You know the feeling: After a long day, you just want to sit down and get off your feet. Giving your feet some extra attention, though, can help your whole body feel better. Your feet are linked to just about every part of your body, specifically your solar plexus and heart. Many methods of foot stimulation can help you feel healthier and more energized, but even the right area rug underfoot can activate energy zones throughout your body.
Shag: Wriggling your toes in a shag rug refreshes you and decreases stress because under-toe stimulation releases serotonin, a brain chemical that reduces anxiety. After a long day at work, take off your shoes and socks and work the textures of the rug between your toes. If you're feeling particularly stressed, do this a few times a day. Sunlight also helps increase serotonin levels, so place your rug near a window; then sit back, relax, and enjoy the sunshine while you stimulate your toes.
Jute and sisal: These thick, cord-like natural fibers are perfect for stimulating the balls of your feet, which, in turn, increases blood flow. If you feel drained, stimulating the balls of your feet on a jute rug or sisal rug will instantly refresh you. Start by gently applying pressure and rub your feet on the rug in a circular motion. For a maximum benefits, apply as much pressure as possible, alternating between feet to give full concentration to the ball area. The increased blood flow will help take oxygen to your vital organs, increasing energy and endurance.
Memory foam: One of the hardest things on your body, from your feet to your knees and back, is impact from hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt. Even a tiled kitchen floor or hardwood living room can cause undue stress to your feet and joints. If you're required to stand on a hard surface for an extended period of time, consider investing in a rug with a memory foam layer to help absorb impact and stress. By the end of the day, you'll feel significantly less fatigued.
Textured: Applying pressure to the arch of your foot can help reduce body aches. To release pain, try rocking your feet on a thickly textured rug, making sure the arch of your foot gets the most attention. This will release pain-suppressing endorphins to reduce aches and give you more energy. Use this method after working out or a long day on your feet at work. This is also a good method to reduce pain from wearing high heels.
Wool: A wool rug can help ease -- and prevent -- foot irritation. The natural wax-like coating of the fibers draws moisture from the rug's surroundings, and excess moisture is a common cause of itchy, irritated feet. At the end of the day, or after a long workout, spend some time with your bare feet on a wool rug to help prevent excess moisture from sitting on your skin. In addition to wool's wicking power, the rough texture of a thick-knit wool rug is the perfect way to help alleviate itchy feet.