How to care for your hard-working feet.

In Ayurveda, regular oil massage is one of the keys to good health, helping restore balance, stimulate the body’s healing systems, and open the mind to inner awareness. We have previously written about how to perform Abhyanga , or full body self-massage here, which takes around 30 minutes to perform. When time is limited and for a wonderful uplifting effect, a foot massage can be the perfect start to the day, helping to soothe and ground mind and body. When combined with a scalp massage, you have a mini-abhyanga, since the marma points on the scalp mirror those on the feet, and help balance the body’s subtle energies.

What oil to use:

Classically, the oil of choice will depend on your body type, or dosha, which will generally be a predominance of vata, pitta or kapha. A brief description of the 3 doshas is given here.

Vata and kapha body types should massage with a warming sesame-based oil, like our Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil while pitta body types should use a cooling coconut-based oil, like our Coconut and Sandalwood Body Oil.

How to perform Ayurvedic foot massage:

Using the thumb, massage the point in the middle of the arch on the underside of the foot, with a circular, clockwise motion.

Using the thumb, massage the middle of the fleshy part of the underside of the big toe.

Massage the underside of the first joint of each toe, then pull from the base to the tip of each toe.

Massage the top of the foot in the groove between the big and second toes, using both thumbs, working from the base of the toes towards the ankle

Using both hands, massage from toes to ankle, top and bottom of foot.

Using both hands, massage the ankle joint clockwise, on the front, back and sides of the ankle.

You may wish to dab your feet with a towel to remove excess oil before getting on with your day.

The after-effects:

Regular foot massage helps restore energy to mind and body, and brings an awareness and gratitude for the work your feet do for you every day. Treat yourself to the full abhyanga treatment when you can manage it, and feel marvellous all over. The time spent carrying out this restorative treatment will be well rewarded.

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