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The growing popularity of reflexology for stress proves that many health and wellness fans understand how important their feet really are. Healthy feet enable you to stay physically active and practice good posture. And physical activity can protect you from stress headaches, lower back pain from stress, and other health issues all over your body.
Reflexology is an ancient healing art that applies strategic pressure to feet, hands, and ears. The underlying theory is that these areas correspond to various systems throughout your body. For example, when you massage your heels, you’re also helping to align your pelvis.
Studies show that reflexology for stress can be effective for relieving anxiety and physical discomfort.
On the other hand, its track record is less convincing when it comes to serious conditions like diabetes or cancer, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations.
With that in mind, see how you can use these tips to enhance your health and wellbeing by just rubbing your feet.
How to Practice Reflexology for Stress
- Create a peaceful setting. Play soothing sounds and combine your reflexology with aromatherapy. Light a candle and rub on fragrant skin lotion. Sit or lie down anywhere that’s comfortable such as your bed or a chair. Place a cushion behind your knees to avoid hyperextension.
- Be gentle. Reflexology is safe for most adults as long as you avoid pressing too hard. Take care around bones and joints. Stop if you feel a cramp. Learn appropriate techniques before trying to use your knuckles or props which can be more intense than using your fingers and thumbs.
- Loosen up. It’s a good idea to stretch first. Wiggle your toes. Lift your feet up starting at the ankles.
- Twist around. Give your feet a hug to wring out tension and make your feet more flexible. Wrap your hands around the middle of your foot, and turn them slowly in opposite directions. Repeat the wringing a little higher, and a little lower until you cover your whole foot.
- Stroke your feet. Place your palm on top of your foot, and stroke it from toe to ankle. Repeat on the bottom side. You’ll stimulate your circulation and raise your energy levels.
- Consult a professional. Chiropractors massage therapists, and physical therapists are some of the many health care practitioners who offer reflexology for stress. Schedule a session to receive more extensive treatment and learn methods you can practice at home.
Additional Foot Care Suggestions
- Exercise your feet and toes. When was the last time you gave your feet a workout? Take turns walking on your heels and your toes. Try lifting each toe separately and lowering it back down.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Do your toes have enough room to move around? Properly fitted shoes can protect you from blisters and provide adequate support for your arches.
- Change your socks. Socks can protect you from blisters and odor. Replace them when they wear thin or sprout holes.
- Take a break. Prolonged standing or other strains can leave your feet hot and throbbing. Try elevating them on a pillow or plunging them into a soothing foot bath.
- Stay hydrated. Your feet need moisture to fight dry skin. Drink water throughout the day. Dab on moisturizer daily, especially if you feel a blister starting.
- Talk with your doctor. While reflexology for stress is safe for most adults, your doctor can advise you about conditions, such as pregnancy or diabetes, which may make you more sensitive to touch. Your doctor can also refer you to a podiatrist or other specialists when needed.
Use reflexology for stress to help your body relax and heal itself. It’s a quick and easy way to reduce stress, enhance your posture, and strengthen your immune system.
Get Natural Healing With Reflexology For Relaxation & Massage Therapy
Massage is much more than a way to relax. Being rubbed the right way can improve your physical and mental health and provide relief for many common medical conditions. These are the basic facts about massage therapy and steps you can take to get the best results.
Basic Facts about Massage Therapy
- Know the meaning of massage. There are more than 50 different kinds of massage, but they all have a lot in common. The basic purpose is to relax the muscles and other soft tissues by applying strategic pressure.
- Distinguish between different types of massage. There are a few broad categories to keep in mind.
- Swedish massage is the most common and relatively gentle.
- Deep tissue massage focuses on certain body parts that are sore or stiff.
- Neuromuscular therapy massage is a medically oriented procedure that targets the trigger points in your muscular and nervous systems.
- Get familiar with the benefits. You probably know that massage is good for lower back pain, but there’s growing evidence that it may be effective for everything from asthma to fibromyalgia.
In addition to relieving pain and restoring a broader range of movement, a good rub down can also lower your blood pressure and stress hormones and improve your immune system.
- Respect the mind-body connection. Many advocates of massage attribute much of its success to the power of a healing touch. Humans are social creatures, so we need positive physical contact and expressions of caring.
- Play it safe. Proper licensing and certification can help you to know that you’re in good hands. Most states license massage therapists, so check that your provider has the necessary credentials. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is a good place to start looking for qualified professionals.
- Consider your budget. Before you take on a big expense, check your insurance coverage. Therapy results are usually cumulative so you’ll probably need multiple sessions to reach your goals.
How to Work With a Reflexology Massage Therapist
- Talk with your doctor. The first step is to let your doctor know that you want to visit a massage therapist. They might be able to recommend a therapist with the appropriate specialties and coordinate your care.
- Schedule an initial consultation. Your first visit is a good time to verify that you and your therapist are a good match. Be prepared to discuss your goals, medical history and lifestyle.
- Find a pregnancy specialist. If you’re expecting, you need to take special precautions. Prenatal massage centers will know how to position you for comfort and safety and provide valuable healing alternatives for various health challenges during your pregnancy.
- Protect your privacy. Maybe you feel a little hesitant about disrobing. Be aware that a therapist will leave the room so you can arrange yourself in private. Undress to whatever extent you’re comfortable with and use a blanket or towel to keep partially covered.
- Notify your therapist about any allergies. Oils and lotions are often used to reduce friction. If you’re sensitive to specific chemicals or fragrances, say so in advance.
- Minimize distractions. Maybe you enjoy instrumental music, soothing water fountains, or want to chat about your week. On the other hand, let your preferences be known if you think silence is more golden.
- Discuss any discomfort or pain. Some forms of therapeutic massage can be uncomfortable. Let your massage therapist know how you are feeling so you can work together to make it the best experience possible.
Ensure You Get the Best Reflexology For Stress & Relaxation Care
To receive the highest quality care, talk with your doctor about all alternative treatments you’re considering and ensure your massage therapist is licensed and certified.
By discovering the benefits of massage and reflexology for stress, you’ll be joining millions of people who have been using this natural and effective therapy for centuries.