In the Ayurvedic tradition, a full-body oil massage (abhyanga) is recommended daily to calm nerves, ease sore muscles and nourish the skin amongst many other personalised benefits. However, in modern society, a full body massage can be too time-consuming to do on a regular basis. The next best thing is to massage your scalp and the soles of the feet with oil, preferably at bedtime. According to Ayurveda, all meridians (nadis) begin in the scalp and end in the soles of the feet. Many neural endings, receptors, and marmas (Ayurvedic pressure points) are also located here. We will talk through how to give yourself an Ayurvedic foot massage below. Keep an eye out for our next blog on the how to give an Ayurvedic scalp massage.
Adding an Ayurvedic foot massage to your weekly ritual can be extremely beneficial to all doshas, the type of massage oil you choose can help make your routine more specific per concern. The essential oils can have many different benefits, such as weakening certain viruses and strengthening the immune system to soothing feelings of anxiety. Essential oils can also be a powerful way to help you relax and sleep better, particular if you use lavender. This is why foot massages remain a core tradition in Ayurveda medicine, even today, children in the villages of India continue an age-old tradition of massaging their parents’ legs and feet as a symbol of service, humility, and love as well as using it for medical reasons.
By adding an Ayurvedic foot massage to your bedtime routine, you are giving your body which is our temple some TLC. In the Veda, the feet are referred to as “organs of action.” They are the body’s foundation and carry us through the day amongst many terrains and stressors. Just imagine: if the foundation of a house is weak, stressed, or unhealthy, the entire structure begins to crumble. So, you can begin to recover from any emotional or physical pain with your feet, it may sound crazy, but you won’t know until you try it yourself!
Firstly, choose your choice of base oil and essential oils
Recommended Ayurvedic Massage Oils:
- Lavender essential oil
- Chamomile essential oil
- Eucalyptus- (for immunity which is particularly important during Kapha season)
- And a base oil of coconut or sesame
- Or our range of massage oils
- Warm oil is preferable to cold because it is comforting and penetrates the skin more easily.
How to give an Ayurvedic Foot Massage:
- Gently rub massage oil in small circular motions, making sure to cover all of the bottom of your foot, including the ankle.
- Next, press your thumb on the place where the shin meets the top of your foot. Gently, slowly, drag your thumb across the top of your foot to the big toe. Repeat this motion from the ankle to each individual toe. Ensuring your blood flow is moving around your foot, throughout the body.
- Making a fist and grabbing onto your toes, slowly pull each toe away from the foot, as though you are “popping” the joint, to remove stress.
- Strat from your ankle and just begin to slide your hand all the way through your foot, repeat a few times to really feel the relief, visualising the tension exiting your body through your toes.
- When you’re finished with your foot massage, soak your feet for five to ten minutes in a bucket filled halfway to the top with warm water and one teaspoon of salt to draw the stress and toxins out of your feet. Or just hop in the bath! (the water step is optional you can also put socks on and go straight to bed, whichever you prefer)