Healing Yogic Foot Massage
By Shakti Parwha Kaur
This isn’t the only way to give a foot massage. And, if you’re a novice, it will get you started. It’s great to give yourself a foot massage just before bed. Better yet, trade massages with your spouse or partner.
The object is to stimulate every nerve ending in the soles of your feet, all 72,000 of them). The pressure of the fingers on the feet during the massage relaxes the whole body, as each place on the foot corresponds to a different area of the body.
Wash your feet, preferably with cold water to awaken the nerves. Choose a comfortable location and, if using massage oil or cream (almond oil is excellent), put a towel under your feet. Mentally put yourself into a healing mode; feel the prana in your hands and your connection to the divine. Rub a little bit of oil between your palms and begin the massage process.
On the first foot, begin with the toes, twisting and pulling each “section” (between the knuckles) of every toe. Start with the base of the big toe, grasping it with the thumb and forefinger and, using a twisting motion, massage in between the big toe and the next toe.
Then, without changing the position of the fingers as pressure is applied, pull with an upward motion.
Next, move up to the middle section of the big toe, twist several times and pull up.
Repeat with the uppermost section of the big toe and then continue on to the next toes, until three sections of each toe on that foot are twisted and pulled.
After the toes, move on to the massaging the rest of the foot, trying to cover the entire surface. Use your thumbs, fingers, even your knuckles in a slow and powerful circular motion. Start directly under the big toe and work your away across the foot until you reach the base of the little toe.
Then move down and massage your way across to the other side. Go left and right, right and left, from one side of the foot to the other, moving downward one row at time to the heel.
If you want to work on a problem-spot in your body, spend more time massaging its corresponding location on the foot (you can easily find foot reflexology charts online).
Finish with a massage of the ankles on either side of the Achilles tendon, then briefly squeeze and release that tendon at least once.
Once you have completed the first foot, make sure to spend the same amount of time on the second foot. Otherwise you will be unbalanced.
A satisfactory foot massage will take at least ten or fifteen minutes total. A good one will take about thirty minutes (fifteen minutes a foot); and a super deluxe wonderful foot massage could take as much as one hour.
If you’re giving someone else a massage and they fall asleep, don’t stop. It is a sign of success to have someone fall asleep. Keep on until you have completed both feet.
Variations and Additions
Hold all the toes in your hand and flex them forward and back
Massage up and down an imaginary line running from the middle of the heel to directly underneath the middle toe. This is a “life-line” and includes your kidneys.
Knead the feet, as a baker kneads bread dough.
To finish each foot, pat the sole briskly with the palm of your hand.
Then using both hands, starting at the heel, gently draw your fingers up both sides of the foot (top and sole) as if pulling out any remaining tension.
End by pulling up and away from the top of the toes, and then shake your hands out to get rid of it.
Particular caution should be used for pregnant and menstruating women; please consult with an appropriate health professional under these conditions.
[From Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa available from KRI.]