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Do-It-Yourself Foot Massage for Stress Reduction

The next time a bad day (or week, or month) has you on the verge of a mini meltdown, undo the anxious knots by giving yourself a foot massage.

Yep, giving yourself a quick foot massage can have almost the same stress-lowering benefit as a full-body rubdown, according to Roberta Lee, MD, author of The SuperStress Solution. Here's her easy 10-step tootsie rub that will make your feet feel great and may help in stress reduction.

Step-by-Step Foot Destressor
Lee's do-it-yourself foot massage is based on the principles of ayurvedic reflexology.

  1. Wash your feet with warm soap and water, then wipe them dry.
  2. Apply a small amount of sesame seed or almond massage oil mixed with lavender essential oils. (Here's another scent that can help soothe stress.)
  3. Start rubbing at the base of your little toe.
  4. Move over to the base of the next toe and continue rubbing.
  5. Apply slight pressure on the flesh between your little toe and the next toe over.
  6. Now move to your middle toe.
  7. Massage, stretch, and pull your middle toe in a circular motion, then do the same with your other toes.
  8. With your fingertips or the palms of your hands, gently apply pressure to both sides of your heel just below the ankle, and then rub around your ankle clockwise to boost energy and circulation.
  9. Finally, knead and squeeze your calf muscle to release tension.
  10. Repeat on the second foot.