Your toes feel a little neglected by now. We’ve loved on the ankle, the arch and the sole of the foot and all the while the toes have been aching for some good work. But today, we give those ten little toes that work so hard all day a little time off. These moves, tractioning and manipulating the toes feels fantastic. It’s gentle on the toes, easy to do and very effective in releasing tension in the foot and lower leg.
Thank you all for joining me in my first video series. I’m hopeful that there are more on the horizon, so just let me know if you have an requests on videos or video series on self-massage.
Did you enjoy the work on the ankles yesterday? When there’s lots of partying and dressing up going on, the feet and ankles always enjoy some extra attention. Today we move from the ankles down onto the foot – working the top surface of the foot and the arch with some wonderful, relaxing kneading.
I won’t keep it from you.
Originally, I was only going to post one video today, but these two videos on the feet are short and easy to combine, so look below for the second video after the one linked here. The “More Foot Massage” video includes the work on the sole of the foot. If you like reflexology, you must talk your partner into learning these moves on the sole of your foot.
And here’s the work for the sole of the foot. We concentrate on two easy techniques to use on sole of the foot. We’re on them all day without ever a second thought about them. . . That is, until they start to hurt. Like the hands, the feet are also one of the most requested parts of the body for massage. This work on the bottom of the foot can be tender for people with foot issues, or anyone who spends all day on his/her feet. It feels wonderful when combined with the work on the arch that we just finished.
Your feet tired from all those holiday parties, all that time spent on your feet cleaning, cooking, getting ready for guests? (And it’s all the harder if you’re spending a lot of time in heels and dress-up shoes) Guess what we start working on today? Partner massage of the ankle and foot starts today.
A good foot massage makes the whole body feel wonderful. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to make sure we covered feet in these partner massage videos.
And if you want to start at the beginning of the playlist -12 Days of Partner Massage. Or you can just go directly to the first foot video:
The last ones to get attention on the hand – the fingers – but so worth the wait. It’s amazing how wonderful simply pulling and softly manipulating the fingers feels after a long day at work, or hours at a hobby, or just loads of time surfing the internet. If you’ve got someone in your life who could really use some hand work, just do the four pieces of the massage that focus on the hands and fingers. Take about seven minutes on each hand, and in fifteen minutes you’ll have a very happy person in your hands.
As always, go gently with the fingers if you’re working with someone who has arthritis or joint issues in the hand. However, even very light pressure on the hands will usually feel good – it warms the tissue and increases the blood flow to the area. The results of light massage on hands can be as profound as deep work all over the body. For some people, the attention spent on those little digits we use all day but don’t think about can be as relaxing as an hour in a hot tub.
But, I also wanted to give you a way to make a physical gift to give your spouse, friend or family member who is going to receive this fabulous massage from you, so I created a little Massage Gift Certificate pdf file here and included a video below on how to make an origami tree ornament you can give to the lucky giftee of your massage (Note: You will have to fold a corner up and cut the excess off to make the paper into a square rather than a rectangle before you start the ornament). Here’s what it will look like once you’re finished:
Pretty cool, huh? (And very easy to do!)
Here’s the video to make the Holiday Tree Origami:
Ready for more on the hands? If you’ve got a partner, spouse or friend who spends a lot of time working with her/his hands (computer user, musician, mom, teacher, knitter, iPhone addict etc.) s/he will love you forever if you do the first three videos on the hand. Start with Forearm and Wrist, then do the Palm video, then finish up with the video below. Heaven!
Remember to be careful if you’re working on someone with arthritis. You need to be very gentle, and use very light pressure if your partner has any issues with their hands. Check in frequently to make sure the pressure you’re using feels good. If your own hands get tired, take a break, shake them out, or trade with your partner and get your own hand massage.
We spend a lot of time on computers now, and many of us (like me) have hand-intensive jobs. Whether hands are sore from carrying babies, grocery bags or laptop bags and purses, a little massage increases blood flow, loosens the tissue and makes the hands happy again.
Although I demonstrate work on the hand with the arm down at the side, you can always bend the elbow and work with the forearm at 90 degrees to the bed/table for the hand work.
Be very careful working on the hand. For people with arthritis in their hands, you need to use very gentle pressure and really tune in to the pressure level your partner needs. Also be aware of your own hands. If they start getting tired (especially your thumbs) take a quick break and shake out your hands or go back to the forearm and do more work with the palm of your hand.
We’ve finished up the scalp and head work with the ears, and now, we move on to the forearm and wrist. The top three favorite parts of the body for relaxing massage are the scalp, the hands and the feet. We’ll do just a little work on the forearm, but spend good time on the wrist and hand itself.
Having fun so far? The ears are an often forgotten part of the head when it comes to massage. However, the location of the ear close to many of the muscle attachment sites for the jaw, face and neck makes it an ideal area for massage. Done in conjunction with the scalp massage, it is incredibly relaxing. If you only have five minutes to work on your partner, watch the Scalp video, the Forehead video, and wrap up with this Ear Video:
Ready for more partner massage? Today we cover jaw and face massage. This feels wonderful on people who have jaw and TMJ issues. Do this in combination with the first two videos to de-stress your partner, or just do these jaw massage techniques if you want to focus specifically on the jaw and mouth muscles.
Louisville massage therapist Heather Wibbels, LMT has been showing clients how massage helps since 2003. Her Saint Matthews massage therapy practice is centered around chronic pain, stress-relief and injury work.
This blog is Heather's way to reach a wider world than those she can lay hands on, and self-massage and partner massage videos are a large part of that. View her YouTube Channel at MassageByHeatherW: