Aching feet are often a sore spot that go unnoticed and unattended. More often than not, we chalk our sore tootsies up to a long day and go on about our lives but considering how much a continual ache or pain can impact our mood and ability to handle stress, some tender care might be a more effective response. Take a look at the National Institute of Health’s article “Pain and Your Emotions” for more on the physical and emotional effects the pain-stress-pain cycle can have. For now though, let’s take a quick look at what the feet do and then we can chat a bit more about what kind of TLC can be beneficial!
Unhappy feet make sense if you think about what we put them through every day.
They bear the weight of the entire body and play a key role in dispersing that weight as the foot connects with the ground. Activities like running, jumping, and some forms of exercise involving a heavier impact can significantly increase (almost quadruple, in some cases) the weight that must be dispersed by the feet to successfully avoid injury. If the feet aren’t able to effectively transmit the weight of the body, it can easily translate into issues like back pain, knee pain or other problems. NIH News in Health wrote an article with more details called “On Sound Footing”; although it was written in May 2013, the information still applies today.
As if their structural challenges and responsibilities weren’t enough, our feet often spend their days in shoes that are uncomfortable or unsupportive. We’re not just talking about high heels either; pretty much anything that comes between the foot and the ground it steps on is going to present some sort of structural challenge. Not sure about that? Pop on your flip flops and take a stroll across the room - go ahead; we’ll be right here when you get back! Did you feel how your little toes had to try and hold the flip flop on your foot as it moved forward? Even the best shoe requires some adjustments to the way we walk. For more information, check out American Podiatric Medical Association.
Unless they are causing us pain, our feet tend to be somewhat “off the radar” as we go about our day-to-day activities. Thinking about all that they do, they most definitely deserve some attention! NIH suggests some simple self-care measures like taking note of the condition of the feet, wearing comfy shoes and maintaining good hygiene. Yoga Journal provided some guidelines for easy exercises. Of course, MassageTherapy.com has some tips on self-massage techniques that can be quite helpful. Adding one of our 15-minute foot scrubs to any regular session is also a great way to show your feet some appreciation! Our foot scrub treatment includes gentle exfoliation and a soothing foot massage that addresses key reflexology points. (We might be a wee bit biased but one of our foot scrubs is an amazing way to relax!)
Of course, if you have questions or concerns about the overall health and wellness of your feet (or the rest of you!), please discuss them with your physician as some conditions warrant a doctor’s care. We are happy to discuss some ideas for self-care with you; feel free to ask your massage therapist for his or her thoughts on self-massage, stretching or gentle movements that can help you avoid problems with your feet.
Don’t forget there is still time to take advantage of our May special - add a fantastic 15-minute foot scrub to any regular priced session for only $20! It’s a great way to give your feet some much-deserved TLC; just call, email or go online to schedule your #MAssageTime today!