You probably already know that a foot massage feels good and helps in giving you a relaxing experience. But this is not all that it can offer! Thanks to foot massagers, you can get the relaxation treatment you need anytime right in the comfort of your own home!
The benefits of the best foot massager do not stop there either. With proper, regular use, it can also help improve your overall health and well-being. Want to know how? Keep reading down below!
What Good does a Foot Massager Provide?
First, let us look at all the things that foot massagers are great for. The following are also the reasons why experts, specialists, and doctors recommend the regular use of these amazing machines.
1. They help you relax
During and after a foot massage session, you will immediately notice how relaxed the muscles and tendons of your feet will feel. Whether you spend most of your days standing, walking, or simply sitting, your feet are getting strained and pressed by your body weight, and this is not entirely okay,
If we stand or sit for prolonged periods of time, the circulation of your blood reaches the feet in a slower and less efficient manner. This is the reason why your feet may feel cold all the time or why they are the first parts of your body that turn cold.
Also, walking and standing a lot puts all the weight of your body on your feet, potentially leading to soreness or swelling. Using a foot massager will gently knead and work your foot muscles so as to loosen them up.
This relaxation may also extend to the brain or other parts of the body. Since your feet will feel rested and relaxed, your body will release endorphins, which are chemicals that serve as the body’s natural way to improve your mood and relieve pain. The release of stress hormones will also be suppressed for a general feel-good effect.
2. They help improve blood circulation
As I have said previously, our habits usually result in poor blood circulation in the feet. This can also be due to health reasons and other life choices that we make daily such as not moving around enough or not getting enough proper exercise.
In fact, even active people who exercise regularly can have poor circulation in their feet from time to time. Using a foot massager will stimulate better blood circulation to the feet, allowing them to stay warm.
Here’s how this happens. The massager works your foot muscles, causing them to warm up as they would when you exercise or engage in any physical activity. Because of this stimulation, your body senses that your muscles are in need of more oxygen, thus pushing more blood to your feet.
With increased blood flow comes more nutrients and oxygen that help improve the health of your feet cells and muscles. This in turn reduces your risk of getting various foot conditions and also enlarges the blood vessels to maintain the better circulation and warmth on the feet in the long run.
According to research, massaging the feet for at least 10 minutes per day can significantly improve the blood flow to the lower extremities. This is associated to help improve the condition of those with varicose veins, diabetes, hypertension, and heart problems.
3. They help overcome neuropathy
Neuropathy refers to the condition wherein the peripheral nerves or the nerves in the hands or feet suffer damage due to chronic diseases like diabetes. Over time, it can cause pain, weakness, or numbness in the extremities of your body.
Foot massagers prevent or alleviate the symptoms of neuropathy through nerve and muscle stimulation especially on the soles of the feet. This eliminates the tightness, numbness, pains, and aches that are associated with neuropathy.
4. They help reduce the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis and flat feet
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition where the tendon tissue at the bottom of one foot or both feet become inflamed and painful. Due to the pain that plantar fasciitis causes, people who have this condition may also change in the way they walk and hold their posture.
Having flat feet, on the other hand, refers to the absence of foot arches resulting in symptoms similar to that of plantar fasciitis. The arch is the natural impact absorber of the feet so without it, the foot will deteriorate and become extremely painful.
Fortunately, a foot massager is very effective in reducing the pain and in treating these conditions. By targeting the key areas hurt by plantar fasciitis such as the arches and the sides of the feet, the inflammation is reduced and pain is better managed. Deep foot massages along with strengthening exercises also relieve foot and heel pain due to flat feet.
5. They help against headaches and migraine
The soles of the feet are widely known to be covered with reflexology pressure points that target different parts of the body. Believe it or not, a few of these pressure points connect to the head.
When a foot massager stimulates these pressure points, it helps promote relaxation and relieve pain. Maximum stimulation of pressure points is usually offered by models that have shiatsu massage or kneading motions.
Pressure points that are located near the toes, which are usually the most stimulated, help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraine attacks.
6. They help relieve runner’s aches
Runners, especially those who cover long distances and people who are just beginning to run are very prone to aches in the muscles of the feet and calves, called running aches or runner’s aches.
Depending on the quality of your shoes and running gear as well as the state of your muscles, these aches may come sooner or later.
A foot massager helps prevent and relieve runner’s aches by loosening up the muscles and allowing them to relax. This applies to muscle tightness in the calves as well. For best results, you may use a foot massager before and after running. You can also find models that go up to the calves.
