How to give a foot massage – and what are the benefits

Learn how to give a foot massage is easy and gratifying.  If you are asking what are the benefits of a foot massage, be sure that there are loads. The most important is the relaxation in the body and mind that it produces which in return, makes you fell better, happier and energized.

Foot massage also improves circulation, mood, body pains as headaches, neck pain and backaches. 

In this post you will learn why foot massage is good for you, the pressure points on feet and what they mean when related to the whole body. You will also learn the foot reflexology meaning and what is reflexology for. In addition, I am going to explain about Calatonia, a subtle touche foot therapy which is is one of psychotherapeutic techniques used to reduce anxiety and depression. Calatonia is not well know and differs from a traditional foot massage therapy as it uses very gently touches with amazing benefits.

There are several ways to do a foot massage. You can do it yourself, through a practitioner or using special equipments as the Shiatsu Foot Massage machine, one of the best foot massager that does the job for you. See also other products at the end of this post.

Best Foot Massager

Learn how to do a Foot Massage – Foot Therapy

Some basic techniques of foot massage are described below. Let’s first understand the reasons and benefits of foot massage therapy.

Foot massage benefits
How to give a foot massage

Pressure Points on feet and what they mean

Reflexology foot chart
Pressure Point on Feet and What they mean

The picture above shows areas of the feet and their relation with our body. This is a holistic approach however it is well know in oriental cultures. Many people are using it and benefiting from foot massage. It is, of course, not a treatment that substitute your doctor’s recommendation or a necessary medical intervention however it could complement and be very helpful in several situations.

Energy Flow – Body Meridian Lines

Oriental therapies are based on the body’s meridian lines. The meridian lines  are like an energy network of the body that transport and let the energy flows. Foot Massage stimulates certain points of the feet that represent the brain structures corresponding to the various organs of the body. Some are saying that science is now recognizing the Meridians however others still skeptical.

What is reflexology massage

The Oriental Culture explains that the Chi or Qi (our life energy- the yin and yang forces) moves through our body via these “channel system”, called meridians. If there are any obstructions in these channels, it would be a cause of wellbeing problems or diseases. Some reasons that could obstruct the energy flow could be the use drugs, trauma or bad diet.  These channels are not like the human circulatory system and it is very delicate. Understanding the meridian system is very interesting and can review the secrets of maintaining our own energy flow. This consequently, unblock energy meridians and make us feel good and relaxed.

yin yang meaning

Yin and Yang Meaning  

There are several examples in life that can represent Yin and Yang. The basic concept is that they are the opposites that forms a whole.  

Looking at the sky, it is a good example to understand which is Yin and Yang. Yin is the nigh (dark, female, cold) and Yang is the day (light, male, warm). Yin and Yang is not stagnant, as the changes in the sky. Night becomes day gradually and vice versa. So, they cannot exist without the other. Another example is the change of the seasons.

The unbalance can be caused by the deficit or surplus of Yin and Yang. In relation to the body, the Yang corresponds to the upper part and Yin to the lower part and they meet at the center of the body in a constant flow.

The Oriental culture regarding health is to balance and maintain the harmony between Yin and Yang in the body. Therefore the points where  the Yin and Yang meridians lines meet are the points used in acupuncture, reflexology and other holistic therapies.  

To learn more about the “Chi Definition” read my other post here

Reflexology – Pressure Points Foot Massage

What is reflexology massage? Reflexology, like other foot therapies, uses pressure on certain points of the feet that correspond to regions and organs of the human body. When massaging certain points of the foot, if there is any discomfort it is a sign that the related body parts may have an imbalance.

According to the Oriental Culture, as explained above, we have 12 main meridians, six are yang and six are yin. 6 Yin goes down the body and 6 Yang goes up the body. 3 of them  pass through the body and end at the edges of our arms and legs so when the foot is stimulated via massage with pressure or subtle touches it unblocks the meridians and let the body energy flow. That is the reason why foot massages benefits our physical and mental health.

It is well recommended for further learning and reference to get the book: Reflexology and Meridian Therapy – Moving the Energy-by Lilian Tibshraeny-Mortenls  – This book is really easy to understand and full of pictures, color graphics, charts and illustrations. As one of the best reference guides it is considered a masterpiece for those of us interested in reflexology.

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Reflexology Treatment – Pamper Yourself

Once you learn the basics, you could practice self reflexology and give a foot massage to yourself or a loved one in the comfort of your home. Experiment a foot massage while taking a relaxing bath is a good way to start.

how to give a foot massage to yourself

Are there any advantages or limitations of foot Massage?

Well, whatever people believe or not, the evidences shows that it works. Of course, it is recommended that you not to use deep pressure in a foot that has injuries as it can make things worse but anyone can welcome a nice and gentle massage, right? just use common sense and if a doctor advised not doing/receiving foot massage for any reason, please follow your doctor’s recommendations. 

It is also important that if you choose a practitioner that they are qualified. If you want to learn more it would be wise buying a book that teaches the sequences, the correct movements and pressure points. This is an excellent way to learn the techniques from experienced practitioners. 

subtle touche foot massage

Catalonia – Subtle touches foot massage

A vital territory for Chinese medicine, worthy of ornamentation by the Indian people and the object of fetishists’ desire, the feet are a region largely despised by the West, which ignores the magical powers emanating through their contact with the body and mind.

More than being the member that puts us in contact with the ground, the feet are of great balance of the human body. Techniques of Chinese medicine and, more recently, of psychotherapy, has the foot as the basis for the treatment of physical and psychological illnesses.

