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Not only is a foot massage pleasurable, it can also promote health and well-being. According to Chinese medicine, most of the sensory nerves of your internal organs are in your feet. During a reflexology session, the practitioner will use your foot as a detailed body map, and treat any health ailments by using massage and pressure on the meridian points that correspond to specific organs, purportedly sending energy to them. Both reflexology and traditional foot massage have been shown to promote psychological and physical health.
Relaxation and Improved Well-Being
Receiving a foot massage can improve feelings of well-being and be deeply relaxing, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer center. In a study conducted by Brighton University, those patients who received foot massages after receiving coronary artery bypass graft surgery experienced higher levels of calm and feelings of psychological well-being than those who didn't receive massages. Foot massage can be an effective tool to not only decrease post-operative stress and anxiety, but to promote relaxation in your daily life.
Nausea and Pain Relief
If you experience nausea or general pain, a foot massage may provide you with some relief. A study was conducted by the University of Canberra in Australia to learn if foot massage can be used as a healing tool for patients hospitalized with cancer. Eighty-seven patients were given foot massages of four-minute increments per foot, which were found to have an instant beneficial effect on their feelings of nausea, pain and relaxation The study discovered that foot massage can be an effective complementary treatment for cancer patients to decrease symptoms of pain and nausea during their illness.
A foot massage stimulates your muscles, improves circulation, lessens stiffness and tension, and can eliminate pain, according to Harvard Medical School. To give yourself a massage, purchase a foot roller from your local pharmacy or health food store. Remove your shoes and roll the foot roller back and forth for a quick and invigorating massage. Make sure to roll it over the top of your feet, not just the soles. If you have a serious foot injury or serious pain, see your doctor before obtaining a foot massage to prevent aggravating the injury.
Multiple Sclerosis Relief
Reflexology can improve symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis. In a study conducted by the Department of Orthopedic Rehabilitation of Sheba Medical Center, 53 multiple sclerosis patients completed an 11-week series of reflexology treatments. The reflexology treatments included manual pressure and massage of specific points on the feet and calf areas. The reflexology treatments proved beneficial in lessening sensory, motor and urinary symptoms in the multiple sclerosis patients.
Fatigue and Stress Improvement
If you're middle-aged and female, receiving a food massage may relieve symptoms of stress and fatigue, and increase your circulation. A study conducted by the Department of Nursing of Songwon College found that foot reflexology was effective in reducing stress and fatigue in middle-aged premenopausal women, along with helping their blood circulation.