Foot massage


Massage has a multifaceted effect. Indeed, at the same time, muscles are stretched, nerve endings and biologically active points are stimulated, the work of the lymphatic and venous systems is regulated. A foot massage is very useful - a simple and effective effect on the limbs and on the baby’s whole body.

The parents themselves can massage the feet of the newborn. It is shown and healthy children, and having any abnormalities in health status, can be held daily. If your child has neurological or orthopedic problems, it is recommended to additionally conduct courses of therapeutic massage by a specialist.

What is important for parents to know

At first, the child has physiological hypertonia in the limbs. Therefore, his fingers are often compressed into cams, arms and legs are bent and brought to the body, and his feet seem to be kosolapyat. This is normal. Gradually, the tone will decrease, and the baby will learn his body. With the help of massage and exercise, you can effectively relax the muscles in your legs and gradually increase the amount of movement in the joints, contributing to the infant's motor development.

If the child has neurological abnormalities, the tone in the limbs may be excessively high, low or asymmetric. This is revealed by a pediatrician and a neurologist. But mother herself can notice signs of pathology. Be sure to tell your doctor as soon as possible! Daily massage of the feet for newborns in such cases is very important, it significantly improves the well-being of the child. Signs and other information about the pathologies of muscle tone in children →

Proper foot setting allows you to evenly distribute the load on the joints, pelvis and spine. Therefore, normal tone and good support is the prevention of early wear of intervertebral discs and joints. A systematic massage for clubfoot in newborns and exercises will perfectly complement the treatment recommended by the orthopedist.

During a massage, it is very important not to affect areas of close proximity of vessels and nerves. These are the inguinal fold, the thighs near the genitals, the generated fossa and the upper third of the inner surface of the lower leg. The maximum possible impact is a soft stroke. It is also worth avoiding the birthmark, hemangioma.

Since the massage affects the veins and lymphatic vessels, all the massage movements on the legs should be directed from the bottom up to the heart.

When massaging the feet of the baby, special attention should be paid to the plantar part of the foot. The fact is that the impact on this area affects not so much the muscles located here as the biologically active points. Stimulation of a rich network of nerve endings triggers reflex responses with the response of various internal organs and whole systems.

There is a “map” of acupuncture zones on the foot, it is the same for all people. Even on the tiny foot of a newborn there are areas functionally connected with the stomach, intestines, sensory organs and other important parts of the body. For example, the digestive tract is projected in a mirror image from the tubercle under the big toe of the foot. Therefore, clockwise rubbing of the fossa between the inner and outer arches of the foot can relieve colic. And arcuate movements below the joint under 1 finger will reduce regurgitation. On the fingers, there are zones of hearing and vision, along the inner edge of the sole there is an area responsible for the spine.

The skin on the feet of the newborn thin, delicate. Therefore, you should not make great efforts in trying to improve the functioning of internal organs. In acupuncture therapy, it is not pressure power that is important, but the choice of a point for impact. Stroking clockwise, pressing with a fingertip with vibration and pressure transfer in a circle is enough. No need to bring the child to tears, such a reflexogenic foot massage should not bring pain.

Knowing about biologically active points, a mother can affect not only muscles but also balance the functioning of the whole body when massaging her baby’s legs.

Preparing to massage the legs of the baby

Massage is quite a strong effect on the body. Therefore, it can not be done in the acute stage of infectious and colds, fever. But soft strokes of the skin of the legs, rubbing the feet are not prohibited even with the disease of the baby. This does not require any special training, it is rather everyday bodily contact of the mother and her baby during dressing, hygienic procedures, games.

A wakeful period is suitable for a massage when the child is full and calm. The room should be warm, it is desirable to exclude the possibility of loud, harsh sounds. Toddler better put back on a semi-rigid surface. A foot massage for a newborn can be performed directly on mother's lap.

Hands of an adult should be clean, warm, without decorations. You can apply a small amount of sterile oil (vegetable or massage), baby cream.

When massaging the legs, it is not necessary to undress the baby completely, you can simply remove the sliders and socks.

Do not frighten the child with a focused expression. Smile, coo, sing songs, read the rituals. Prepare toys in order to time the baby in time, if he plays up.

