The southern heat is officially underway as summer has arrived. This means we all look forward to barbecues and pool days ahead in the sizzling sun. The summer heat can be a real problem for most of us, in our feet and ankles. This extreme heat causes our bodies to be less efficient at removing fluid from the tissues. High temperatures can cause fluid retention, causing us to swell. Our bodies’ mechanism to cool down is swelling. Although, swelling is usually temporary, swollen feet can be very uncomfortable.
Extreme Heat Causes Swollen Feet
Swollen feet and ankles are no fun to say the least. Achy feet from pressure caused by heat, we would all rather avoid, but most of us suffer from at some point. Swollen feet and ankles that are caused from extreme heat is referred to as heat edema. Heat edema occurs when the blood vessels in your feet widen from prolonged sitting or standing. This causes pools of fluid to build up around the ankles and feet from gravity. Many women experience the discomforts of edema during pregnancy, especially during the summer months.
Benefits of Soaking Your Feet in Epsom Salt
A great and easy way to relieve this discomfort in your ankles and feet is with a foot soak in Epsom mineral salt. Soaking your swollen feet in Epsom salt reduces the inflammation because of the essential mineral “magnesium sulfate” that is found in the salt. Inflammation can cause a depletion of magnesium, so your body will absorb the magnesium from the soak, which reduces the swelling and pressure. Also, to help alleviate some pressure opt for shoes that have more support. For example flat shoes will help prevent swelling from occurring, and look for styles that offer arch and ankle support, which will prevent and relieve conditions such as arch and heel pain.
Reflexology Massage and Cool Aromatherapy Benefits
Another great treatment to help reduce swelling and discomfort is a soothing, and relaxing reflexology massage. A foot massage session starts with an Epsom salt mineral foot soak, then a reflexologist massages and stimulates acupressure points in the feet, which can reduce- if not eliminate, swelling completely by the end of a one-hour session. The stimulated pressure points boost circulation to help relieve the swelling. Reflexology encourages better blood flow in the lower extremities. In addition to beating the heat, and make your experience a little more “cool” (literally), consider adding cold aromatherapy. Cold aromatherapy consists of a cold eye pillow and neck wrap, which are filled with a lovely, lightly scented, 12 herb blend that can really cool you down, and help soothe your senses.
No matter what your summer plans are beating the heat should be a priority. Making sure you stay cool and well hydrated is key. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times when participating in outdoor activities to avoid dehydration. Avoid prolonged sitting or standing in the scorching heat to avoid swelling.
If you do find yourself suffering from swollen ankles and feet this summer, and have never had reflexology, I encourage you to give it try.
Book your appointment here www.yourfootpalace.com and relieve the pain and aches from the hot Athens weather.