Our feet bare the weight of our bodies. we rarely give it a rest, considering we have to walk, run and depend on our feet for most of the day. Because of this, your feet can start aching at a very early age. Without proper care, your heels will start to dry, crack, and harden up as well. all these can be solved with a good foot massage every once in a while. Pedicures can be quite expensive but it is quite popular. However, foot massages are not. It is quite a debatable statement but according to my, a foot massage holds more benefits than a pedicure. Today we will learn all about at-home foot massages, and the benefits it can bring to your legs.
Types of foot massage
Just like body massages, there are quite a few different types of foot massages as well. The type depends entirely on the type of relief you are looking for. Most foot massages have one goal in common. To provide relief to your leg muscles, relax them, and rejuvenate it. Some of the most popular foot massage therapy are Swedish foot massage therapy, Deep tissue foot massage therapy, Thai foot massage therapy, Chinese foot massage therapy, Sports foot massage therapy, etc.
Even when we are talking about body massages, Swedish massage therapy is probably the most common and popular massage therapy to exist. For full body massage, there are many relaxing and budget friendly massage chairs which you can try.
Everyone knows about swedish massage and people tend to prefer this when they are in a spa. The key technique used in a Swedish foot massage therapy is strokes, circular movements, long strokes along with the muscle, kneading, etc. This massage includes a lot of pressure on the muscle. It is a very good massage therapy if you are looking for something to get rid of foot ache at home. On the other hand, deep tissue foot massage therapy includes a lot of acupressure in the muscles. This massage therapy is used to treat and heal the pain in the deepest part of the muscle. The Thai massage is recommended for diabetic patients as it is said to increase the sensation in their feet. if you are not very tolerant of pain, then this massage therapy is not for you as the techniques used are quite painful.
How to do it at home
Even though we have talked about over 5 types of different foot massage therapy, these are done by professional masseuse who knows their way around a muscle. It is wise to not try to imitate what a masseuse does at home. However, there are easier methods of doing foot massages at home. Two of the easiest methods are;
- Using oil to massage your foot: Massaging your foot with hot oil is one of the best at-home massages you can do for your foot. There are no complicated techniques involved either. When you are doing it at home, rub your muscles in circular motions, use your thumb to put a certain amount of pressure, make longer strokes, shorter strokes, use your fingers to create a circular motion. Usage of oil to massage your feet will allow your feet to relax better. It will help you to sleep better at night. The best time to massage your feet at home is before going to sleep. Since you will be resting completely for a couple of hours and your foot will not be used at all, this is the perfect time to boost the rejuvenation process by taking a quick hot oil massage. The best foot oils are, lavender essential oil as it is known for its healing properties and it also helps with sleep, chamomile oil, eucalyptus oil, etc.
- Taking a foot soak or a foot bath: A footbath is soaking your feet in a watery mixture. This method is usually done with Epsom salt and warm water. The usual amount is using a cup of Epsom salt and mix it in a bucket full of slightly warm water. It is believed that the minerals in salt break down in the water and get soaked into the skin. Another ingredient that is quite popular when comes to foot soak is adding vinegar to warm water and soaking your feet into it. Vinegar has antibacterial properties which help to clean your feet properly. You can also add baking soda to your foot soak. Baking soda gets rid of the odor. An ideal footbath should last for 15 minutes at most. Always use slightly warm water. Make sure the heat is not too much for you.
Key benefits of foot massage
We have been talking about different types and techniques of foot massage. But before you try it, it is important to know about the benefits of foot massage as well. Regular foot massage will bring a lot of health benefits for you. Some of them are;
- Regular foot massages will accelerate the blood circulation in your feet. Often due to too much pressure in our leg muscles, it starts cramping and gets quite tight and stiff. When you are massaging these muscles regularly, it will slowly start easing up. Your muscles will slowly start getting more relaxed.
- As unbelievable as it might sound, your foot has a lot to do with your backache. Posture has a lot to do with a backache but the foot edges are directly connected to the areas that ache in your back. Regular massage on the edge will ensure relief from your back pain as well.
- Regular foot massage provides relief with chronic pain, joint ache, arthritis, etc.
- Using hot oil to massage your foot regularly reduces inflammation in the muscles.
- There are not many studies to show that foot soaks are helpful although there are many claims that soaking your feet in Epsom salt helps with the aching muscles and even arthritis. It is believed that the minerals in the salt break down in warm water, and your skin soaks it in. Soaking your feet in vinegar soak helps with reducing fungal issues in nails since vinegar is enriched with antibacterial properties. If your foot smell, then soaking it in baking soda will help with it.