By Donna Stephens Johnson, LMBT, MMP, Owner of Utopia Spa in Aberdeen, guest columnist
There are many reasons why our feet hurt: wearing poorly fitting shoes, wearing very high heeled shoes, bunions, ingrown toenails, flat feet, and pregnancy are just a few examples that come to mind.
Unfortunately, few of us provide proper preventive care for our hardworking feet. Although our feet do a lot of work, they are the least pampered part of our body. Pampering your feet helps keep them strong, and flexible. Taking care of your feet with regular foot massage, even a gentle foot rub has a proven effect on blood circulation and the nervous system. The positive effects of foot massage and reflexology rest on sound science. Foot Reflexology Massage can help to decrease pain and muscle aches, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall wellness and relaxation. In fact, foot massage has been practiced in different cultures for years to promote health and well-being. Also, it has been a valuable part of complementary and alternative medicine.
Like the rest of the body, the feet feel the effects of age. Gravity has a great impact on our feet. We exert a force equivalent to several hundred tons every day on our poor feet. They bear the weight of the entire body as well as added weight when we walk, and up to 3 times our weight when we run. The delicate human foot is a complex structure of 33 joints and 26 bones, wrapped in a web of 126 muscles, ligaments and nerves. Our feet and ankle bones are held in place and supported by these various soft tissues. As we age subtle changes may start to happen to our feet. Arches falter, so there is a tendency for the feet to flatten out. Muscle tissue thins out, there may be some loss of sensation, and structural changes from aging also occur. Down into the foot are many small muscles that control our arches and toes. These foot intrinsic muscles are the most at risk for atrophy from disuse when we don’t actively get out of our shoes and move our feet as we’re meant to do. But we usually don’t think of our feet until something goes wrong.
Health Benefits of a Foot Reflexology Massage:
Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. Now that foot reflexology massage is becoming more common, something seems to be going right with this modality that is way more than just a foot massage. Reflexology is a natural healing technique that is based on the principle that there are reflex points in the feet that correspond to every organ in the body. It’s not a cure all, but it is a very safe method to provide relief for aches and pains in the feet as well as the entire body. It is used to complement a variety of health conditions. After one or two foot reflexology massage sessions you will begin to notice results. Reflexology is a lot more than a foot massage. Besides relaxation, there are a number of health benefits of a foot reflexology massage:
Improves circulation of the legs and feet
Helps effects of edema (swelling)
Helpful for recovering from hip and knee replacement surgery
Helps fight depression and anxiety, promoting a sense of well-being
Helps to reduce pain in the feet
Promotes better sleep
Being pro-active about foot health by maintaining regularly scheduled foot massage treatments can have a positive effect on overall wellness, pain management of arthritis in the ankles and feet, plantar fasciitis, diabetes related foot problems and improved balance and walking. Foot massage is a lot more beneficial to both physical and mental health than most people realize. Don’t wait until something goes wrong. Taking basic care of your feet improves your chances of staying on them.
To schedule a foot reflexology massage with Utopia Spa call 910-757-0415