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Feet Need Kneading

It’s the mandatory element to every pedicure — the foot and calf massage — and there’s no one way to do it.

It’s the mandatory element to every pedicure — the foot and calf massage — and there’s no one way to do it. OPI educator Norma Sproles shows how she does her foot and calf massages out in her own salon, The Signature Salon in Henderson, N.C.

Always start the massage with relaxer movements. Hold the heel of the foot with one hand, and slowly rotate the ankle three times in a circular motion to the right and then to the left. Place the ankle on a rolled towel.

With both hands apply massage lotion on the shin and calf up to the knee, using long stroking movements. Apply lotion to the top and bottom of the foot and to the toes, lightly pulling the blood in the toes to the tip and then releasing.

With the index and middle fingers of both hands, slowly knead the calf muscles starting at the back of the ankle and going up to the knee. Then move back down the calf muscles to the ankle.

Using a circular motion with your thumbs, start at the ankle and move up the shin to the knee. Then go behind the knee and knead the calf in long slow motions, rotating your hands back and forth while moving down the calf to the ankle.

Then roll your hands back up to the calf and repeat this three times finishing at the ankle. This stimulates the blood flow. Use petrissage movements, which are movements applied with pressure to reach deep down and compress the underlying muscles.

Now holding the foot with both hands, start at the heel and with circular movements slowly move your thumbs up through the arch to the ball.

Then take the smallest toe and pull the blood to the end and lightly pinch. Do the same for the rest of the toes.

Finally with both hands starting at the knee, use a feathering motion to lightly touch the skin with the tips of your fingers, moving toward the feet and down to the toes. Repeat this three times.

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