5 reasons deep winters call for a good foot massage every night
In the midst of a full-blown winter, it is hard to miss that this is the season when vata dosha (combines air and ether elements) tends to dominate bringing with it signature dryness, roughness, dehydration, and cold. But did you know regular foot massages or padabhyanga can really go a long way in managing excess vata and vata-related illnesses during the winter months?
An Ayurvedic foot massage has been mentioned in the ancient classical texts, to be included as part of dinacharya or daily routine for living a healthy, happy, and long life.
1. Unctuous and warm
Applying herb-infused oil like Shankara’s Nourishing Foot Oil, which has been formulated specifically keeping in mind the needs of our gentle feet, contributes to overall well-being and brings a quality of balance and unctuous warmth in the midst of a very dry winter.
Shankara’s Nourishing Foot Oil comes with the calming, rejuvenating and healing goodness of over two dozen rare warming and hydrating herbs and plants including manjista, neem, lavender, clove, ginger, camphor, tea tree, peppermint, jojoba oil, kukui nut oil, sesame, and sunflower oleic oil, among others.
2. Marma points in the feet
Marma points, as defined by Sage Sushruta-one of the most revered proponents of Ayurveda-are locations in the body where muscles, veins, bones, ligaments, and joints meet. They are points where you find access to mind, consciousness, and body. To balance the three doshas or humor, you need to work the marma points. This is particularly important in winter because marma therapy deals with prana or life force, which is governed by vata dosha, which dominates during winter. By working with these marma points, seasoned experts are able to iron out blockages or imbalances in the flow of prana or energy in the body, thereby revitalizing your body and mind. Our feet have five such marma points that are connected to the functioning of various organ systems, that get gently activated when you massage them in a certain fashion.
These five marma points are-
Kshipra Marma- associated with heart, lungs, and lymphatic system
Talahridaya Marma- connected with respiration and circulation. This one supports the immune system
Kurcha Marma- connected with Prana Vayu, digestion, the flow of prana for sensory experiences, and eyesight
Kurchashira Marma- has a say on the muscular system and bodily posture
Gulpha Marma- this is associated with joint movements, fat, reproductive systems and bones, vata circulation, movement of the feet, and joint lubrication.
3. Local benefits
A regular foot massage also helps keep your soles happy, supple, soft; prevents stiffness, roughness; reduces pain; helps remove flaky skin and excess waste from the skin in the sole and ankle.
4. Reduces stress
An Ayurvedic foot massage helps you reduce stress both locally as well as in the body; helps reduce fatigue, especially if you are someone who deals with a foot-related occupational hazard for example in the field of performance arts, athletics, and sports, among others.
5. Better sleep
With increasing levels of psychological stress and digital exposure, a lot of people struggle to fall asleep right after their heads hit the pillow. Many wellness experts suggest it is a good idea to have a 2-minute foot massage ritual every night before going to bed. Here’s how you can do it. In fact, studies suggest that foot massages and related therapies can be made a part of elderly health programs to help improve their sleep quality.
Some of the other miscellaneous benefits of a good Ayurvedic foot massage include:
- Supports good eyesight and hearing
- Helps deal with sciatica by enhanced blood circulation
- Keeps foot diseases, stiffness, cramps, and muscle contraction at bay.
- Calming for the mind and relaxing for the body
- Reduces fatigue in the lower part of the body.
- Improves metabolism, and may prevent the onset of degenerative disorders.
Foot massages should be avoided if you have
- Coma that has been caused by the presence of toxins in the system
- Infection of the blood
- Digestive problems
- Sensitive skin condition
- If your health provider so recommends.