- How can foot reflexology improve my health according to science?
- What are the benefits of using an electric foot massager?
- What aspects should be taken into account when choosing the ideal foot massager?
- How to use the electric foot massager to take advantage of all its benefits?
- F.A.Q: Frequently Asked Questions
More than 50% of the world's population go for massages on an ad hoc basis, to treat a specific ailment, in contrast to 11% of people who receive massages once a week as a preventive measure. If more people massaged their feet more frequently, the number of lower limb injuries would be lower.
And that's what this buying guide is all about - learn why you should get foot stimulation to avoid injuries that can affect your lifestyle. It's not a luxury, it's a health issue that will save headaches, downtime and money for expensive treatments.
How can foot reflexology improve my health according to science?
Also called reflex therapy and zone therapy, it involves the location, stimulation and monitoring of "reflex points" that connect the major organs of the body to the hands and feet. It originated at the end of the 20th century, at the height of the boom in oriental Chinese medicine.
It is related to acupuncture and acupressure, as it is based on a map where you find each trigger point that can be accessed to generate benefits from muscle relaxation to improved blood circulation.
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) estimates that in the US, massage is the second most used alternative to pharmaceuticals and that many sceptical people turn to massage when they cannot get relief from conventional treatments.
In turn, the University of Portsmouth, in England, established in a report that people have a 45% greater resistance to pain when they receive reflexology therapies. More than a secondary option, reflexology is already a daily part of millions of people around the world who turn to it to reduce muscular discomfort.
What are the benefits of using an electric foot massager?
Most electric massagers base their operation on reflex points located on the feet, so these devices are applicators of the principles of this ancient healing technique.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Reduces depression: It has been proven that cortisol levels are reduced with the use of electric massagers, this hormone is associated with stress, an emotional condition that is accelerated when suffering from depression. It is a chain of benefits just by turning on the electric massager.
- Relieves tension: conditions such as stress and muscle fatigue cause muscle tissue fibres and fascia to tighten to trigger trigger points that are often painful. The feet bear the full load of the body and suffer from the constant movements of people under stress.
- Reduces insomnia: when the body is more relaxed, the quality of sleep is likely to improve and the time of the REM (Rapid Eye Movements) phase, where the muscles are completely at rest, is increased. Even poor sleep puts people through a day of increased stress to which they have already been subjected.
- Detoxifies the body: during all physical activity, the body generates a quantity of waste compounds that must be expelled from the body to avoid feeling fatigued. Massage stimulates the purification of these compounds, which generally occurs during the cool-down phase of sports training.
- Improves the immune system: a good foot massage will increase the amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which help strengthen the body's natural defences against infections and bacteria that can alter muscle function. This is one of the benefits of massage that extends to the whole body.
- Increases circulation: either through heat or friction movements, the circulatory system reacts by dilating the blood vessels and veins that will allow better irrigation, which in turn will leave a greater amount of oxygen and nutrients to the muscle fibres.
- Balances the central nervous system: there are also neuromuscular reflex points in the feet that balance the central nervous system, which help to control the proprioceptive receptors of the skin. This is one of the benefits obtained with constant massages with massaging devices such as those offered on this website.
- Prevents plantar fasciitis: permanent physical demands, overweight and changes in sporting intensity cause the plantar fascia to overstretch and become irritated, which can lead to subsequent tears in this tissue. Although feet are sensitive to stimulation, you can start with gentle massage.
- It serves as an analgesic: by offering massages, the body emits a greater amount of endorphins that serve as natural analgesics to reduce the intensity of pain when there are minor injuries such as contractures. These massages are not recommended for more severe injuries such as sprains and fractures.
What aspects should be taken into account when choosing the ideal foot massager?
Before you buy a massager on the advice of someone inexperienced, we recommend you check out this quick guide to the features that every professional massager should have.
This is defined as the intensity and strength of the stimulation received by the feet. Most massagers stimulate by friction, i.e. rotation of heads located under the soles of the feet. A good electric device has several power levels, at least three intensities to first adapt the skin to the new sensory experience, then you can move on to higher powers.
Professional massagers offer several types of massage: heat application, friction stimulation and massage through heat packs that are activated to provide pressure on the feet. In addition to these functions, many of the existing models synchronise the types of massages, measure usage times and perfectly regulate the heat to avoid burns. The new models have LED displays that indicate the different functions of these electric devices.
The best choices of massagers are made of ABS plastic or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, which is a type of plastic that is highly resistant to shock and moisture. The base of the devices has anti-slip rubber, so you can sit comfortably without the risk of the device slipping. On the outside, the surface is easy to clean, so you don't have to worry about having a product stained or soiled by the type of use over time.
Open or closed
Actually, whether it is open or closed is not going to be a differential in the quality of the product, but it can be an indicator in the type of massage offered.
- Closed massagers have friction generating heads, heat emitters and air pockets that allow for a pressure massage, which mixed with high temperatures improves blood circulation.
- Open massagers usually allow for temperature adjustment and friction movements, an ideal combination if you are looking for a relaxing massage and to avoid injury to the myofascial tissue on the sole of the foot.
With or without heat effect
Definitely, the best massages are achieved with a controlled heat effect that, without burning the skin, increases the dilation of the vessels and veins, thus achieving a better recovery of tissues that are exhausted and injured by high physical and sporting demands. The electric devices use heat as thermotherapy that keeps muscles active, relaxes tensions and promotes muscle recovery, all within the reach of a single device and accessible to your pocket.
With or without water
The best massagers do not use steam or water to stimulate muscle fibres, only massage, pressure or heat stimulation is required for real benefits to the feet, legs and the rest of the body when it comes to improving blood flow.
In addition, the combination of electricity with water is a danger to the integrity of the foot and skin, which can be affected by possible electric shocks through short circuits. We recommend that you opt for equipment that does not use water or steam.
Battery or plug-in
While electric massagers used to be plugged directly into wall sockets, new models use rechargeable batteries that make them portable tools that you can use at work, at home and on the road.
On average, modern devices last between two and four hours of continuous use, which is more than enough time for your feet to receive good stimulation.
The massagers of 10 years ago were huge and heavy, cumbersome to carry from room to room in the same house, but modern equipment allows more freedom for people to take those benefits with them wherever they go. The models we offer on this website are completely light, and they are also open, so you will have at least two types of massages in each session you apply with these new, state-of-the-art devices.
How to use the electric foot massager to take advantage of all its benefits?
There are some recommendations that you should follow for a safe and effective use:
- Environment: despite what you may hear from your friends, it is not recommended to use these devices in humid environments such as baths and saunas, nor should you expose them to intense heat outdoors.
- Integrity: so that the massager always works properly, avoid discharging it completely so that the battery lasts longer, do not use it if water has fallen on it, make sure that all the components are dry before switching it on again.
- Time: a good massage should not last more than 10 minutes, although most of the devices already have intelligent cycles of use so that it turns off or changes massage mode when the times are met. This is a product created for inexperienced people.
- Regularity: you can use this massager once or twice a day, but you should try to take a break of one day so that the tissues can rest from the constant stimulation, this is a recommendation that any professional physiotherapist would give you.
- Quality: the important thing is that when you offer massages you do it in a space where you can do it calmly, without interruptions and with all the willingness to receive a good relaxing foot massage.