Do you remember the scene in the Die Hard movie, where Bruce Willis is told the best way to cure jetlag is to take your shoes off and wriggle your toes in the carpet? Seriously, it works. A good, energetic toe wriggle can really perk you up, from the feet upwards. Good foot care can really make a difference.
To give yourself a home pedicure try the following:
- Set the scene. Put on some relaxing music, get one towel to rest your feet on and another for drying, and the ingredients for your foot care.
- Fill your footbath with warm water, and some fresh lemon juice, and essential oils such as rosemary, lavender, tea tree or eucalypt, to soften the skin, cleanse, deodorise and relax your feet.
- Wriggle your toes in the water. Try placing smooth pebbles in the footbath to massage the soles of your feet, and for your toes to practise picking up.
- Dry your feet. Then using a pumice, exfoliate the rough areas of your feet, concentrating on the heels and balls of your feet.
- Apply a foot scrub, to smooth and moisturise the feet.
- Place your feet back in your footbath, and use the small pebbles again.
- Dry your feet with a towel, and massage a foot moisturising oil or lotion into them.
- Cut your toenails straight across. Use a nail file to smooth the edges.
At university, a friend and I did a therapeutic massage course for fun, which included a section on foot reflexology as well as foot massage and general foot care. Reflexology is based on the belief that part of each foot mirrors a part of the body. We had great fun massaging the parts of the foot corresponding to um, a particular male organ.
Foot care is obviously best done with someone else. If you are using massage oil, rub your oiled hands together first to warm them.
- Start by gently stroking the foot with long, slow, firm caressing strokes with your fingers, from your toes to your ankles, on both sides of the foot, to stimulate circulation and warm up the foot.
- Then using your thumbs and a slightly stronger long stroke, work the top of your foot, from the toes to your ankle, between the bones of your foot.
- Use a firm, rubbing, circular motion with the thumbs, working from the toes to your ankles, on the sole of the foot.
- Massage each toe individually with the fingers, using gentle, small circular motions, pulling and twisting them slightly.
- Repeat the initial gentle strokes, to warm down.
- Dry feet with a towel. Don’t go straight back into shoes – if you have to put something on, use thick socks or fresh slippers.
Try doing these foot care routines around once each week.