Top 10 Common Ailments Cured by
Foot Massage
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August 3, 2012

By Estelle Wagner, Contributing Columnist

Most of us don't even think about our feet until they start
to hurt. But did you know that, in a real sense, your feel are
a window to your overall health? They connect us to the
ground, move us around the world, and support our whole
body on a daily basis, playing an integral role in our health.
For thousands of years in Chinese medicine, the feet were
considered a virtual map of the body, and caring for the
feet was considered an integral part of total wellness. Now,
new research has shown that massaging your feet really
can help your treat a range of medical conditions. So what
are these conditions? Is foot massage a natural remedy for
what ails you?

Why You Really Do Need to Care for Your Feet

If you have ever broken a leg, twisted an ankle, or even
had a blister on your foot, you know how debilitating it can
be. It's hard to go about your daily life when you are
incapacitated by foot pain! But feet are incredibly important
in other ways as well. For diabetics, neglected feet can lead
to serious consequences, including amputation. This is
because diabetics suffer from peripheral neuropathy,
making them less likely to feel cuts and injuries to their feet.
Neglected cuts can be gangrenous, and the rest is history.
More than 70,000 diabetes-related foot amputations were
preformed in the United States in 2008 alone, accounting
for more than 60% of all non-traumatic foot amputations
every year. Does foot massage help diabetes? According to
new research, foot massage can help treat a variety of
ailments caused by diabetes, as well as other medical

Top 10 Medical Conditions Helped by Foot Massage

1. Peripheral Neuropathy Helped by Foot Massage

A common diabetes-related problem is peripheral
neuropathy, a problem caused when tissues and nerves in
the extremities like hands and feet don't received enough
nutrients and oxygen and malfunction, leading to
numbness, tingling, and burning sensations. Some
receipients of chemo-therapy also develop this condition as
a side effect. It can lead to ulcers, gangrene, and even
amputation of the foot.

Foot massage helps combat these problems in more than
one way. Massaging the feet stimulates circulation and the
nerves by helping oxygenated blood reach the affected
areas. This helps to combat the primary cause of the
condition, but must be done gently at first, as some people
may the massage painful at the beginning of the treatment.
In addition, the person massaging the feet can closely
inspect them for any cuts, bruises, or lacerations that might
become infected.

Daily self-massage, foot massage by family members, and
professional foot massage is an easy way to ensure that
feet are inspected carefully and thoroughly, helping to
prevent future complications. (Read more
natural remedies
for neuropathy.)

Bad Circulation Eased by Foot Massage

Poor circulation can be caused by many things, including
smoking, obesity, diabetes and neurological disorders. It
results in plenty of discomfort for anyone suffering from it's
effects, particularly in parts of the body like the feet which
are farthest from the heart, which drives circulation in the
body by acting as a pump. However, a 2011 study by AM
Castro-Sanchez of the Department of Nursing and Physical
Therapy at the University of Almeria in Spain indicated that
regular massage in type 2 diabetes patients significantly
increased oxygen levels and blood flow to the feet, as well
as to the legs.

To achieve this, some type 2 diabetes patients with stage I
or IIa peripheral arterial disease were given hour long
massages twice a week to the back and lower legs for 15
weeks, while others were given non-massage therapies for
the same amount of time. After 6 months, those who had
received the massage treatments had better circulation in
the feet and legs, as well as improved blood pressure in the
upper legs. Combining foot and lower leg massage can help
stimulate nerves in the feet and improve circulation to the
toes. ( Read more
natural remedies for bad circulation.)

Lower Leg Edema

Lower leg edema is a result of fluid build-up that
accumulates in the legs, leaving them swollen, painful, stiff
and often discolored. Pregnancy, organ disease or failure,
malnutrition and some medications can cause this painful
condition which makes it difficult and painful to move
around. While some doctors may recommend light exercise
such as walking, swimming, or stretching, a 2010 study by
the Adnan Menderes University in Turkey looked at the use
of foot massage to treat the edema in pregnant women.

Half of the randomly divided group received standard
prenatal care while the other half also received 20 minute
foot massages each day for 5 days. After 5 days, the
women who had received foot massages had significantly
less edema in their legs than those that had not.

Of course, everyone loves a foot massage, but you can bet
that your pregnant friend, relative or spouse will appreciate
even more than normal as it helps relieve some of the
pressure and pain in her legs as well as giving her feet a
rest! (Read more
natural remedies for swollen ankles and
leg swelling.)

Stress and Anxiety

Most of us feel stressed or anxious from time to time in our
daily lives, and it is common knowledge (or experience)
that having someone rub our feet feels good and can help
us to relax. But did you know that foot massage makes a
real, measurable difference in stress and anxiety levels for
those who are suffering extreme levels and circumstances?

In two different studies, foot massage was seen to greatly
reduce pain, anxiety and stress in cancer patients
undergoing chemotherapy. In one trial in 2000 at the
University of Canberra's School of Nursing in Australia, a
10-minute foot massage (5 minutes on each foot) was
shown to have an important and immediate effect on the
stressful symptoms of pain and nausea and increased the
patients' relaxation significantly.

A more recent 2006 study at the School of Medicine in the
University of Udine in Italy studied a group of cancer
patients admitted to a hospital, half of whom received
massage and half of whom did not. They self-reported their
levels of anxiety using the state-anxiety scale before, after,
and 24 hours after the treatment. Those who received
massage had an average decrease of 7.9 points on the
state-anxiety scale, while those who did not only had a
decrease of 0.8 points. Clearly, foot massage made a real,
tangible difference in the stress and anxiety levels of the
cancer patients, and it can have the same powerful effect
on you as well.

