Foot massage is believed to benefit the body by lowering stress levels and inspiring a sense of well-being. Foot massage improves blood flow to various organs, softens tense muscles, decreases anxiety and helps eliminate feelings of nausea. The practices of foot massage, acupressure and reflexology are used to treat post-operative patients and people with cancer, multiple sclerosis and circulation problems.
About.com notes that foot massage can decrease the healing time for foot ulcers and improve symptoms related to peripheral artery disease. Women who incorporate foot massage into their daily routines experience improvements in their menopausal symptoms, as well as a decrease of any feelings of depression. Foot massage can also improve systolic blood pressure levels and bolster the immune system. One English study shows that reflexology helps treat phantom limb pain in amputee patients when performed on the remaining foot.
Mayo Clinic warns that massage may not be suitable for people with deep vein thrombosis or take blood thinners. Very rarely, massage can cause nerve damage or internal bleeding. Some people may also experience an allergic reaction to lotions, creams or oils used during massage sessions. If a massage feels uncomfortable or painful, Mayo Clinic recommends stopping the session and consulting a doctor.