6 Easy Steps To Giving A Foot Massage (With Pictures)

Category: Massage Posted: 28 Jan 2019

Posted: 28 Jan 2019

How To Massage Feet In 6 Simple Steps

Follow this simple 6-step guide to learn how to massage feet like a professional. You can use the techniques below to massage your own feet or to treat a lucky loved one, from your partner to your mum, to a sublime foot rub.

The only supplies you need are your fingers, thumbs and palms with a bucket of warm water as your tool.


Preparing For A Foot Massage

Start by grabbing your foot with both hands.

Preparing For A Foot Massage

Massaging the feet is one of the easiest parts of the body to prepare for. Foot massages are best done on bare feet using your favourite moisturising cream, but can also be performed using oil or no lubricant. 

To prepare, choose your preferred cream or oil, grab a small towel and find a warm and comfortable place to sit. Take off socks, ideally uncovering the legs up to and including the whole calf muscle. Optionally, soak your feet and ankles in a bucket of warm water for about 5 minutes before starting the massage. The soaking procedure has the dual effect of cleaning the feet as well as warming up the skin and underlying muscles before the relaxing foot rub starts. 

You don’t need special equipment to perform self massage on your feet or those of a friend. Various tools are available, like Thai foot massage sticks, but in our view fingers, thumbs and palms with a bit of empathy do 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, no problem! 


How to Massage Feet

Step 1

Start by grabbing your foot with both hands.

Locating foot pressure points using tips of thumbs

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

Locate any particularly tired points and hold the pressure in the same position for 10 seconds.

Never push harder than feels comfortable. It is ok for the compression to be quite intense but it should not cause pain or discomfort.

Step 2

Squeezing the heel of the foot using edges of the hand

Squeeze the heel of the foot by using the edges of your hand between the thumb and forefinger. 

Increase the force of the squeeze as far as feels comfortable. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat immediately.

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

Scratching the sole of the foot to awaken nerve endings

Using the tips of your fingers and nails, scratch the bottom of the foot, with a light to medium pressure.

It may feel ticklish at first, but persevere and you should get used to it.

This particular technique is an excellent way to awaken and invigorate nerves in the soles of the feet.

Step 4

Bending back the toes of the foot

Bend the toes back towards the knees and hold them in that bent position for 10 seconds. Slowly release.

Repeat this movement 3 times on each foot.

Step 5

Pushing the tips of thumbs into foot pressure points

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

Whilst still bent back, use the tip of the thumbs of both hands to apply pinpoint pressure to the ball of the foot.

Move your thumbs around until you find the points on the foot which feel tender or tight. Hold the pressure in those parts for 10 seconds.

Refer to a foot reflexology map to identify particular pressure points that may be relevant to any specific ailments you have been suffering from in the rest of your body.

Step 6

Separating all the toes of each foot using fingers

Finish off by gently inserting your fingers in between the tips of each of the toes, in a manner similar to toe separators.

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

Stop when comfortable and hold the position for 5 seconds, before smoothly extracting your fingers.


The whole procedure takes around 5 minutes per foot. If you have time to spare and you (or your lucky friend) feel like you could do with some further foot therapy, then simply repeat the whole process from the start.

Use the above tips on yourself to grab an easy stolen moment of pure and simple relaxation or to quickly revive yourself after a long walk. Giving someone else a foot massage is a great way to improve your relationship. Also especially useful on anniversaries or Valentine’s Day to fill the gap when you feel perhaps one more gift was needed to complete the occasion.