Labor Pains -Ease Them with Foot Massage

Labor may be one of the most painful experiences in a
woman's life, and it is also a time of high stress and anxiety.
Since the 1970s, massage has been studied and found to be
an affordable, easy way to help people manage pain and
stress. While foot massage will not stop the pain of
contractions, it can significantly help manage pain and
stress during labor, helping a woman to better handle

In 2003, a study at the Kerman University of Medical
Sciences in Iran tested the effects of massage on pain and
stress in women during labor. Sixty women gave birth, half
of whom received massage during the latent, active, and
transitional phases of labor, and half of whom did not. In all
three phases, the women who received massage had
greatly reduced pain reactions as well as reduced stress,
and 87% of them reported that it was helped and provided
pain relief and psychological supper during labor.

Massaging the feet, back, or any other place that feels good
seems to provide a more positive labor experience for the
women giving birth in multiple ways. (Read more about the
dangers of
high blood pressure during pregnancy.)

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure nearly 65 million people in the United
States alone, and can cause a host of other problems. High
blood pressure is particularly dangerous because many
people are unaware of it, since there are no obvious signs
to look for and only a doctor can confirm it.

High blood pressure is especially prevalent in people who
are over 55, overweight, smoke or have a family history of
this problem. Some doctors prescribe medications that thin
the blood, but a 2011 study by the Fo-Guang University in
Taiwan showed that foot massage, used as an in addition to
a therapeutic regime, significantly lowered the blood
pressure of both healthy people and those who had
coronary artery disease. (Read more
natural remedies for
high blood pressure.)

Foot Massage Helps Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea

Breast cancer will affect 1 in 8 women (12%) in the United
States over the course of her lifetime, and one of the most
common treatments includes chemotherapy. Though
chemotherapy can be quite effective, it is a tough
experience for those who undergo the treatment.

However, new research indicates that foot massage is an
easy and effective treatment for nausea, vomiting, and
fatigue that comes with chemotherapy.

In 2005, a Korean study performed at Inje University by
Yang JH studied 34 patients undergoing chemotherapy for
breast cancer. Over the course of 3 months, half of the
subjects received 40 minute foot massages, while the other
half did not. They found that the foot massage was
effective in treating the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and
fatigue in the chemotherapy patients. While it is a simple
treatment that nursing staff can easily be trained in, it made
a big difference to those suffering from the side effects of
chemotherapy, and could easily be replicated at home by
family members or friends to help breast cancer patients to
feel more comfortable.

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Eased by Foot Massage

Multiple sclerosis, often referred to as MS, is a neurological
condition that affects almost twice as many women as it
does men.

Multiple sclerosis affects the nerves of the spinal cord and
brain, creating problems of communication between the
brain and the body.  Multiple sclerosis can lead to a whole
host of problems, particularly with muscle movement,
balance, and vision.

Though there is no cure for MS, but there are lots of
treatment options that can help with symptoms and to slow
the development of the disease.

In an Israeli study in 2003 done at the Sheba Medical
Center, researchers found that foot massage, in particular
reflexology, given over the course of 11 weeks, aided in
relieving the motor, sensory and urinary symptoms of MS
patients. Even three months after the treatment, the
improvements were significant.

Morton's Neuroma Is Helped by Foot Massage

Morton's neuroma is caused by an injury to the nerves
between the toes which causes the tissues surrounding the
nerves to become fibrous and thick. Most commonly it
affects the nerve between the 2nd and 3rd or 3rd and 4th
toes, and causes tingling, cramping, and pain that increases
over time. Wearing shoes, especially high heels or tight,
ill-fitting shoes, can exacerbate the discomfort caused by
this condition.

While special shoes, padding, inserts, and more can help
with pain management, there is no single remedy that has
been found to be the best treatment. However, many
experts such Sari Harrar or Robert J. Kaplan recommend
gentle massage or ice massage, rubbing the foot with a
rounded ice cube, especially for those seek immediate relief
from the pain. Foot massage doesn't just help with
immediate pain though. By gently flexing and stretching the
toes, foot massage can lead to a decrease in overall pain
over time, particularly in combination with special exercises
and rest.

Dementia Anxiety RelievedBy Foot Massage

One of the most surprising benefits of foot massage is how
it can affect elderly patients suffering from dementia. The
range of difficulties from which those with dementia suffer
often lead to spells of intense agitation, but a study
published in 2003 by Wendy Moyle, Amy Nicole Burne
Johnston, and Siobhan Therese O'Dwyer showed that foot
massage had immediate effects on the agitation of elderly
patient with dementia living in long-term care facilities.
Twenty-two patients who had a clinical history of significant
agitation received 10 minute foot massages each day for 2

After foot massage, the dementia patients were notceably
better. The result was that they experienced significantly
less agitation and related behavioral problems both
immediately after the treatment and two weeks later when
a follow-up assessment was preformed. This means that
not only did it have an effect when it was administered, but
the foot massage continued to make a difference weeks
after they had received it.

Foot Pain-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies/Too Tight
Shoes -Top Health Dangers / Morton's Neuroma- The Little
Known Epidemic Foot Condition

Plantar Warts-Causes and Cures

Too Tight Shoes -Health Dangers

Morton's Neuroma-Causes and Remedies

Swollen Ankles -Causes and Cures

Swollen Ankles in Men

Night Cramps---Why Your Legs Seize Up At Night

Tight Bras and Briefs -Health Dangers

Phlebitis-Causes and Top 10 Remedies

Bad Circulation -Top 10 Causes and Remedies

Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

Foods That Shrink Your Waist

Bowel Movements-Best Clue to Your Health

Exercises That Increase Bowel Movements

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