The Ancient Technique of Foot Massage and its benefits
Based on the ancient teachings regarding massage therapies, many different kinds are practiced in modern-day Thailand. The foot massage is one of the most interesting of them all due to the fact that its principles are simple while its practice is quite a bit more complicated as the force which is applied to the foot by the massaging hands must be exceedingly accurate as it is directed toward particular nerves of the foot. The Thai believe that each part of the foot has a direct link to another remotely located part of the body such as a vital organ or a system. Therefore, applying pressure and massaging a certain area of the foot influences the soft tissues of that particular area of the foot as well as the other.
As a general rule, the foot massage is much more effective when the foot is bare as opposed to being clad with socks or stockings.
The basic techniques every massage therapists uses are:
Sweeping and Rubbing-Most foot massages begin with bringing an increased supply of blood into the foot by rubbing its surface lightly but long enough to create the desired warmth and the rhythm of movement.
Thumb walking- The thumbs apply more direct and firm pressure to various parts of the foot as well as to loosen the tense tendons which run along the outside edge.
Toe rotation- The toes are very sensitive manipulate them carefully by either rotating each toe individually or by gently pulling them upwards and outwards while squeezing gently.
Kneading– Press and rotating the knuckles firmly but not harshly, using the fisted hand back and forth across the sole of the foot, from its heel to its toes.
Cupping-This is a simple squeezing of the entire foot with an up and down motion of one hand while cupping it with the other.
Foot Massage Benefits:
- Firmly pressing and massaging the base of the fourth toe heals an ailing heart.
- Pressing and massaging the base of the second toe stimulates the lungs and the bronchial system for improved breathing.
- Pressing and rolling the area between the first and second thumb relieves headaches.
- Massaging between the third and fourth toe relaxes tired eyes and improves vision.
- Stretching and pulling the big toe alleviates pain caused by sinusitis
- Rotating pressure at the ball of the foot will ease stomach aches and heal the kidneys, the bladder, and the entire excretory system.
- Applying pressure to the front of the heel delivers remedial effects to the male and female genital glands.
- Stretching the skin backward and forwards under both sides of the anklebone is therapeutic to the reproductive tracts of men and women.
- Pulling the knuckle of any toe backward along the instep eases spinal pain and improves posture.
- Hold the foot between two hands. Rub the top of the foot between the first and second toe with one thumb while rubbing the top of the foot between the fourth and the fifth toe with the other. This relieves the pain of the inner ear and the chest.
- Massaging the inner and outer edges of the foot is beneficial to the diaphragm.
- Pushing and massaging the soft spot beneath the anklebone reduces the pain from the sciatic nerve and stimulates the lymphatic to cleanse the body of bacteria and toxins.
- Enfolding and rotating the toes achieves overall relaxation and a sense of well-being.
- With so much pressing, massaging, rolling, gyrating, pulling, stretching and stroking; all the soft tissues of the foot itself become relaxed and invigorated.