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Foot Massage and Reflexology Benefits


There are many research studies that have reported benefits from foot massage, reflexology, and acupressure. However, the quality of these research studies have varied greatly, and until these types of studies are done on large groups of people, it’s hard to say definitively what benefit, if any, foot manipulation has on health.

Overall, it is generally accepted that these therapies are able to provide some benefits and they have little to no side effects. Researchers are just not sure how the therapies work. Learn more about some of the conditions that can benefit from foot massage, reflexology, and acupressure.

Foot Ulcers

Trying to heal diabetic foot ulcers is often difficult and takes a lot of time. A research study found that compressed air massage decreased the time it took to heal diabetic foot ulcers. They suggest that it may work by improving local circulation and that it has the potential to be used to supplement standard surgical and medical treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

Cancer Patients

Patients dealing with cancer experience many changes to their bodies and minds. Massage, reflexology, and acupressure have been used as complementary therapies to traditional medical treatments in patients who have cancer. Many research studies have shown benefits such as decreased anxiety, pain intensity, nausea, vomiting and fatigue in patients who have cancer.

Post-Op Pain

After surgery, it is not uncommon for patients to have pain. Foot and hand massages were given to post-operative patients and the research study found that pain scores, heart rate, and respiratory rate decreased. It should be noted that the messages were given 1-4 hours after the patients took their pain medications, so this could have affected the results.

Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease is caused by the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to decreased blood flow. Acupressure has been shown to increase blood flow. A research study in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (decreased blood flow in their lower legs), showed that acupressure increased the blood flow in the patients’ lower legs.


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