Reduce your stress levels with a simple foot massage
Enjoy a relaxing foot massage that will help reduce your stress levels.
We all stand and walk around on our feet for hours on end each day. Most of us have experienced how good it feels to take off shoes when getting home from a long day at work. And although most of us are homebound at the moment, there is no harm in giving your feet a little extra love. Our feet are often neglected, but by having a simple foot massage we can improve the health of our feet as well as affect our overall health.
Some of the benefits of a five-minute foot massage
There are many benefits to a foot massage, and you don’t need hours to experience them. You only need five minutes to feel these effects. Of course, a longer foot massage is always a better option. You can perform a massage on your own feet or even better, you can get somebody else to do it for you.
Benefits of a foot massage include:
• Helps to improve circulation
• Reduces stress and improves relaxation
• Provides better sleep
• Can help to fight depression and anxiety
• Improves the lymphatic flow and reduces swelling in the foot and ankle area
• May help to reduce headaches
• A foot massage may help to lower high blood pressure
• Using creams or oils can keep the foot moisturised and reduce problems like cracked heels
Easy to follow foot massage
These techniques can be done on your own feet or performed on another person. You can further create an atmosphere of relaxation by playing background music and diffusing some essential oils.
First, it is always a good idea to clean the feet. You can simply wipe them down with a wet wipe, or I prefer soaking in a foot spa or a bowl of warm water. This adds to the whole experience and is relaxing in itself. Make sure you dry off the feet properly after you have finished soaking.
If it is just you or somebody else massaging the feet, it is important in both instances to be comfortable. When massaging your own feet, always make sure you support your back properly. When you are massaging another person’s foot, the best would be to have them lie on the bed with their feet close to the edge. You can then easily kneel on a pillow by the foot of the bed to reach the feet. Remember to place a towel underneath.
Giving a foot massage to someone else
Begin with the right foot first. Take some cream or oil and rub all over the foot. You can even go all the way up the lower part or calf area of the leg. Do this in a smooth movement, slowly and move towards the heart.
Next, gently take hold of the foot with your one hand and use the other hand to hold and squeeze each toe individually. This is a gentle but firm squeezing motion. Follow this by holding the heel of the foot with one hand, then take your other hand and place on top of the foot and bend all the toes forward, follow by pushing them back away from you. You can repeat this three or four times. Leave your one hand holding the heel of the foot and use your other hand to slowly rotate the entire foot clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat this movement a few times.
Next step: You are still busy with the right foot. Take your one hand and place it on top of the foot, in order to keep the foot in place. Now, use the knuckles of your other hand to knead the entire sole. Work from the top to the bottom and up again. You can also take both hands and hold the foot, then use the thumbs to go up and down the bottom of the foot in circular motions.
Finish off your foot massage
Finish off by gently rubbing the entire foot, making sure the motion is up the leg towards the heart and end off by holding the foot for a few seconds. Repeat all the movements on the left foot.
The entire process should take about five minutes, but you can carry on for longer if you wish. After the foot massage, relax for a few minutes with your feet up and enjoy the effects of the relaxing massage.
This content has been created as part of our freelancer relief programme. We are supporting journalists and freelance writers impacted by the economic slowdown caused by #lockdownlife.
If you are a freelancer looking to contribute to The South African, read more here.