Monday, 5 October 2009

8 Easy Steps to the Perfect Foot Massage

Just about everybody I have ever met loves having their feet massaged! In some cultures, foot massage is considered a medical therapy. In all cultures, it is considered a wonderful indulgence!

Why does foot massage feel so good? Reflexologists believe it's because different areas of the foot are connected to different areas of the body. As such, a reflexology practitioner believes they can treat your entire body through a well administered foot massage.

Here are some simple steps to help you give a great home foot massage:

Step 1. Make sure your "patient" or friend feels completely comfortable and relaxed. Arrange the right chair or bed until they feel able to sit or lie comfortably for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2. Soak the feet in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes. Feel free to add some fragrant essential oils for an aroma therapeutic benefit.

Step 3. Apply a lubricant. (Note: if your patient has sensitive skin, or prefers not to use a lubricant, that's OK. A lubricant simply makes the massage easier to complete). Use the cream, lotion or oil of your choice. Do not apply it directly to the foot. Instead, apply it to your hands first and rub it between your hands to warm the lubricant before placing your hands onto your patient's foot.

Step 4. Begin at the top of the foot. Now, use a gentle, long-stroke style massage from toe up to the angle. be sure to work gently along the instep. Next, work on the sole of the foot. Make small circles with your fingers or thumb and increase the pressure gradually. Always ask your friend how they are feeling to check if your pressure is too hard or too soft. As you move to the heel and ball of the foot, more pressure may be required. If you get lost at anytime, always remember you are working from toes-to-heel and top-to-bottom. You should also include the sides of the foot, being careful as the sides are often more delicate and sensitive.

Step 5. The next step is to cradle the foot one hand and use your other hand to apply a stretch and flex to your friend's foot. Begin at the ankle, then do the ball. You can repeat this 3 or 4 times and change directions for a full stretch of the foot.

Step 6. Now your attention switches to the sole of the foot. Using your thumbs or knuckles, apply a firm but gentle kneading motion. It is most important that the arch of the foot is your focus.

Step 7. Toes! Beginning with the big toe and working towards the pinky toe, squeeze the toes one at a time and apply small stroking massage to each tow. If your patient likes, you may always massage between each toe. You may also "snap" or "flick" each toe gently, but briskly between your fingers.

Step 8. Complete the foot massage by briefly revisiting the sole of the foot with light, circle strokes. Then bring your hands out and over to make long strokes along the top and instep of the foot. This time work down from the ankle and end at the toes.

That's it! Of course, you need to go ahead and massage the second foot. It's most important that the giver of the massage enjoys the process as much as the receiver. To enhance your own pleasure, make sure you are relaxed and well-hydrated. Playing your favorite music in the background will also make for an enjoyable experience.

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