According to reflexologists, the human foot contains several reflex points corresponding to various organs and systems within the body. In fact, the anatomy of your feet is a small map of your entire body.
Massaging these reflex points stimulates and relaxes the area connected to them. This mechanism is used to relieve various common aches, pains and disorders without the use of drugs.
In addition, a nightly foot massage relieves your emotional and physical pain and leads to restful sleep (1), which is a prerequisite for good health.
This non-medicinal intervention has also been used since ancient times in Ayurveda, where it is believed that foot massage helps to release all the energy flows in the body to prevent various diseases and promote general well-being. (2) (3)
Reasons to include a foot massage in your bedtime routine
Massaging your feet before going to bed can be treated in the following ways.
- Improves blood circulation
Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, and any blockage in its flow can contribute to the development of various health problems such as insomnia, anxiety, body aches, swelling, and heart disease. (4)
The feet are the lowest point of the body and are constantly exposed to the weight of the body, so blood flow is impaired.
Foot massage stimulates blood circulation under the skin, bringing more nutrients and oxygen. It helps restore and repair worn-out tissues, nerves, and muscles within your overworked feet.
Topical stimulation helps relieve muscle tension, pain, and leg swelling, which inadvertently relaxes the entire body, leading to better sleep. (5)
- Reduces fatigue and stress
Studies have shown that foot massages with aromatic essential oils are more effective than regular massages in relieving mental and physical stress. Essential oils are basically plant oils that have many healing properties. Moreover, inhaling their fragrant vapors will help relax your mind and body.
In addition, the feet contain various reflex points that are directly related to various organs and systems. Massaging these points has a stimulating and therapeutic effect on the corresponding part of the body.
Aromatic foot massage therefore provides the dual benefits of aromatherapy and topical stimulation of pressure points, which relaxes muscles in various parts of the body and relieves stress, fatigue and anxiety. (6) (7)
Research studies show that massage therapy is known for its therapeutic calming effects by normalizing blood pressure, blood pressure, and heart rate. (8)
Doing this before bed can help improve the quality of your sleep, and this non-drug treatment is especially useful for the elderly and those with sleep disorders. (1)