The feet are perhaps the most overworked part of the body. They bear the entire body weight and are most often overlooked among all the body parts. They also suffer much stress due to factors like improper footwear, poor body mechanics, and other conditions causing arch pain and sore feet.
Moreover, people in general live fast-paced lifestyles to the point where they forget to relax and give themselves a simple treat. If you’re one of the many busy people who work their fingers to the bone, remember that being too busy should not be an excuse to give yourself some pampering. If your job requires prolonged standing or frequent walking, getting a foot massage is a great way to indulge and deal with sore feet.
Indeed, one of the best ways to deal with sore feet is to give yours a good rubbing. You’d be surprised at the numerous benefits you’d glean from something as simple as a foot massage:
Improved circulation. When you stand or walk for prolonged periods, gravity pulls your blood down into your legs and feet. Spending most of the day on your feet can put you at higher risk of developing certain health problems such as varicose veins, joint problems, and even heart problems. A foot massage helps prevent the occurrence of these diseases as it allows blood to circulate evenly and efficiently throughout the body.
Elimination of body toxins. A foot massage can remove the lactic acid byproducts of muscle metabolism by releasing them from the muscles of the legs and feet.
Reduced stress. A foot massage can significantly decrease the level of stress hormones in the body, which include cortisol and adrenaline. It also stimulates the release of feel-good hormones known as endorphins.
Having sore feet can be annoying since it limits your mobility, more so when the pain is intense. Some signs that tell you it’s time to seek medical attention for your sore feet are:
Severe pain accompanied by swelling
Pain from an open wound, especially one that oozes pus
Infection that causes fever
Inability to walk or bear weight on the feet
However, unless the soreness becomes severe and starts disrupting your daily activities, a good foot massage can do the trick. A foot massage is a fantastic solution to soothe the foot muscles, rejuvenate worn out tendons and nerves, and relieve leg stress. To know how to give an effective foot therapy, you need to learn certain techniques first.
1. Stroking is the most basic of all the foot massage techniques. Here, you need to apply a steady pressure to your foot using your thumb and index finger, beginning from the toes going to the ankles, while both hands are holding your foot. Simply repeat these steps five to ten times to improve circulation.
2. Kneading is a technique in which you make use of your fist and, in a back-and-forth motion, begin to kneading the sole of the foot to release the stress. You can use your thumbs or your knuckles to press and apply pressure to the heels and toes. To relieve painful sensations on the outside your foot’s edges, simply use your thumbs and slide them from the ball of your foot to your heel with an ample amount of pressure.
3. Toe and ankle rotations are foot massage techniques that loosen joints and relax the feet. This technique is particularly beneficial to individuals suffering from arthritis. In this approach, you simply use one hand to hold the ankle, and the other hand to rotate the entire ball of the foot and then the toes in clockwise and counterclockwise manner.
4. An arch press is an effective technique to relieve the tension in the inner and longitudinal arches of the feet. You simply grasp the foot behind the ankle and then push the heel firmly using the other hand. Slide along the arch starting from the ball of the foot going to the heel and back again.
Aside from giving your sore feet a good massage, following these simple tips can also help:
Soak your feet in Epsom salts
Take over-the-counter pain relievers
Roll your feet over a soda can, golf ball, or tennis ball for 1-2 minutes
Roll your feet over a frozen bottle of water one at a time for a few minutes
Elevate your feet
Your feet serve you well; the least you can do is to take heed when they start to get sore. Something as simple as a foot massage can do wonders for your sore feet. Give your feet some good rubbing, start providing relaxation to the foot muscles and nerves, and ultimately provide yourself overall stress relief.
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