How To Massage Your Foot

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Our feet affects our posture, organ function and alignment. With over 25% of the body’s bones and millions of nerve endings, our feet are essential to our wellbeing and overall health. When was the last time you gave yourself a foot massage?

How do you massage your foot? You can massage your foot in six easy steps:

  • Find a comfortable place to sit and rest one foot on the opposite knee, so you can reach your foot with both hands.
  • Hold your foot with both hands and press your thumbs slowly along the bottom of your foot, starting from the heel and working your way to your toes.
  • Rub the fleshy part of each toe, then squeeze and hold for thirty seconds.
  • Grab the base of each toe in between your forefinger and your thumb, and pull your toe up, providing a nice stretch.
  • Pinch at the web between the toes for 10 seconds, then release.
  • Grab each side of your foot and pull your foot outward. Your thumb should be “spreading” your foot while your other four fingers should be stabilizing your foot on the other side (top of your foot). Start from the top of your foot and work your way down until you reach your heel.

How To Massage Your Feet’s Pressure Points

Some ancient practices and growing research belief that massaging specific pressure points on your foot can help benefit other parts of your body and promote healing.

A simple foot massage can make a world of difference to how you feel and function.

Reflexology is the ancient practice of treating different painful conditions.

It uses the notion that applying pressure on certain points of the body to improve one’s health.

Foot reflexology involves administering pressure onto the feet’s pressure points that are directly  linked to specific parts of your body.

There are 15 pressure points on each foot and working on these points will facilitate the flow of energy to their corresponding body part.

These pressure points can be worked on by thumb walking; finger walking; pivoting and sliding.

The use of light stroking, knuckles, circular friction, and tools has also been incorporated into foot reflexology.

The following are the 15 pressure points according to Chinese acupuncture and their functions:

  1. Tai Chong (LV3). This point is located between the big toe and the second toe, just where the tendons meet. Apply firm pressure to this point for a few second to help relieve stress, headache, anxiety, irritability, and period cramps.
  1. Yong Quan (KD 1). It is located on the depression you feel below the joint of the big toe. Find this spot between the big toe and the second one and give it a squeeze with your thumb and massage for two to three minutes to get rid of insomnia, night sweats, palpitations, hot flashes, memory loss, and anxiety.
  1. Da Dun (LV 1). Located one inch below the toenail corner, towards the inner side of the big toe. Apply pressure to this point to get rid of dizziness, hernia and stomach aches.
  1. Tai Bai. You can find this pressure point by applying pressure along the side of the foot until you get to the depression point on the middle side of the foot, near the foot’s ball. It relieves digestive problems and abdominal tension.
  1. Tai Xi. Located between your achilles tendon and the top of the inner bony bump on your ankle. This offers relief from sore throats, bronchitis, asthma and arthritis.
  1. Shen Mai. Found on the bony bump on the outside of your ankle. Applying pressure to this point will relieve you of cold and flu symptoms and reducing anxiety.
  1. Qiu Xu. This pressure point is found by gently pressing the area below the bump on your outside ankle using your thumb and index finger. It reduces mental stress, improves mood and promotes mental stability.
  1. Kun Lun. This is the depression spot between the highest spot of your ankle and your achilles tendon. It is known to cure high blood pressure, intestinal problems,  headaches, eye disease and lumbar pain.
  1. Xing Jian. Found by applying pressure to the thick skin between the big toe and the second toe. It helps with vision issues, leg cramps, sinusitis, and liver disease.
  1. Li Nei Ting. It is found on the underside of your foot just between your second and third toe. It is effective in treating food poisoning symptoms, constipation, toothache, urinary tract infections and stroke rehabilitation.
  1. Xia Li. It is an inch below the adjoining skin portion between the big and the second toe on the upper side of your foot. It relieves diarrhea symptoms.
  1. Zu Lin Qi. Run your finger along the outer side of your foot to about one-third of the way down to locate this pressure point. It eases lumbar pain, muscle cramping, psychoneurosis and eye conditions.
  1. Gao Ya Xue Dian. This is in the middle of your big toe, on the upper side. Apply pressure gently for about a minute or two to relieve hypertension.
  1. Di Er Li Dui. This point lies just below the toenail of the second toe. It is used to treat hiccups, nausea, and appetite problems.
  1. Di San Li Dui. It is also located in the middle toe, just below the toenail. It is used to treat heartburn and burping.

