According to folklore, foot massage was taught by Buddha, and then later combined with Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the 5th and 6th century warrior monks brought it to Japan, where it became known as Zoku (foot or leg) Shin (heart) Do (way).This tradition travelled From India, through China to Japan, where the tradition of foot washing and foot massage was often found at inns.
“TSUBOKI” is massaging a small part of the body in order to influence the health of the whole person. In Tsuboki Foot Massage the feet are massaged to affect the whole body, like Shiatsu it is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine theory and works on the meridians that run through the body.
The feet are our foundation, so problems here will reflect throughout the body and affect posture. We know from reflexology that the body is mapped out on the feet, so by massaging the whole of the foot we are affecting the whole body. If we have problems in our feet, then there are bound to be repercussions in the posture and structure of the spine and the whole body.
Our feet can be a neglected – and mistreated – part of us; and yet they work so hard, carrying us through life. Surely they deserve our love and attention, and will serve us better if we look after them.
According to the principles of reflexology, the whole of the body is
mapped out on the feet. It follows, then, that by massaging the whole
of the feet, we affect the whole of the body.
However unlike Reflexology I do not pinpoint certain Reflex Points or indeed work the Reflex points – this a very different massage to Reflexology. It is similar to that of my relaxing foot massage, but using various methods, such as the Ridoki Roller and other massage techniques as developed by Ann Parry.
According to the principles of acupressure, by massaging the
acupressure points and meridians in the feet, we can have far reaching
effects on the general health of the person – not only physical, but
mental and emotional as wellbeing.
Massage of the feet has often had a special place in religion and
culture. To wash and massage someone’s feet is a supreme act of
caring and respect. Maybe this is why receiving a foot massage is so
relaxing and feels so special.
PRINCIPLES OF TSUBOKI
• To massage an easily accessible part of the body (minimal or no
• To massage a part of the body that has reflexes to the rest of
• To massage a part of the body that in some way feels special,
• To perform a thorough massage, so that every aspect of that
part of the body receives touch.
• To work the tsubos and meridians on that part of the body,
thus helping to balance the client on a physical, mental, and
Tsuboki Foot massage consists of 5 stages:
- STAGE 1 – ANMA WITHOUT OIL: I begin with a warm up the feet and lower legs by manipulating, mobilising, pressing and kneading without the use of oil.
- STAGE 2 – RIDOKI : This dry massage is then continued using a “ridoki” roller. The same as that, which is used within a Tsuboki Face Massage. (not the same roller of course!) These stainless steel rollers have “flat points”. They enable me to stimulate the skin and nerve endings in a way that is not possible with hands. This is followed by a thorough massage of all surfaces of the feet using oil or lotion.
- STAGE 4 – TSUBOS and MERIDIANS: Now that the feet are thoroughly warmed and flexible, I will work 33 tsubo points and 6 meridians on each foot, thereby having far-reaching effects throughout the body.
- STAGE 5 – BUDDHA’S FOOTPRINTS: I finish with “Buddha’s Footprints”; a light holding, in sequence, of areas of the feet that relate to each of the Five Elements.
In addition to the Tsuboki Foot Massage I have introduced the Ayishu inspired Bain de Pied. I wanted to make this Treament for your Feet something a little different and for the massage to benefit you from the start, in a relaxing, warming and calming way.
Some of these benefits of a Bain de Pied, include mental relaxation, release of muscle tension, better sleep, reduced stress, increased circulation, and replenishment of the body’s minerals. On an energetic level, foot soaks disperse stagnant energy and will move it to different regions of the body.
Using the principles of the Onsen and using a foot soak to increase your overall body temperature, which can relieve muscle and mental tension, alleviate stress and increase white blood cell activity.
I have added this soothing massage and the Bain de Pied to my Massage Therapies and I hope that you take the opportunity to try out a full Tsuboku Foot Massage at your next TREATment Time!
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