We all know that a short foot massage every now and then can really help us relax, particularly after a long day of standing up and walking around, when our feet tend to swell up. Sure, everyone enjoys it, but does it really have any benefits other than making us feel a bit more relaxed and relieving some of the pain?
There are a 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 additional element of relaxation by acting upon multiple senses; and reflexology seeks to improve internal organ function by massaging specific areas of the foot.
There are many claims, some fairly outrageous, about what a simple massage can do for you, but there is very little evidence to support them. We will take a look at some of the benefits of foot massage that are supported by actual scientific research – benefits that are either immediate or can be seen and felt after a couple of weeks, even with as little as two to three sessions per week.
1. It’s good for your sex life
All it takes is some massage oil, a few scented candles and light music to set the perfect mood for a night of passionate lovemaking. A foot massage is a selfless gift to your significant other, it helps them forget about minor annoyances they’ve had to deal with throughout the day and it is a great form of foreplay.
The feet are a great starting point since they can cause mild arousal and offer easy transition to more powerful erogenous zones like the back of the knees and inner thighs.
2. Improves circulation
Due to a mostly sedentary lifestyle we have become unaccustomed to using our muscles on a regular basis. The muscles in the feet get hardly any exercise and circulation is often impaired by tight and uncomfortable shoes. A 10–20 minute massage session before going to bed can greatly improve circulation in the lower extremities, which is particularly important for people suffering from diabetes.
3. Helps prevent foot and ankle injuries
Massaging the feet can help with joint pain and aid recovery after an injury, as well as reduce muscle soreness. However, when massage is combined with foot and ankle strengthening exercises and stretching it can prevent future injuries, as well as speed up recovery of existing injuries. A short session three to five times a week will ensure that you minimize the risk of injury. We all have our moments of clumsiness, but a strengthened and flexible ankle and foot ensures that we can avoid unpleasant injuries.
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