Massage is great for the feet. It helps increase circulation to injured areas and the increased blood supply helps speed recovery while reducing swelling. Inflexibility associated with tightness can hinder efficient training and performance. When muscles are relaxed and receiving better circulation, they are stronger and tolerate higher levels of training with less pain and breakdown. Tight muscles can lead to strains and soft-tissue injury. This is where massage can help.
Self-Massaging Your Feet
To do a self-massage of your feet, start by warming your feet in a bath or with warm, moist towels. Cross one leg over the other with the sole facing you. Use both thumbs to massage your feet in a deep, circular motion, working small areas at a time. Work from your toes toward your heel, and then to your ankle. Use various movements and pressure to find what feels best. Generally, all movement and pressure should be toward the heart—moving the old “stagnated” blood back to your heart. The use of massage oil or creams can help with the kneading of the skin and can soften dry heels and calluses. Self-foot massage is easier if you’re limber. If you find it difficult, have a partner massage your feet. Try a few of these foot massage techniques:
• Bottoms of your feet – Place your thumbs on the heel of one foot. Apply pressure to the underside of the foot starting at the bottom and slowly move towards the toes.
• Heels – Massage the bottom and sides of your heels using your thumbs.
• Toes – Stroke the toes and between the toes upward towards the ankle.
• Top of the foot – Using your fingers, massage the top of the foot focusing on the soft points between the bones of the forefoot upward towards the ankle.
• Stroking the foot – Using both hands, place your fingers on the top of the foot and the thumbs underneath. One hand at a time, stroke by sliding your hands upward towards the heart.
Related Massage Products
The Stick is a tool that can be used on any major muscle groups through clothing or directly on the skin. Provides instant myofascial release that promotes healthy and relaxed muscle fibers and good circulation. It comes in four sizes and can be used before and after exercise to aid strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Hand & Foot Massage – This book by Mary Atkinson also covers pedicures. 128 pages.
Natural Foot Care: Herbal Treatments, Massage, and Exercises for Healthy Feet – This book by Stephanie Tourles presents a holistic approach to caring for feet, introducing alternative and natural treatments for good foot health. 192 pages.