If you’ve had a hand massage and/or foot massage then you know that it can be a truly relaxing experience.
Receiving a hand massage can provide you with significant health benefits. Hand massage is quick, relaxing and provides you with immediate health benefits, such as improved finger and wrist range of motion, enhanced circulation and reduction of your trigger points – hyperirritable nodules – in your hand muscles.
Foot massage dates back over 5,000 years to ancient Egypt and China!
Our feet do a lot for us. They carry us around all day, bear the brunt of our morning jog and endure countless evenings in uncomfortable and restrictive shoes.
Despite all this, they are usually sorely neglected! A healing foot massage is one way you can treat your feet while benefiting your whole body.
Other benefits of hand and foot massage include:
Receiving soothing massages for 8 weeks after the death of a loved one can provide much-needed consolation and help diminish feelings of loneliness. Massage activates touch receptors which then release oxytocin, a hormone known for its positive effects on well-being and relaxation.
Injury prevention and faster recovery
Massaging the feet can help with joint pain and aid recovery after an injury, as well as reduce muscle soreness.
It can also prevent future injuries such as plantar fasciitis – one of the most common causes of heel pain which sees the thick band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot and connecting your heel bone to your toe becoming painful and inflamed.
Too much standing, running, sports involving lots of jumping or hard landing, being overweight and wearing shoes with inadequate support all put you at risk of plantar fasciitis.
In studies on hand and foot massage as an intervention in post-operative pain, it was found that foot and hand massage is an effective, inexpensive, low-risk, flexible and easily applied strategy for postoperative pain management.
If you suffer from chronic arthritis in your hand, regular hand and wrist massage can reduce your pain and improve your grip strength. But those without arthritis can benefit from the pain-reducing effects of hand massage too. If you use your hands for repetitive tasks, such as typing, and you regularly experience pain or cramping, consider booking a hand massage. This will decrease your pain and allow you to continue your work in a pain-free state.
Foot massage has been introduced as a relaxation strategy in the stressful environment of critical care. Critically ill patients in intensive care offered a soothing five-minute foot massage noticed a significant decrease in heart rate and blood pressure during the foot massage.
Hand massage can bring comfort and encourage communication between caregivers and residents in a nursing home.
Improved circulation is one of the most important health benefits of massage therapy. Stimulating circulation in your hands is important, especially if you suffer from a condition such as Raynaud’s phenomenon – a painful condition of your fingers, toes and other areas – which is believed to be caused by a sharp and persistent contraction of a blood vessel, causing a marked reduction in blood flow to your fingers. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, states that massage is effective at stopping a Raynaud’s attack once it starts. Improving circulation in your hand is also important following surgery or after an injury, such as ligament sprains and muscle strains. Improved circulation to your injured tissues helps speed your healing by bringing more nutrients to the area of injury and removing the harmful metabolic byproducts that tend to accumulate in your tissues following trauma.
Improved range of motion
Hand massage helps loosen tight hand muscles, reduces scar tissue and adhesions that cause decreased finger and wrist mobility, and improves your hand’s various ranges of motion and flexibility. Trigger finger is one injury that responds particularly well to massage therapy. A trigger finger occurs when your ability to move the tendon that opens and closes your finger is reduced, causing your finger to lock or catch when you extend it. The cause of trigger finger often is unknown, although it occurs more frequently in women than men, and it most frequently affects people between the ages of 40 and 60 years of age and those suffering from conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Repetitive-Strain.com states that hand massage—specifically, cross-fiber friction massage immediately followed by active and passive stretches of your finger and ice massage of your affected tendon—is an effective method for treating your trigger finger and improving your finger’s range of motion.
Cure for swelling of the legs
Swelling of the legs and feet due to fluid retention, called edema, can often follow on from long periods of sitting or standing. It is also common during pregnancy.
A study published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice found that pregnancy-related edema was significantly reduced by regular foot massage. In fact, the women in the massage groups had distinctly smaller leg circumferences than did the women in the placebo group.
It’s important to note that leg and ankle swelling can also signal an underlying issue including kidney disease, heart failure, liver disease and more. Always consult your doctor if in doubt.
Helps alleviate symptoms of PMS and menopause
The most common symptoms suffered during PMS include feelings of sadness and unhappiness, irritability, anxiety, tension, insomnia, fatigue, headaches and mood swings. Most of these symptoms can be alleviated with daily foot massages during this period.
In the same vein, symptoms of menopause, which are similar to those suffered during PMS with the addition of hot flashes and depression, can be effectively minimized with regular massages.