The benefits of a foot massage before bedtime
Do you like having your feet massaged before going to bed? If you do did you know that there are many health benefits that will enhance your life and add to your well-being.
In the realm of reflexology, the key to virtually every body part lies in the sole of the foot (and additionally, the palm of the hand). By massaging your feet each night before bed, you can not only bring relief to a pair of sore feet after a long day, but bring wellness to your entire body by stimulating pressure points. It is recommended that this be enjoyed for at least 10 minutes each night using an aromatherapy essential oil blend.
Here are a few ways that foot massage can be beneficial to your health:
1. Foot Massage Promotes Mental Health and Wellness
A daily foot massage can help keep the psychological aspects of your health in balance.
According to a 1999 study performed by a team of researchers from the University of Hertfordshire and published in the Intensive and Critical Care Nursing journal, a five-minute foot massage served to bring about relaxation to critical care patients, helping to reduce their stress levels and measurably reducing blood pressure and heart rate.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing showed that massage of the soft tissues of the hands or feet brought about emotional comfort when performed on a sample of people grieving the death of a loved one.
Further research conducted in 2013 by Australian researchers from Griffith University found that participants with a high-stress, demanding job felt reduced anxiety levels and improvement in mood following a 10-minute foot massage.
2. Foot Massage Serves as a Natural Pain Relief
Foot massage can also provide relief from pain, and not only pain in the feet.
A 2004 study published in the Pain Management Nursing journal, performed by researchers from the Indiana University School of Nursing, found that post-operative patients reported a greater reduction in their pain symptoms following a massage of the feet or hands than those who used pain medication alone.
Another study, published in the Applied Nursing Research journal in 2010, found that women given foot massage following C-section births reported reduced post-op pain as compared with the placebo group.
3. Foot Massage Brings Relief from Cancer Symptoms and Chemotherapy Side Effects
Foot massage helped cancer patients find relief from not only pain, but nausea, in a 2000 study spearheaded by researchers from the University of Canberra and published in the Cancer Nursingjournal.
A sample of breast cancer patients undergoing treatment were studied by scientists from Michigan State University in 2012, and these women reported a dramatic reduction in physical symptoms associated with their cancer and treatment, such as less shortness of breath and improved energy levels.
4. Foot Massage – Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Relief
Cancer is not the only physical ailment to have its symptoms improved through a reflexology-based foot massage. A multi-campus team of Iranian researchers recently found that reflexology was able to provide relief from the crippling fatigue that so many people with multiple sclerosis suffer from.
These findings were published in the March/April 2015 edition of the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research.
5. Foot Massage can Reduce High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure is another common illness that science has shown to be improved by reflexology foot massage.
A study performed by Korean researchers from Pusan National University found that systolic blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels were both improved following a therapeutic massage.
Further research conducted by Dr. Jesus Manzanares, a Spanish medical doctor and practitioner of reflexology, found that hypertensive patients receiving a massage protocol specifically targeted at reducing blood pressure (versus the placebo group) had symptom improvement that was significant enough that they were able to reduce dosages of their high blood pressure medications while undergoing the reflexology-based treatment.
6. Foot Massage for Relief of PMS symptoms
Many women across the world suffer from intolerable PMS symptoms each month, including bloating, mood changes and cramping.
According to a 1993 study published in the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal, researchers from the California Graduate Institute’s Division of Behavioural Medicine found that women who underwent reflexology—including foot massage—reported reduced PMS symptoms as compared with the placebo group.
7. Foot Massage for Swollen Legs
The term oedema refers to the retention of fluids in the body. Sometimes it can be normal to have a bit of swelling in your legs, for example, after a day spent standing or sitting, or during pregnancy. However, leg and ankle swelling, also known as peripheral oedema, can also signal that there is an underlying issue that might need some attention and treatment. Kidney disease, heart failure, liver disease and certain medications can all result in fluid retention.
A 2010 Turkish study published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice found that pregnancy-related oedema was significantly affected by regular foot massage, with women in the massage groups having markedly smaller leg circumference than their counterparts in the placebo groups.