Foot massage is one of the most unbelievably relaxing treats that you can give yourself or others. The ultimate study of foot massage is reflexology. Foot reflexology is "pressure therapy" and involves applying focused pressure to certain known reflex points located in the foot to cure or prevent disease
Foot reflexology is based on the premise that our nerve zones or reflex points go from the bottom of our feet to the top of our head, encompassing all vital organs on the way. A trained reflexologist can put pressure on different meridiens or energy lines on the sole and side of the feet to determine the cause of illness.
The information below is a guide to foot massage not foot reflexology. Some benefits of reflexology will happen automatically simply by virtue of massaging the soles of the feet but the main objective is to help tired feet feel better!
If you are giving a foot massage to your partner or friend then ensure that the massage foot is comfortably reclined on a pillow or a sofa. If you're treating yourself to a foot massage then find a comfortable chair or sofa and put your foot on your lap.
It has been recommended that soft music or a meditation cd can provide the perfect catalyst to get you in the mood for a foot massage. There are various creams and oils that can be used for a foot massage. However, we recommend the use of essential massage oils to achieve an ultimately relaxing foot massage. To begin with make sure the feet are clean, a foot soak with Epsom salts is a wonderful way to de-stress before a foot massage. Make sure that your feet are completely dry (including in between toes) before you start.
This technique stimulates the blood vessels in your feet and promotes gentle heat. Hold the foot in your hands and begin to massage the top surface of the foot. Use your thumbs in a slow, firm stroking motion, starting at the toes and moving up to the ankle. Once you have reached the ankle follow the same line back to the toes. Make sure you apply lighter pressure towards the toes than the ankle. Repeat this 5 times and then perform the same technique to the sole of the foot.
2. Ankle rotation
Firstly, gently move the ankle side to side to loosen the ankle joint. Hold the heel of the foot in a cupping motion and hold the ball of the foot with the other hand. Rotate the foot clockwise and anticlockwise 3 or 4 times to relax the foot from the ankle joint, reversing the directions will calm and de-stress your senses. Make sure you perform this technique gently.
Gently hold the foot in you hand and use the other hand to massage the sole of the foot with your thumb. Begin with the area directly below the large toe and slowly move to the other toes. After initial pressure, roll the thumb back and forth. It may be seen as wiggling the thumb. Release pressure, and move. Pivoting can be very relaxing especially if you vary the amount of pressure being applied to the ball of the foot.
Using the thumb or finger tips to knead back and forth on the sole of the foot. Kneading uses the knuckles at the second joints. "Knead" the area like dough with large pressing, rotating movements. Remember that the foot is not as adaptable as dough, so be gentle!
5. Finger Walking
Visualize the foot as a series of squares the size of the second toe (about1/2" sq.). Walk your fingers horizontally, one square to the next, and then down to the next row of squares. Massage one foot, and then the next. Begin at the big toe.
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