After a stressful day, a relaxing hot bath is more than welcome. In the same way, your feet which have been carrying you around all through the day will be really glad to be pampered at the end of the day.
You have to understand that a luxurious foot massage not only makes your feet pretty but also works wonders for your emotional well being. Often, feet are the most neglected part of your body and you do look at them mostly when you buy sandals! You forget those important pressure points on your feet which connect to all other areas of your body. In Indian tradition, there is a custom of married women wearing a toe ring (bichiya) on the second toe of both the feet. Some women claim that apart from fashion and tradition, these rings are worn for a healthy uterus. The nerve-ending of that toe leads straight to the uterus and as the ring gets pressed around the toe, the blood circulation to the uterus also improves. I don’t know how far science would approve of this belief.
However, science would not deny that there are more than 7000 nerve endings on a foot. Foot massage is capable of stimulating these nerve endings to improve blood circulation, to relax your body, minimize stress and to relieve the body of any pains caused by the daily grind.
Foot Pain During Pregnancy
Women experience a lot of physical and mental changes on their way to motherhood. Some of them cause sheer discomfort while some others need medical aid. Varicose veins, cramping, foot pain, heel pain, flat feet and swelling are some common complaints that cannot be neglected. The reason for foot pain and swelling owes to the increasing weight in the upper part of the woman’s body.
- Over-Pronation- Due to weight gain, during pregnancy the expectant mother’s arch of the foot flattens out. This causes the feet to roll inward causing intense stress on the plantar fascia. It happens in pregnant women due to their hormonal changes which in turn help to relax their ligaments to allow a vaginal birth. Over-pronation or flat feet is also seen in people who are obese or in those with a flexible, flat feet. Over-pronation not only causes pain but also affects one’s balance.
- Edema-An increase in the fluid in the tissues can cause a swelling in the lower extremities. The enlarged uterus is the main reason for the unusual pressure on the pelvis and legs, for slowing down blood circulation and for blood accumulation in the legs. As a result women get a swollen purplish feet.
How To Soothe Your Aching Feet
- Ask your doctor about using ready-made orthotics during pregnancy.
- Use a proper fitting foot wear that does not hamper proper blood circulation. Look for extra support and shock absorption. Remember that your feet may change sizes during pregnancy.
- For over-pronation, look for shoes with adequate arch support and firm heel counter.
- Keep your feet elevated as you sit to avoid extra weight and pressure on them.
- Walk regularly.
- Applying mustard oil topically can help edema.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Take a foot massage or reflexology.
How Reflexology Helps
Have you heard of reflexology?
Reflexology earns attention due to its simplicity, effectiveness and as a great way of prevention and cure. It is a pressure therapy by which you apply focused pressure on certain points on your feet. It not only helps people with stress, emotional hiccups and emotional vulnerability but also those with chronic pains. Reflexology is beneficial in treating varicose veins, high blood pressure, digestive complaints and ulcers, sleep disorders, nervous problems, arthritic complaints, skin problems and in slowing down aging. It is an ancient technique to promote the body’s own ability to heal itself and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Foot Massage Basics
- Get a good foot massage oil or cream with May Chang oil, Grapefruit essential oil and Ginger essential oil. Aroma oils are generally considered safe during pregnancy.
- If you are doing a foot massage on your own, recline on a sofa and put your foot on your lap. If you are lucky enough to get your partner to do it, recline on a bed or a sofa and relax!
- Clean your feet and soak them with Epsom salts. Epsom salts relax your body, soften skin, soothe aching muscles and relieve tired feet. They have a nice smell too.
- To aid relaxation, play some meditating music in the background.
- Stroking, ankle rotation, pivoting, kneading and finger walking are some of the methods of reflexology. Browse online for innumerable how to videos demonstrating reflexology techniques.
If you are a loving husband reading this, give your expectant wife a relaxing and sensual massage treat today itself!