Why is a Foot Massage essential?
Your feet do considerable hard work every day. At busy times, they work even harder, for instance, during shopping, get-togethers with family, friends & co-workers, and school events. As such, there are plenty of reasons for feet ache – standing too long, walking excessively, poorly fitted shoes or minor injuries.
A good foot massage can be an effective healer – apply just a small quantity of massage oil to your feet to stretch and soothe the feet muscles, so that the pain-inducing swelling subsides. An oil massage thus helps improve blood and lymph flow, stretch muscles, and also make the feet more flexible. Alternatively, you can also heal your feet by pressing on tender spots in your feet, while stretching them. This method is known as a trigger-point massage.
Hence a foot massage is absolutely essential, in terms of improving circulation, stimulating muscles, alleviating tension, and often soothing pain. It also gives you an opportunity to examine your feet for any untoward developments of blisters, bunions (a painful swelling on the first joint of the big toe), corns (a small, painful area of thickened skin on the toes, caused by pressure), and toenail problems.
Foot Massage Pressure Points
The left foot is connected to the left side of your body, while the right foot corresponds to the right side. However, certain organs correspond specifically to one area of one foot. Here is a guide for feet massage pressure points:
- The big toes correspond to the brain, and the region just below the toes is connected to your eyes, ears and neck.
- The inside of the foot is connected to your spine.
- The area beneath the toes controls your chest region and organs, and a pressure point one inch below all the toes except the big toe is connected to the lungs.
- The narrowest region of the foot (near the center of the foot) corresponds to the waistline, and the organs in the torso can be linked to the regions that are above or below this part of the foot.
- The mid-section of the foot corresponds to the liver, and this section on the left foot is connected to the stomach.
- The region above the center of the foot corresponds to the small intestine.
- The heel corresponds to the pelvis, buttock, and sciatic (relating to the hip) nerve areas.
Do-it-yourself Foot Massage
A professional foot massage is certainly a treat, but you can easily save the monetary expenditure and still get the benefits of a foot massage by doing it all by yourself.
Here are the steps of a do-it-yourself foot massage:
- While being seated in a comfortable chair, bend your left leg. Then rest your left foot gently on your right thigh.
- Rub some skin lotion or oil gently into your foot. Now massage your entire foot including the toes, arch, and heel.
- Then go for a deeper massage. Press the knuckles of your right hand into your left foot and knead your foot just as you would knead bread. Alternatively, hold a foot with both hands and press your thumbs into the skin. Use your hands to gently pull the toes back and forth or apart. This technique works both on the skin and muscles. Repeat the technique on the other foot.
- Massage devices available in local medical stores can also help relax and restore your feet. For instance, foot rollers are low-tech devices that can provide quick foot massages at home or at work. You need to simply remove your shoes, and roll your feet over these massagers for quick relief.
How to give somebody else a Foot Massage?
Offer somebody a foot massage, and you are bound to receive a thrilled response! Massage not only calms foot soreness but also relaxes a person’s body and mind. Giving a foot massage also creates an endearing bond with that person.
Here are the steps of a satisfying foot massage:
- Fill a tub with warm water, then add plenty of drops of aromatic essential oils. Men favour spicy, earthy smells, while women mostly opt for floral scents. Some good choices of essential oils which you can consider are peppermint, vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli (extracted from a Southeast Asian shrub), citrus, cypress (a type of coniferous tree), and ginger.
- Ask the recipient (of the foot massage) to soak his or her bare feet in the oil-scented water for several minutes. The scent has a relaxing effect, while the warm water softens the recipient’s skin. Use a towel to pat the feet dry, after the process of soaking.
- Advise the recipient to sit or lie comfortably. While sitting in front of the recipient’s feet, keep a soft pillow (covered with a towel) on your lap and ask the recipient to rest his or her feet on the pillow. This position will cradle the feet, making the process more comfortable for both of you. The towel covering the pillow prevents it from staining due to the residual essential oil on the recipient’s feet.
- Moisten your fingers with a swab of massage oil. Use firm strokes to work your way around the border of one of the feet of the recipient. For a male recipient, firmer pressure could be applied, as most men have thicker skin on their feet than women do.
- Now rotate the recipient’s foot a couple of times. Then use a gentle circular motion to massage the anklebone with your thumb. This motion will help alleviate tension in the recipient’s legs.
- After applying a circular massage to the anklebone, position both of your thumbs inside the foot’s arch. Use circular motions again, however, this time, to move your thumbs up to the ball of the foot, and then to go back down to the heel. Apply this method three times.
- Use the same circular motions to massage the base of each toe, then gently squeeze and squirm the toes, one at a time.
- Repeat all the steps with the recipient’s other foot.
- Using a damp cloth, wipe off any residual oil remaining after the foot massage.
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