There’s no question that our feet take quite the beating from day to day. We typically take them for granted until something goes wrong, like breaking a foot after a fall or that terrible feeling when a toe collides with a piece of furniture. Otherwise, our feet usually go unnoticed as they continue carrying us through each day, and this makes their health another important piece of our overall wellness.
You see, our wellness toolbox, so to speak, is filled with an array of seemingly simple tips and tricks that, when put together, add up to a healthier, better feeling you. Just like mindfulness and meaningful exercise, the care and keeping of our feet is another small, but effective way to improve our health — and it has an impact on both of these practises.
Treat Your Feet with a Foot Spa
While a hot soak in the tub is certainly soothing for body and mind, there are many benefits to investing in an actual foot spa. These machines range in price, design, and special features, but all offer a host of benefits that may surprise you.
Foot Spas Increase Circulation
Most foot spas involve some degree of vibration and/or massage, which stimulates an increase in circulation throughout the feet. The heat of the foot spa also increases circulation. Good quality circulation is important for all aspects of your physical health. While physical activity is an ideal way to boost your circulation, a foot spa is another addition to your health regimen that can make a difference.
Foot Spas Help with Injury Healing and Prevention
If you’re a runner or participate in other high-impact sports, foot spas give your feet ample time and space to rest and recover. Proper recovery from activity is a key way to avoid injury. If you’re already injured, a foot spa can potentially provide healing heat to reduce soreness and reduce distress. Of course, you’ll want to be gentle when using the bath with an injury, particularly when it comes to any massage aspect of the machine. Don’t continue to use the machine if you experience pain, or play around with the features so that the bath is only interacting gently with your foot.
Foot Spas Can Help Manage Certain Medical Conditions
Foot spas have been shown to provide benefit for people with a variety of conditions that can affect people, including arthritis, the painful condition plantar fasciitis, and even diabetes. Foot spas also make a difference for people with arch differences or who are prone to calluses, as they reduce pain and soften the feet.
As always, make sure your GP gives you the go-ahead before incorporating a foot spa alongside your prescribed pain management therapies, but these devices have shown to be considerably helpful. With diabetes, for instance, the boost in circulation that is received from a foot spa can potentially be extremely beneficial for the body. For people with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of a thick tissue band that runs across the bottom of your foot and is common amongst people who spend a lot of time on their feet, a foot spa can provide welcome massage for the pain.
Foot Spas Decrease Stress and Promote Positive Mental Health
Many foot spas provide a small case or other way for you to add essential oils that have been shown to benefit mental wellness. Oils such as jasmine, lavender, and ylang ylang are just a few of the oils that have been studied for their potential to calm and relax. You can also often add salts, such as Epsom, which is actually magnesium, and a vital mineral for stress reduction, as well as for pain. Other oils, such as peppermint oil, can be helpful for reducing inflammation. Be sure to closely follow the directions included with the foot spa of your choice, and to read descriptions thoroughly before purchasing.
As you experience your foot spa, you might consider using this time to practise aspects of mindfulness, focusing on the feeling of the warm water or the vibrations against your feet. You may also choose to read, another meditative activity. All of this will have the added result of reducing your blood pressure and calming your mind.
Other Tips and Tools for Feet Care
After your foot spa, you may also choose to carefully use a pumice stone or other product to exfoliate your feet, particularly if you tend to suffer from calluses. This would be a great time to apply your weleda arnica massage oil or similarly healthy lotion, and give your feet one final pressing. Many foot spas will come with a foot care kit, such as a toe nail brush, nail clippers, and even a stone. This entire experience can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Make sure to follow all instructions regarding the operation of your foot spa, particularly in regards to its cleanliness. The last thing you want is for your relaxing foot spa to become a breeding ground for infection. Your foot spa should come with instructions for properly cleaning and maintaining the device.
Achieving a Physical and Mental Health Balance
Wellness isn’t focusing on any one part of the body or mind. Wellness includes everything from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, and tending to that which carries you through your days can result in a happier, healthier you. Don’t forget about other important parts of foot care, too, like replacing shoes when they are worn. This is especially important for runners, as wearing shoes that are worn-out can result in injury.
Have you given thought to splurging on a foot spa this year? Are you surprised to learn of the benefits that come simply from respecting our feet? Share in the comments and on Facebook, where you can learn more about my tried and true techniques for mind and body wellness, as well as stay up-to-date as I prepare to launch my upcoming mindfulness book.