Our modern life is full of different problems concerning our career, relationships, money and so on. It’s absolutely not surprising that one day we find ourselves completely stressed out. Everyone knows that stress causes a large number of diseases which can hardly be cured by doctors.
What is Hand and Foot Massage?
Hand and foot massage is a kind of reflexotherapy known for many years. From the reflexology viewpoint, there are some reflexing points or strokes on our hands and feet which are associated with other parts of the body and organs. The pressure on these strokes provides the person’s body with good health and well-being.
What are the Benefits of Hand and Foot Massage?
Benefits of hand and foot massage:
- Pain relief. It’s a scientifically proven fact that the carefully done massage is able to relieve the pain in different parts of the body and to ease the strain in muscles. For example, when your feet muscles are strained because of the highheels they become painful and a daily ten minutes massage will be helpful in this situation.
- Blood circulation. The improving of blood circulation is the main aim of a hand and foot massage. If our blood flow brings not enough oxygen to the nerves endings of our hands and feet they can become sensitive and sometimes even numb.
- Good night’s sleep. Try to massage your feet before going to bed. It will improve the blood circulation and you will have a very restful sleep.
- It is a well-known fact that everyday stress harms human health a lot. Relaxing points on hands and feet let our body relax and unwind.
- Improves mood and fights depression. Reflexologists are sure that the depression can be fought with the simple massage. Some points on our feet and hands are really helpful in improving our mood and beating depression.
- Healthy hands and feet. It’s absolutely not surprising that by massaging our feet and hands we make them only healthier day by day. When we stimulate the muscles of ankles and wrists with massaging, they become more flexible and stronger and it prevents them from different types of injures.
- Almost every pregnant woman suffers from edema. Daily foot massage during pregnancy can alleviate these symptoms.
Benefits of Hand and Foot Massage for Neuropathy
Neuropathy is a result of damage to nerves. If a person suffers from neuropathy, his hands and feet are numb and tingling and there is constant pain in them. By doing massage we can gently activate our damaged nerve fibers and help our body to fight the disease.
Despite the benefits of massage, it can’t replace the standard treatment. Let your doctor know that you are practicing massage and follow his recommendations.
How do We Safely Use Massage?
Hand and foot massage can be done almost anywhere. The main rule is that you or the person should be in a comfortable place and position. You can control the pressure of the massage depending on person’s needs and condition, age and so on.
Are There Any Risks with Massage?
Hand and foot massage is absolutely safe for health. But it shouldn’t be done if the person has wounds, bone fractures of different types of cancer.
Don’t forget that a firmly done massage can cause bruises and it’s highly not recommended for people who have different blood disorder. While giving a hand and foot massage use only soft and gentle strokes.
How to Get Started with Hand and Foot Massage?
- Be sure that you or the person you are going to massage sitting or lying in the most comfortable position.
- Be sure that there is no strain in the back or whole body.
- Switch off all the electronic devices, nothing should distract you.
- Ask the person to take 2 or 3 very deep breaths to relax.
- If you are going to massage a person, warm your hand before it.
- While massaging hands or feet use light or medium pressure.
- The use of different oils, creams and lotions helps to relax and moisten the skin and your hands will be glide better over it.
Massage Strokes for Hands
- Forearm stroke. Hold your hand palm up and put the person’s hand on it palm down. Your other hand is on the top of the person’s hand. Begin to glide the hand very softly starting at the wrist and up to the forearm and then back down. Do it for 3 times. Don’t use a lot of pressure.
- Palm thumb stroke. The person’s hand is palm up. Using your thumbs you have to massage it very slowly from the center of the palm to outside of the hand. Start to massage the hand from the top of the palm slowly going down to the fingers. Do it 3 times.
- Back-of-hand thumb stroke. The person’s hand is palm down. Slowly massage it from the wrist to the fingers. Stroke the back of the hand from the center to the outside of the hand with your thumbs. Repeat this 3 times.
- Finger stretch. Grasp one of the person’s fingers between your thumb and first finger. With a little pressure slide your fingers down to the person’s fingertips. Do it with each finger 3 times.
- Repeat forearm stroke. Take the person’s hand palm down, place your other hand on it. Softly glide the person’s hand up to the forearm and back. Do it 3 times.
How to give yourself a hand massage:
- Warm up your hands and fingers by stretching them. Curl your fingers into a fist and then stretch them out. Repeat it 5 times.
- Put a little bit of massage oil or lotion on your hands.
- Pinch the fingertips between your thumb and forefinger. Gently massage them from front to back and from side to side. Do it on both hands.
- Massage your fingers. Start at the knuckle and massage it up to the fingertips. Twist and pull on your finger carefully while massaging.
- Massage the skin between your fingers, use as much pressure as it comfortable for you.
- Massage the back of the hand. Take the palm of the one hand in the palm of the other hand and begin to massage it with your thumb. Start from the little finger and with firm strokes massage the back of your hand up to the wrist and back. Repeat it for each finger.
- Massage the inside of your wrists with your thumb using a little pressure. Do it for both hands.
- Massage the palms. Take one hand in the other and massage the palm with firm short strokes. Begin from the center of the palm and work your way to the sides. Finishing the massage gently press in the center of the palm for 10-15 seconds. Do it for each hand.
- Stretch your fingers again to finish the massage. When you are ready with the massage shake out your hands, make fists and stretch them out.
Massage Strokes for Feet
- Lower leg stroke. Place your hand under the heel of the person’s foot, place the other hand on top of the foot. Slowly glide your hand starting at the ankle up to the lower leg and back. Repeat it 3 times.
- Bottom-of-foot thumb stroke. Take the person’s foot into both hands. For this type of massage you can use either your thumbs or fingers. Massage the foot doing gentle stretching motions with your fingers. First of all massage the toes then slowly go to the back of the foot. Then massage from the center of the foot to the outside of it. Do it 3 times.
- Toe stretch. Take the person’s foot firmly with one hand. The person’s big toe is between your index finger and thumb of the other hand. Slide your fingers down the toe with a gentle pull for 3 times, then rotate it 3 times left and right. Repeat on each toe.
- Repeat lower leg stroke. Finish the massage gliding the person’s foot from the ankle up to the lower leg and back.
How to give yourself a foot massage:
- Find a comfortable place and put your foot on the knee, so you can reach it with your hands.
- Take the foot with both hands and massage it with your thumbs along the bottom. Start from the heel then slowly move to the toes.
- Rub the fleshy rubs of your toes with your fingers, then grasp each toe between your fingers and gently pull them up.
- Using your both hands massage the ball of the foot. Use long strokes or make little circles with your hands. Don’t forget to do the same with your arch and heel.
- At the end of the massage rotate your feet for 3 times and then do some soothing stokes up the calf from ankle to knee.
Hand and foot massage is a good choice for aching hand and feet accessible almost for everyone. Massage relieves not only the pain in our body but also relaxes it and supports people with great sense of well-being.
The massaging techniques in this article are basic, you can get more instructions from professionals or consult some massage therapist.