Aromatherapy Tips For Healthy Feet
Despite spending hours and hours every year applying luxurious beauty treatments to our faces, necks and hands, have you ever noticed how our poor old feet are lucky to get more than a quick toe-nail clip or lick of nail varnish?
Given the tremendous pounding that our feet have to take every day, it is genuinely surprising that we do not lavish much more care and attention on keeping feet healthy.
Few people realise how important it is to look after their feet properly until they develop a painful condition, and by then of course it can be too late because the damage has been already done. Foot problems can range from dry, cracked skin to athlete’s foot, or to more serious conditions that may be an indicator of a serious illness such as diabetes, so it’s important to know how to care for feet properly and avoid unnecessary foot-related problems. Everyone needs healthy feet!
Lack of support
If left untreated, problems with your feet can have a devastating effect on your overall health since it can result in bad posture and poor circulation if they are not corrected quickly. And it doesn’t end there. Bad posture can then lead to pain in the knees, lower back, and even the neck if left untreated. Remember that in the body, every part is connected to something else, and this is why a problem with the feet can eventually lead to pain in the back. Healthy feet support a healthy body.
A lack of structural foot support can also lead to lower back pain, headaches, and of course fallen arches which may cause problems in the ankles and knees in later life if left untreated. When you have fallen arches your ankles and knee joints tend to rotate inwardly out of alignment, a condition known as over-pronation which can lead to displacement of the patella (knee cap). And when the legs rotate inwards this forces the pelvis to tilt forward resulting in constant strain and stress on the lower back muscles.
Treat your feet
It doesn’t matter whether you enjoy walking, playing golf, or sports activities, adults and children of any age can benefit from a foot and leg massage using the essential oils that relax tired, aching muscles and improve the body’s circulation. And nothing beats soaking your feet in a nice hot footbath with the right essential oils, since it really does work wonders to ease aches and pains and refresh your tired tootsies.
Stimulating essential oils such as peppermint, spearmint, rosemary or eucalyptus are perfect to enjoy in a relaxing and reviving footbath after a busy day. These essential oils will refresh and soothe your aching feet by stimulating the circulatory system and soaking away the stresses and strains of daily life, leaving your feet feeling fresh, revitalized and glowing. Just add one drop each of peppermint, lavender and rosemary to a warm footbath, and soak away the stressful day. Another small step towards healthy feet!
If you prefer a foot massage, add one drop each of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender to a carrier oil or lotion and enjoy the full benefit that massage delivers. When you have really overdone things and your feet are sore and painful, try adding essential oils of black pepper, roman chamomile, sweet marjoram or lemongrass to your chosen carrier.
Gently massage the soles of the feet in a small, circular motion to bring them welcome, blissful relief. Or better still, get your partner to do this for you! If they are not too enthusiastic about the idea just treat them to a nice foot massage first, – once they have enjoyed the experience themselves they will be more than willing to exchange foot massages with you!
The soles of the feet are well supplied with nerve endings and reflex points which reflexologists believe correspond to various organs and systems of the body, and experienced aromatherapists often use reflexology as both a diagnostic tool and treatment when working with clients. So you can see how gentle massage not only soothes your aching feet, but it also improves the function of certain glands and internal organs bringing a benefit to the entire body.
Swift and sweet relief
Soothing and cooling hydrosols also bring sweet relief to weary, over-heated and tired feet. In fact, nothing beats the instant refreshing, uplifting and toning effect of eucalyptus, rosemary or peppermint hydrosol when sprayed onto overheated, sore feet . Having said that, luxurious rose hydrosol is my favourite – not because it is particularly effective, but just because it smells so lovely! If you’ve really overdone things, try our popular Foot Ease Synergy in a lotion base or footbath to soothe and cool your tired tootsies.
Tea tree essential oil makes an excellent all-round foot-care treatment since it has powerful antiseptic and antifungal properties that used regularly will keep your feet hygienically clean and healthy. It is one of the very best essential oils for treating athlete’s foot, and when blended with cypress essential oil it is particularly useful if the man in your life suffers from sweaty feet. Of all the available essential oils used in aromatherapy, tea tree is the one most suited for all-round foot maintenance and is highly recommended in your quest for healthy feet.
Other essential oils noted for their antifungal properties include palmarosa, myrrh and tagetes, which are all great for treating athlete’s foot. Together with with tea tree, these essential oils can be used in either a foot bath or a carrier lotion treatment, just remember to be certain that the feet are dried thoroughly after a foot bath, particularly between the toes.
It’s vital when treating this condition that attention is paid to the toenails, and ensure that your tights or socks are changed regularly because the minute fungus can sometimes lodge under the nails and then develop into a re-infection.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2013. Written by Sue Charles