How To Massage Your Foot For Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain.

It is caused by the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.

It causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with the first steps taken in the morning.

Here are some of the ways you can massage your foot to relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Using Your Hand

Start at the base of your heel where your plantar fascia ligament connects to the heel bone and massage in a circular motion with your thumb using smooth but even movements.

Then apply gradual pressure lengthwise along the plantar fascia, starting from the ball of your foot down to the heel bone.

You can make steady, circular motions along the fascia.

Massage each sensitive area with 10-15 very short massage strokes or apply static pressure to the area for about 30 seconds.

Tennis Ball

Sit on a chair with your feet facing forward. Roll your foot on the ball from your heel to the pads of your toes, applying ample pressure. Repeat this as many times as needed.

How To Massage Your Foot  If You Have Tendonitis

Tendonitis occurs when there is pain and inflammation of the tendon of the foot due to the wear and tear caused by our daily physical activities like running, exercising, or taking very long walks in uncomfortable shoes.

Tendons is what attaches muscles to our bones.

If you have tendonitis your foot and ankle becomes stiff, painful and sometimes swollen.

To relieve these symptoms, use an ice pack on the heel and bottom of the foot, three to four times a day for 10-15 minutes each.

Once the pain is reduced, gently stretch the foot, ankle and calf.

Focus on stretching the achilles tendon and plantar fascia using calf wall stretches and heel raises on a step.

How To Massage The Arch Of Your Foot

Our foot arch normally holds the majority of the tension in our bodies because of holding the weight of our bodies day in, day out.

A good massage will help relieve you of this tension; increase blood circulation; and relax the whole body.

Start by massaging the area between the big toe bone and the heel. You can use the bones as anchors when stretching the foot. However, do not massage directly over the bones.

Overlap your thumb and gently press just below the heel bone and then push slowly up to the bone of the big toe, warming up the arch.

Repeat this a few times until you cover the entire arch. Finish this by rubbing in large circular motions with your thumbs around the arch.

Where To Massage To Get Rid Of Headaches

Different types of headaches are relieved by massaging different pressure points on your feet:

  • Headache At The Temples. Apply and release pressure several times on the area inside the big toe. The left foot is used for the left side of the head and the other for the right side.
  • Sinusitis Headache. The second joint on each toe, front and back are connected to the sinuses. Firmly massage these areas using a squeeze and release technique to ease pressure in the sinuses causing the headache.
  • Headaches In The Front, Back And Centre. The top of each toe, front and back is associated with generalized headache. Apply pressure to the valley between the big toe and the second toe to relieve this type of headache.

The following video shows where to massage to ease your headache.

Where To Massage Your Foot To Help With Constipation

Use your thumb to massage the middle of your right heel, working your way to the outside edge.

Move upward towards the middle of your foot.

Massage all the way across to the middle of the right foot; then, cross over to the left foot, and then massage over to the outer edge.

Massage down along the edge and move inward to the centre of the left heel.

Finish by massaging over and to the inside of the left foot.

The video below shows how and where to massage your foot to help with constipation.

​Foot Massage For Anxiety Reduction

Start by washing your feet and drying them.

Using any essential oil you can find, start rubbing at the base of your little toe.

Move over to the base of the next toe and continue rubbing.

Apply slight pressure on the flesh between your little toe and the next.

Then move to your middle toe, massage, stretch and pull it in a circular motion.

Repeat this for the other toes.

With the fingertips or the palm of your hands, gently apply pressure to both sides of the heel just below the ankle.

Rub around your ankle in a clockwise motion to improve circulation and energy.

Finally knead and squeeze your calf muscle to release tension and stiffness. Repeat this on the second foot.

How To Massage Your Foot Using Heat Foot Massager With Water

This is a great tool in helping you massage your foot from the comfort of your home.

They normally come with auto reflexology rollers that rotate continuously massaging your pressure points and LED temperature control that you can adjust according to your needs.

It has to be used with water and to be connected to the electrical socket to be used.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at MindBodyPal is a team of experts led by Tyson Chiu. We love tacos, lattes and Funky Fridays.