Lately I have seen many clients with swollen feet when they come to the clinic for Foot Reflexology.
This is usually taken care of with a nice season, but there are exercises you can do at home that will reduce swelling and improve range of motion in your feet and ankles.
A popular and easy exercise is the "Alphabet" rotations. Starting with the right foot, rotate your ankle in the form of all the letters of the alphabet. Picture your foot making "a,b,c,", through the whole alphabet. Once the right foot is done, do the same on the left foot. Then for fun, do it again with capital letters! It is easy and is great when sitting for long periods, especially on airplanes when feet can get swollen rather quickly.
This next exercise is for those who stand for a long time or walk a lot--walkers, joggers, athletes, Policemen, Firemen, restaurant servers , etc.
1. Stand, feet flat and parallel. Tighten. Abdominal, seat and thigh muscles and rise slowly to toes. Lower feet slowly to the floor. Repeat for a count of 8, slowly increasing the duration of the rise.
2. Lie back with feet up against a wall. Put them up as high as you comfortably can. Keep your arms at your side , close your eyes and start doing some slow, rhythmic breathing. Picture your breath going in and out, and picture the circulation in your feet revitalizing with each breath. Do this for three minutes.
3. Stand on one foot, lift the other off the floor and shake it loosely from the ankle down. Do not involve the entire leg in the shaking movement, only the foot. Continue shaking for one minute. Shift your weight and repeat with the other foot.
Of course, always keep in mind that a thorough Reflexology session is a wonderful way to keep all the blood flowing, for your feet and your body and soul!