Healing the Sole

By Devaki Parthasarathy

“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art,” Leonardo de Vinci

As I pondered over the myriad of things I wanted to talk about, I thought about the feet. I came back from work yesterday and said, “My feet are killing me!!!” Empathise with that phrase? How many times have you wished you could just “put your feet up”???

Our lifestyles are such that they require us to take care of our appearance, the clothes, the face, the accessories but we all tend to forget our trusted friends, the feet – the two pals that carry our weight around, move us from place to place. As a matter of fact, since man has started using his feet to walk and stand, much of the workload from the hands has moved to the feet. And these trusted feet of ours stand us in good stead for many many years and require little or no care.

Remember when you were younger, the carefree days when you ran around bare feet on gravel? When you walked lazily on the sand? When early in the morning you walked?

There are a number of different ways to work the soles of your feet, including walking barefoot on the early morning dew laden grass. Well believe it or not, that’s apparently what the doctor ordered exactly. Apparently, the feet are home to literally thousands of nerve endings and almost seventy acupuncture points (which is probably why foot reflexology is so effective). So by simply walking bare feet on gravel, for instance, we land up massaging and stimulating specific areas on the soles of our feet, which provide general support for our entire body, improve sleep patterns, increase physical and mental wellbeing.

I have always maintained that there is great value in spending time on ourselves before we dedicate our lives to our families, work and society in general. By taking responsibility for our own health and taking time every day to connect with our body, we can not only assist our body in letting go of stress and dysfunction, but we can also continue to support an ongoing sense of wellness and vitality. Whether we are able to spend just a few minutes a day or once every few days our efforts are never wasted.


Here’re a few ideas I’ve gleaned from web sources and books on general foot care and reflexology tips. Stuff to help your feet with softer and smoother skin, sweat control and a little pampering too! They’re all home made and all natural.   But remember, just before you rush off to indulge, if you have any issues with your feet, it is always a good idea to check with your health professional first.




A lean foot makes the feet moist and porous and capable of accepting more treatment. Hence it is always a good idea to start any foot care regime with a thorough clean. Here are three different kinds of cleanse. Try all and see which you like best or better still alternating between the three keep the feet guessing.


Rejuvenating Footbath

For tired and aching feet try mixing

  • 3 tablespoons Epsom salts
  • 2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 drops rosemary oil
  • 3 tablespoons cooking salt

In a bowl of hot water, soak the feet for 20 minutes.

Soothing Footbath

To relax while you cleanse, mix

  • 1/8 teaspoon menthol crystals
  • 4 tablespoons powdered alum
  • 8 tablespoons boric acid
  • 10 tablespoons magnesium sulphate (Epsom Salts*)

Add one teaspoon of this mixture to a gallon of very warm water. Soak as desired. The dry mixture has a lengthy shelf life.


Smoothing Footbath

This magic mix can make the skin of your feet smooth and beautiful.


  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • cinnamon for fragrance
  • Water (temperature and amount are not important)


Exfoliating the feet makes the feet look fresh, getting rid of dead cells on the top and keeping the sole soft and supple so as to not allow cracks in extreme weathers. Regular exfoliating helps eliminate foot odours and keep the feet looking good and feeling great. The easiest recipe to get rid of those dead cells is to mix together to form a rough paste.

  • 8 strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons of olive or safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (coarse, non iodized salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped almonds

Remember, don’t over blend it. It is important to keep it coarse! It is easy to over blend as strawberries have a lot of water in them. It will just make the paste too watery. Massage the paste onto your feet circling clockwise and then anticlockwise for 10 minutes. Be careful with your massaging here. You don’t want to grind almond bits into your skin! Gentle does it. It’s the almond oil part of the nut that does the work. Rinse off in warm water and dry your feet thoroughly with a soft towel.

You could refrigerate any mixture left over, though the shelf life is about a week.


The most important part of any foot regime is the massaging. A thorough cleaning and exfoliating helps the foot become soft and porous and allows for greater absorption of massage oils and the effects of the massage last longer. It’s a good idea to use a homemade lotion to avoid putting harmful chemicals into a fresh and pure skin. An easy to make lotion that can be worked into your feet, and not washed off is

A Relaxing Foot Lotion


  • 1 tablespoon almond oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon wheat germ oil
  • 12 drops of essence of eucalyptus oil or fragrance oil

Place all of these ingredients in a dark coloured bottle and shake it well. Rub it into your feet and heels whenever you feel you need it.

Massage routine on a daily basis

Although it is wonderful to work with an experienced foot reflexologist whenever possible, we can also develop a practice of treating ourselves to a self-reflexology treatment if we take some time for this purpose before we begin our day or in the evening to relax before going to bed. Follow these easy steps to give your feet the much needed massage


1.           Begin with loosening up your ankles ”“ rotate each foot clockwise then anticlockwise about ten times.

2.           Pinch the end of your toes, which can increase circulation and drainage in your sinuses and stimulate your pituitary and pineal glands.

3.           Massage the ball of your foot, the arch, and the heel. If you find that an area is tender, it may indicate some distress or dysfunction occurring in the corresponding area of the body.

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