Getting a ‘foot up’ on those aches and pains

Posted 7/5/23

I love massages but have not been able to afford them on a regular basis.  For my birthday, Hubby purchased a 90-minute session with a local massage therapist.  Thrilled to be finally able …

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Getting a ‘foot up’ on those aches and pains


I love massages but have not been able to afford them on a regular basis.  For my birthday, Hubby purchased a 90-minute session with a local massage therapist.  Thrilled to be finally able to get the muscle kneading needed, I went for the experience yesterday. 

As usual, the room was on the darker side with an aroma spewing lamp on a nearby table. The table accoutrements included an Indian-looking blanket, and a “crystal filled” mat.  I settled comfortably on my tummy, and she expertly began working on the scattered knots on my back and shoulders. It felt SOOOOO good.  She worked down my body quickly, and then spent almost an hour on my feet. On my FEET…where my toes dangled down!  I like my feet as much as the next guy, but to spend an hour massaging them?  It kind of seemed like a waste to me. "Fix my sore muscles! I don’t care about my feet!” I wanted to scream.  But ever the compliant person, I remained silent.

Regardless that she “wasted an hour” on my feet, I felt great after the whole massage, and had much more energy. The aches and pains in my neck and shoulders had evaporated even though she did not spend a lot of time working those muscles.   Uncharacteristically, I fell asleep immediately last night, and had pleasant, non-stressful dreams of relaxing on a beach under palm trees rather than the stressful dreams I often have, (instead of being chased by a Black bear.) Why was this massage so different than the others I have enjoyed?

I have since learned that foot massage is used as a form of complementary and alternative medicine. It seems that the sensory nerves for many organs are in the feet, and pressing on the points that correspond to the specific organs can effectively send energy to weakened or troubled areas of the body, promoting both physical and psychological health.

Foot massage can be an effective tool to promote relaxation in daily life. It stimulates the muscles and lessens stiffness and tension.  It can greatly improve circulation, especially for me and my sedentary lifestyle, which is important for those with diabetes, (me included.) This, in turn, transports oxygen to the body’s cells and can lower blood sugar levels.

Immunity can be improved by a foot massage by increasing the circulation of lymph fluid which carries white blood cells throughout the body. These white cells are responsible for fighting off harmful bacteria, viruses, and infections. Possibly we did not need those COVID vaccinations after all, we just all needed daily foot massages!

It appears that massaging certain areas of the feet can relieve tension, stress, depression, and anxiety. Applying pressure to the reflex points on the feet is linked to restoring proper body functioning. This helps with relaxation and releasing the blockages that lead to fatigue.

It has been demonstrated that foot massage not only improves mood, but it also results in lower blood pressure. Correctly applying pressure to the soles of the feet has been found to lower systolic blood pressure and decrease blood triglyceride levels. If it is done in the evening, it can relax nerves and allow the body to unwind to promote restful sleep.

Amazingly, foot massage can also relieve aches and pains.  For backaches, (which I sometimes have), massaging the “spinal reflex” of the foot relieves this pain.  For neck pain, (which I sometimes have), massaging the toe joints makes this pain vanish. Massaging the ankle reduces the pain of headaches and migraines, (which I sometimes have). Relieving thigh and lower back pain, (which I sometimes have) can be accomplished by pressure applied to the Archilles tendon.

It is reported that a foot massage can provide an overall sense of well-being, which was definitely the case with me.  I wonder if I can give up the Metformin taken for diabetes, the Lisinopril taken for high blood pressure, and the Tylenol taken for body aches and pains.  Maybe not yet, but maybe after a few more toe tickling sessions…


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