Do you have aching feet after a long day, a foot massage can give you much-needed relief. But it doesn't just feel good. Research shows that this self care approach has health benefits, too. Even a brief foot massage can ease stress, perk you up and provide some relief to foot pain. That's a good thing because cutting stress and boosting energy raise the odds you'll make healthy choices like exercising and eating right.
Wondering how a massage does all that? It activates your nervous system, which increases feel-good brain chemicals like endorphins. In one study, people who got foot massages after surgery to remove their appendix had less foot pain and used fewer painkillers.
That's not all, though. A foot massage boosts your circulation, which helps with healing and keeps your muscles and tissues healthy. That's especially important if you have health problems that add to poor circulation or nerve damage, like diabetes. Rubbing your feet also gives you a chance to check for other problems, like sores, corns, and ingrown toenails. If you have poor circulation, checking your feet for sores is a great self care idea.
Why You Should Give Yourself a Foot Massage
Professional massages aren't cheap. Luckily, you can get the same benefits at home -- for free -- by doing it yourself or asking your partner to lend a hand. The spots most likely to cause sore feet are easy to reach.
Moderate pressure massage is safe and works well for most people with conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis and long-term pain. You can also consider getting your first massage from a professional massage therapist. Look for one who has a certification from Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals or the American Massage Therapy Association. If you had surgery on your feet, talk to your doctor or podiatrist first to see if foot massage is a good idea for you.
How to Give Yourself a Foot Massage
Step 1. Sit in a chair or on a bed and put one of your feet on top of your opposite thigh. If you'd like, use a dollop of lotion or oil (like coconut or argan) to help your fingers move smoothly across your skin.
Step 2. Hold the front of your ankle with one hand. Then pinch the back of your ankle with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand and pull down toward your heel. This relaxes your Achilles tendon, which can get especially tight from exercise, standing for long periods of time, and wearing high heels.
Step 3. Use your thumb to make small circles from the bottom of your heel up to the base of each of your toes. You can also knead the bottom of your foot by pressing your knuckles into it. Or hold your foot with both hands and press your thumbs directly into the bottom of your foot, working from the heel up to just beneath your toes. This is a great one for foot pain relief from plantar fasciitis.
Step 4. Finish by rotating each toe lightly. When you're all done, switch feet. If it hurts, use less pressure. If you feel sharp pain, stop right away. You can also use a drugstore massage device. Or try a foot roller. To use one, stand and hold onto a stable surface with one hand as you roll your foot over the device at a pressure that feels comfortable for you.
Step 5. Gently stretch your toes using My Happy Feet Foot Alignment Socks. While this is a more passive massage, the soft toe spacers help to realign the toes to their more natural position and remove the stress from running, long periods of standing and narrow shoe boxes. Even 10-15 minutes per night can greatly reduce the stress in the feet.
In conclusion, foot massages not only feel amazing they have many self care health benefits too. Our team share foot care ideas all year long and provides some great foot care products to add to your routine. Check out our variety of products today to provide relief to those aching feet.
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