How to massage

  1. The massage begins with a series of soft strokes from the feet to the groin. It is convenient to do this, clasping the area of ​​the ankle joints with the palm of the hand and leading the arms upwards. The degree of pressure gradually increases. It warms the muscles, activates blood circulation.
  2. Then stroke the soles. In this case, you can use the reflexes of the child. When you press the tubercle under 2 fingers, the remaining fingers will tighten, and when you draw a line along the sole near the outer edge of the foot, they will disperse like a fan.
  3. Strokes are replaced by tapping to relax the muscles. They also make light clapping with fingertips and vibrating movements. This stage ends again stroking. At first this is enough.
  4. From 3 months light rubbing from bottom to top is added. They are made in a spiral or stroke diagonal movements. Then the foot massage of the newborn is complicated. The thumb of the hand with moderate pressure several times draws the figure 8 from the heel to the base of the fingers, the outer edge of the foot is rubbed. Each finger gently kneads, it is desirable to capture and interdigital area.

The massage goes well with exercises - bending the legs, a slight rotation of the ankle (in children older than 3-4 months). You can do exercises with support, resting the feet of the baby in your palm.

Each type of impact is completed with several strokes, at the end of the massage there is also necessarily a general stroking from the bottom up.

Massage the legs of the newborn reduces muscle tone. It can be used as a game. Call the parts of the body to which you touch, alternate the massage effect with kisses, pretend that it is a machine or a train on the tracks. This approach will allow you to massage even actively moving child. Curious, the baby will allow you to spend the whole range of effects.

If the child has a low tone, the massage should be stimulating and must be combined with gymnastics. It is best to clarify the method of conducting a neurologist and a professional massage therapist. When clubfoot foot massage also has its own characteristics, about which the doctor will tell.

Foot massage helps to cope with the physiological hypertonia of newborns, stimulates the development of the child. It can be done with different abnormalities, but for this you need to get the recommendations of a doctor and a massage therapist.

Author: Obukhova Alina Sergeevna, family doctor

The connection of the foot and internal organs

If you mark the points associated with a specific organ on the foot, you will get a densely filled grid. To broaden the horizons of parents, it is permissible to reduce the grid to a minimum, to distribute the zones of influence:

  1. The fingertips - the base - the area associated with the head and neck.
  2. Pads - the middle of the arch of the foot - the area responsible for the chest and hands.
  3. The middle of the foot and the line connecting the ankle is an indicator of the work of the abdominal cavity.
  4. The inner side of the foot is connected with the spine.

Massage of feet of the child belongs to a medical type.

Reasons for applying the baby’s foot massage

Modern children are often born weak, development is adversely affected by the ecology spoiled in many respects. A child up to a year requires physical exertion on her legs in order for many illnesses to go away.

Foot massage to the baby is needed in case of orthopedic defects or prevention of occurrence. To bring the muscle tone back to normal, correct development of the foot arch, the procedure is well indicated. Exercises of this type are associated with improving the health of the child's body as a whole, here are points related to the functioning of internal organs.

Features of the execution of foot massage

To properly make a massage, remember the features of execution. In children under one year, weak muscles, bone formation is underway. The foot, which has no arch, visually shows a flat shape due to a layer of fat.

Physical exercises for children are allowed to be done from birth, at the age of up to a year, performing extremely light stroking. Despite the simplicity, the movement brings many benefits.

Gradually, the time spent on the massage increases, the exercises become more complicated, new movements are added. After a year in the body of the baby a lot of changes occur, the legs are getting stronger. Already allowed to twist the fingers to the side with caution.

Foot massage and performance techniques

Parents have the right to learn how to perform foot massage for the child.

Work on your fingers:

    We'll have to conduct preparatory exercises. The leg remains motionless, you need to hold with one hand, the other to perform the necessary techniques. Initially, stroking of the feet is performed, the amplitude of which covers the lower leg and the ankle joint. Shin rubbed in a semicircle, stroking covering movements. It helps to influence the nerve endings through the skin surface. Muscles relax, ready for the perception of subsequent exercises.

Work with foot:

  1. Work on the interosseous muscles begins on the front foot. To do the exercises correctly, you need to fold your fingers in the form of forceps, then proceed to the Achilles tendon. Young children are recommended to do the admission without strong pressure.
  2. After the year of birth, children are massaged in the sole by soft movements of the fingertips in the direction from above to the heel. The movements are performed in the form of a ridge.

