AYURVEDIC FOOT MASSAGE
Ayurveda recommends a daily oil massage or Abhyangam for optimal health. However, today’s fast-paced world does not give everyone time to indulge in an intense oil massage every day. For this reason, it is a great idea to achieve the health benefits by doing a simple scalp massage and a foot massage daily. According to Ayurveda, the feet are the site where nerves end. This makes it a location with plenty of marma points. Massaging the feet can stimulate better blood circulation and relax the entire body. Ayurveda considers the feet to be the foundation of the entire body; and a weak foundation means your entire body’s functioning will be unhealthy.
Using oils to massage the feet every night before bed can help relieve the stress of the day and relax the mind, preparing the body for a good night’s sleep. Ayurveda has always recognized the potent effect that oils have on the body. They make the skin supple and soft, and have deeply penetrative which allows the body to soothe and renew itself. There are a number of oils which can be used for a foot massage, but the best options are sesame oil or coconut oil. If you want an even more luxurious feel, add a few drops of lavender oil for better sleep, or eucalyptus oil for stress relief. An oil massage for the feet also leaves your feet free of any dead skin, and feeling baby soft. Warm oil is preferred as this has a better penetrative effect.
- Massage some oil all over the foot and ensure the entire sole is covered. Make sure you reach up to the ankle and between the toes as well.
- Next, slowly press your thumb into the point where your leg joins your feet, and drag it to the tip of the big toe. Do this extremely slowly and with as much pressure as you feel comfortable with. Repeat this step with every toe. This is to ensure blood flow in the foot is good, and this also helps stimulate better circulation in the entire body.
- The next step focuses on the toes. Slowly pull each toe away from the foot almost like cracking the joint. This helps relieve all stress.
- Use your hands to pull your foot from the ankle to the tips of your toes and do a few gentle strokes ensuring you are massaging every part. Practice deep breathing and visualize all stress leaving the body.
- Repeat the exercise on the other foot.
- Once done, soak your feet in a water bath with a small amount of salt for 5-10 minutes. This helps draw out all toxins and impurities.