The average person spends about 4 hours on their feet daily and each step you take exerts pressure on your feet. This pressure exceeds your body weight and can be three to four time your body weight when you are running! So give your feet some tender, loving care today!
What is foot reflexology?
This is a form of complementary therapy where pressure is applied to specific reflex points on the feet with specific hand techniques, with each point corresponding with different internal organs and glands in the body. Foot reflexology purportedly reflects any problems and imbalances in the body.
Let’s look at the top 3 benefits!
- Promotes relaxation
There are more nerve endings in the foot than any other part of our body and these nerves correspond with the different reflex zones throughout the body. Stimulating reflex points on our feet is believed to restore balance to the body. A 2013 study carried out on 75 female patients in Iran concluded that the technique of reflexology was effective in reducing fatigue. Hence having a foot reflexology with proper foot massage techniques can help to relax and calm your mind and body and aid in restoring peaceful sleep.
- Stimulates circulation
Applying pressure on the points of our feet can loosen the joints and ligaments in the foot and help to promote the circulation of energy and blood throughout the body. Our body organs can function more effectively with smoother blood flow to our vital organs. A 2008 study on 59 middle-aged women in their 40s and 60s showed that foot reflexology may be effective in improving blood circulation.
- Lowers blood pressure
Studies have shown that the technique of foot reflexology can help to lower blood pressure. For example, a 2003 Korean study conducted on elderly patients with hypertension found that foot reflexology was effective in decreasing systolic blood pressure. Another study carried out in 2005 and published in the “Journal of the American Geriatrics Society” found that older adults (aged 60 and over) who walked on cobblestone surfaces had reductions in blood pressure and improvements in physical performance. Walking on uneven surfaces is believed to exert pressure on the reflex points on the feet which have direct relation to areas in the body.
Reflexology walking paths: Walking to a healthier you!
Stone stepping is the ancient practice of stepping on footpaths consisting of smooth stones in concrete with one edge sticking up. Traditional Chinese medicine theory believes that walking on reflexology walking paths stimulates the acupressure points on the soles of your feet which can help to boost your physical and mental well-being. Cobblestone walking reflexology also helps to stimulate vital energy and blood flow throughout your body and relieves stress.
Found in parks and gardens in Singapore, this form of reflexology added with the beauty of being outdoors with fresh air, is especially beneficial for elderly people.
5 ways to best benefit from reflexology walking paths
- Walk barefoot or with socks.
- Walk slowly and in a relaxed mode.
- Take small breaks and massage your feet if you feel discomfort.
- Try to have a regular walk routine and increase your progress each time.
- It is natural to feel pain at the beginning, just remember to breathe in and out.
Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine
Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing
US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health