12 Apr Therapeutic Foot Massage Techniques
Nearly everyone can enjoy a great foot massage—unless you may be ticklish. Believe it or not, people carry a lot of their stress in their feet. Being in shoes all day, walking, exercise or working all day on their feet creates a great deal of tension in the muscles and tendons from ankle to toe. And a foot massage may be just the thing to help relax those muscles and tendons. However, a foot massage can be quite difficult to perform well. Using the proper techniques and strategies, a foot massage can be enjoyable for both the client and the massage therapist. Here are some great tips and words of advice to follow, to create the ultimate foot massage experience:
Make sure that the client is comfortable, and warm. You can increase circulation to the feet by using oils and lotions; and also by stoking the foot with long firm strokes with a sweeping and rubbing action. Heat allows further relaxation of the muscles.
Utilize the technique of ‘thumb walking’. Use your thumbs to alternate with one another to create the desired pressure. The thumb can also press along the length of the foot with firm pressure to relieve stress often accumulated in the tendons.
Rotating the ankle is a great technique to relax the entire foot. By doing so, it releases tension in the joints. Rotate the foot in small, gentle circular motions. This is often recommended for clients and those with arthritis.
Similar to ankle rotation, toe rotation is another great technique to relax the foot, and loosen the joints. This may be an area of high stress due to long periods of wearing shoes. Gently hold the individual toe and pull slightly. This is also often recommended for those afflicted with arthritis or joint pain.
The arches in the feet often are high stress points, and a lot of tension can be found here. Concentrating massage efforts here will relieve that stress. Apply the desired pressure to this area. Not only does it relieve tension in the arch, but also in the outer areas of the foot and ankle.
Kneading motions is a great technique in foot massage. Create a fist of one hand while using the other to hold the foot. Work the entire sole using the knuckles in the kneading motion.
These are not the only techniques involved in foot massage. There are several others that can make a foot massage very enjoyable. Be sure to listen to your clients, and only utilize techniques that are enjoyable and relaxing to them. Apply the amount of pressure that they need and want for their specific requirements.