Acupressure. Massage. Reflexology.
These are terms that sometimes go hand-in-hand when it comes to alternative forms of medicine and pain relief. However, acupressure, massage and reflexology actually stem from different philosophical and anatomical understandings. Deep tissue massage is a form of massage that utilizes the principles of massage but in a much more focused and sustained manner. Knowing the pressure points in your feet and how they interact with other areas of the body can help you find pain relief, improved circulation, and better overall health.
WHAT IS DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE?
Let’s start by discussing trigger points – what they are, where they are found, and how they affect sensations in the body. These points often feel like tight, strained, sensitive areas in the muscle fibers that can cause radiating pain. They are actually small areas of muscle that continually contract. This is sometimes called a cramp or a ‘Charley horse.” With time and lack of treatment, such areas become fibrosed and cease to function normally at all.
You can alleviate pain with applied and targeted pressure as an alternative form of medicine for these areas of contractile and painful muscle.
By pressing key points in the body that promote healing and relief, relaxation and release of these fibrosed muscle regions is accomplished. This can improve circulation, take away pain and tension, and even improve your sense of calm.
Also, the entire muscle group will function on a better level without the un-coordinated and painful efforts of the triggers.
While applying pressure and circular motion to these trigger points can relieve tension in the direct area, it can also cause reciprocal disinhibition of surrounding and antagonist muscle groups. By lessening constant and painful tension in one area of a muscle group, fascial connections can relieve pain anywhere along a body line. Additionally, these trigger points are also sometimes related to other areas of the body by way of these fascial lines or by way of meridians.
For example, pressing the nerves between the first and second toes (the big toes and second toe) and between the fourth and fifth toes (the fourth toe and pinky toe) can promote endorphin release that aids in pain relief and relaxation. The latter is a principle of acupressure. Acupressure utilizes deep and sustained tissue massage but is focused on taking advantage of energy flows in the body via ‘meridians.’ This is a bit much for today’s discussion, but keep it in mind.
HOW CAN YOU USE THIS AT HOME?
How can this benefit your foot pain? First, think of it as a form of massage. Gently work on the areas of pressure and tension in the feet with firm squeezing, circular, or elongating motions. This can help to work out muscle pain. Begin with soft and shallow motions and as the foot muscles begin to respond, and then allow more pressure and longer sustained massage to happen.
You may wish to use tools if your hand strength is not good. Our traditional tennis ball stretch is a great option for pain relief. While sitting in a chair, rest one foot flat on the floor and the other on top of a tennis ball. Press down gently and roll the tennis ball from the toes to the heel, feeling it stretch the arch and relieve tightness. As you are able to tolerate more deep work, change the ball to a lacrosse ball and then to a golf ball.
Here is a great massage that will alleviate pain in your arch and your lower back:
- Begin with your legs crossed.
- Hold your foot in your hands with your four fingers on the top of your foot and your thumbs on the inner arch of the foot.
- With firm pressure – but not enough to cause pain – slowly move your thumbs from the heel to the toes to stretch out the tension.
- Mix up the pattern by moving your thumbs together, alternating their movements, or even moving them from heel to toe in a walking pattern.
Don’t forget to use a lotion or special pain relief cream like our Foot Pain Relief Cream to make the massage easier, more luxurious, and even more effective.
There are many trigger point release moves and focused foot massages that you can perform on the feet that help more than just your feet, from your gallbladder and kidneys to general anxiety. We recommend researching more options and consulting with your personal physician to find the right forms of deep tissue massage for you!
FOOT MASSAGE ON-THE-GO
Okay. This may be a stretch to say that our footwear feels exactly like getting a foot massage. At The Healing Sole, we promote natural methods of active relief, including getting foot massages for their pain-relieving and detoxifying benefits. Whether you go to a spa, have a loved one treat you to some TLC, or you massage them yourself, the kneading and stretching sensations of massage can benefit both the mind and the body.
As for The Healing Sole, you can easily find some of these same benefits on the go by wearing our surgeon-designed footwear as you walk, stand, or run your daily errands. Our footwear brings together features that work to stretch the feet, alleviate stress on the feet and legs, and strengthen your muscles during wear. This helps to actively relieve pain without having to lose a minute during your day to focus on pain relief.
In addition to our footwear, you can utilize our Pain Relief Foot Cream for added relief! Apply some of this product to your fingers and massage into the feet, focusing on the areas that feel especially tense or painful. The active ingredients in this cream will sink readily into the skin, jumping into action to relieve pain while the pressure applied by your fingers works out surface-level sensitivity.
If you are ready to find the benefits of massage with our products, order today!