Our feet are incredibly complex! EACH FOOT contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and 100+ muscles/tendons/ligaments. Almost 25% of the bones in the body are in the feet.
For something so vitally important, they are often neglected and abused. Our feet are considered the foundation of our body and when we neglect them we become limited in our mobility and independence. The dangers of neglecting our feet can directly impact our balance and posture, develop diseases and infections, and cause serious medical conditions, which can be life altering for some people.
As humans our lifestyles have become increasingly more sedentary by unconsciously selecting convenience (e.g., driving, escalators, elevators, food delivery, parking close to the mall entrance). This physical inactivity hinders our blood flow. A foot massage can improve our circulation by transporting oxygen to damaged, tense muscles. This is especially important in cases where other health problems add to poor circulation or nerve damage, such as diabetes.
A little foot massage is also an easy way to relax and help reduce stress and anxiety, especially after a long day at work. Massaging those tired, achy and swollen feet is both soothing and relaxing, and promotes feelings of general well-being.
Trigger Point Therapy is a massage technique that we can all apply and benefit from in the comfort of our own homes. Muscle knots are sore spots in soft tissue that are extra sensitive and painful (also known as trigger points). This technique involves rubbing and pressing on the muscle knots, focussing on softening them and reducing the pain associated with them.
The arch of the foot is supported by a string of connective tissue (ligaments and tendons in the foot and calf), which absorbs an incredible amount of weight and shock with every step we take. The sole of the foot also contains a high concentration of nerve endings (200,000 PER FOOT!), which makes them highly sensitive. Therefore, massaging the arch of the foot can be stimulating and a nice break from the daily abuse we put them through.
In the center of the arch muscle of the foot lies a trigger point that is a common cause of stubborn aches and pains such as plantar fasciitis, a kind of tendinitis caused when the connective tissue in the arch of the foot starts to degenerate. This trigger point is super easy to find! It is exactly halfway between the heel and the ball of the foot, and halfway between the inside and outside edges (perhaps slightly closer to the inside edge) and can easily be self-treated.
Keep in mind that Trigger Point Therapy is not a miracle cure for chronic pain and that you should contact a medical specialist if you are experiencing chronic pain.
Giving yourself a foot massage can feel pretty amazing, but we all know it just doesn’t compare to someone else working those muscles for you. So, alternatively you can book yourself an appointment at your favourite massage studio and let the experts do the work for you; all you have to do is lie back, relax and enjoy.
Self-care is important, so give some love to the part of your body that probably receives it the least.