How To Give A Great Foot Massage

Foot massage is a simple and accessible home treatment for tired or aching feet. It can help you relax and de-stress, supporting your overall sense of well-being. It is something you can easily do for yourself or for someone else.

Before getting started:

Soak your feet in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes. Adding mineral salts to the foot bath will add an extra element of pain relief and muscle release. Or you may add essential oil if desired. Both of these options will help clean and warm the feet and provide aromatherapy as an added relaxation benefit. Dry your feet with a warm towel. For an extra special treat heat up the towels in your dryer first and keep one towel wrapped while you massage the other.

Foot Bath

General guidelines:

  1. If you are giving yourself a foot massage find a comfortable sitting position and bend your left leg to rest your left foot on your right thigh then do the reverse for the other foot.  If you are receiving a foot massage from someone else lay back on a couch or bed to provide support under your feet and legs.
  2. Leave a towel under your feet to protect surfaces from oil drips.
  3. Apply massage oil or cream over the entire foot and up over the ankle.
  4. Pay extra attention to parts that feel sore and massage them a little longer with a pressure that feels comfortable.
  5. Avoid injuring the thumbs: Do not use so much pressure that the thumbs start to hurt.
  6. Avoid using pressure that is too light, as this may tickle.
  7. Focus on one foot at a time.
  8. Apply more pressure when you are going from the toes to the ankles and less pressure when going from the ankles to the toes. This will help push extra fluid out of the feet.
  9. Be sure to wipe the feet of excess oil after the massage to prevent slipping then put on socks for additional moisturizing benefits.

 Here are some specific massage techniques for you to try:

  • Use a gentle twisting motion to warm up the foot by placing your hands on either side of the foot and gently pull the right side forward while pulling the left side back then repeat on the other side. Work your way up from the toes to the ankle.

Massaging own feet

  • Rub and knead the underside of the arch of the foot with your thumbs or knuckles repeatedly from the heel to the ball of the foot.
  • Hold the outside of your foot with both hands and pull each side outward.
  • While holding the heel in one hand bend all the toes on one foot back and forth at the same time with the other hand. Repeat this move a few times while gently increase pressure and flex the toes to increase range of motion.

  • While cradling the top of the foot in one hand take hold of the heel with the other and repeatedly squeeze and release the heel.
  • Use the fingers of both hands to do strokes on the top of the foot and use your thumbs to do strokes on the bottom of the foot. Start with the toes and work up to the ankles and back down. Find the grooves between the bones and tendons of your feet and ankles and apply firm (not deep) pressure in those areas. 

 

Foot massage with oil

  • Hold the base of the foot with one hand and then tug, twist, and pull each toe smoothly, moving from the little to the big toes.
  • Finish the massage with light strokes with your fingers on top of the foot and your thumbs on the bottom of the foot and starting at the toes and working up above the ankles.

Another simple and effective way to care for your feet while you watch TV, take a bath, or read a book is by using toe spreaders. YogaToes® toe stretchers make feet feel great. They work, while you relax. Yoga Toes stretch and align your toes while soothing and reconditioning the entire foot.  Designed to help with chronic foot pain, bunions, hammer-toes, plantar fasciitis and, overlapping toes.  You can use them every day.  Start by using them 5 to 10 minutes at a time working up to longer sessions.  A little oil or lotion can help them slip more easily onto your toes.  I personally use the Elixir Mind Body Botanicals Relief Balm for the added slip and amazing warming and cooling pain relief.  A great release after a long run or a day in high heels.