Everyone loves to kick back and relax. Add a foot rub or massage to the mix and that is just a divine combination. The feet are probably the most underrated and yet vital part of the human body. Apart from being crucial for locomotion, they also help with balance and now have come to be known as a warehouse of numerous beneficial pressure points for human health.
There are several different massage techniques that all promise certain health benefits. Traditional therapeutic techniques focus on relaxing the muscles and joints; acupressure seeks to improve general health and energy flow by acting upon specific pressure points; aromatherapy uses scented oils and relaxing music to add an element of relaxation by acting upon multiple senses, and reflexology seeks to improve internal organ function by massaging specific areas of the foot.1 Having regular foot massage combined with reflexology helps to support psychological and physical health.
What is foot reflexology?
Reflexology is a type of massage that involves applying different amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. It’s based on the theory that these body parts are connected to certain organs and body systems. People who practice this technique are called reflexologists.2 Foot reflexology is a practice that has numerous health benefits which we will explore soon enough.
Difference between Reflexology and Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a practice that involves the use of needles through a person’s skin at specific points on the body, to various depths to work on the sympathetic nervous system producing a calming effect. Reflexology is a practice that uses reflexes (pressure points) in the hands and feet the location of which largely resemble the shape of the human body to work on the sympathetic nervous system producing a calming effect.
Most people prefer Reflexology for its less invasive nature, as some people are averse to the idea of needles, and also since acupuncture uses meridians spread throughout your torso and from the foot up to the top of your head, it tends to be done with a more haphazard approach in that the meridians channel are all over your body.
6 Health Benefits of Foot Reflexology
- Supports Healthy Blood Circulation: Several factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, and even clothing choices limit healthy blood flow and circulation. Probably the most well-known and verified results of the reflexology is an improvement in circulation throughout the entire body, which means blood and oxygen are being cycled throughout the body more effectively.3 10 - 20 minutes of foot massage daily helps in transporting oxygen to the body’s cells, which is essential for supporting healthy blood circulation as well as overall health.
- Supports Healthy Sleep: Most people sleep off during reflexology sessions, this is mostly because reflexology can flood the neural pathways with relaxation, inducing a state of peace and tranquility within the body and mind. It also improves the circulation of blood as well as soothes tense nerves and muscles. This helps in getting a peaceful sleep.
- Promotes Healthy Energy Levels: Working on tense and strained areas through working on pressure points on the feet, reflexology eases away strain and feelings of tiredness leaving you feeling refreshed. By aligning functions of organ and muscle systems, reflexology has the potential to increase metabolism and energy creation. In other words, reflexology sessions can help to re-energize your body and mind.3
- Supports Healthy Gut Health: One of the reflex points found on your feet is connected to your stomach—when this particular point is stimulated, it will increase blood flow to your stomach, helping to improve digestion.4
- Acts as a Good Memory Support: Reflexology helps to open neural pathways. The opening and cleansing of neural pathways help improve overall functionality. Open neural pathways benefit our central nervous system in a variety of ways. The brain can handle inputs more effectively, essentially speeding up cognitive strengths; thus, increasing the speed of physical reactions, which boosts your memory. Overall, the entire brain can work faster and more efficiently.3
Reflexology has come to stay as more and more people are coming to see its benefits and importance. Booking a foot reflexology session won’t be such a bad idea, see it as giving your feet and body, in general, a treat. The ultimate chance to put your feet up and be extremely rewarded.
- www.lifehack.org. 9 Unexpected Benefits Of Foot Massage That Make You Want To Have One Now. Accessed on July 4, 2021.
- www.healthline.com.Reflexology 101. Accessed on December 4, 2018.
- www.yourfootpalace.com. 7 Benefits of A Reflexology Foot Massage. Accessed on September 12, 2018.
- www.healthline.com. Foot Reflexology Chart: Points, How to, Benefits, and Risks. Accessed on January 20, 2021.