Valentines Day is on the 14th of February and the good news is its the one day of the year that you can ask for a foot massage from your partner, without a made-up excuse. That said, the last thing you want is a quick grudging five minuets of having your toes pulled out of their sockets!
Foot massage is one of the most unbelievably relaxing treats. The ultimate study of foot massage is Reflexology or pressure therapy and involves applying focused pressure to certain known reflex points located in the foot. The treatment is based on the premise that our nerve zones or reflex points, go from the bottom of our feet to the top of our head, encompassing all the vital organs along the way.
When giving a foot massage, ensure that the massage foot is comfortably reclined on a pillow or sofa. It has been recommended that soft music can provide the perfect catalyst to get you in the mood.
There are various creams and oils that can be used; however, the use of essential massage oils is the best way to achieve an ultimately relaxing foot massage.
Stroking stimulates the blood vessels in your feet and promotes gentle heat. Hold the foot in your hands and begin to massage the top surface of the foot, use your thumbs in a slow but firm stroking motion, starting at the toes and moving up to the ankle. Make sure you apply lighter pressure to the toes then the ankle, repeat this maneuver 5 times and then perform the same technique to the soles of the feet.
Ankle rotation involves gently moving the ankle from side to side to loosen the joint. Hold the heel in a cupped hand and with the other hand hold the ball of the foot. Rotate the foot gently clockwise and anti-clockwise 3-4 times to relax the foot from the ankle joint; reversing the directions will calm and de-stress your senses.
Next try kneading using the thumb or finger tips to knead back and forth on the sole of the foot. Kneading uses the knuckles at the second joints; this is particularly good in the case of tired feet.
Toes, like fingers, are quite sensitive to the touch; starting at the base of the toe, slowly and firmly pull the toe, sliding your fingers to the top and back to the base. This is even better if you gently squeeze and roll the toe between your thumb and index finger, working your way to the tip and back to the base. Repeat these two movements on the remaining toes.
There are no hard and fast rules for the amateur wishing to perform a foot massage, so if it feels good, do it! It can be however, a great way to relax tired feet or the perfect start to a romantic evening. My thanks go to Mr. R Ainslie, for his help with the research for this article.