Stressed Out?... Try a Foot Massage
Is stress or anxiety from the constant pressures of work and home life wearing you out? Perhaps you need a foot massage? A foot massage or foot reflexology does more than just make your feet feel better; it is thought to alleviate many ailments including back pain, stress and headaches.
From the beginning of time, people practiced massage therapy. Many ancient societies noticed that there were correlations between applying pressure on the feet and relief of discomfort in certain organs. By applying pressure in certain areas of the feet, pain and discomfort was relieved in other parts of the body.
Reflexology was introduced to the United States in 1913 by William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Fitzgerald claimed that applying pressure had an anesthetic effect on other areas of the body. Dr. Fitzgerald went on to map out these zones and created the first modern reflexology charts. Reflexology was modified in the 1930s and 1940s by Eunice D. Ingham, a nurse and physiotherapist. Ingham claimed that the feet and hands were especially sensitive, and mapped the entire body into "reflexes" on the feet renaming "zone therapy" to reflexology.
The art of reflexology has advanced with modern technology. A foot massage uses certain strokes to relax the feet and the individual. Foot reflexology helps to increase the health and well being of the entire body. As the foot is massaged, healing of other body parts begins. Sometimes, the healing is spontaneous, but more often, the healing takes periodic treatments to sustain.
The feet are tied to your stress and anxiety. What happens when you are stressed? Stress increases the energy in your body through the nervous system. The nervous system reacts to protect the body. This release activates the hands and feet to be ready for action. The major organs become more energized to support the action of the hands and feet. They work in tandem. Reflexology helps to reverse this process and reduce the tension.
Exercise and massage decrease the stress hormones such as cortisol and increases endorphins. Endorphins are defined as hormone-like substances that are produced in the brain and function as the body's natural painkillers. Endorphins are the body's natural feel good chemicals. During massage or exercise, endorphins are released, which can produce feelings of euphoria and a general state of well-being. The endorphins produced can be so powerful that they actually mask pain. In addition to endorphins, massage and exercise both also release adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals work together to make you feel good.
One of the critical discoveries by Dr. Fitzgerald was that reflexology massage had many healing benefits when an individual received continuous, periodic treatments. He found that just doing a sporadic reflexology massage did not have the same results as patients that received the treatment on a recurring basis. The build-up of stress is a continuous process and the relief of such build up must also be continuous. This is a critical distinction with parallels to many types of health issues like diet and exercise which need to be on a continuous basis.
- Apply Moist Heat - Sometimes aching feet are simply the result of overstressed muscles and connective tissue due to excess activity or weight-bearing.
- Stretch - Overstressed muscles will tend to contract or spasm. To counteract this tightness, stretch your feet.
- Massage - Apply pressure to the soles of your feet or use a foot massager like the FootMate® System by Gordon Brush®.
- Wear Arch Supports - Try a pair of store bought arch supports for your shoes. Arch supports will help decrease the shock that your feet experience with every step.
- Check Your Shoes - If worn down or the wrong shoe or size buy a new pair of shoes. Invest in a new pair of shoes. David B. Agus, M.D., in his book, A Short Guide to A Long Life, (Simon & Schuster, 2014) says "don't forget your feet" and "buy a good pair of shoes".
- Lose Weight - Excess weight can cause foot stress and other health issues.
To get the full benefit of foot reflexology massage, it needs to be administered on a frequent basis. Having to always go to a massage therapist to receive treatment is inconvenient. Another alternative is using the FootMate® System. The FootMate® System is a complete foot care system for cleaning, soothing, stimulating, and massaging your feet.
The FootMate® System is a brush and specially formulated gel that goes in the bath or shower to clean and massage your feet without having to bend over. The product is great for the elderly, anyone with back problems, pregnant women, athletes, people that have trouble bending or seeing their feet while showering or bathing, or anyone wanting a soothing, stimulating way to clean and massage their feet in the shower.
The FootMate's wide, gentle inner bristles massage your tender soles, while the stiffer outer bristles smooth rough skin and calluses, and stimulate circulation. The contoured bristles, shaped to cradle the foot, create a stimulating massage and extra cleaning power for both the bottom and sides of your feet. With circulation stimulated, your feet will feel great and you will have total body euphoria.
The FootMate® System is the ultimate foot massage and the perfect way to pamper your tired, aching feet. Refresh, Restore, Renew!...®
If you've ever experienced hot, tired, burning or aching feet, you may have poor circulation. Symptoms such as these can be experienced by people who sit for long periods of time- someone who works in an office. Other likely victims are people who stand all day such as salespeople, waiters and waitresses, nurses, etc. High heels certainly don't help, while tile, cement or poorly padded floors also exacerbate the problem.
The art of reflexology states that the foot is a microcosm of the entire body and that specific points correspond to different parts and organs of the body. Massaging of the feet is believed by many to ease stress, tension, pain, and balance the flow of energy in the body. Besides, it also just feels great!
Use of the FootMate® System does more for your feet than just clean and stimulate circulation. By working the feet over the bristles, you are giving them an invigorating massage affecting the body's over all well-being! Below is a chart pinpointing the relationship between our feet and bodies
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