For those that want to find a way to treat PMS or symptoms of Menopause with foot massage, this might be your favorite article. There is more than just anecdotal evidence that massage can treat symptoms like tenderness, fatigue, discomfort, bloating, and even irritability, mood swings, and hormonal imbalance. As someone who may not experience all of these symptoms during PMS, the acute benefits of massage can still be worthwhile - stay tuned. For sufferers of these symptoms outside of PMS or (Peri-)Menopause, this article may still help assess foot massage as a realistic component to treatment.
Immature jokes about females needing foot massage during PMS, and men storing points away by performing said foot massages, aside, there is some truth to this concept. First of all Foot Massage feels amazing. Even if you’re a bit ticklish or have sensitive feet thanks to medical conditions, the right technique for foot massage can bring instant relief from pain and instant relaxation for just about anyone receiving the massage.
The real question then is whether or not there is scientific evidence that foot massage can improve quality of life, and treat acute symptoms during PMS, or Menopause.
Quickly it’s important for readers who aren’t 100% sure, that we specify the link between menopause and PMS. Generally speaking, this article is more about pre-menopause and PMS (premenstrual syndrome), rather than specifically menopause. In the stage of menopause, typical symptoms of PMS monthly will be reduced significantly, and generally ceases to exist. Every woman is different, and there are many cases where this does not happen by the book - in that case, there are some symptoms and quality of life benefits in that menopause stage.
Furthermore, other concerns can come along with menopause that can be treated effectively with a foot massage. Suffice it to say we should be able to cover several of these carryover symptoms in this article. Note: unfortunately, the scope of this article is not sufficient to discuss nuanced, or small occurrence topics surrounding this core topic. Several of the key clinical studies that address this topic, do talk about outlier situations, however.
Studies include the following:
Some benefits of foot massage for treating symptoms of PMS and other similar conditions
- Even over the counter medicine can be very hard to handle in the body - especially over the long-term, where many hundreds or thousands of doses of pain medicine can be detrimental to internal organs and gut culture - having an alternative is important for many. According to this clinical study, a viable alternative exists (you guessed it: foot massage). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208937/
- Tenderness occurs usually as a result of muscle fatigue, or inflammation for the most part. Massage can directly reduce both causes of that tenderness
- Foot massage has an immediate benefit on well-being and comfort/relaxation. This can be a big factor in reducing anxiety and irritability
Reflexology and why it matters for this topic
Most of the clinical studies that cite foot massage heighten the concept that reflexology was the focal point. Reflexology has its detractors, but you can find huge support anecdotally for it. Clinical studies throughout the years attempt to prove efficacy and are getting more thorough and not surprisingly to proponents of the techniques, the studies are overwhelmingly showing scientifically-backed success in treatment. It’s also been around far longer than Western medicine, and while it may not have provable science backing every facet of treatment, it is more than legitimized at this point.
What to do to start benefiting from these concepts
- Don’t hesitate to get a good foot massager. It’s going to save you valuable time and energy if you are self-soothing. It is also a workhorse that makes life much easier.
- Focus on the specific region of the foot that corresponds to the areas you feel need addressing. This may mean multiple reflexology points (for instance if you have abdominal cramping or headaches, they may require different pressure points)
- Identify key points for your specific symptoms, e.g.the middle of the bottom of the big toes (pituitary gland), or the small pocket behind and beneath the ankle bone, which corresponds to the ovaries.
- Recognize the overall value of whole foot massage if reflexology seems too complicated in your moment of need - any genuine attempt at putting specific pressure on the feet will have some value
- Consider utilizing further points of the body to alleviate other corresponding symptoms (e.g. ears and hands, etc.)