If you think about it, your feet put up with a lot. They help you walk, run, skip, and dance your way through the day. When you get home, they help you stand and cook dinner—even when you don’t feel like it. When the day is done, they even haul you upstairs to bed.
Show your feet some well-earned TLC, in the form of a foot soak and rub. Not only your feet—but your entire body will benefit.
Did you know …
- that a 5-minute foot massage can help you feel better when you’re extremely sad? According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, massaging the soft tissues of the feet or hands brought emotional comfort to those suffering the death of a loved one.
- that a foot massage can help when you’re in physical pain? Post-op patients in a 2004 study published in the Pain Management Nursing Journal, reported fewer pain symptoms following a foot massage than those who used pain medication alone.
Soaking your feet feels luxurious and gets them nice and clean. It’s like treating them to a hot tub!
Begin by laying a towel in front of a comfy chair or couch. Fill a plastic tub with warm water and set it on the towel (most discount stores carry inexpensive rectangular tubs). If it’s hot out, you may want to fill your tub with cool water. Do what feels best. You can even add a few tablespoons of Epsom salts to relieve fatigue and swelling, or a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Sit comfortably and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes, then pat them dry.
Choose your favorite massage oil. Raw sesame oil and coconut oil are two good options. If you prefer, you can use a lotion that doesn’t contain a lot of synthetic ingredients. Place a towel underneath your feet and begin by applying the oil generously to one foot, keeping the foot well-oiled throughout the massage.
Start with the ankle: Massage around the ankle in smooth circles. Flex and stretch the foot several times with the help of your hand.
Then the toes: Massage the spaces between each toe, starting with the baby toe, with small, circular movements. As you move across, squeeze between each toe a few times with your finger and thumb and then glide your thumb up and down the grooves.
Finish with the sole: Wrap both hands around the foot, so that the sole is facing you. Allow both thumbs to meet at the bottom and move your thumbs in a circular motion moving up the foot, almost like you are kneading dough. Once you reach the toes, start again. Repeat a few times. Now glide the thumbs up the center of the sole. Before you reach the toes, fan your thumbs out towards the sides of the foot giving the foot a little stretch on either side.
Repeat with the other foot and then pat away excess oil with a damp towel and pat dry.
Enjoy this routine once a week (or more!) to care for your tired feet.