When a man spends all day on his feet, aching soles and tired toes are almost inevitable. Offer a man a foot massage, and he'll probably be thrilled with your generosity. Massage doesn't just soothe foot soreness -- it also relaxes a man's body and mind. Giving a foot rub is a good way to bond with your partner or loved one, too. You can dish out a satisfying rubdown even if you've never given a massage before.
Fill a tub or large bowl with warm water, then add several drops of essential oil for fragrance. Men tend to enjoy spicy, earthy smells, although many also like floral scents. Some good choices include peppermint, vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli, citrus, cypress and ginger.
Ask the man to soak his bare feet in the water for several minutes. The scent will relax him while the warm water softens his skin. Pat his feet dry with a towel when he's done soaking.
Have the man sit or lie in a comfortable position. Sit in front of the man's feet, then put a soft pillow on your lap. Ask the man to rest his feet on the pillow. This will cradle his feet, making the massage more comfortable for him and you. Residual essential oils on the man's feet may stain the pillow. If you want to keep it clean, cover the pillow with a towel.
Moisten your fingers with a dab of massage lotion or oil. Using firm strokes, work your way around the perimeter of the man's foot. Don't be afraid to apply firm pressure -- many men have thicker skin on their feet than women do.
Rotate the man's foot a few times, then massage the anklebone with your thumb using a gentle circular motion. This helps ease tension in his legs.
Position both of your thumbs inside the foot's arch. With slow, circular motions, move your thumbs up to the ball of the foot, then go back down to the heel. Massage the middle of the arch from left to right three times.
Massage the base of each toe with the same circular motions, then gently squeeze and wiggle his toes one at a time.
Repeat the process with the man's other foot. If any residual oil or lotion remains after the massage, wipe it off with a damp cloth.
To make your own massage oil, combine 10 drops of grapeseed oil, four drops of rosemary oil, three drops of eucalyptus oil and two drops of peppermint oil. Pour the oils into a bottle and shake well before use.
Romantic couples may enjoy giving this massage in a warm bath. Instead of having the man soak his feet in the water, add the essential oils to the bath water. They'll make your whole body feel soft and smell nice.
Some men might balk at the idea of receiving a massage. Ask the reluctant man to try the massage for just a few minutes at first. Assure him that you'll stop at any time if he dislikes it.
Maggie Lynn has been writing about education, parenting and health topics since 2005, in addition to being an educator. She holds a Master of Science in child and family studies.