If you’re aiming to step up your self care game this year, we’ve got one quick and easy—but also amazingly effective—practice to add into the mix: a foot massage with essential oils.
Multiple studies have already shown how a simple foot rub can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression,¹ improve sleep quality, ease muscle pain, enhance circulation,² and even alleviate migraine symptoms by 65%.³ For a more detailed overview, take a look at our blog post on foot massage and reflexology.
If you’re already kicking off your shoes, don’t forget the essential oils. Essential oils are particularly effective on the feet because the pores there are some of the largest on the body.⁴ These large openings are ideal for transdermal absorption, allowing the oils to quickly pass through layers of skin and release their potential benefits into the body.
As an added bonus, rubbing essential oils into the feet also optimizes olfactory absorption through the nose, which connects to the limbic brain for an all-encompassing sensory experience. If this sounds like a lot to take in, don’t worry. We’ll walk you through five steps to an easy, effective two-minute foot massage using essential oils.
Softly rub the skin between your toes to warm it. Then, take four to five drops of oil and massage between each toe for around five seconds. (This is where the skin is thinnest and the oil can absorb most easily).
Using the remaining oil left on your fingers and palms, massage the soles of your feet for around 30 seconds, paying attention to any areas that stimulate sensations in the rest of the body.Your skin should not feel overly moisturized with the oils; the idea is to really work it into the skin, but feel free to add more oil throughout the process if you wish.
Gently massage your inner wrists with your thumbs for about 10-15 seconds on each side. (This is another area where oil is able to absorb easily).
If desired, continue to massage behind your ears, on your temples and across your forehead, using your forefingers in a circular motion.
To finish, gently cup your palms over your nose and mouth. Then breathe in and out deeply five times to activate the olfactory therapeutic benefits.
This easy routine can be practiced at any time, but is particularly effective first thing in the morning and last thing at night when you have a moment for self care. Essentail oils can have certain effects, so look for a revitalizing essential oil—like lemon, peppermint or eucalyptus—to invigorate you in the AM and a relaxing scent—like lavender, chamomile or ylang ylang—to help you drift off into dreamland.
Snap and share your self care routine with us at @barefootscientist.