A Few Minutes to Zen with Rikki Alrutz
By Rikki Alrutz
Let’s talk feet. All of us have experienced sore feet and foot pain at some point. Our poor feet do incredible things for us, yet we rarely take the time to nurture them as we should. Most people spend so much time sitting that the muscles in their feet aren’t even used enough; plus, we stuff them into tight shoes, impairing circulation to boot. This article will be the first of a few that I present to show ways to help your feet. These tips will also benefit you in other physical and mental ways.
Massage anyone? As long as you don’t mind having your feet touched, a foot massage is a wonderful treat to offer yourself. I will show you a couple techniques to do on your own, but you and your partner or a friend can also do them for each other.
Does massaging the feet actually accomplish anything other than relieving some soreness and making us feel good for a few minutes you might ask? Well, the answer is yes; massaging your feet even 2-3 minutes a few times a week, can be highly beneficial. Foot massage can improve your mood, lower anxiety, reduce blood pressure, improve circulation, help with plantar fasciitis, and mitigate symptoms of migraines, PMS, and menopause. Foot massage can also help alleviate edema and even aid in the prevention of foot and ankle injuries. A foot massage can precipitate homeostasis (when all the body’s systems are working in harmony with one another, resulting in a state of balance).
Each part of the foot is linked to another area in the body, not just muscles but the vital organs as well. If we can help our feet and find the right areas to massage, then we can aid our entire body.
What follows is a short self-care massage routine. You may complete the whole series or pick and choose the elements you enjoy.
1) Begin by soaking your feet in warm water, adding your favorite essential oil such as Myrrh, which is calming; Frankincense, often used for anxiety, stress, depression; Thyme, invigorates and deodorizes, also good for athlete’s foot; Peppermint, stimulates and cools; Lemongrass, awesome for sweaty feet and swollen ankles. Should you prefer, simply drop the oils directly onto your feet.
2) Sit in a comfortable position. On the floor, in a chair, or on the couch is fine. Based on your flexibility, lying down is acceptable too. Place one ankle across the opposite thigh.
3) Begin with one hand on top of your foot, the other on the sole, and rub the hands from the top to the bottom, warming the feet.
4) Next, wrap your hands around the foot, fingers on top, thumbs on bottom, and with a little pressure work your thumbs from the heel up to the toes. Feel free to fan your thumbs out below the toes along the balls of the feet.
5) With the hands still wrapped around the foot, circle your thumbs up and down the sole of the foot, slowly increasing pressure.
6) Repeat with the other foot.
I hope these few tips help you and your feet relax. Happy relaxation everyone.