Learn How To Massage Feet in 6 Easy Steps

Category: Massage
Last updated on: 14/02/2024
Learning foot massage in 6 easy steps

Give yourself - or a friend - a feet treat by learning how to massage feet in this simple 6-step guide.

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Preparing for a Foot Massage

Massaging the feet is one of the easiest parts of the body in terms of preparation.

All you need are your fingers, thumbs and palms with a bucket of warm water and some cream or oil as your tools.

Whether you're after a DIY foot massage or massaging a friend's feet, the basic techniques are the same.

Preparing for a foot massage

Grab a towel and find a warm and comfortable place to sit.

Remove your socks, ideally uncovering the legs up to and including the whole of the calf.

Next, ideally, soak your feet and ankles in a bucket of warm water for about 5 minutes before progressing.

The soaking procedure has the dual benefit of not only cleansing but also warming the underlying muscles in the feet and softening any hard skin. But if you don't have time or a bucket, you can miss out this step.

You can perform a foot massage with no lubricant, or apply a favourite moisturising cream, natural oil or talcum powder.

Various tools are also available - like Thai massage sticks - but in our opinion using just your fingers, thumbs and palms mixed with a large dose of genuine empathy does the very best job!

All the techniques described below work on socked feet too, so if you prefer to keep your feet dry and your socks on, that's not a problem!



How to Massage Feet: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1

Start by grabbing a foot with both hands.

Locating foot pressure points

Using the fleshy parts of your thumbs, apply light to medium pressure to the various foot massage points which run along the sole from the ball of the foot right down to the heel.

Identify any particularly tired points and in these parts, you can hold the pressure steady in the same position for about 10 seconds.

Never push too hard and always ensure that it feels comfortable throughout.

Sometimes the compression of massage techniques can be quite intense but it should never cause undue pain or discomfort.

Specialist sports or deep tissue massage therapy should only be performed by appropriately trained professionals.



Step 2

Squeeze the heel of the foot by using the edges of your hand between the thumb and forefinger as shown in the image above.

Squeezing the heel of the foot

Increase the force of the squeeze as far as feels comfortable and hold this position for about 10 seconds.

Then release the pressure gradually before repeating the same movement. You can continue this squeeze, release, squeeze, release cycle for a minute.

Do not rush it, as the more slowly you do it, the more relaxing the therapy feels.

The heel can usually take a deeper intensity of massage than other parts of the foot, as the skin and nerves in this area are less sensitive.



Step 3

Follow the heel massage with a little light scratching to awaken nerve endings. Using the tips of your fingers and nails, scratch the bottom of the foot, with a light to medium pressure.

Scratching the sole to awaken nerve endings

Try not to be too light as it may tickle - a medium pressure is probably best. It may still feel a bit ticklish, especially if you have sensitive feet, but persevere and you should get used to the feeling quite quickly.

This technique is an excellent way to awaken and invigorate nerves in the soles of the feet, which in turn increases healthy blood circulation to the area.



Step 4

This might sound a little scary at first, but when done correctly this gives a lovely stretchy feeling in a part of the body that is used rigorously every day.

Slowly and gently bend all the toes on one foot back towards the shin.

Bending back toes for stretching

Bend them only as far as feels easy and once you reach a position of resistance simply hold the toes in that bent position for about 10 seconds.

Slowly release and then repeat this 3 times.

Depending on the flexibility of the recipient, you may find that you are able to bend the toes a little further back each time - but if not, then just stick with the same position.



Step 5

This is a real "aaaahhh" part of the foot massage, which you or your lucky recipient should really appreciate.

Grab all the toes on one foot with one hand and once again bend them back slightly.

Applying pressure to foot pressure points

This time, whilst the toes are still bent back, use the fleshy tips of your thumbs of both hands to apply pressure to the ball of the foot, as shown in the image above.

With the pressure still applied, slowly move your thumbs around the base of the foot searching for any points that feel tender or tight.

If you find any such points, rotate your thumbs around the area using small concentric circular movements, gradually increasing the intensity of your massage in those parts. Hold the pressure in the tight spot for about 10 seconds, before gradually releasing.



Step 6

Finish off your foot massage therapy by spreading the fingers of your hand slightly.

Separating toes for foot massage

Gently insert each finger in-between the tips of each toe. A bit like how toe separators are inserted.

Then, slowly move your fingers down towards the base of the toes, causing them to spread further apart.

This technique effectively massages the sides of each toe whilst also providing light lateral stretching.

Pause at the base of the toes and hold this position for about 5 seconds. Then lightly and smoothly extract your fingers by pulling the towards you and away from the foot.

Massaging your own, or a friend's feet, takes just 5 minutes per foot.

If you have time to spare and you feel like you could do with some further foot therapy, then simply repeat the whole process from the start.



How do professionals do a foot massage?

Watch this video to see how a professional therapist performs a rejuvenating and relaxing foot massage.



Want one of our professionals to visit you to do the same? No problem!


Book a foot massage in London 



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