The Japanese bamboo foot massager has been used in Japan for centuries as a highly effective reflexology tool for holistic maintenance of the body’s health and for quick relief of chronic sore feet. In this article, I will give you some background on the history of this unique massage tool, explain how it is used, and tell you what benefits you can expect from using it yourself.
History of Bamboo Foot Massager
The Japanese bamboo foot massager is called “aodake-fumi” in Japanese, or “takefumi” for short. The literal meaning of “takefumi” is bamboo step, or step on bamboo. And in fact, that’s exactly what this foot massage tool is.
During Japan’s Edo period, citizens except for the military were not allowed to own horses, and of course cars had not yet been invented. Therefore, virtually all travel was done on foot.
The takefumi is said to have originated when a wandering samurai had an inspiration to chop a piece of bamboo in half and step on it in order to sooth his sore, aching feet.
Since then, use of the takefumi has spread throughout Japan to this present day, to the extent that it is far and away the most popular foot massage tool in Japan. In fact, visit almost any Japanese household, and you can expect to find one!
How it is Used
In contrast to the many complicated foot massage tools and machines on the market today, the popularity and effectiveness of the takefumi lies in its utter simplicity.
This massage tool is simply a half piece of bamboo that is perfectly shaped and arched to give the soles of the feet a fantastic massage simply by stepping gently on it.
To get an idea of how it works, think about stretching your back across one of those big stability balls used in gyms and home fitness. The shape and firmness of this ball give your back a much-needed stretch and thankfully relieves your spine of the pressure it endures day after day, providing instant therapeutic back pain relief.
The takefumi works much the same way. Think about it for a moment from a holistic perspective. Most of us spend the equivalent of decades of our lives on our feet, with our feet shouldering the entire weight of our bodies day after day. As we get older, our feet begin to grow weary from this daily burden, resulting, for many of us, in chronic sore, aching feet.
The shape and hardness of the bamboo provides a perfectly arched surface that gives the feet just the stretch and massage they need by providing resistance upward against the pressing weight of our bodies, much in the same way as the stability ball strech works on the back, providing instant relief from sore foot pain.
In the same way that you only need to stretch across a stability ball for a couple minutes a day in order to enjoy quick and instant relief of back pain, a minute or two a day of stepping on the takefumi is all that you need for quick foot pain relief and daily foot therapy and maintenance.
Benefits of Japanese Foot Massage
Benefits to be enjoyed by using the takefumi for just a couple minutes a day include instant relief of foot soreness, release of stress and tension stored in the feet, improved blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, assistance in the elimination of harmful bodily toxins, stimulation of the pressure points of the feet that extend to the body’s organs, and an increased state of relaxation resulting in an improved overall sense of well being.