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Ayurvedic Tips for Foot Care: Massages, Baths & More
For many, our feet are what get us where we need to go. They play an essential role in our everyday movement, carrying us from one place to the next without us even thinking about it. Despite how much we rely on our feet, they are simultaneously easy to neglect. They may not get as much attention in the shower as, say, our hair, and foot massages or baths may not be a part of many people’s regular routines.
In Ayurveda, it is believed that the feet are the branches of our body that keep us vitally connected to the earth. It is therefore important to take good care of our feet in order to maintain balance between ourselves and the environment.
When we neglect our feet, we risk developing problems like calluses, fungi and soreness. Taking steps toward developing a healthy and nourishing foot care routine is essential for preventing these problems from arising in the first place. Here are several tips from Ayurveda for promoting radiant, hydrated and well-pampered feet—and for honoring the important work of these vital body parts.
Tips for Promoting Healthy, Nourished Feet
Wear Comfortable Shoes
While we all enjoy a night out where we get to wear fancy, high-heeled shoes, it’s important that we wear comfortable shoes in our daily lives to prevent pain and cramping. Look for shoes with a supportive arch, plenty of room in the toes and a balanced, even footbed.
Wash & Dry Your Feet Thoroughly
It can be easy to neglect our feet when we bathe or shower, giving them a half-hearted dollop of soap before moving on with the rest of our routine. However, to really clean our feet of dirt, dust and other external contaminants, it’s important to gently and thoroughly scrub them all over—including in between the toes. In addition, it’s important to thoroughly dry our feet afterward, as having dampness or wetness in between the toes can lead to conditions like athlete’s foot.
Give Your Feet Breathing Room
Foot odor and an unhealthy buildup of dampness can occur when we don’t wear socks that are breathable. Instead of synthetic fabrics, opt for socks that use breathable fabrics like organic cotton or wool. In addition, try to spend part of your day barefoot to give your feet extra space and time to breathe.
Try an Ayurvedic Foot Massage
An Ayurvedic foot massage is a great way to give your feet some much-deserved relief on a regular basis. On an immediate level, foot massages help to prevent and alleviate pain, sores, roughness, dryness and fatigue. But the benefits of foot massages also extend beyond the local: they provide potent detoxification, promote deeper sleep, boost overall circulation and induce emotional calmness, tranquility and balance.
How to perform an Ayurvedic foot massage:
- First, make sure to wash and dry your feet before starting. After doing so, find a comfortable sitting position where you can reach your feet, and your feet can reach the ground.
- Then, place a towel underneath your feet.
- For the massage itself, there are several options for oils you can use. Vatas may want to try sesame oil or ghee; Pittas can try ghee or coconut oil; and Kaphas can try ghee or jojoba oil. For an all-purpose, powerfully-nourishing massage oil, our UMA Absolute Essential Self Massage Oil also makes an excellent choice.
- Once you’ve chosen your oil, spread a small amount over one of your feet, including the top, bottom, ankles and toes.
- Moving one toe at a time, massage from the base of each toe to the tip on both the top and underside. As you go from one toe to another, apply pressure in between the toes as well.
- Then, massage the entire sole of your heel in firm, circular motions.
- Then, massage the ankle and calf areas in circular motions for an extra boost of circulation and energy.
- Once you’ve finished massaging one foot, repeat the process on the other side.
Give Your Feet an Herbal Bath
An especially helpful technique for feet that are dry and hardened, an herbal foot bath instantly softens and relaxes the skin.
How to perform an herbal foot bath:
- Boil a quart or so of water to place in a basin.
- Add a handful of salt to the water and wait until the temperature is comfortable enough.
- Then place your feet in the water, soaking them for 15-20 minutes.
- For added comfort and cleansing, you can also add a drop or two of lavender oil or tea tree oil. Another great option is our UMA Pure Calm Wellness Bath Oil, which uses lavender, clary sage and sandalwood.
- Dry your feet thoroughly with a towel.
With a few lifestyle tweaks and additions to your self-care routine, you can work wonders on the health of your feet.
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