7. They help relieve arthritis
Both acute and chronic arthritis, which is the medical term used to refer to the inflammation of the joints, can both lead to fluid retention in the limbs and swollen feet.
A foot massager can help reduce the pain and other symptoms associated to this condition by stimulating circulation and giving a general sense of well-being.
If you have arthritis, you may want to look for a model that offers a heated massage as well as a kneading setting. Both of these features are most effective for arthritis pain management.
8. They help relieve pain from bunions
Bunions are another foot condition that cause constant or chronic foot pain. This condition can be hereditary or non-hereditary and causes the big toes to be pulled towards the other toes and the bone to protrude on the sides.
Aside from its unsightly appearance, bunions can become irritated and painful especially after wearing closed shoes, walking, running, or standing all day.
Luckily, foot massagers can target the sides and soles of the feet, allowing the muscles here to relax. Through this stimulation, the pain is reduced.
I would recommend a foot massager model that offers stimulation for the sides and soles of the feet for those suffering with bunions. One that can provide shiatsu massage is also great.
9. They help improve posture and reduce lower back pain
Lower back pain is often due to poor posture. This can also lead to aches and pains of the feet and legs. People who experience these can benefit from a foot massager.
Using a foot massager will help relieve pain and pressure from your legs and your feet, helping you maintain a better posture. With an improved posture, you will experience lower back pain less frequently.
10. They help reduce dysmenorrhea and menstruation pain
Foot massages can also reduce menstruation pain and dysmenorrhea based on reflexology principles and the stimulation of pressure points found in the foot.
For best results in the management of menstrual pain, choose a foot massager that can stimulate the soles of your feet well and reach up to the calves. However, be careful not to use too much massage intensity during your period since this can lead to bruises.
11. They help induce labor
Yes, you read that right! Also based on the principles of reflexology, foot massages have been known to help induce labor in pregnant women.
Stimulating the sides and soles of the feet as well as the calves and ankles target as many key acupressure points as possible.
However, before attempting to induce labor using a foot massager, make sure to discuss this with your physician or ob-gyne first.
12. They help prevent and manage injuries in athletes
Aside from relieving pains and aches in your feet after playing your favorite sports, a nice foot massage can actually help prevent injuries.
The combined effect of strengthening exercises and the soothing effect of massages for your muscle and joint pains due to your workouts, you reduce your risk of having foot and ankle injuries by improving flexibility.
In case you already have a pre-existing injury, a regular foot massage will also help you heal better and faster.
Which Foot Massager Design is Suited for your Needs?
In order to maximize the benefits of a home foot massager, you need to understand the differences between an open and a closed design. The design greatly affects your massage experience.
Each design is constructed differently and have different features that may or may not be helpful for you. Knowing the differences will help you determine which type will cater to your needs better so here they are:
Many manufacturers use an open design for their foot massagers. Essentially, this allows your feet to rest comfortably in the deck of the massager even without turning it on. You simply place your feet on top of a platform for your massage.
Pros of the Open Design:
- They are often lightweight and more portable so you can take them anywhere without much fuss.
- These are silent models which allows you to use them without attracting unwanted attention or interfering with your activities
- These are very stable and will keep your feet comfortable even when placed on slippery surfaces
- They provide a thorough massage for the soles of the feet
- They are better in spreading heat evenly
- They require very little maintenance
Cons of the Open Design:
- Most of these models do not work the ankles or calves
- Open design foot massagers do not massage the arches of the feet
- These rarely reach far enough to massage the heels
Foot massagers with a closed design are slowly but surely gaining popularity these days. These models enclose the feet and sometimes even the ankles and calves. To use them, you have to insert your feet into some sort of pockets instead of just placing them on top of a platform.
Pros of the Closed Design:
- They work on the arches, sides, and soles of the feet
- Many models work on the heels and even reach the calves
- They offer warmth for the soles, sides, and arches of the feet
- They often use a combination of different massage techniques in one session
- They are easy to use and handle
- Some closed design models come with remote controls for those with mobility problems
- You can customize and personalize the intensity and settings of each massage session
Cons of the Closed Design:
- Your feet and calves may get sweaty and uncomfortable
- They are usually heavier and harder to move around
- They are high maintenance machines
- Some models may be too tight and uncomfortable for people with large feet
In summary, the best foot massager offers so much more than just pain relief and relaxation. Depending on the design, it can also help you manage, prevent, or alleviate pain and discomfort due to various medical reasons. In fact, it is so versatile and effective that many people turn to it and even doctors and experts recommend it.