Except for the regular pedicure, we general take our feet for granted and that’s a shame considering that they have crucial roles to play in our daily lives. We also ignore and punish them with our bad habits including squeezing them into ill-fitting shoes, walking and running them over unforgiving terrain, and letting them hurt for days on end without seeking medical attention.
Fortunately, it’s easy enough to counter these bad habits! There’s also the luxury of getting regular foot massages at XpressSpa, a spa that also offers pedicures and foot spas. Before you ask for a pedicure, you can enjoy a foot massage first – or vice versa, if you want.
Why a Foot Massage
The primary reason for getting a foot massage is to pamper your feet because they deserve it – or rather, because you deserve it! Your feet carries most of your body weight, carries you around from your home to the beach, and carries the burden of wearing shoes. You should always pamper them, especially after a hard day’s work.
When your feet are being massaged with soothing movements, your feet become more relaxed after they have carried your weight around throughout the day. Your toes feel more flexible, your heels feel stronger, and your arches feel better. Even your ankles feel great after a foot massage!
But a foot massage goes beyond pampering. A good foot massage has numerous health benefits not just on the feet but on the entire body as well.
This is because the feet have areas or zones corresponding to different parts of the body, a principle used in the practice of reflexology. Examples of the interrelatedness between the areas of the feet and the rest of the body are:
- The toes to the head
- The arches to the abdomen and its internal organs like the stomach, intestines, and kidneys
- The balls to the lungs and heart
- The heels to the legs and pelvis
Indeed, while a therapist concentrates on the feet only, the benefits run upwards toward the rest of the body, so to speak. This is a principle used in traditional Chinese medicine, too, where several meridians are located in the body; meridians are said to be channels where the energy flows between different parts of the body.
These meridians start at the feet and flow throughout the body. When the meridians at the feet are manually manipulated by a therapist, the movements will affect the flow of energy and the health of the internal organs.
But if you aren’t into these things, then you will find that scientists have found evidence that, indeed, a foot massage is good for your health. A good foot massage can:
- Enhance your sex life. Your feet are an erogenous zone so massaging them can cause mild arousal and serve as a gateway to other more powerful erogenous zones. Just don’t do the deed in the massage clinic, obviously.
- Improve your blood circulation. You may live a sedentary lifestyle or an active lifestyle but in either case, your feet are likely to be the least exercised part of your body. With a foot massage, you’re essentially exercising it through improved blood circulation.
- Reduces the risk of foot and ankle injuries. Your feet will recover faster from joint illnesses or injuries with the right foot massage. You’re also making your feet stronger so these aren’t as prone to injuries as before.
Other benefits of regular foot massages are decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety, migraines and headaches, and hypertension, even of pre-menstrual syndrome. Indeed, a foot massage is a great investment in your health.
What to Expect During a Foot Massage
Your therapist will ask questions about your medical history and current physical condition. These questions are designed to ensure that you’re a suitable candidate for a foot massage and to determine which zones will require more attention. You may, for example, have abdominal issues so your therapist will pay more attention to arches of your feet.
The general steps in a foot massage are:
- You will be asked to sit on a comfortable chain and take off both your socks and shoes. You may have to roll up your pants, too. Your therapist will sit on a bench or stool in your front.
- Your feet will be soaked in a bowl of hot water infused with various herbs, even tea, for 10-15 minutes. Your therapist may also lightly knead your neck, shoulders and upper back. The hot water soak will relax the muscles in your feet so your therapist can easily massage their tensions away.
- Your feet will be removed from the water, dried off with warm towels, and then propped on a footstool. Your therapist will remove the towel from one of your feet – the other foot remains wrapped in another towel – and starts the massage. You will feel your therapist rubbing, pushing, kneading, and massaging your foot’s pressure points, from your toes to your ankles, as well as the sides of your feet.
Your other foot will also be given the same attention. After both feet have been massaged, both are wrapped in new hot towels and your therapist massages your lower legs and thighs.
Your feet are then dried with a dry towel and the session is done.
The entire session can last for only 30 minutes or so but it’s among the best 30 minutes of your day!