Saturday, March 7, 2009

How to Give a Great Foot Massage

A good foot rub works for body and mind

* It elevates levels of oxytocin, which is the hormone that makes you feel warm and fuzzy (it’s the same hormone that a mother’s brain secretes when she’s breastfeeding).

* It causes arousal, as the foot contains its own set of sexual nerves.

* It stimulates lymphatic drainage. Massage helps drain waste material out of your system.

How to do it:

1. Clean up. To make your partner comfortable, clean his or her feet in a shallow basin of warm water or with a warm washcloth.

2. Use the right lotion. That’s one scented with lavender, which is perceived as an aphrodisiac by both men and women.

3. Do the whole foot. In reflexology (which shares some philosophical roots with acupuncture), the foot is seen as a metaphor for the body. The big toe is seen as the top of the head, and the sensitive area at the base of the toes represents the neck. The inner sole of the foot is the belly, while the outer sole is the spine. If an area is bothering your partner, spend some time there to get the good vibes flowing.

4. Work your way up. We store a lot of tension in our ankles, so move the foot around passively to help relax the joint. Start with the heel and push up toward the leg; pull the heel down and work it side to side. On the bottoms of the feet, use firm pressure with your thumbs (too light and it’ll be ticklish). Use slow, deep pressure, and work the whole foot, including between the toes. Pull each toe for 10 seconds. Rub the calves from the ankle toward the knee. Since the calves and feet are furthest from the heart and fighting gravity, it is challenging for them to move lymphatic waste along. You want to be moving in that direction anyway, and now you have an excuse.

Source: RealAge

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