While specific philosophies differ slightly from country to country, two primary methods of foot massage are currently practiced; the complete foot and ankle rub treatment and pressure point massage. With dedication and a willingness to learn, practically anyone can develop the basic techniques of Oriental Foot Massage. Here are a few steps to the same:
Sit on a pillow or comfortable position wherein you can freely reach the foot you intend to massage. Begin warming up the foot by sliding both hands up and down the sides and bottom of the foot and causing friction. Continue rubbing until the foot is warmer to the touch, indicating an increased circulation.
Grasp the bottom of the foot in your hands and begin to massage the surface of the foot with your thumbs. Begin at the heel of the foot and work in one direction with medium pressure, using the other fingers to hold the foot in place. Rub upward in sequence as you sweep towards the toes and back down the foot in a clockwise direction. Apply less pressure on sensitive areas of the foot, such as the toes and inner center.
Perform the thumb-walking technique by alternating thumbs in firm, quick succession up and down the sides of the feet. Slide each thumb up and down both sides of the feet as you search for the tendons that run along the outside edges of the foot. Apply both thumbs on each tendon, alternating thumbs on the tense areas with increasing firmness. Briefly apply pressure to the tendon for 10 seconds before rubbing each one out in a clockwise fashion with your thumb.
Rotate the toes of the foot by grabbing a toe from the foot with your pointer finger and thumb and gently rotating the toe in a clockwise direction. Rotate the toe for 10 seconds before moving on to the next toe and rotating it in a counterclockwise direction. Continue until all the toes have been gently rotated and finish by grabbing all of the toes with one hand and gently squeezing all the toes upward while pulling.
Apply the pressure point massage technique by locating areas of the foot indicated on an acupressure foot chart. Ask the patient where the feel specific discomfort or pain within the body and locate the appendage or bodily organ on the acupressure foot chart. For example: if the person has been experiencing kidney troubles, you can locate the Yong Quan acupressure point on the foot that corresponds to the kidneys and press the tip of your thumb into the area. Apply firm (but not excessively painful) pressure to the point for one to two minutes before gently rubbing out the area in a clockwise motion. Repeat for any other area requiring acupressure attention.
- Acupressure points, similar to reflexology, on the feet correspond to the traditional body meridians taught to students of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. Locate a school in your area for purchasing an acupressure foot chart.
- Individuals suffering from arthritis or weak joint conditions in the hand are advised not to apply full pressure when performing a foot massage. If you suffer from such a condition, you may want to consider purchasing a massage tool to reduce discomfort while delivering a massage.