Your feet can be the ‘hub’ of your body. Gravity ensures blood floods to your feet when you stand, and your bones take the weight of the rest of your body as you move around. Your feet, therefore, are your stabilisers, your propellors, your grips.
They take a lot of hammer, your feet. When you’ve had a hard day and you’ve been stood on them a lot, your feet may feel like they’re throbbing. In these situations, sales reps and manufacturers would recommend using a foot massager and/or a foot spa to soothe them, but do they do the trick and are they worth the money?
There is a variety of machines on the market, from hand-held massagers to vibrating plates. Massagers are good for boosting your circulation and they also help to ease any swelling. The vibrating sensation can temporarily block pain signals to the brain, too. Take care if you have sores or significant swelling on your feet, however, as a massager could actually exacerbate your pain.
Good circulation helps to keep your cells healthy, boosts nerve and muscle function and lowers your blood pressure. Some massagers also apply heat to your feet, which has the same effect, whilst also soothing any soreness. Pressure on your feet can also reduce migraines and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Regular massage can improve the quality of your sleep.
Massagers can range in price. The cheapest are around £50; however, more deluxe models can be in the hundreds. Given that it’s the vibration and application of heat that does the work, it’s not always worth paying over the odds for a top of the range version. The cheaper models may need human energy to create vibration—such as a handheld roller ball type of massager—whereas more expensive ones will be electric and simply need plugging in.
Foot spas are great at providing relief and soothing the feet, but they may not offer the same stimulation as a massager, and it would be difficult to focus on any specific areas of the foot with a spa. The addition of warm water can bring extra relief and relaxation, however, and some foot spas contain rollers that can stimulate the bottom of your feet as you gently move them up and down.
Some people add Epsom salts to the water in their foot spas. The magnesium in Epsom salts release tension in your muscles and minerals from the salts can be absorbed via your skin.
Most foot spas cost around £35, with the more deluxe models reaching £170; the latter include jets that create a jacuzzi effect, which can further boost your circulation.
If you have neither an electronic massager nor spa to hand when your feet ache, you could appeal to your partner for help. Not only will it reduce your pain and discomfort, a foot massage can add another dimension to your relationship and increase intimacy (we can imagine many people reading this pulling a face at the thought of touching their partner’s feet!); believe it or not, some people use foot massages as part of their foreplay! There are many sensitive spots on your feet that can produce feelings of pleasure.
In summary, foot massagers and foot spas can be good items to have, the greatest benefits coming from regular use. The stimulation is what’s important, and it’s therefore not really worth paying more than the average price for the bells and whistles the deluxe models feature.