Your feet work for you every day. Have you ever thought of how you can take care of your feet?
Your feet do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to mobility. Almost all of your daily activities that you perform like walking, running, jumping, climbing and even standing for long hours, puts pressure on your feet. Each foot has 26 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments which work together to support balance and mobility. This makes it one of the most complex parts of the body. Overuse of feet and not taking proper care can cause muscle strain and stress fractures. Nowadays, children are involved in lots of physical activities and sports which increase the need of a proper diet to support bone and muscle health and also some curative methods to relax their feet as and when possible.
Have you ever thought of giving your feet a soothing massage?
Massage is a restorative (healing) process that promotes health benefits. This form has powerful impact on mind, body and spirit and can bring on a deep sense of calmness and relaxation in both kids and adults. Ayurveda has some therapies which really work miraculously over foot issues like pain, cracks, corn.
Ayurveda means “The knowledge of life” and it is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems developed in India three thousand years ago. It is based on the belief that, health depends on a balance between the mind, body and spirit. Ayurveda suggests abhyanga (full body massage) to be practiced on a daily basis to calm nerves, ease soreness in the muscles, improve bone health and nourish the skin. However, in today’s scenario, with our extremely busy schedules, regular full body massage can be too time consuming. So the next best thing that you can do is massage your scalp and soles of the feet with massage oil. According to ayurveda “the feet contain reflex points to all the organs and other parts of the body”. Tips of toes are directly connected to the head and the brain. So, foot and scalp massage helps relieve stress and reduce tension and at the same time boosts blood circulation, which helps with healing and keeps your muscles and tissues healthy
How massage can help?
Research suggests numerous advantages of massage therapy which includes reducing muscle tension, improving blood circulation, reducing stress, relaxing the body, increasing joint mobility and flexibility and enhancing the skin tone.
Foot massage in particular also aids in soothing any swelling around the foot, uplifting the mood and promoting better sleep patterns. Foot massage helps kids to unwind after a hectic day and allows them to sleep comfortably thereby relieving them of any foot pain that they complain.
Herbs for foot soak:
Epsom salt (Sendha namak): Traditionally, if we look back centuries ago, Epsom salt has been used to heal, relax and calm the body nerves. It’s actually a mineral called magnesium sulphate which enables absorption of decent quality through skin while soaking feet in this and results in relaxing nerves and muscles.
Mint: Mint plant has menthol which produces a chilled sensation by activating cold sensors in the skin. This cooling sensation promotes calming effects on the body and sooth tension of sore muscles which helps in getting relieve from foot and muscles pain.
Eucalyptus: This herb helps to sooth, deep clean and relaxes your hard working feet .It has natural blend of minerals, aromatic essential oils and nutrients which help to keep your feet smoother, softer and pleasant smelling.
Lemon juice: Lemon is a powerful astringent that helps to soften dead skin. Its natural levels of citric acid have exfoliating effects on the skin.
How to do it?
Add Epsom salt, mint, eucalyptus, lemon juice in a bucket filled with warm water and mix them well.. Soak your feet in this warm water for around fifteen to twenty minutes. After twenty minutes, exfoliate your foot with a scrub, one heel at a time. Wash with clean water and dry it with a towel. At this point, massage your skin using a scrub. You may use store bought scrub or natural scrubs like cane sugar, oats, coffee powder, honey or besan (gram flour).Scrubbing polishes the skin & improves skin elasticity. Next, use ayurvedic massage oil or a foot cream to gently massage your toes, soles, heels and ankles. Massaging these parts of your foot will help to relax and nourish the tissues and also flush the toxins from the body. Lastly, wrap your feet with a hot towel for five minutes and finish it up by massaging your feet with a foot cream or cold pressed oil.
What is the proper way of oiling?
- Warm oil is preferred over cold oil.
- Gently rub massage oil in small circular motions covering the whole bottom of your feet.
- Press your thumb across the top of your foot to the big toe and repeat it for each of the toesand ankle.
- Make a fist and grab your toes, slowly pulling each toe away from the foot, to remove stress.
- Starting from the ankle, move your hand all the way through your foot, repeating a few times to feel the comfort and tension releasing from your body through the toes.
Foot massage vs Reflexology: According to Ayurveda, many neural endings, receptors and marmas (Ayurvedic pressure points) are located in the feet. The concept of putting pressure on particular points of the foot to release pain in other body parts is termed as reflexology. In contrast to that, massage includes gently pressing on foot’s tissues to relax its muscles and reduce stress.
Food sources to promote bone and muscle health
Beans, legumes, chicken, eggs and red meat are full of proteins which promote healthy muscles. Tuna and salmon are a rich source of Omega-3 and reduce joint stiffness, tenderness, swelling and discomfort. Whole grains contains a lot of fiber which keeps you full for a longer time thereby managing your weight and indirectly avoids putting more pressure on your feet. Milk, cheese and milk products contain calcium to support your bone health.
Neem and Turmeric Oil treatement for face/body
Take about 12 leaves of neem and grind it with water to make a paste. Add 3 teaspoons of turmeric powder and apply on face or use for massage . After 20 minutes, wash it off with water. You can use this pack daily to fight off acne from face/body and infections from the body.
Can use Neem oil to mix with turmeric powder for healing massage of the body.
Option is to also add aloe Vera gel to the combination.
Neem oil is also a great mosquito repellant for kids and adults.
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