Foot Massage - At Home!
by Alison Bodah Burney, LMT, NCTMB
Licensed Massage Therapist
I am often asked if a person can get a massage too often. My answer is always the same - I would get a massage every day if time and finances allowed. Massage is known to decrease stress and anxiety, aid in pain management and immune function, and promote a sense of well-being and relaxation. Who couldn’t benefit from a massage every day?
I considered giving some advice on becoming a billionaire in ten days to help finance your daily massage regime. However I think it would be better to stick to my expertise and instead give you some tips on self-massage that you can do at home between your massage treatments! You can massage yourself or partner up with your significant other, a friend, or your child. You may find a mini-massage a couple of nights a week to be excellent parent/child bonding time!
At-Home Foot Massage
- Start with clean, dry feet and clean, dry hands. Get comfy; adjust lighting, music, and seating position so you can relax.
- Choose a lotion. Use your favorite or try a peppermint lotion which feels great on tired, sore feet!
- Begin by holding the foot in one hand while using the other to gently rotate the ankle clockwise several times and then counter clockwise several times.
- Rest the foot on a towel, on a pillow, or on your thigh. Warm lotion up in your hands and then apply to the whole foot, ankle, and to a bit of the lower leg. Use long strokes beginning at the toes, continuing either down the top or bottom of the foot, past the ankle and then back up to the toes. Use your whole hand, keeping your fingers relaxed, and apply firm pressure. Alternate hands and repeat 6-10 times.
- Using your fingers, make small circles around the ankles. Let the circles grow bigger to include some of the lower leg and calf.
- Starting at the heel, alternate running your thumbs up the bottom of the foot. Use the pad of your thumb for firm pressure, not the tip as the pressure will be jabby and possibly painful. Repeat several times.
- Starting at the top of the foot underneath the middle toe, press the pads of the thumbs in together and then pull them across the foot in opposite directions slowly in a spreading motion. Move down the foot slightly and repeat. Continue to repeat all the way down the foot to the bottom of the heel. If you feel a knot or tight spot while spreading, pause and hold that spot or move your thumb in small circles over that spot before continuing.
- Roll each toe between your fingers finishing with a little pinch at the top of each toe.
- Use the towel to wipe off an extra lotion to avoid slippage when standing up.
- Repeat with the other foot!
Always encourage your massage partner to communicate discomfort they may experience so you can adjust your pressure accordingly. Feel free to switch up the strokes to personalize your routine. Have fun and enjoy a little pick-up between your regular massage treatments!