Foot massage is a complex massage system that was developed by an ancient Indian physician known as Jivaka Komarabhacca, during Lord Buddhas era about 2500 years ago. Click here to read more. The massage system has been passed on from one generation to another by word of mouth and is still widely practiced today in most part of the world. It is practiced just like it was centuries ago during the development of the Thai alphabet by scholars under the Great King Ramkamhaeng when they recorded the various aspects of Thai culture, society as well as healing therapies including foot massage. However, today’s generation was left with little as most of the recorded ancient traditions were destroyed in 1776 when the Burmese invaders captured Ayuthaya, Thailand’s capital and the only records that remained were well preserved by King Rama II and were engraved on the walls of Bangkok’s most famous temple, Wat Poh.
The modern day Thailand practice a variety of massage therapies based on the numerous ancient traditions and teachings and foot massage is among the most interesting as it utilizes very simple principals with a more complicated practice as the massaging hands must ensure that the force applied is exceedingly accurate and directed towards specific foot nerves. According to the Thai believes, the foot is divided into several parts that are directly linked to other parts of vital organs of the body such as the brain, and when particular part of the foot is massage, it affects both the soft tissues of the foot as well as the other linked organ of the body. Foot massage therapy is more effective when barefoot rather that when wearing stockings or socks and there are also numerous basic techniques that are usually used by foot massage therapist for better results, such as toe rotation, thumb walking, rubbing and sweeping, cupping and kneading.
Rubbing and sweeping is often used at the beginning of most foot massage therapies and involves providing the foot with an increased blood supply by lightly rubbing the foot’s surface until a rhythm of movement, as well as the desired warmth, are created. Foot massage therapist uses the thumb walking technique to apply a firm and direct pressure to the various foot parts as well as loosening the tense tendons running along the outside edge of the foot. The sensitiveness of the toes demand extra care when manipulating them, and foot massage therapist will often use the toe rotation technique that involves individually rotating each toe as well as gently squeezing them while pulling them outwards and upwards gently. The cupping technique involves squeezing the entire foot using an up and down movement with one hand and cupping the foot with the other while the kneading technique involves firmly rotating and pressing a fisted hand knuckles across the foot’s sole, back and forth, from the toes to the heel.
There are numerous benefits of having a good foot massage including healing numerous heart problems when the base of the fourth toe is firmly massaged and pressed while the second toe helps to stimulate the bronchial system as well as the lungs for improved breathing. You can also relieve headaches by rolling and pressing the region between the first and the second thumb and even improve your vision and relax tired eyes by massaging the area between the third and the fourth toe while massaging the big toe helps to elevate sinusitis pain. Applying pressure in a rotating motion to the ball of the foot helps to heal stomachaches, the bladder, kidneys as well as the entire excretory system while pressure on the heel front provides a remedial effect to genital glands.
Other health benefits of foot massage include relieving inner ear pain, chest pain, spinal pain, improving posture, stimulating the lymphatic system, cleansing the body of toxins and bacteria, overall relaxation, achieving a sense of well-being as well as having a therapeutic effect on the reproductive tract. Finally, with all the rolling, stretching, pressing, pulling, massaging, gyrating and stroking, the foot’s soft tissues will become invigorated and relaxed.