I’ve been having massages every week now for about 7 years. I’m really lucky as I live and work in the Kingdom of Thailand where you can get a relaxing 2 hour massage for as little as $6. The price is double that if you go to the tourist hot spots but is still unbelievable value for money and very beneficial. Any kind of massage is relaxing, but to get the full benefits from a good massage, you have to endure a little pain and discomfort on certain parts of the body, but the result of that is a feeling of unbelievable calmness at the end of your session.
I used to just go for Thai traditional massage, but the last couple of years I’ve really taken a preference to the foot massage. The foot massage is considered as a method of healing throughout the Asia region and particularly in South East Asia where it is used on both adults and children.
Foot massage and reflexology work along the same principles as acupuncture. What I mean by that, is that there are certain areas or points on the foot which correspond with other areas of the body, and by skilfully massaging each of these parts of the foot, the masseur may be working on your liver, kidney, colon, and stomach, etc. If you walk down the high streets of Thailand and Cambodia, you will see big signs outside the massage shops which display diagrams of the feet. These diagrams highlight the different areas of the foot and show which other body parts they correspond to. It’s really quite interesting.
To be honest though, I’m not convinced that by putting pressure on these points have any real healing capabilities, but what I do know is that a good foot massage is really a very relaxing experience.
Even within the countries that practice foot massage as a ‘healing’ therapy, there is no concrete evidence to back up the claims. This doesn’t stop folks from believing though, and anything that makes you feel good, relaxed, serene etc, can only be good for your body and mind in general. It’s the opposite to stress so there has to be benefits. Many say that reflexology can help to rid the body of harmful toxins, even help with your circulation, perk up all bodily functions and some even claim it can improve the mind. A professionally trained foot reflexologist can supposedly diagnose any current or potential health problems just by massaging your feet.
Everyone’s feet are different and a foot massage can be really painful for some folks. The masseur doesn’t always know if you’re hurting so it’s important to say so if you experience excruciating pain. A little ache and discomfort should be expected, but never think you have to sit through a torturous session just to get the benefits, because you don’t.
For me, a foot massage simply melts away the stresses of the day. As I get older, I appreciate my weekly foot massages more than ever before. Sometimes, when I’m not in a rush, I’ll take a 2 hour foot massage and follow it with a 90 minute Thai massage. That’s what a call a real pampering but what the heck, I’m in a place where I can afford to do it.
I think it’s only a matter of time now before the ancient practice of foot massage hits the United States and Europe. If I were in the west, I would probably be putting my entrepreneurial hat on and setting up shop before the competition heats up. Hmm! Now there’s an idea.
Andy Maingam is a proficient writer for OrientalCures dot com where he has articles on Acupuncture School and a Cure for Snoring! . He also has many other cure related pieces on the site.