Balancing the Energy

balance your energy with foot massage

In the oriental culture, body harmony and balance is represented by having a “cold mind and warm feet”. The imbalance, would be the opposite: “cold feet and the warm mind”. This summarizes the value of feet on physical and mental well-being. One of the most widespread therapies of foot treatment is reflexology, which comes from Tuina, the ancient Chinese  technique. The principle is that all organs and structures of the human body are reflected in the feet. Therefore, the body can be treated by stimulating certain points on the sole, sides and back of the feet.

Practices, however, may make a diagnosis as if there are sore spots, this indicate that the organ is sick. A Tuina session lasts about one hour, of which 40 minutes are concentrated in the feet. Another technique that has been gaining weight, although not exactly new, is Calatonia. Widely used in psychotherapy as a way of stimulating the opening of the unconscious, the method provides relaxation through prolonged subtle touches of the toes.

couple relaxing in swimming pool

The Hungarian doctor Petho Sandor (1916-1992), who settled in Brazil country after World War II, has developed Calatonia. Sandor worked at the Red Cross and in the care of people with amputated lower limbs.  He realized that there was still energy at the place where the limb had been taken. “Calatonia sees foot as a mobilizing source of body energy. Touch therefore acts in the energy field of the individual”.

Foot Therapy – A Deep Relaxation

Catalonia is a form of foot therapy that provides deep relaxation that leads to tone regulation by re balancing physical and mental energy. This type of foot therapy is performed with subtle touches on the feet instead of massage.  

What is reflexology massage

The touches are done very lightly in a repetitive and symmetrical touches. The intensity of the touch in Calatonia should be like “the flutter of a butterfly’s wings” or “as if we were trying to touch a soap bubble” (Sandor). Therefore in this type of foot therapy it is important to understand the difference on how to give a foot massage using different techniques. With Calatonia, there is no pressure on using your hands. So, it would be might helpful for sensible feet.

Calatonia

Catalonia has been suggested to help in cases of gastric ulcer, glandular disorders, arthritis, asthma, migraine, obesity, allergy, insomnia, panic disorder, impotence, stress, trauma, pre and postoperative periods, climacteric, menopause and others.

It is well known that tensions trigger and aggravate the various processes of illness, leading to stress and this is the physical disease so it would be ideal to treat the problem from the beginning.

couple feet in the beach

5 Foot Massage Benefits 

As soon you start, you will discover what are the benefits of foot massage. So some of them are:

  • Improve nerve function
  • Improve bloody circulation
  • Pain Relief
  • More Positive Mental Health
  • Relieve Stress

If you are giving a foot massage it could increase your connection with your loved one. When you relax you are more centered. This would help your mind to relax and you can put aside problems and worries that you are not able to deal straight away. Some things in life need time to resolve itself, or depend on others, so worry is not really something useful.

Foot Therapy Massage

With time and practice you can become an expert and everyone would love to receive a massage from you. You can also might teach your loved one on how to give a foot massage so you can receive as well!

Offering do do a foot massage might show that you care and you want them feel loved and relaxed. After a hard day at work why not together create that special moment and care for each other? You might want to discover and choose together, the amazing sense of oils and fragrances to add to your ritual.

How to give a Foot Massage 

Foot Therapy and its benefits

Foot massage can be just simple as rubbing gently your foot with circular movements. Ask your partner as you go along what they prefer. Using the good feeling you both are experimenting to develop your own method. You can use self foot massage techniques and learn how to massage your own feet better than anyone else. Afterwards, who knows your more than yourself?

One of my favorites technique is Toe Bend. It is also a secret way to tackle insomnia and I recommend a try if you wake up during the night and cannot get back into sleep.  It is very simple:

  • When doing yourself, lay in bed and start bending your toes (you don’t need to use your hands) back and forth at the same time and don’t stop. When you realize you are waking the next day. It is really incredible, and works for me.
  • When you are doing a massage to someone, hold the heel with your hand and move their toes back and forth.

Bend toes

  • Use your hands and gently make circular moves using the pressure points

What are the benefits of foot massage

  • massage the top of the foot with circular movements

How to give a foot massage

How to do a foot Massage

Now, using the Pressure Points Chart above see if you can relate the picture below to the part of the body that can benefit from a foot massage:

  Pressure points foot pain

Study the chart and the points that are more important to you and your loved one and gently start to make circular movements in each point. In the picture example above the foot massage is stimulating the kidney.

  • The picture below show how to do foot massage in the inside part of the foot. Massage the foot with circular movements from bottom to toes and vice versa. Doing this foot therapy exercises, you will be touching pressure points related to the spleen and kidney meridians.

Reflexology massage

 

How to do a foot Massage

You can use oils to make it more enjoyable. 

Using oil in foot massage

 

Well know, Argain oil is excellent for hair and skin so you might want to add to your massage. You  can also choose other fragrances that you or your loved one likes and off course, you are not allergic. 

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Best foot massager – Products to Complement your Massage Ritual

There are amazing products out there that do the massage for you! Have you though on how to give foot massage without even using your hands? To create or improve the connection through a foot massage can be done by introducing something different.

Foot massage products are useful and some are not expensive. Also if you have pain in your hands or no one to gives you a message, it does not impede you to pamper yourself! 

If you have some time available why not book that Spa break that you always wanted? If you are in London, check out this place.

See below some incredible products to inspire you, complement your massage and relax in the comfort of your house!

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