Massage helps us to relax, which in turn may help alleviate stress. Stress is an underlying cause for many diseases. When we minimize our stress we improve our overall health; this can help boost our body’s immune system.
Giving yourself a full body massage really isn’t feasible. And, it is not as therapeutic as receiving it from your massage therapist. To help you out, we are sharing some simple techniques for your achy feet that can help relax your entire body.
Please note – if you have any concerns such as swollen feet from diabetes or other health related issues, then please contact your health care provider before you begin this protocol.
Soak your feet in warm water in a foot spa or bathtub for 10 minutes. You may want to add epsom salt and/or your favorite essential oil such as lavender or peppermint. This prep will help soften and soothe your feet.
When you remove your feet gently dry and find a comfortable seated position – either in a chair or on a carpeted floor. You may also want to apply a small amount of your favorite foot lotion.
Since you will be massaging one foot at a time, place the first foot on top of the other leg just above the knee so that the inner ankle is facing you.
First – Loosen the bottom of your foot
Grasp your foot with both hands and press your thumbs slowly along the bottom of your foot from the heel to the toes. This can be done as one gliding stroke or by walking your thumbs up the centre line of your foot.
Second – Toes
- With your thumb and forefinger rotate each toe in both directions.
- Rub the fleshy part of each toe and squeeze for 10 seconds.
- Grasp the base of each toe between thumb and forefinger and pull up in a gliding motion.
- Gently pinch at the web between each toe.
Third – Ball, arch and heel
- Using both hands, work the ball of the foot. Try long, sustained strokes, or make small circles with your thumbs.
- Repeat this technique on your arch and heel.
Fourth – Ankle
- Loosen the ankle by rotating and flexing your foot and ankle 2-3 times in each direction.
- With your hand flat, rub back and forth just under the ankle 3-5 times.
- With your hand slightly cupped glide over the top of your foot from toes to ankle 3-5 times.
Fifth – Achilles
- With your thumb and forefinger gently grasp/pinch the Achilles tendon at the heel and move the fingers simultaneously towards the calf muscle.
- Repeat 3 times.
Sixth – Calf
- Place your foot on the floor.
- With the palm and heel of both hands (keep fingers loose and relaxed), in circular strokes move up the calf from top of Achilles tendon to just below the back of the knee.
Fifth – Repeat each step on the opposite foot
Our feet hold many nerve endings and pressure points. Studies show that foot massage not only helps reduce stress, it may also help improve circulation, reduce pain, alleviate anxiety, and revitalize your body, mind, and spirit.