There is growing scientific evidence for the health benefits of massage.
A studyTrusted Source found that when integrated into acute care, massage therapy may help a person:
- deal with physical and mental health challenges
- experience less pain
- manage emotions
Research from 2018 found that the use of hand and foot massage in clinical settings can reduce anxiety and improve vital signs for patients.
Also, a 2016 review suggested that healthcare professionals recommend massage therapy over no treatment as a pain management option.
Foot massage vs. reflexology
Reflexology is an alternative therapy that involves putting pressure on specific parts of the foot. It is not the same as a regular foot massage.
Advocates of reflexology believe that putting pressure on the foot can heal unrelated problems elsewhere in the body.
There is anecdotal evidence that reflexology can be soothing, but researchers noteTrusted Source that many systematic reviews have found little strong evidence to support its effectiveness.
Even if scientific evidence does not support reflexology, the practice can be relaxing, as it is a form of foot massage.