Foot massages are relaxing and rejuvenating, alleviating all the pressure built up from a day at work or engaging in sporting activities.
Trained massage therapists can identify problem areas in the feet and apply specialized techniques to relieve tension. However, it’s possible to give yourself a foot massage when you can’t make a trip to the massage clinic.
Here’s how and why you should work self-care foot massages into your routine.
The Benefits of Foot Massage
A foot massage can improve blood flow through the feet, alleviate swelling (which can often build up in the feet after long periods of inactivity or because of certain illnesses like diabetes), reduce pain, and elevate your mood. Many physical therapists recommend foot massages to clients who have experienced sports injuries to the feet or ankles.
Check out: The best foot massagers that you can use at your home (without paying for a therapist!).
Some evidence even suggests that people suffering from chronic migraine headaches might even enjoy a reduction in the severity of their symptoms with regular foot massage treatment. Plus, foot massages just feel great!
Plantar Fasciitis Massage
There are several ways to target different areas of the feet.
First, sitting in a comfortable chair or in your bed, stretch your legs out in front of you. With one hand, gently pull the toes back so they are pointed slightly back towards your body. With the free hand, rub in circles right in the center of the bottom of your foot above the heel.
This works to relieve stress in the tendons and ligaments on the bottom of the foot, a great massage for the common condition plantar fasciitis, which refers to inflammation in the connecting tissues between the foot and heel.
Pressure Point Massage in Bottom of Foot
Press your thumbs into the heel of the foot and hold them there for ten seconds. Then, slowly, move your thumbs away from each other heading to the sides. Repeat this as many times as you like.
Center of the Foot Massage
Start at the ball of the foot, on the bottom near the toes. Slowly work your fingers down the foot, maintaining a steady pressure, to the heel and back. Some people prefer to use a tennis ball or similar device for this technique.
Calf Muscle Massage
Although not in the feet, the calf muscles can also become tense after long periods of use. Massaging the calf muscles can help relax foot muscles. Gently but firmly knead the calf muscles, starting at the bottom near the ankle and working your way up to under the knee.