Known point type of foot massage, correctly perform, not everyone can. Assign the process to a master or parent who has acquired skills in a massage training course. The basis of treatment includes pressing on the desired point of the reflexogenic zone, performed by one or two fingers. Strong short pressure will lead to an increase in the tone of specific muscles. Gentle and prolonged pressure relieves the tension of certain muscles.

It is simple to master the usual techniques, but it is contraindicated for the unprepared person.

    Massage the shin joint with circular stroking. The joint is captured in such a technique at the same time.

Other exercises related to the lower leg:

  • In the right hand to put the baby's heel. With the other hand, perform the stroking movements of the calf legs and lower legs on the sides towards the thigh, without touching the knee. The frequency of the exercise - 5 times.
  • From the foot towards the groin to stroke the leg.
  • The thumb is placed on the side line of the foot, the rest of the fingers to keep the opposite surface. Grind in circles. It is done to remove hypertonus of the leg muscles.
  • In the left hand, take the baby’s foot, use the other hand to “draw” the eight, or in a circular motion from the center of the foot.

Reflex techniques in foot massage

  1. Toddler up to one year perform reflex techniques. With the thumb and forefinger of one hand, take the foot, with the thumb of the other hand, energetically make movements in a circle on the sole. The middle and index finger simultaneously massaged the foot on the sides.
  2. Pressure on the foot is carried out at the base of the fingers. A child will respond to such actions by bending them.
  3. A quick tap on the Achilles tendon is helpful. Reception contributes to the work of the leg extension reflex. Similar occurs during the slapping on the sole in the direction from the heel to the fingers.

Exercises help the correct formation of the arch of the foot.


  1. If the child behaves restlessly while touching the feet, the child does not like the situation, we can safely say that the exercises are done incorrectly. To continue, when the child is in a nervous state, is impossible. Reassure the child, then continue.
  2. During the foot massage it is useful to talk with the baby, sing songs, read poems, turn on a pleasant melody.
  3. The wizard does not recommend the use of tools and liquids for tactile work with the feet of a child. Various creams and other substances will not allow the mother to fully feel contact with the body of the baby, reduce the benefits of treatment. An inexperienced person is able to err in executing pressure with force, speed and stopping techniques. Any massage cream, other substance clogs the pores, overheating happens.
  4. The room in which physical exercises for the prevention of foot diseases are assumed is necessarily aired.
  5. If a child is engaged in a cold season, it is helpful to choose a warm place.
  6. Perform foot massage for infants requires only fingers and hand.
  7. To check the adequacy of strength and pressure, the massage therapist is obliged to check the techniques for themselves.

A few words about the impossibility of performing a stop massage

You can not perform actions for the prevention and treatment of foot disease:

  • abnormalities in the respiratory system,
  • malfunction of the cardiovascular organs.

In such cases, consult a doctor.

It is forbidden to massage the feet when:

  • rashes,
  • fungal diseases
  • various skin inflammations
  • in the presence of injury (burns, fractures),
  • during infectious diseases,
  • in case of blood damage
  • in the presence of a tumor.

The work with the feet of children is postponed for a while:

  • with increasing body temperature
  • with the development of rickets and its aggravation,
  • with brittle bones,
  • when the skin is hypersensitive,
  • with hypertrophy,
  • in violation of the kidneys and liver,
  • if there is a malfunction of the digestive tract,
  • with vomiting.

No medical exercises are done at the moment of the capricious state of the child, before going to bed.

The frequency of the massage and its demand

It is helpful for a baby up to a year to do a massage daily, in the absence of contraindications. The time allowed for the procedure is from 2 to 5 minutes. Time enough to eliminate the difficulties in violation of the tone, to strengthen the immune system. During the massage, brain functions related to tactility and movement will work, the child will develop faster.

Prevention of diseases of the feet and their strengthening, performed by a loved one, will benefit the child’s body, the joy of peculiar communication. This contributes to the full and rapid development of the baby up to a year.

Massage of feet to the child from 8 to 12 months

At this age, the child’s legs are a little stronger, and he has a desire to sit still or play with toys. The sitting position of the child can be used by giving him a massage with strokes and kneading. You need to knead not only the foot, but also the legs and thighs. You should also carefully twist separately each finger in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction.

During the procedure of massage, it is necessary to remember that: it can not be done before putting the baby to sleep, massage can excite the children's nervous system, and the baby will “fall asleep” with difficulty. Massage should bring only pleasant sensations and positive emotions to the child. To achieve all these goals, it is necessary to remember that the child must be full (after feeding it is recommended to withstand an hour), and also he must be well rested and did not want to sleep.

