Understanding Foot Massages: Benefits and Tips

Think foot massages belong only in the spa? Well, think again! Studies in publications like the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Nursing show that foot-based stimulation has multiple medical benefits. 

Moreover, foot massages can be used in sexual play too. In fact, including feet play into your routine is a great way to spice up your relationship. So if you like playing with or having your feet played with, a massage is the way to go. If you don’t have a partner, try signing up on sites like Feet Finder1. It’s one of the more popular choices to view some beautiful feet pictures.

The average human foot has over 200,000 nerve endings. Stimulating all these receptors can rival genital-based stimulation for some people. Even if you don’t have a foot fetish2, a massage can help you relax and relieve stress. 

Moreover, there are several variations to your typical massage that can enhance pleasure. In addition to the simple hand-based massage, you can opt for techniques/tools like

  • Acupuncture
  • Electric massagers
  • Foot rollers
  • Reflexology

Benefits of Foot Massages

The following studies involve these techniques, showing that foot massages go beyond simple pleasure and relaxation. 

Use in Type 2 Diabetic Patients 

A joint research from Khon Kaen University and Tokyo Metropolitan University unearthed several unknown benefits of foot massage. Researchers looking at the immediate effects of self-Thai foot massage in type 2 diabetic patients found that the procedure made significant changes in the participants’

  • Foot skin blood flow
  • Foot skin temperature
  • Range of motion of the feet and the ankles

The study was conducted primarily among 25 patients with peripheral neuropathy3. When the participants were administered a single session of foot massages, their heart rates were noted to rise significantly.

Moreover, the self-Thai foot massage was shown to improve foot skin blood flow and ROM of the foot and ankle. This result suggests that foot-based stimulation could be an alternative treatment for type 2 diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy.

Use in Treating Insomnia, Depression, and Anxiety

Aside from the benefits of foot massage in circulation, it also benefits people with anxiety/depression/insomnia. A Taiwanese study shows that feet-based stimulation’s relaxing, stress-relieving benefits can go beyond the spa. 

A total of 2,366 participants were chosen for this research. Each of them was exposed to controlled trials to test the effectiveness of foot reflexology. Meta-analyses4 showed that the treatments showed positive results in helping improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. 

Moreover, the study showed that sleep quality could be improved by 

  •  Increasing the duration of the foot massage
  • Altering the position/pressure during administration

Use in Patients with Migraine

Aside from relaxation, foot massages are most commonly used to treat headaches and migraines. A study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine proves that this is more than an urban myth by presenting data on the effectiveness of foot treatments for migraines5

In a closed study, 48 females between 33 to 58 were observed for 2 years. Each had been suffering from migraines for at least 2 years prior to their participation. The patients were administered 10 treatments 2 times a week.

Within the stipulated time, some of the benefits observed included

  • Reduction in frequency of headaches
  • Reduction in intensity of headaches
  • Reduction in duration of headaches

The researchers proposed that foot reflexology6 could be a safer alternative for migraines based on these results. Administering massages to treat headaches could have significant advantages for your health, especially compared to the pharmacological treatment typically recommended for these conditions. 

Use in Treatment of Back Pains

Reflexology is a type of foot massage involving stimulating specific points in the feet. Based on this technique, each part of the foot is believed to correspond to a specific body part. Also called reflex points, each spot is believed to be connected to its respective body region. Examples include points for genital stimulation, migraines, and more. 

Research from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences shows that this technique can be successfully leveraged to treat even chronic back pain. Fifty nurses affiliated with the university were chosen to participate in the study. Each was given reflexology sessions three times a week for two weeks. At the end of week two, this method was shown to reduce the severity of back pain from severe to moderate/mild. 

Another UK study also shows reflexology’s potential in managing secondary lymphoedema in patients affected by breast cancer treatment. A significant reduction in the volume of the affected arm was noted when patients were administered this technique. 

Moreover, reflexology was seen to have long-lasting benefits, often exceeding six months. This treatment was also beneficial because no serious adverse effects were reported from its administration.

Use of Acupuncture in Treating Osteoarthritis

Research from the University of West Virginia shows that acupuncture could be a potential treatment for osteoarthritis. This condition affects the knees, causing significant issues for older people. 

According to the study, acupuncture is best administered as a preventive measure. This technique was shown to be effective in symptom management. Spread over 10 trials among 1456 participants, this study revealed that acupuncture can help treat pain and dysfunction caused by knee-based ost7eoarthritis.

Tips for Foot Massage

However, foot massages don’t always have to be used medically; if you are interested in feet or like looking at feet pics, these treatments can be a great source of pleasure. So, if you want to give or receive a foot massage, here are some things you should remember 

  • Use appropriate tools: The right equipment can heighten and enhance pleasure, whether rollers or electric massagers. Moreover, items like massage balls also allow you to target specific areas of the foot that are extra sensitive.
  •  Get the pressure right: The trick to good massages is to get the pressure right. Some people like firm massages, while others like to be rubbed gently. So, when giving/receiving massages, you need to communicate with your partner to get the pressure correct.
  • Sit comfortably: Foot massages are all about comfort. Since you may be rubbing your feet for some time, sit comfortably. Whether a couch or lounge chair, your position should facilitate ease for an extended period. 

Get awesome feet pics online – whenever you want at Feet Finder.

  1. Lauder, Joshua, et al. “A fully automatic system to assess foot collapse on lateral weight-bearing foot radiographs: A pilot study.” Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine 213 (2022): 106507. ↩︎
  2. Rossi, William A. The sex life of the foot and shoe. Taylor & Francis, 2023. ↩︎
  3. Rosenberger, Daniela C., et al. “Challenges of neuropathic pain: focus on diabetic neuropathy.” Journal of Neural Transmission 127.4 (2020): 589-624. ↩︎
  4. Lopez-Leon, Sandra, et al. “Long-COVID in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analyses.” Scientific reports 12.1 (2022): 9950. ↩︎
  5. Gazerani, Parisa. “Migraine and diet.” Nutrients 12.6 (2020): 1658. ↩︎
  6. Wang, Wei-Li, et al. “Effect of foot reflexology intervention on depression, anxiety, and sleep quality in adults: a meta-analysis and metaregression of randomized controlled trials.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2020 (2020). ↩︎
  7. Sharma, Leena. “Osteoarthritis of the knee.” New England Journal of Medicine 384.1 (2021): 51-59. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Suchi


Icy Health Editorial Team

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