The type of massage that I am describing below is not a reflexology massage, but just a normal foot massage that can, nevertheless have positive effects on the whole body.
1. First prepare the feet by cleaning them well. You can soak them for ten minutes in warm water, adding bath salts or Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate). After washing the feet, make sure you dry them well also between the toes.
2. Start massaging the feet, one at a time using massage oil of your choice or massage cream. Hold the foot in your hands and start stroking it with a firm, smooth and slow motion from the toes to the ankle and vice versa
3. Ankle rotation and foot stretching – rotate the ankle gently clockwise and anti-clockwise and then stretch the footboy flexing it upwards and downwards.
4. Wrap your fingers around the top of the foot and use your thumbs to make small circles. Apply different amounts of pressure, as you push and stroke with your thumb massaging the foot from the thumbs to the heels.
5. Repeat the step above to massage the top of the foot, rather then the sole, with your thumbs.
6. Knead the sole of the foot, by holding the foot with one hand and kneading the sole with the knuckles of the other hand.
7. Toes massage – take each toe individually between you thumb and index finger and massage it by rubbing it, and sliding you fingers to the top of the toe apply a gentle pressure. End by pulling the toe gently.
8. End the massage by rubbing and applying pressure again to the sole of the feet with your thumbs, starting from under the toes.
Reflexology foot massage originated in China and it is practiced by applying pressure to different points on the sole of the foot, which are connected to the body’s internal organs. Reflexology foot massage is practiced in many Asian countries today, such as Korea, Thailand, China and Japan.
Thai foot massage covers not only the feet, but also the lower part of the legs and it involves the use of the masseur’s hands to stretch and massage the feet, thus opening the energy lines, and the use of a wooden stick to apply pressure on reflexology points on the feet.
Foot massage in Japan is part of Shiatsu massage, a particular type of massage based on reflexology principles. Japanese foot massage involves the use of a wooden stick to stimulate the pressure point, just like in Thailand. This wooden stick in Japan is called shiatsu stick.
If you do not have a foot masseur at hand, it is possible to buy foot massagers or sandals that stimulate pressure points. Tools for foot massage range from simple wooden or rubber foot massagers with small tipped rotating wheels that you rotate under your feet, to sophisticated foot spas, electrical foot massagers (which apply pressure on the feet as well on the lower legs), deep kneading foot massagers with heat and a lot more.
Foot massage is one of the most relaxing types of massages, especially on tired feet. Foot massage is relaxing and refreshing and it has beneficial effects on the body as a whole. The reason being, according to reflexology, that every point on the sole of the feet corresponds to an area of the body or an internal organ.