Foot massage is based on the reflexology theory where specific areas on the feet are ‘reflexes’ to other parts of the body including the internal organs. The ‘reflexes’ are stimulated with fingers, thumbs, or small hard sticks. I don’t know whether this theory works or not, but I do know that foot massages feel great!
I’ll often book an hour of a body or oil massage, then follow with an hour foot massage.
The following is a description of a Thai foot massage. The sequence is fairly similar in neighboring countries but fingers and thumbs may be used for acupressure instead of a plastic or wooden stick.
The Thai foot massage, as the name implies, involves getting your feet massaged but you will also get your legs, back, and shoulders worked as a free bonus, generally! You being by laying down in a reclining chair and getting your feet massaged, finished off with a quick leg massage and a back, shoulders, and neck rub. There are usually several chairs in a row so there is no privacy when getting treated. It can be a good way to meet other people if you have the opportunity to chat although often people like to just relax….
Here is a typical progression of events:
Remove footwear and sit in comfortable reclining chair..
Masseuse brings out a basin of warm water to soak your feet in.
She brings out a basket or rolling cart with various towels, lotions, and tools.
After a five minute foot soak, she dries off your feet and lifts them onto a footrest.
With a stiff brush and some mildly abrasive cream, she scrubs the by your feet all over.
She washes and dries feet once again.
She may ask whether you like strong or soft pressure. The foot massage begins, one foot at a time, with vigorous prodding and rubbing of lotion into soles, arch, top of foot, and toes. Pressure can vary widely from masseuse to masseuse, some can be somewhat weak while others are downright painful. (I prefer a strong massage myself and a bit of pain is worth it because after it’s finished, it feels so good!)
With a small blunt-ended plastic rod or stick, she begins applying a kind of acupressure, jabbing the stick into various pressure points at the ends of the toes and on the soles and heels. Some girls wrap a small cloth around the end of the stick so that it’s not so sharp and pointed.
She dries the foot off and dusts it completely with some kind of powder (sometimes talc or perhaps a mentholated powder). She then wraps the foot up tightly in a towel and proceeds to the other foot.
She massages each leg with lotions up to the thigh. If you are wearing long pants, there will just be a general hand pressure massage walking up each leg. She may try to roll your pants up as far as they’ll go. If you want a nice complete leg massage, wear shorts or a skirt.
She ends the legs with a double-fisted pressure to each side of the groin.
Often, you are then asked to sit on the footstool while she gives you a back and shoulder massage and perhaps a head massage as well.
An hour well spent!
Tip: wear shorts or a skirt/dress so your masseuse will have better access to your legs, a massage of which is usually included in the package