Your feet have 200,000 nerve endings in it. It’s one of the most stimulated areas of the body, and for good reason. When you walk barefoot it has an effect on your body and health in multiple ways that seem quite uncommon, especially considering that walking with shoes on doesn’t seem a whole lot different.
Consider this for a minute, 200,000 nerve endings in your feet and while you’re wearing shoes only a percentage of them can be stimulated while the rest cannot be fully stimulated because of the flat surface of the shoe. Wearing barefoot shoes are beneficial because it allows your foot to have more range of motion which builds more flexibility and strength into your foot but also stimulates the nervous system, circulation and lymphatic system more as well.
Walking barefoot has tremendous benefits, but that’s not what today’s article is about. If you want to learn more about the benefits of walking barefoot head over and read this article and watch the video.
You have to think, there’s a reason that a good majority of our nerve endings are at the bottom of our body, on our feet. The entire force of gravity is supposed to stimulate these nerves in our feet. By doing so our body has beneficial changes for our circulation, lymphatic system, nervous system and more. There are a few ways to go about this to get the benefits.
Walking barefoot is the most obvious, by walking barefoot around your home that helps but even better is walking barefoot on the grass or on the beach. This causes more stimulation because the surface isn’t completely flat and the great outdoors work to massage your feet while walking barefoot.
Practitioners of different practices such as acupuncture, acupressure and reflexology believe that the bottom of the feet have points that correlate to different organs, systems and glands within the body. This makes a lot of sense since the teeth and other areas of the body have been found to correlate to internal organs and systems.
By stimulating specific points on your feet through walking you receive a portion of the benefits, but by having your feet massaged (for even just 30 seconds) you receive benefits. You get the benefits in a more strategic way because you can massage the area of the foot that you read on the reflexology chart that you feel you need most.
Here’s a chart to see which organs and systems in the body are stimulated with a simple foot massage. Reflexologists, acupuncture and acupressure specialists will have more expertise in this.
Self-care is great and massages can be a part of that. There are many great reasons for a foot massage, in many cultures, foot reflexology is a actually regular part of their health regimen that is used for the whole body that you should start using too. Reflexology has roots dating thousands of years ago.
Massaging the feet to affect health has roots in ancient China and Egypt and was thought to spread during the Roman Empire. It wasn’t until the last hundred years or so that doctors and therapists have become interested and using more specific zone and organ mapping was documented.
Reflexology can make a positive change for your health. By using reflexology principles you can improve health and vitality of specific organs and systems in the body or improve overall health in the body through improved circulation, lymphatic drainge, nervous system stimulation and more.
Here Are Some Of The Reasons For Foot Massage And Reflexology:
- Stimulates the muscles and nervous system
- Reduces stiffness.
- Helps cope with stress and fatigue.
- Improves circulation of the blood.
- Stimulates the lymphatic system to remove toxins.
- Helps lower blood pressure.
- Improves immunity.
- Benefits metabolism.
- Can help to relieve headaches and migraines.
- Often relieves pain.
- Unblocks energy flow.
- Normalizes body functions.
- Leads to better sleep.
Since a foot massage is relatively easy to do, even this brief knowledge about reflexology will enable you to get started. Included here is a reflexology chart, which you might be interested in reviewing before you start.
Starters Reflexology Massage Steps:
1. Wash your feet with warm water in the bathtub. This cleans and warms them and helps to stimulate the nerves and circulation in your feet to prepare for the massage.
2. For the best massage use a lubricant of some kind (organic coconut oil works best) to make the massage easier. You can also add specific essential oils. Adding essential oils provides the health and therapeutic benefits of that specific oil. You can add 1-2 drops of lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, or tea tree essential oil mixed with your regular skin lotion or a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil.
3. Start by stretching your toes. Squeeze, pull and twist each toe one at a time, moving from the joint to the tip and the largest toe to the smallest.
4. Use both thumbs, massage the soles of your foot from the very top to the bottom, apply strong pressure for a few seconds to each spot. Concentrate on your aches and pains or use the reflexology chart to guide you.
5. Massage heels, ankles and the achilles heel areas with the carrier oil (coconut oil or almond oil) as well as the essential oil you’re using.
6. Remember to massage the top of your feet as well. You have reflexology points there that you can benefit from as well!
7. Follow these steps on both feet.
8. Experts in these fields recommend giving yourself a foot massage every night for the best results.
If you are looking for the general health benefits such as improved circulation, lymphatic drainage, nervous system stimulation, reducing stress, aches and pains then massaging the entire foot bottom and top with a carrier oil and essential oil is beneficial. If you want to target a specific organ refer to the chart above for a short massage on that area of the foot.
Reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure health disorders or ailments but millions of people around the world use it to complement other treatments when addressing conditions like anxiety, asthma, cancer treatment, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, headaches, kidney function, PMS, and sinusitis. It’s worth trying out and benefiting from yourself. I have gotten a foot massage myself and can say that my feet, ankles and legs feel more relaxed and loose and that alone is worth it let alone all the other health benefits!