Foot massage is one of the most popular types of massage that a therapist gives. Most everyone loves their feet rubbed, if fact, many want foot massage for a good portion of the hour-long treatment.
Regular massage on the feet helps to increase circulation in the feet, so therapists often have requests to provide different types of therapeutic massage for the feet.
Because our feet support us in everything we do - running, walking, standing and even sitting- they demand that we give them attention and proper care.
Although there are many machines that can massage the feet, nothing compares to human touch.
Massage vs. Reflexology
Massage often involves rubbing, stretching, flexing, and/or pulling of the foot and toes. Creams or lotions are often used to provide softer, gliding movements.
Reflexology involves stimulating certain acupressure points in the foot with direct pressure to restore energy flow and balance to specific parts of the body.
For instance, applying pressure to the arch of the foot sometimes helps to alleviate stomach pain.
Pressure may be applied with finger, thumbs or massage stones that are specifically made for massage foot or hand treatments. These stones are called Pedicure or Foot Stone Sets.
This Foot Reflexology & Massage DVD
demonstrates how to provide detailed foot massage treatments which
leave the tired, aching feet of the recipient feeling rejuvenated.
This video shows an clip of that DVD:
The practitioner will start by applying lotion or oil and rubbing the entire foot. He/She will also massage and pull each toe individually.
The therapist might also use a foot scrub to exfoliate the feet, and then remove it with warm, wet towel. It is often followed with more massage.
Sometimes the session includes a soak in warm, bubbly water, dried, and followed by warm foot wraps to really make you relax.
Thumb walking (using thumbs to walk up and down the foot), toe rotation (rotating each toe at the joint in circles), kneading and stretching may be done during the massage.
Peppermint essential oil is often used to add an aromatherapy treatment to the feet. A salt or sugar scrub recipe may also be used to exfoliate the feet, along with warm towels to remove excess scrub.
Typically, this therapy will cost between $30-$50 depending on where you go for the treatment, and how long the massage lasts.
Types of Massage for Feet
This is a great article about Ayurvedic Massage for Feet, or Kansa Vatki, written by Susan Walsh who teaches massage therapists these techniques. It involves vigorously rubbing the soles of the feet with a 3-metal bowl to draw heat and toxins out of the body, which induces tremendous relaxation.
Chinese FootMassage is another technique that has grown in popularity in the U.S. It involves working pressure points in the feet to open energy pathways and promote healing throughout the body.
Reflexology works with reflexes in the foot, which correspond to every organ & system within your body. Pressing on these reflex points can elicit a response from the nervous system that helps to balance and restore the body.