Reflexology is an ancient healing practice based on the principle that there are reflex points on the feet that correspond to the body’s different organs and glands. Remember that human foot is an evolutionary marvel, capable of handling hundreds of tons of force and your weight in motion. It has 42 muscles, 26 bones, 33 joints, 250,000 sweat glands and at least 50 ligaments and tendons—plus almost 15,000 nerve endings.
In reflexology pressure is applied to these reflexes on the feet, which promotes good health. Here are some health benefits of foot massage and reflexology:
- Improves blood circulation:
Due to a sedentary lifestyle, many people don’t use their feet muscles properly, thus impeding good blood flow. Also, tight, pointed shoes–especially high heels–hinder circulation. Ten minutes of foot massage daily helps in transporting oxygen to the body’s cells, which is essential for overall health.
- Helps in relaxation:
After a tiring and stressful day, a foot massage is a soothing and relaxing way to relax, particularly after a long day of standing and walking around, as the feet tend to swell up. Massage and reflexology of 5 to 10 minutes before going to bed can improve feelings of general well-being.
- Promotes better sleep:
The best time to do foot massage is before going to bed. A soothing and relaxing foot massage improves blood circulation. This helps in getting a peaceful sleep.
- Relieves body pains:
This is the best part of reflexology. If done carefully, it relieves pains and aches such as headaches, migraines, neck pain, lower and upper backaches.
- Improves mood and fights depression:
Foot massage and reflexology helps in fighting depression. Certain points on the feet are helpful in alleviating depression symptoms. Massaging these points or applying pressure to them for a few minutes 2 or 3 times a day can help relieve symptoms of depression.
- Makes feet healthier:
One easy way to help keep your feet healthy and free from foot problems is a regular foot massage. It helps stimulate the muscles around your feet, lessens stiffness and even reduces pain in the ankles or the heels. Plus, a short 5-minute foot massage daily will make your ankles strong and flexible, thus preventing unpleasant ankle and foot injuries.
- Alleviates swelling (oedema)
Regular foot massage during pregnancy can help reduce the effects of oedema, which is swelling in the feet and ankles due to fluid retention. This is very common during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester.