Why does a foot massage make our feet feel better?

One-fourth of all the bones in the body, including 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, are located in the intricate feet. Women typically have four times as many foot problems (mostly as a result of walking in high heels).

We walk a lot since it is the finest exercise for our feet. The typical individual walks roughly 115,000 miles in their lifetime. That translates to 8–10,000 steps each day. The fact that 75% of Americans would experience foot problems at some time in their life is not surprising.

Have you ever questioned why receiving a foot massage is so amazingly calming and unwinding? Whether you gave yourself a professional foot massage or received one from a friend or family member, you cannot deny the calming sensation that spreads across your feet. But what is it about a foot massage that offers such comfort and improves the condition of our feet? In this article, we dig into the interesting science behind the healing effects of foot massage and investigate the physiological and psychological components that contribute to the incredible advantages of foot massage. 

Health Benefits of Foot Massage

After a long day of work or errands, a foot massage can offer much-needed comfort. But in addition to just making you feel good, a massage like that offers several health benefits. Continue reading to learn more!

A person holding a foot

1. Healthier Feet

For even the slightest daily duties, our feet are absolutely necessary as they support the weight of our entire body. Because of this, giving them a relaxing yet stimulating massage can do wonders for their overall health and happiness.

A good foot massage can ease tension and stiffness, improve circulation, and increase foot flexibility, which can help to ward off conditions like plantar fasciitis, flat feet, and bunions. Regular foot massages can promote better overall foot health, which will support your ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

2. Higher levels of calm and feeling of well-being

In terms of encouraging relaxation and enhancing general well-being, foot massage can work wonders. Studies have shown that foot massage helps lower blood pressure, as well as help with stress and anxiety reduction. Additionally, foot massage might increase the body’s natural painkiller endorphin production, which enhances feelings of well-being.

Therefore, treating yourself to a foot massage can have long-term advantages for both your physical and mental health in addition to offering immediate relief.

3. Relieves nausea and pain

In addition to encouraging relaxation, foot massage also reduces pain and nausea symptoms. A foot massage can be quite helpful if someone is feeling sick or emotionally upset and experiencing nausea.

Applying pressure to the top of the foot, right below the point where the big toe and second toe converge, provides this relief. This reflex point can stimulate a number of organs, including the stomach, large intestines, and heart, reducing pain and nausea.

4. Lowers blood pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common ailment that is frequently brought on by poor diet, inactivity, and stress. Thankfully, regular foot massages can effectively control this disease.

It has been shown that exerting pressure on certain foot muscles, notably the sole, can aid to maintain normal blood pressure. According to studies, foot reflexology can help persons with hypertension lower their systolic blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels.

Foot massage can improve relaxation and reduce tension by fostering improved circulation, which improves blood pressure levels. People with hypertension can significantly lower their blood pressure readings with regular foot massage, which improves their general health and well-being.

A woman in gray short and black pants

5. Improves circulation

Foot massage can increase blood flow. Numerous advantages can result from improved circulation, including decreased pain and edema, increased mobility, and a general feeling of well-being.

Additionally, the tranquility that accompanies a foot massage can aid in stress reduction, which can assist improve circulation and general health.

6. Reduces edema

Swelling brought on by an excessive buildup of fluid in the body’s tissues is known as edema. Edema can impact any area of the body, although it most frequently impacts the legs and feet. It frequently occurs during pregnancy or is accompanied by underlying medical conditions such diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease.

Foot massage has been proven to be a successful therapy for lowering swelling, even if resting and eating a healthy diet can help control edema. Regular foot massages can aid in promoting lymphatic and blood drainage, thereby removing extra fluids that contribute to swelling.

Foot massages can aid in lowering edema-related pain and discomfort in addition to swelling. The pressure used during the massage can boost the body’s natural healing process by assisting in the release of tension and promoting relaxation.

7. Alleviates heel pain

People with flat feet or a low foot arch frequently experience chronic heel pain, which can be uncomfortable during regular physical activity. The connective tissue in the plantar fascia, which forms the arch of the foot, may become inflamed or degenerate as a result of this pain.

Fortunately, regular foot massages can help to effectively lessen this discomfort. Foot massage can assist increase circulation and hasten the healing of the inflamed or injured plantar fascia by concentrating on the foot arch and employing pressure. Sometimes regular foot massages might completely cure chronic heel discomfort.

8. Helps prevent foot and ankle injuries

Incorporating regular foot massages into your wellness routine can be an excellent method to help prevent foot and ankle injuries, which can be frequent problems for many people. Additionally, foot massage might speed up physical injury recovery and reduce joint and muscle pain.

Your balance, flexibility, and overall foot health can all be improved with regular foot massage, which can lower your risk of foot and ankle injuries. Additionally, foot massage can assist to improve circulation and boost the flow of nutrients to the muscles and joints, which can hasten healing time and lessen discomfort in the muscles.

A person having a foot massage

9. Relieves tension, stress, and anxiety

A quick but powerful method of promoting relaxation and easing tension is foot massage. Studies have indicated that foot massage can help patients feel less stressed. Foot massage can be helpful in lowering anxiety and depression in addition to easing tension and stress.

