Preparing for the massage
Put the person into the proper position. Begin with having them lay in the supine position, on their back with face up. Over the course of the massage they will rotate onto their stomach to allow for different movements of the feet and ankles to take place
Cover the resting area of the foot with a towel. This will help to prevent any cream or massage oil from staining the work area.
Give a foot bath. Allow feet to soak in a tub of warm to hot water for up to ten minutes.
- Add scented essential oils or foaming gel to the water if preferred.
- Softly rub the feet after soaking to remove any dirt while helping the person to relax.
- Towel dry feet when finished.
Choose a cream, oil, or lotion to work with. Creams tend to be thicker than lotions and work well for foot massages. Oils work to soften the rough calluses on the bottom of feet.
- You can purchase creams and oils that are created for the purpose of foot massages at many beauty supply stores.
- Create your own unique combination of creams and oils to use for the foot massage. Combine scents to your liking; some favorite combinations are lemon and eucalyptus, lavender, or almond and vanilla.
Warm the oil or cream. This will make it more comfortable for the person receiving the massage
Hold the bottom of the foot with both hands. Begin rubbing the top of the foot, slowly working your way down to the sole of the foot. Apply more pressure as you get closer to the sole. Reverse directions and rub the foot moving slowly towards the top, reducing pressure as you go
Rub the heel of the foot. Use your thumbs for this, making small circles with medium to heavy pressure. Work your way around the entire heel. Repeat this action on the ball of the foot.
Use cross-fiber friction on the heels of the feet. This means you use your thumbs to push up and down on the heel. While one thumb is pushing up, the other should be pushing down.
Massage around the ankle bone. Use both hands to rub in a circular motion around the bone on either side, and gently rub your fingers over the top of the bone.
Use a fist to massage the arch of the foot. With your hand closed in a fist, use the tops of your fingers to apply pressure to the arch. Roll your hand back and forth to knead the skin gently.
Massage the toes. Spend time on each individual toe.
- Go to each toe and gently pull on it. This may cause the joint to pop, but unless it causes the person discomfort, continue to do this to each toe.
- Slide your index finger in the gap between each toe. Spend time moving it back and forth, rubbing the base of each toe with your index and thumb if desired.
- Gently slide all five fingers between each of the toes simultaneously, while rubbing a small amount of massage oil or cream between each one.
- When you wipe their feet,a hot towel might feel nice.
- Massage slowly and gently to induce relaxation, and massage more quickly but deeply to induce stimulation.
- Use a calm, soothing voice while giving the massage. Don’t speak too rapidly or in a strained voice. Let whatever you say soothe the receiver of your massage even further.
- Make sure your patient clears their mind of all stress.
- Something useful and effective is playing soft music while giving the massage.
- Look at the person – make eye contact – smile at them. It induces confidence and trust in your massage, and a sense of companionship and wellbeing.
- Try to give equal attention to both feet, as the body abhors asymmetry.
- Have the receiver lean back against a pillow or a couch, and make sure he or she is relaxed and comfortable. Consider including some relaxing background music or lightly scented candles to set the atmosphere.
- Throughout massage, if you feel tension building up in your hands, periodically shake hands loose of energy and continue massage.
- Put on some relaxing music! It helps relax the person.