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How To Give the Best Foot Massage

Updated on October 6, 2011

It is amazing that there are some unfortunate souls out in the world who have never had the privilege of experiencing the awesome effects a good foot massage can have. Not only does it feel really good, but foot massages also...

  • reduce stress
  • improve circulation
  • relieve pains and aches from exercise

Maybe one of the best things about foot rubs is that you do not have to be a certified professional if you just want to learn how. However, as soon as you start charging for foot massages, you will need to be a certified masseuse. I have received no formal massaging education, but that does not stop me from giving one superb foot massage. My family and I are avid foot massagers, and here is what I have learned during a lifetime of foot massaging.

Prep Work

In order for your foot massage to have maximum results, the recipient has to be fully relaxed and comfortable.  Have him/her lie down either on their back or stomach, which ever makes them most comfortable. Place a pillow under their knee and ankle so that you do not have to hold up their leg while massaging, then ask if they would like to have their foot rub with or without lotion. After all this is done, you can begin. 

This Little Piggy...

I begin my foot massages starting with the toes. The very best advice I could ever give regarding foot rubs, is to never rush through them! So go slower rather than faster. The massage will not be very relaxing if they feel like their feet are being thrown around. Ok, now back to the toes. Make sure that your thumb is the finger that is doing the massaging when it comes to the toes. Your thumb is the strongest of your fingers, so this way, your hands will not get tired as quickly. Massage each pad on their toes (where their toe touches the floor), in small circular movements. Be careful to only rub the pad of the toe and not the toe nail. Work your way down the toe, lightly pinching and rubbing down closer to the foot. One down, four to go.

Technique Technique Technique!

From here on out, it is really all about technique. Everyone gives foot rubs differently, and there isn't one way that's better than others. This is what I typically do, but you can mix and match, and create your own techniques the more you give foot massages.

After you have massaged the toes, work the rest of the way down their foot. Using both your thumbs, rub the upper pad of their foot with the same circular motions you used on the toes. Massage down their foot, sweeping from the center of their foot out to the sides, all the way down to their heel.

The heel will most likely be the toughest part of their foot, so you can use more pressure here than you would be able to on the rest of their foot. Use both your hands to massage the heel, using circular motions. Massage all around their heel, and up around the sides of it.

At this point, you are about half done. Lightly pinch and rub around all the way around the edge of their foot. Some people like having their toes lightly pulled (they will probably pop too!). Don't forget about the top side of their foot either. Hold their foot with both hands, and use your thumbs to rub along the top side of their foot, using less pressure here than you have on the bottom side of their foot. Massage all the way around their ankle.

Finishing Touches

You're almost done! The foot rub is almost over, so to finish it off, lightly trace around the edges of their foot, spiraling in to the center of their foot. Then, stretch their foot out by gripping their ankle in one hand, and their foot in the other. Rotate their foot around in circles one way, then back the other way. Stretch their foot as far forward as it will go, then pull their foot back as far as it will go. Stretch each one of their toes forward and backward. Be sure that you are not causing any discomfort by stretching their foot or toes too far. And then, you are done! But don't forget about the other foot!


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    • restrelax profile image

      restrelax 6 years ago from Los angeles CA

      Good information is given on this hub regarding foot massage.

    • Balinese profile image

      Balinese 7 years ago from Ireland

      great tips :) feel lazy if i do myself:

    • Road Trip Amy profile image

      Road Trip Amy 7 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Great tips! I think I'll show this hub to my boyfriend... :)