Among the most overworked parts of the body are the feet, as they do a lot of work while receiving the least amount of pampering. If you think your feet need some pampering, afoot massage should be on your agenda.
A regular foot massage can do wonders when it comes to improving your overall health.
In fact, a daily foot massage session for a few minutes not only pampers your feet but improves their strength and flexibility. If you are still unsure how this specific form of therapy can help, this article will serve as an eye-opener regarding what it can do.
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9 Proven Benefits of Foot Massage
1. Improves mental health and wellness
With a regular foot massage, you can enjoy a great balance in terms of the psychological aspects of your health.This form of massage does not take long. In fact, five minutes a day is enough to boost your mental health and wellness.
It provides immediate emotional comfort, especially when the massage focuses on your feet’s soft tissue. The fact that it is very comforting and relaxing makes it good for your overall mental health.
2. Promotes relaxation
Another popular foot massage benefit is its promotion of relaxation. Simply massaging your feet can alleviate stress and anxiety,offering a deep form of relaxation.
It should be noted that both your feet house the solar plexus reflex, which many experts refer to as a storage room for a person’s stress. A simple massage presses on the solar plexus, releasing the stored stress and renewing your body.
3. Improves the quality of your sleep
Do you have a problem falling asleep at night? Then try getting a foot massage, as it is known to promote a better, more peaceful sleep. It can help you overcome disturbed sleeping patterns and related disorders, like insomnia.
Massage your feet before you sleep at night. This can offer much-needed relaxation, so no matter how stressful your day was, you can let go of it all. To ensure that you gain such a benefit, focus on your solar plexus reflex when massaging your feet.
This refers to the small, dimpled space that becomes noticeable when you squeeze the topmost part of your feet gently inward. Massage this part and you will surely have a better chance of enjoying a peaceful slumber.
4. Keeps your blood pressure low
One of the most serious health conditions you might encounter is hypertension or high blood pressure. High blood pressure can significantly increase your risk of kidney failure, stroke or heart attack. You can prevent such problems by combining healthy lifestyle changes and eating habits with a regular foot massage.
A relaxing foot massage can lower the level of blood triglyceride in your body as well as lower your systolic blood pressure.
5. Reduces the frequency of migraine attacks
Do you often deal with headaches and migraines? Then a regular massage session focusing on your feet can benefit you a lot. In fact, a foot massage is one of the most common forms of natural headache or migraine relief.
6. Helps you fight anxiety and depression
This benefit can be attributed to the fact that foot massage is very relaxing. It can prevent you from becoming depressed or anxious, especially if you are facing a trying situation (such as the loss of a loved one). The massage can offer you much-needed consolation and relaxation, so expect that it will help you balance your grief and your need to adapt to certain life changes.
You can also use a foot massage to fight the symptoms of depression by focusing on certain parts, like the center of your big toe or the ball of your foot. Such areas are linked to mental health and emotional stability, so focusing on them during a massage can help you deal with anxiety and depression.
7. Ensures that your feet stay healthy
A regular foot massage, even if it’s just for five minutes, is beneficial if you want your feet to stay healthy. Each session stimulates the muscles in the area. Massage can also minimize the pain and discomfort your heels and ankles experience while also lessening stiffness.
Massage can strengthen your ankles and make them more flexible. The result is a higher level of resistance for foot and ankle injuries. If you often experience pain and inflammation due to foot tendonitis, you can obtain relief by massaging your feet with coconut or olive oil.
8. Promotes better health for your skin and nails
To gain this foot massage benefit, use antimicrobial essential oils and moisturizing natural oils.This can lead to healthier skin and nails. Choose either almond or coconut oil.
Either of the two helps prevent painful, cracked and dry heels, which often lead to infections and fissures. The oils also prevent the development of thick, calloused skin in the area as well as hydrate your cuticles and nails.
9. Improves blood circulation
For the distribution of nutrition and oxygen throughout your cells, your blood must circulate properly. A foot massage can promote blood circulation and the elimination of toxins and wastes from your body.
A regular foot massage can do wonders when it comes to improving your overall health. After learning about the many benefits listed above, you may have enough motivation to try it out. Just make sure to apply pressure to the correct areas and to use the right massaging techniques and supplies, like essential oils, to get the results you are hoping for.
Whole body vibration is a term used to describe a vibration of any frequency that is transferred to the body. This method has been known to offer a number of fitness-related benefits. Whole body vibration allows you to “work out” without having to really move. Therefore, it is very popular among people with busy lifestyles.
