Massage is considered by many to be the ultimately luxurious experience. Aside from the widely publicized physiological benefits, which are many, massage soothes the spirit and leaves the recipient feeling very relaxed. In addition, massage improves circulation and increases the efficiency of the lymph system, which carries metabolic toxins out of the body. All of our experiences, both good and bad, are stored in our tissues. Massage releases the harmful residue of those experiences and results in a healthier, more efficient body.
Regular massage can also prevent some of the symptoms of aging such as hunched shoulders, shuffling gait, and so forth. By keeping the body in proper alignment, these symptoms can be delayed.
According to the Mayo Clinic, massage can be beneficial for many ailments that may not respond to traditional treatment. The Arthritis Foundation also encourages those individuals afflicted with arthritis to obtain massage in order to relieve the pain and stiffness of this debilitating disease.
Foot reflexology, which is a specialized area of massage, can offer some of the same benefits as a full body massage. Reflexology requires no specialized equipment and the client remains clothed.
Feet bear the brunt of every activity in which we participate, from walking in uncomfortable shoes to participating in athletics. Since the soles of the feet contain nerve endings for virtually every area of the body and many symptoms can be alleviated by reflexology, also called foot massage.
Some of the benefits of a foot massage can be:
•Reduction of edema, also known as swelling
•Easing of aches and pains
•Improved joint function
•More efficient muscular function
•Reduced blood pressure
Studies have indicated that a brief foot massage, five or ten minutes for each foot, administered just prior to bedtime improves sleep quality and reduces insomnia. Although traditional massage generally uses oil, reflexology can be administered without the need for massage oil, so there is no need to worry about getting oil or lotion on your sheets.
The skin on the soles of the feet is different that skin elsewhere on the body so massaging without oil shouldn’t feel unpleasant. Of course, massage oil can be used in reflexology and if appropriate, essential oils can be mixed with it.