10. Helps with PMS and menopause

Ladies, getting a foot massage during that time of the month is more than just self-indulgence. Premenstrual (PMS) symptoms like bloating, mood swings, and cramps were shown in studies to be less severe in women who had foot massages.

Women who are going through menopause can relate. They frequently have disturbing symptoms during this time, thankfully some of which can be relieved by foot reflexology.

The application of pressure to particular reflex spots on the feet contributes significantly to the advantages of foot massage for women during these times of transition. Foot massage can relieve stress and encourage relaxation throughout the body by igniting these spots, which can lessen both physical and mental suffering.

11. Reduces headaches

A person’s quality of life can be greatly impacted by headaches. Fortunately, foot reflexology can be a powerful and organic method of treating headaches and migraines.

A foot massage can assist to relieve tension and ease discomfort throughout the body, including the brain, by focusing on specific reflex spots on the feet. When the big toe and second toe are massaged, the tension in the temporal lobes is released, which lessens the frequency and severity of headaches.

12. Improves immunity

To be healthy and fight off infections, one needs a robust immune system. The immune system can be significantly strengthened and improved with regular foot massage.

The lymph fluid, which transports white blood cells throughout the body, can aid to enhance circulation by being stimulated with mild pressure when giving someone a foot massage. These white blood cells defend the body against dangerous germs, viruses, and illnesses, which strengthens the immune system.

The immune system can be weakened by the stress hormone cortisol, which can be effectively reduced by foot massage. Foot massage can improve the body’s natural ability to fight infections and disorders by lowering tension and encouraging relaxation.

13. Promotes better sleep

For general health and well-being, sleep is essential. But it can be difficult to get to sleep fast and get adequate rest because of our busy lifestyles. By establishing a peaceful and relaxed condition, foot massage can aid in fostering better sleep.

The pressure used on particular spots on the feet during a foot massage can help calm the nervous system and produce endorphins, having a calming and relaxing impact.

Person getting a massage

Disadvantages of Foot Massage

Although foot massage is generally safe and has many advantages, there are a few possible disadvantages and things to think about. For the best experience and to ensure informed judgments, it’s critical to be aware of these variables. The following are a few disadvantages of foot massage:

1. Certain medical conditions

When getting a foot massage, people with specific medical issues should use caution. Before receiving a foot massage, anyone with deep vein thrombosis, open wounds or cuts on their feet, fractures, severe varicose veins, gout, or foot infections may need to consult a doctor. If you have any particular health concerns, it is always advisable to speak with a healthcare expert.

2. Sensitivity or allergies

Some people can have sensitive skin or allergies that massage oils, lotions, or creams used during foot massage sessions could exacerbate. It’s important to let the massage therapist know if you have any known allergies or sensitivities so that they can modify their techniques or use safer items.

3. Pain or discomfort

While receiving a foot massage is typically delightful and soothing, there is a chance that you may feel pain or discomfort. This could happen if the massage therapist uses too much pressure or if the massage aggravates underlying foot problems. It’s essential to let the therapist know how comfortable you are during the session and to provide them feedback so they can change the intensity and approaches as necessary.

A woman massaging a client’s foot

4. Contagious conditions

Since foot massage frequently includes direct skin-to-skin contact, it may spread infectious diseases like warts or fungi. Making sure the massage therapist follows good hygiene habits, such as washing their hands, using clean towels or sheets, and sterilizing the massage equipment between sessions, is essential for reducing the risk of infection.

5. Pregnancy considerations

Women who are expecting should use caution when getting foot massages, especially in the first trimester. It is thought that certain pressure spots on the feet may be able to trigger labor or have an impact on conditions associated with pregnancy. Pregnant women should speak with their doctor before getting a foot massage to be sure it’s safe and suitable for their particular scenario.

6. Personal boundaries and comfort

Finally, it’s essential to think about your comfort level and personal limits when getting a foot massage. Some people can find the intimate nature of foot massage distressing, or they could choose to completely avoid any physical touch. It’s important to express your choices and demand that the massage therapist adheres to your boundaries at all times.

How Often Should You Get a Foot Massage?

In general, foot massage is risk-free and enjoyable every day. Foot massage involves mild strokes as opposed to deep tissue massage, so your feet won’t feel sore afterward. It’s crucial to be aware of any health issues that can make it difficult for you to get frequent foot massages.

For instance, those suffering from neuropathy or deep vein thrombosis may need to avoid foot massages altogether or consult with their doctor before beginning a foot massage routine.

Additionally, it’s crucial to speak with your massage therapist and have them modify the pressure or technique if you feel any pain or discomfort while getting a foot massage.

Conclusion

A foot massage relieves tension and improves the condition of our feet in a number of ways. It improves blood flow, jolts nerve endings, encourages muscle relaxation, lessens stress, and aids in restful sleep. This combination of physiological and psychological impacts results in a calming and revitalizing experience. Foot massages can provide both physical and mental advantages as part of our self-care routines, offering a holistic approach to foot health and general well-being. Therefore, the next time you treat yourself to a foot massage, be aware that there is science at work, leaving your feet feeling gloriously renewed.