- Alternative & Natural Medicine
One type of massage technique that is highly undervalued is foot massage. Foot massages can be very soothing and relaxing. If you work on your feet, then a god foot massage at the end of the day can be therapeutic and revitalizing. Receiving a foot massage during pregnancy can be especially wonderful because of all the extra weight you are carrying around. Learning foot massage techniques is easy and many will appreciate your skills. If you are interested in foot massage therapy then there are a few different ways you can experience the benefits. You could buy a foot massage machine, you could learn reflexology foot massage on your own with the aid of a foot massage chart or a foot massage map, or you could go to a massage parlor that specializes in foot massage therapy. No matter what path you choose to take, remember that you should pamper your feet the same way we pamper the other parts of our body.
Foot Massage Machines
Perhaps the easiest way to enjoy a foot massage would be to purchase a foot massage machine. If you can afford it, an electric massager is truly the easiest way to get the benefits of foot massage. The are two main types of home foot massage machines. The first uses a heated water bath with powerful water jets. The most popular brand that I have found is the Aqua-Jet Foot Spa from Brookstone. This foot spa has a water bath that heats to 115 degrees Celsius and two powerful water jets to put pressure on different parts of your feet. The heat alone can help to release tension and sooth the aching muscles in your feet and lower calves. In addition, the Aqua-Jet model has two rollers on the bottom to put pressure on your feet and mimic the long stroking actions of a masseuse. Another type of home foot massage equipment is one where you put your feet and lower legs into a machine that looks like the back part of a pair of boots. Your calves and feet are surrounded on three sides by the foot massage machine. The machine then starts to squeeze strategically to give you the best massage money can buy in the home. This type of foot massage machine is much more expensive then the water bath variety. One model that has gotten good reviews is the OSIM iSqueez.
Do It Yourself Foot Massage at Home
If you do not want to spend the money on your own foot massage equipment then you might want to consider learning some foot massage techniques or even reflexology foot massage on your own. There are several motions and actions that make a good foot massage. First, most people forget that loosening the ankle is the first step to relaxing the entire foot and all the muscles that control it. You should rotate the ankle to loosen it before beginning your foot massage. You need to hold the heel and gently rotate the ankle in both directions approximately five to ten times. Another important technique is to use long strokes. You should hold the foot and with a medium amount of pressure, pull your hand to the top of the foot and as one hand gets to the top the other should start again at the bottom. Using your fist, you can also press into the arch of t foot and then slowly move towards the toes. This movement is great for relieving cramps. The most common foot massage technique is to use your thumbs. You can use your thumbs to press into all parts of the bottom of the foot. You can hold the foot like a game controller and press your thumbs up and down and even in a circular motion. Let your subject tell you what feels good and where they need more pressure. One final foot massage move is to pull on the toes. Sometimes you will crack the knuckles of the toes and if you do it too hard it can be painful. Again, let the person who is receiving the massage tell you how hard is too hard. The foot massage video below shows some common foot massage techniques.
If you want to put a little more effort into learning foot massage techniques then you could study reflexology. Reflexology works on the premise that there are foot massage pressure points that are linked to other parts of the body. There are foot massage charts and foot massage maps that show you what each part of the foot is linked to. As you apply pressure to ach part, you are, in theory, helping to relieve tension in those areas or to help relieve maladies or prevent illness in a certain part of the body.
Foot Massage Parlors
If you really want a treat, you could find a massage parlor that specializes in foot massage service. A Chinese foot massage is often how you will find this service advertised. The Chinese were pioneers in the art f reflexology. In a foot massage parlor or foot spa, you will precede your massage with a soak in a warm solution of Epsom salts or scented water. Professionals can often be a bit more rough or forceful in their approach, but even if there a few moments of pain, the completely relaxed feeling you have afterwards is well worth it. If you are interested in a professional foot massage, check with your local day spa to see if they have a specialist on staff.