How Whole Body Vibration Works?
With a whole body vibration device, you either sit or lie on a machine which has a vibrating platform. When the machine begins to vibrate, energy is transferred into your body. This energy forces your muscles to contract and relax multiple times per second, making you feel as though you are exerting yourself. When the energy is transferred, you can feel movement in your body, which gives you the sense that you are engaging in an intense workout. Whole body vibration machines are sometimes available in gyms but can also be bought for use in the home. They are very easy to use and are available in most fitness-related retail establishments.
The whole body vibration method works in a very interesting way. Usually you would have to stand on the platform with your knees bent at a 30-degree angle while the surface on which you were standing vibrated at an incredible rate of 30 vibrations per second! The vibration tricks the body into thinking that it is falling; because of this, the so-called “stress reflex” is activated, creating extremely rapid muscle contractions. Almost all the benefits of the whole body vibration can be attributed to this particular rapid muscle contraction, which essentially exercises your muscles without your having to do anything.
Whole Body Vibration Machine Benefits
According to a number of users, the whole body vibration machine can be used for as little as 15 minutes a day, three days a week, to see results. Some of the benefits of using the whole body vibration machine include weight loss, fat burning, improved flexibility, enhanced blood flow, reduced muscle soreness after exercising, increased core strength and a decrease in the stress hormone. Although all these benefits have been minimally researched, evidence exists that there is a significant value in using a whole body vibration machine compared to not doing anything at all. However, it is not entirely clear as to whether the whole body vibration machine provides the same level of health benefits as does physical exercise like jogging, biking and swimming.
Comprehensive research shows that use of the whole body vibration machine, when coupled with a lowered calorie intake, can be very beneficial for weight loss. It has also been recorded that use of the machine can help strengthen muscles. There may also be a number of health benefits that have been observed after use of the whole body vibration machine. Some research has shown that the machine, when used correctly and under the right medical supervision, can produce a number of health benefits going far beyond sports and fitness. These benefits include reduced lower back pain, improved strength, improved balance (in older adults) and reduced bone loss.
Some of the latest studies have found that sitting, standing or lying on a vibrating platform so that whole body vibration is achieved, could be just as effective as regular exercise. According to researchers at Augusta University in Georgia, the exercise that comes from use of a whole body vibration machine is much less strenuous than climbing a hill or cycling, though it can provide similar benefits. Multiple tests on mice have been conducted and the results have shown that whole body vibration helped the mice maintain muscle and bone health. The mice that were obese as well as diabetic also experienced similar positive effects. Researchers found that the results for mice that were subjected to whole body vibration were almost the same as the results for mice that engaged in regular exercise.
The study conducted by Augusta University was one of the first to show that, as a method of helping alleviate symptoms caused by obesity and diabetes, whole body vibration may be just as effective as traditional exercise. However, because this study was conducted on mice, the results cannot be entirely applied to humans. A number of studies must be conducted on human test subjects to obtain conclusive data that can be applied to people.
The combination of muscle strengthening and localized fat burning can directly lead to a body shaping effect, as it helps reduce cellulite, burn fat tissue and tone muscles. This activity has shown positive results in figure correction, such as improving collagen and reducing fat.
Studies have shown that the rhythmic contractions of the muscle can promote blood circulation. When a person uses the whole body vibration technique, their capillaries enlarge, thereby allowing blood to flow into even the smallest capillaries. Waste products are removed more quickly from the blood, which allows the body to recover more rapidly. Users have documented that they feel more fit and more able to concentrate!
The benefits of using a whole body vibration machine for muscle training stem from the fact that the vibrations force the body to activate an increased number of motor points, some of which are rarely used. The result of this is that the muscle matures very quickly, thereby increasing its strength.
Because the muscle is working continuously, flexibility can also increase. Over time, muscles will gain a full range of motion as the repetitive movement pushes their limits.
A number of benefits can be attributed to the use of a whole body vibration machine. Some of the more prominent test benefits are related to body shaping and increased circulation as well as increased muscle strength and flexibility. If you have a particular medical condition that prevents you from exercising in a conventional way, the whole body vibration machine can help you stay healthy and fit without having to exert yourself too much.
