Techniques of Foot Massage

Techniques of Foot Massage
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From Natural Foot Care

by Stephanie Tourles

A foot massage can be performed at any time you wish or as part of a home pedicure procedure. The following illustrations depict some standard foot massage techniques that a nail technician might perform on a client during a pedicure. If you do not have a willing partner to give you a massage, never fear. These techniques are just as easily done (with some miner alterations) alone.
If a partner is involved, have the one receiving the foot massage recline against a big pillow on the sofa or bed to fully relax the entire body. Foot massage feels really great if the whole body is at ease.

If youÂ’re going solo, find a comfortable chair, preferably one with padded arms and a foot rest, such as a recliner. Sit back, prop one foot in your lap and let the other rest extended in front of you, and massage those feet until they smile.

If using a massage oil or lotion, protect clothing and furniture with a towel or two. Rub oiled or creamed hands together vigorously to warm them before beginning the foot massage. Complete all six steps on one foot before moving on to the other.

Step 1: Stroke the top of the foot.

Step 1: Stroking. Stimulates circulation and warms the foot. Holding your partnerÂ’s foot in your hands, on the top of the foot begin a long, slow, firm, stroking motion with your thumbs, starting at the tips of the toes and sliding back away from you, all the way up to the ankle; then retrace your steps back to the toes with a lighter stroke. Repeat this step three to five times.

Step 1 continued: Stroke the bottom of the foot.

Step 2: Ankle Rotations. Loosens joints and relaxes feet. Cup one hand under the heel, behind the ankle, to brace the foot and leg. Grasp the ball of the foot with the other hand and turn the foot slowly at the ankle for three to five times in each direction. With repeated foot massages, any stiffness will begin to recede. This is a particularly good exercise for those of you suffering from arthritis.

Step 2: Rotate the foot from the ankle.

Step 3: Toe Pulls and Squeezes. Toes, like fingers, are quite sensitive to the touch – this massage can be very calming. Grasp the foot beneath the arch. With the other hand, beginning with the big toe, hold the toe with your thumb n top and index finger beneath. Starting at the base of the toe, slowly and firmly pull the toe, sliding your fingers to the top and back to the base. Now repeat, but gently squeeze and roll the toe between your thumb and index finger, working your way to the tip and back to the base. Repeat these two movements on the remaining toes.

Step 3: Gently pull and squeeze the toes.

Step 4: Toe Slides. Grasp foot behind the ankle, cupping under heel. With the index finger of the other hand, insert your finger between the toes, back and forth for three to five times.

Step 4: Slide your fingers between the toes.

Step 5: Arch Press. Releases tension in the inner and outer longitudinal arches. Hold foot as you did in Step 4. Using the heel of your other hand, push hard as you slide along the arch from the ball of the foot toward the heel and back again. Repeat five times. This part of the foot can stand a little extra exertion on your part, just donÂ’t apply too much pressure.

Step 5: Push your hand along the arch of the foot.

Step 6: Stroking. Repeat Step 1. This is a good way to begin and end a foot massage.

Excerpt From Natural Foot Care by Stephanie Tourles-used with permission

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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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