The Gift of a Foot Massage
The feet are often a very neglected part of the body. Cooped up in shoes and socks all day, they rarely get a chance to be out in the open. A real treat for someone close to you is the gift of a foot massage.
When manipulated carefully through massage, the feet themselves can lead to a feeling of revitalization throughout the entire body, and spirit.
The massage technique described does not claim to have any documented medical benefits. However, when applied correctly, it will more than likely have the recipient walking away (or dozing off!) with a feeling of well-being and peace.
To begin with, you need to make sure that you have the correct supplies. All you really need is some baby oil, a few towels, and a tray of warm water. Alternately, many people enjoy the use of peppermint scented oils in the giving or receiving of a foot massage.
Have the person who is to receive the massage remove their shoes and socks and soak their feet in the warm water for about ten minutes. Do not make the water too hot, and be sure to dry their feet well when removed.
You may wish to light incense or candles, and darken the room to increase the feeling of relaxation. Before starting the massage, the recipient may be a bit hesitant. Many people are sensitive and ticklish on their feet. Reassure the person that you will use firm, slow strokes rather than light, quick ones.
Have the recipient get comfortable in a chair with their feet propped up on a footstool or another chair. Urge them to close their eyes and relax. Initially, simply place your hands gently around their feet for a few minutes. Leave them there and allow the warmth of your hands to connect with their feet.
After this, place a small amount of oil in your hands and rub them together. Take one of the recipient's feet into your hands and begin by rubbing the sole of their foot with your thumbs. Work your thumbs in a circular motion all the way from the heel to the base of the toes.
Use more oil as needed, but remember that too much will cause your hands to slide and will make the recipient feel uncomfortable.
After this, make a fist with one of your hands. Press your knuckles into the sole of their foot repeatedly, working your way from the heel to the toes.
Then work the toes themselves:
Take each toe individually and place it between your thumb and forefinger. Gently manipulate it, then give it a slight tug at the end. Many people overlook the toes during a foot massage, so take care to remember them.
Next, place the recipient's foot into your lap and place your thumbs on the top of the person's foot. Gently press your fingers into the recipient's foot all along their sole.
At the end of the massage, gently run your fingers along the top of the foot to provide a relaxing feeling. Repeat all of the above with the recipient's other foot.
After the massage, dry the feet thoroughly, and apply baby powder, if you wish. Urge the recipient to drink plenty of water over the next twenty-four hours.
A wonderful aspect of the foot massage is that you can give one to a special someone, and to yourself! Once you've provided your first massage, you may soon find yourself fending off requests for another!
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