After a hard day on your feet at work, play, shopping, waiting in lines or running back and forth doing errands, your feet will surely be aching and possibly swollen. There is a statistic out there that states that 40% of Americans suffer from foot problems. This is particularly true for ladies who wear high heels, or men who wear uncomfortable businesslike shoes. Do you have to suffer? Absolutely not! Help is on the way.
The first piece of advice is to wear shoes that are comfortable and fit well. That way you can, perhaps, avoid the problem of stiff, swollen, achy feet in the first place. But, if you still come home with throbbing, swollen feet, the first thing that you should do is get into comfortable clothing, and find a comfortable place to sit, so you can have your feet in the hot water for as long as possible. Get some reading material like a magazine or a good book, so that you won’t be totally bored. Or just set up your gear in front of the television, so that you can watch your favorite program while you relax. Draw some hot water into the bathtub or into a large basin. Make the water as hot as you can possibly stand it, but not to the point of burning (be careful here, because you may not even realize how hot the water is before you have already burned yourself). Once you have set everything up, add some sea salt, lavender essential oil, mustard powder, peppermint essential oil, vinegar, fresh ginger pulp, sage leaves, or any other soothing herb or essential oil that you may have around the house. Then, sit down and carefully put your feet into the hot water, taking great care that you do not burn yourself. Keep a thermos of hot water sitting next to you in case your footbath water cools down a bit. Whenever you notice that the water is getting cool, just add hot water, until it’s nice again. Then, sit and relax!
If you are lucky enough to have someone around to massage your feet for you (whether it be a professional foot therapy like reflexology, or a friend or family member) then do take advantage of the opportunity. You can easily make your own fantastic massage oil by blending together olive oil and a few drops of almost any essential oil that you may have on hand, particularly lavender, peppermint, marjoram, tea tree, eucalyptus, sandalwood, rosemary (which is great for the swelling too), or any other nice smelling essential oil, cream or lotion. But, you don’t need to have any oil or cream for a good foot treatment, and reflexologists don’t normally use anything, preferring to keep the feet dry so the various pressure points can be more easily concentrated on.
If one or both of your feet hurt in an inordinately severe manner, you might have something else wrong, and you should definitely check into it, because you might be suffering from something more serious that simply aching feet. There are many people who have a certain type of severe pain around the base of their toes. This pain is especially excruciating when wearing tight shoes, walking for long distances, dancing, or doing any action that required the front of the foot to be compressed. This problem is called “Morton’s Neuroma” (when the nerves in the base of a toe become surrounded and pressure is put on them), and is not normally not debilitating, but sometimes requires surgery. (I actually suffer from this problem, and you can easily live with it if you are careful). You may also suffer from gout, rheumatism, or arthritis (which can all be confirmed by a blood test normally), or any number of other ailments, even blood clots (if you suffer from this, your leg (or legs) will be painful, hot, and swollen). So, if you are suffering from an acute or chronic type of foot pain that doesn’t go away when you soak or massage it, do see a conventional medical practitioner or an alternative specialist to be sure that you aren’t suffering from anything serious.
Acupuncture is another option that many people have had success with when dealing with aching feet. Magnetic therapy has also been showed to be fairly successful as well, although not everyone benefits in the same way in this respect. Walking on hot stones is a popular treatment right now as well.
The fact is that there are multitude ways of making your feet feel better, and when your feet feel better your whole body feels better. After all, isn’t it true that your feet are carrying all the weight of your entire body? So, don’t just sit and suffer in silence when there are so many different solutions to your problem. Do something about it and feel great right away!