual foot massage, no doubt, helps in dealing with not just anxiety but also depression.

7. Helps with Migraines and Headaches

The beauty of a foot massage is that it also offers therapeutic relief to those suffering from daily or frequent migraines and headaches.

You can expect a reduction of as much as 65-percent in your symptoms if you make foot massages become a part of your daily treatment. Other additional favorable lifestyle changes should also be made of course.

8. Alleviates Symptoms Linked to Menopause and PMS

What is the most common expression of PMS? A feeling of anxiety, fatigue, irritability, sadness, mood swings, and headaches. But how about I tell you that you can reduce some of these symptoms simply by incorporating daily foot massages into your life? Particularly when you’re PMS-ing.

The same applies to women going through the menopause phase. Since the symptoms are much the same, the positive effects of a foot massager do help. These also contribute to dealing with additional menopause symptoms, such as depression and hot flashes.

9. Promotes Better Sleep (Manages Insomnia)

Insomnia, much like any brain-related issue, is multifactorial. Some of these causes include the consumption of nicotine, caffeine, and certain medications. Along with stress, body pain, depression, etc.

More often than not, we don’t understand the root cause, to begin with. This explains why so many of us don’t take into consideration the fact that a foot massage can actually work at such times. Because getting your feet massaged on a regular basis addresses many physical and psychological concerns.

A foot massage relieves muscle and joint pain, boosts circulation, makes you feel relaxed, reduces symptoms associated with depression and anxiety, etc. In that case, you’re more likely to feel good, both physically and mentally, after getting a foot massage. That means your chances of getting sleep are also higher.

One proof is the favorable effect foot massages have on women dealing with insomnia during their post-natal depression phase. This tends to stimulate a feeling of calmness, which assists in getting a good night’s sleep.

10. Relieves Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome

What is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)? It’s a neurological movement disorder generally marked by an uncontrollable impulse to shake and move the legs. It mostly happens during the night.

As for the cause of RLS, it’s mainly nervous system malfunctioning. And the worst part is that the more effort you make to relax, the more prominent the symptoms become.

RLS, as a result, generates a lot of exhaustion and fatigue in the feet. This makes home remedies like daily exercise, cold compression, heat packs, and foot massages very effective. A massage, without the shadow of a doubt, relieves the symptoms directly related to RLS. It boosts blood circulation, reduces blood pressure, and relaxes your joints, muscles, and nerves.

Much like how deep percussion handheld massagers provide instant back pain relief, a foot massage helps in reducing the uncomfortable physical effects of RLS in your feet and legs.

Reflexology - What Is It?

The reflexology treatment consists of applying pressure to certain reflex points present in the feet. These are the points that correspond to the different parts and organs of your body. Reflexology is a type of healing response for alleviating many ailments.

Needless to say, it’s a kind of foot massage that goes deeper into your muscles. The treatment involves kneading the fleshy, soft ball of your foot, pulling your toes, tracing over your heel, and also pushing deep into your arch. These are just some of the movements used in reflexology.

Reflexology - How Is It Different From A Foot Massage?

Are foot massage and reflexology the same? They are similar in many ways indeed, but both have some important dissimilarities as well. Even so, the common denominator is that both are beneficial, physically and mentally.

A foot massage consists of manipulating your tissues to unwind the muscles. While also boost blood circulation and relieve tension. Therefore, improving your overall well-being and health.

As for reflexology, the treatment is a pressure-point, targeted foot massage for restoring energy flow throughout your body. Meaning it mainly focuses on the pressure points of your feet.

Reflexology - What Are the Benefits?

The benefits of reflexology are much the same as that of foot massage. That said, here’s a quick rundown of the health advantages you’re likely to make the most of in the case of reflexology treatment.

  • Reduces anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Improves mood and overall well-being
  • Minimizes muscle and joint pain
  • Boosts immune health
  • Corrects hormonal imbalance
  • Clears up sinus
  • Improves digestion
  • Boosts fertility
  • Alleviates back pain
  • Eases arthritic pain
  • Helps with bacterial infections and the common cold
  • Treats nerve problems and numbness often associated with cancer medication

Final Words

Now I’m not saying that foot massage and reflexology are scientifically proven treatment methods for medical conditions. However, I’m also not denying the fact that both contribute greatly when it comes to reducing the symptoms associated with medical conditions. Such as diabetes, arthritis, depression, low blood pressure, insomnia, and many more.

There’s no harm in making foot massages a part of your treatment. You have nothing to lose if you ask me. Only plenty of health benefits to gain!

Michael Rodriguez

I'm a registered massage therapist out of Vancouver BC. I absolutely hate the information I find on Google about this industry and I started this blog to debunk these myths.

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