The arch of the foot not only holds the weight of our bodies day in and day out, the feet also tend to hold the majority of our tension. A quality foot massage can help to increase circulation and relax the entire body, whether used alone or in combination with a full body massage. A few simple tips can help to teach you some new foot massage techniques.
Access the arch of the foot through a variety of techniques, depending on how you are comfortable. With the client face up or face down, you can simply work the arch as the foot is resting on the table. Alternatively, with the client face down, you can sit gently on the side of the table and rest the foot on your upper thigh or even stand at the side of the table and lift the lower leg to a 90 degree angle.
Work the area between the bone of the big toe and the heel. Generally, the meaty portion of the arch is a lighter color than other parts of the foot, helping to direct your attention to where you should be working. You can use bones as anchors when stretching the foot; however, avoid massaging directly over bones.
Overlap your thumbs and apply gentle pressure just below the heel bone and then push slowly up to the bone of the big toe, warming up the arch. Repeat this motion a few times, covering the entire arch and preparing the tissue for deeper work. This area can be very sensitive, so communicate with your client and adjust the pressure as necessary.
Begin again pressing gently into the lower arch near the heel bone and then slowly spread your thumbs open, stretching the full width of the arch. Overlap your thumbs again, this time pressing a bit higher on the arch, closer to the bone of the big toe and repeat. Continue these techniques until your reach the heel of the big toe.
End this portion of your foot massage by simply rubbing in large circular motions with your thumbs around the arch.