Foot acupressure (more commonly referred to as reflexology) has been shown to help reduce foot pain, improve your circulation and even add strength to your feet and ankles.
Investing in an acupressure mat allows you to enjoy the treatment in the comfort of your own home.
In this article we’ll explore the research around the benefits of acupressure mats for foot pain and how the therapy can help you.
It’s important to mention that many of the findings are based on low-sample sizes and anecdotal evidence, such as lower reported pain scores.
However despite this, no-one can deny that the results are overwhelmingly positive!
One such piece of research, published in 2019, focused on children experiencing chronic or persistent foot pain.
102 patients were included in the study and asked to rate their discomfort.
Pain scores were significantly decreased after each reflexology session.
As an added benefit, their levels of anxiety were also reduced (you can read more about acupressure for anxiety here).
It was suggested that further research should be carried out to understand how significant the results were and how the therapy could be used in a wider setting.
Standing on an acupressure mat doesn’t just help foot conditions either!
That’s because, according to traditional Chinese medicine, there are certain areas of the foot that correspond with various organs within the body.
Foot health experts in the UK explain:
Foot reflexology is a “pressure therapy” and involves applying focused pressure to certain known reflex points located in the foot to cure or prevent disease.
Foot reflexology is based on the premise that our nerve zones or reflex points go from the bottom of our feet to the top of our head, encompassing all vital organs on the way.
One trial published in the Journal of Special Operations Medicine looked at the chronic pain of men and women in the military.
Points were stimulated in the feet corresponding to their pain sites, with a 43% reduction in pain recorded for the males and 41% for the females.
Researchers were able to reach the following conclusion:
There is evidence that reflexology is therapeutic for many conditions, to include sleep and anxiety, both of which can be comorbidity in the patient with chronic pain…
Currently research is limited on effects of reflexology in treating chronic pain, yet, like acupuncture, this is an inexpensive, reliable, teachable, and simple noninvasive treatment. Further studies are warranted.
If you’re wondering how to use an acupressure mat on your feet, then there are a few simple steps you can follow.
Aku, creators of the metal-spiked Aku Mat, offer this simple guidance to get the most from the treatment:
Slowly engage the mat and breath deeply as your entire body weight presses into the metal spikes.
The second you step on the mat you’ll feel energy rush up the legs. This is the most intense method of treatment.
Start with socks on, and slowly work your way up to bare feet.
Ready to give it a try?
After years of testing different brands, we’ve shortlisted the best acupressure mats on the market.
Your feet can thank us later!
- Bertrand, A. et al. (2019). Evaluation of efficacy and feasibility of foot reflexology in children experiencing chronic or persistent pain [Online]. Bulletin du Cancer. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0007455119302553 [Accessed 4 July 2023]. ↩
- Dr Foot (2023). Foot Reflexology [Online]. Available from: https://www.drfoot.co.uk/flex.htm [Accessed 4 July 2023]. ↩
- Kern, C. et al. (2018). The Benefits of Reflexology for the Chronic Pain Patient in a Military Pain Clinic. [Online]. Journal of Special Operations Medicine. Available from: https://europepmc.org/article/med/30566732 [Accessed 4 July 2023]. ↩