The Magic of Controlled Tickling
I know of no better way to relax or to feel the transcendental peace of heaven than to have someone scratch my feet.
It took me a while to arrive at the point of being able to transform a tickling sensation into a massage that has to be unequalled in the history of the world.
As we all know, reflexologists are aware of the healing potential when a foot is massaged or worked in certain areas. But their method usually includes pressure on a given point. I'm convinced that if you can overcome the tickling sensation, a good scratching is not only healing, but extremely soothing.
When I was in Mexico, I often stopped to have someone shine my shoes. Part of the buffing process was when they rubbed the sides of your shoes just above the sole with the buffing cloth wrapped around their finger. When they rubbed the ball of my foot, or the outer edge, it was an extremely soothing sensation. This was the start of my awareness over the healing capacities found in the feet.
When I was in Vietnam, I did a lot of walking. When I took my boots off, it felt good to massage my feet, especially when they were tired. But when I rubbed the balls of my feet or the outer rims, I found that it did not carry the soothing sensation that other hands were able to deliver. So I began to invite my wife to do those massages. I quickly learned to control the tickling, having her do the rubbing or scratching very lightly at first. I was amazed at how relaxing it becomes as soon as you can overcome the tickling sensation, and accept it as a massage. The tickling doesn't go away, but is converted into an electrifying onslaught of the best kind of reflexological stimuli to the rest of the body.
When I had a gallstone or other kinds of pain that wouldn't go away, I had my wife scratch my feet. The relaxation and soothing sensation was so intense that it helped to lessen the pain.
To start your "de-tickling" training, I would use a curtain that is flapping in the breeze, or something similar to that. Something other than your fingers or fingernails seems to bring on the relaxing effect, even if it isn't a living entity. The thing about a non-living entity, is that it tends to not tickle so much, and conditions your feet for when you are ready to let another person "tickle" them. So lie down on your stomach with your feet under a curtain, or something that gently moves in and out. I sometimes pinned steel weights to those curtains to get something a little more effective.
Finally, I created a wooden brace with holes in it, and strapped it around the motor of an oscillating fan using a large hose clamp. I put pieces of plastic hose in the holes, and let the tips of the hoses brush across my feet while the air of the fan blew away from me, to keep me from cooling down too much. Different sizes of hoses, or the varying degrees of stiffness thereof can create different levels of pressure to your feet, depending on your taste or degree of massage desired. You can also adjust the height of the hoses depending on the size of your feet, or where you want them massaged; usually, oscillating fans have a vertical adjustment capability, making this an easy task. To date, this is my most effective non-human foot massager, and I often go to sleep under this system. (This is a good remedy for insomnia.) Of course, human fingers are best, now that I've conditioned my feet, but when my wife isn't around, I use the fan.
One word of caution: When you get to the point of accepting human fingers, be careful to not do too much taking; your wife (or source of your massage) may start to feel like you're getting too selfish, and you could start seeing signs of resentment. Do some giving, and try her feet, if only with the duller parts of your hand. This way, you might not get too much resistance when you ask for your favorite thing from her. Well . . . ALMOST your favorite . . .