Pamper your party feet
Reflexology and massage guru Susie Prichard-Casey tells how to save your soles after a long night in heels…
Stretch your legs
Begin by working the kinks out of your long-suffering pins:
Calves – Standing with the balls of both feet on the edge of a step (a telephone directory will also work), allow both your heels to drop slowly down and hold the position for 30 seconds before raising yourself up again. Repeat until you feel the tension melt away.
Shins – Standing on one foot, turn your other foot upside down (so the tops of your toes are on the floor) and allow the top/front of your foot and ankle to lengthen. Hold for 30 seconds before stretching your other leg.
Ankles – To mobilise and improve circulation in tired legs, rotate each ankle clockwise then anti-clockwise three times.
Next, treat your feet to little TLC:
1. Sitting with both feet tucked sole-to-sole in front of you, add a few drops of tea tree essential oil on two hot, damp facecloths and place one over each foot, allowing the soothing heat to penetrate. With the hot-towels in place, use your thumbs to press firmly at one-inch intervals from the inner (medial) border of your heel up to the inner border of your big toe on each foot. This stimulates spinal reflex points to release your central nervous system.
2. 'Sandwiching' one foot between your flat palms to begin, apply your favourite foot cream with effleurage strokes, working all the way from your toes up to your knee. This boosts circulation and helps deflate swelling.
3. Focussing on the same foot, criss-cross your thumbs (so they are pointing in opposite directions) and 'scissor' them (opening and closing your thumbs) across the whole of your sole to soothe and release exhausted muscles.
4. Again on the same foot, continue your thumb work, using deeper rotational movements to massage away aches in specific spots.
5. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 on your other foot.
6. To trigger lymphatic flow points, slip a small finger in the gap between each of your toes and apply pressure. Begin between your big and second toes, doing both feet at the same time.
7. Finish with a deeply relaxing Brazilian Toe Massage, which also boosts organ function by stimulating your meridians. Apply light pressure to each of the following points for three minutes. Do both feet simultaneously.
a) Hold your middle toe (third toe) between your thumb and third finger to stimulate your bladder.
b) Hold your fourth toe between your thumb and fourth finger for your gall bladder.
c) Hold your fifth toe between your thumb and fifth finger to promote kidney function.
d) Hold your second toe between your thumb and second finger for your stomach.
e) Hold your big toe between your thumb and second and third fingers to boost your spleen and partied-out liver.