Shiatsu is a type of massage that originated in Japan and is based on ideas that come from traditional Chinese medicine. In Japanese, the word ‘shiatsu’ refers to ‘finger pressure’. It is a form of manipulation of the muscles by the thumbs, fingers and palms. Shiatsu is performed without any instruments. It involves applying pressure to the body as a method of correcting internal malfunctions, promoting good mental health and treating certain diseases. Shiatsu techniques combine many physical aspects, including stretching, holding and using the body weight to stimulate various points along key channels. Leaning body weight is perhaps the most commonly used technique of shiatsu. Shiatsu has many benefits, and medical professionals all over the world have observed its effectiveness on the body.
How does Shiatsu massage work?
The thought process behind shiatsu goes along the lines of one of the most fundamental concepts of Japanese and Chinese medicine, Qi (pronounced ‘chee’). This is the vital ‘energy’ that runs through our body and underlies all functioning. By performing a shiatsu massage, a therapist can access the Qi through points often referred to as Vital Points. It is believed that when the Qi is either inadequate or out of balance, various unwanted symptoms arise. If this is the case, shiatsu can be used to stimulate the flow of Qi throughout the body and therefore better regulate it. The shiatsu therapist uses massage to rebalance the Qi to prevent any harmful symptoms from appearing.
What are some of the benefits of Shiatsu massage?
Those who regularly use shiatsu therapy have observed many benefits. Some of the common ones include reduced blood pressure, reduced heart rate, increased endorphins, reduced body pain and increased energy. Here are some of the most important benefits that can be observed through the use of shiatsu massage therapy:
Relief of Constipation
When applied to the abdominal area, shiatsu massage has been known to help relieve constipation. According to the health care providers at the Mayo Clinic, the stretching and pulling caused by the massage can loosen and relax certain muscles located near the stomach. This causes the intestines and colon to relieve constipation. For this method, certain pressure points are used to stimulate a bowel movement. Observation has shown that the time between the massage and the evacuation of the bowls varies.
Like many types of massage, shiatsu massage has been known to relax nearly every single person who has received it. According to research conducted by both the European Shiatsu Federation and the Shiatsu Society, nearly 95 per cent of participants involved in the study reported feeling calmer and more relaxed for a prolonged period of time following the shiatsu massage. In addition, the European Shiatsu Federation study showed that over 54 per cent of the group reported that they slept better after the shiatsu massage.
Relief of Muscle Aches
If you have tight, painful muscles, shiatsu massage can work the tension and spasms out of the muscles. Shiatsu combines various techniques, such as rubbing and pulling at the skin and muscles, as well as pressing on acupressure points that release the tension in muscles. Therefore, it can be very beneficial for muscle aches. The European Shiatsu Federation study showed that more than 85 per cent of participants reported a relief in muscle aches. It was recorded that they felt better about symptoms such as muscle tension, back pain, joint pain and posture problems.
Shiatsu practitioners have reported a number of other benefits among their patients. Although these benefits have not been extensively studied, and therefore no concrete proof of their existence is available, traditional medical professionals have reported that shiatsu does provide multiple benefits and no real harmful side effects when practiced correctly. Shiatsu massage has been known to help relieve problems such as symptoms related to PMS, the side effects of chemotherapy, migraines, various stomach and digestive problems, and skin problems.
Styles of Shiatsu
There are a number of styles of shiatsu, and depending on your particular medical condition, a shiatsu practitioner may advise one over another. Many early shiatsu practitioners developed their own individual styles over time. Some of these older shiatsu professionals founded schools that teach their particular style of shiatsu therapy. These professionals include people like Tokojiro Namikoshi and Shizuto Masunaga.
Today, there are a number of styles of shiatsu, each of which comes with its own philosophical approaches and theoretical bases. Each style is evolving, and new approaches to treatment are being established all over the world. Some shiatsu practitioners concentrate on acupuncture points, while others focus on more general work on the body. Some emphasise the importance of the pathways of energy in terms of influencing the Qi that flows through them, while others are more interested in the various pressure points and muscles in the body.
Each method and style of shiatsu is based largely on traditional Chinese medicine. Zen Shiatsu, Macrobiotic Shiatsu, Healing Shiatsu, Namikoshi Shiatsu and Movement Shiatsu are some of the more common styles found today.
If you are suffering from a particular physical problem, talk to your medical professional about what shiatsu massage can do for you. Most medical practitioners will say that there are absolutely no harmful side effects in trying shiatsu massage for assistance with aches and pains or digestive issues.