Massage effect

They begin to massage the feet of infants when the baby is 2-2.5 months old, and they must take into account the peculiarity of the children's feet. Newborns have very fragile bones and there is no fatty layer on the foot, therefore it is forbidden to act with force on the legs.

Light relaxing movements are useful for kids: they cause positive emotions, relax, increase tactile contact with parents.

The purpose and effect of the massage varies with the child's age: the first three months of study is aimed at relaxing the flexor muscles. The next three months is the normalization of muscle tone and strengthening of muscle tissue, then - the coordination of the work of different muscle groups. From 9 months to a year, the purpose of the massage is to prepare the musculoskeletal system for walking.

The beneficial effect of massage is manifested in:

  • Development of movement coordination,
  • Improving brain function
  • Forming a correct posture,
  • Improving respiration and blood circulation, metabolic processes,
  • Improving the nervous system,
  • Reducing the risk of rickets,
  • Relaxation of the nervous system.

After regular massage of the feet, babies get up faster and start walking.

На стопах расположено много нервных окончаний и биологически активных точек, и их проработка укрепляет здоровье ребенка. During massaging, the digestion process is improved, the immunity is strengthened, and blood circulation is activated. Mechanical impact forms the correct silhouette of the foot.

Foot massage for children continues to do after a year. Daily procedures strengthen the immune system, improve metabolism, prevent the curvature of the legs. 4-5-year-old children are active and mobile, they need bracing procedures. The massage of a five-year-old child is aimed at the prevention of flat-footedness and scoliosis, diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Massage with valgus deformity

Some babies under the age of 3 years, there is deformity of the legs. Valgus deformity refers to a change in the shape of the knee joint, which deforms the shape of the lower extremities. You can notice it when the baby is standing so that his heels and knees are joined. When the child’s feet are deformed, the ankles are separated, and if they are near, the knees go behind each other. Simultaneously with the deformation can hit the baby and rickets. Hypovitaminosis D leads to the development of rickets, which also affects the metabolic disorder.

With X-shaped legs, the child is prescribed a course of therapeutic massage. His goal is to strengthen the muscle tissue of the thighs and the inner part of the leg, to relax the outside of the leg. The back, loin and buttocks are also involved during the study. Regular sessions allow the knee joints to return to their normal position.

Indications and contraindications

Massage is a procedure of active physiotherapy, which is used to prevent orthopedic problems, rickets, diseases of the nervous system, strengthen the immune system. Procedures are prescribed not only to infants. Children older than 1 year home sessions are recommended for:

  • Flat feet,
  • Improper development of the musculoskeletal system,
  • Club feet,
  • Hypertonicity and hypotone muscular tissue,
  • Curvature of the legs and spine,
  • High arch of the foot.

They also carry out procedures for diseases that have arisen as a result of wearing uncomfortable shoes and lack of movement.

Massaging the feet of children is contraindicated in:

  • Skin diseases and its hypersensitivity,
  • The aggravated stage of rickets,
  • Fragile bones,
  • High temperature
  • Vomit
  • Diseases of the blood, kidneys, liver and digestive organs,
  • Tuberculosis and diathesis,
  • Acute arthritis,
  • Diathesis
  • Heart disease
  • Hernia.

If your child has breathing problems, then you should consult a doctor before a session.

The mechanism of influence on the body

Massage affects the receptors of the skin, which leads to the appearance of skin-visceral reflexes. Their essence is that irritation of the area leads to a reflex increase in the activity of the internal organs associated with this area. The activation of the nervous system stimulates the activity of the basic functions and systems of the child’s body.

By improving blood circulation, the flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients to organs and tissues increases. Acceleration of the movement of the lymph leads to a natural and rapid elimination of metabolic products from the body.

Mechanical effect on the skin provokes an active production of endorphins and growth hormones. The body relaxes, relieves muscle spasms and blocks. The study of the feet also stimulates the development of speech centers.

Massage techniques and techniques

When carrying out massage procedures for the legs should be remembered that the skeleton of the baby is not yet formed and consists of cartilage tissue. Rough, violent and abrupt movement can cause pain and cause injury.

Massage starts and ends with stroking palms. This technique prepares the skin for more intense effects and helps to relax the muscles. Rubbing is carried out more intensively to work through the deep subcutaneous layers. When this technique is performed, the tissues are shifted clockwise. The rubbing is aimed at reducing muscle tone, improving blood flow and warming up tendons.

Kneading consists of exciting movements, squeezing and slight displacement of tissues. It is held with three fingers. This technique stimulates blood flow, reduces swelling and improves the functioning of the respiratory system. The next trick is vibrations. Fast and oscillating movements lead to shaking of the tissues, which calms the nervous system. Used in the treatment of foot diseases and injuries.

Massage rules

Technique and features of massage depend on the age of the baby. In the first months of a child's life, it is recommended to refrain from vibratory movements. Over time, light massage is replaced by more intense, increasing its duration and variety of techniques.

How to do a massage:

  • All techniques are performed in the supine position,
  • Massage is done with one hand, with the other hand they hold the baby’s foot all the time,
  • All movements are from the foot to the hip,
  • Massaging start from the back surface
  • Achilles tendons, shins and thighs are working out.

When working with the feet, first knead the toes of the baby, then the entire surface. Movement - circular and spiral, direction - from the heel to the fingers and back. In cases of foot diseases for babies, massage with paraffin is performed. Its use helps to warm the tissue, relax muscles, expand the capillaries and relieve pain.

Massage for limb deformation is carried out as follows:

  • The loin is massaged from the spine down and to the sides,
  • Buttocks and kneecaps work clockwise,
  • The back of the thighs and lower legs - from the bottom up,
  • The feet are on the back of the fingers.

When the baby is six months old, it is recommended to purchase a foot massage mat. It has the effect of acupuncture effects and helps to strengthen the ligaments and muscles, gives the arch of the foot the correct position.

How often to apply

The frequency and time of the procedure depends on the age of the child and individual indications. If there are no negative reactions and special recommendations of the doctor, then the sessions can be carried out daily.

The first sessions should last no more than 5 minutes, and by 6 months, the massage time with gymnastics comes to 20-25 minutes. The session starts an hour after eating and 30 minutes before meals.

Children's foot massage is the prevention of many diseases of the musculoskeletal system, nervous system and digestion. Before you do a foot massage, your child should consult with a pediatrician to identify contraindications and possible limitations. It must be remembered that children's bones are fragile, and careless movement can lead to injuries. You can perform your own massage daily, if there are no negative reactions. The main movements are in a circle, in straight lines, zigzag and wavy. The procedure should be carried out with increasing intensity and always end with soft stroking movements.

Indications for foot massage for children

As a rule, massage is prescribed for the following deviations from the norm:

  • Muscle hypertonus,
  • Hypotonus,
  • Flat feet,
  • Various pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, ranging from the development of rickets and ending with the varus installation of feet,
  • Disease prevention.

Massage of the feet and feet is recommended for all children in order to prevent and even more so in the case of detecting a developmental abnormality. The technology itself effects on the musculoskeletal system of the baby is simple and after some consultations with the doctor it is permissible to conduct sessions independently.

Exercises for feet and legs for children

Speaking of exercises, it should be borne in mind that for the most part they are designed for children with abnormalities. The most common - the curvature of the legs and flat feet. When such complications are recommended to perform the following steps:

  • Tiptoeing
  • Walking on heels
  • Walking on the outer feet with a load
  • The game “pick up pencils”, when the child must pick up a pencil with the help of the legs and fingers and shift it to another place or into his hand.

The basic techniques for massaging the feet of the child are performed when the baby is on the back. Here are the basic methods and tips:

  • Rubbing from bottom to top and vice versa (especially around the knee),
  • Perform rubbing must be alternately for each leg. On average - 3 minutes for children from 1 to 3 months, 5 minutes - up to a year, 7-8 - from a year and up,
  • Perform straight, circular and spiral rubbing of the feet, massaging each finger separately,
  • Consult with your doctor, who will tell you the duration of the procedure and the main points to pay attention to.
  • When massaging the feet of a child, there is no hard time frame, but it is recommended to take 10-12 minutes to each. Intensity - ascending, depending on the age of the child.

Foot massage technique for children: video

A number of excellent videos on the Internet show every movement and the very foot massage technique for children. To view the best selection of informative videos of foot massage, follow one of the links below:

  • A pediatrician shows how to perform movements, accompanying with an additional story about some details,
  • Complex foot and foot massage for babies,
  • Another video on which you can see how the movements are performed by a qualified specialist in massaging the feet and legs of a child.