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What are some ways of improving foot cleanliness in the full body massage process? When feet are at the midway point in the massage, what ways have been used and found successful to wash, scrub, or somehow sanitze the foot massage process?
Feet are feet. They're dirty.
If your massage has continuity, then you're not leaving to wash your hands. That means your hands will touch their feet and then something else (e.g. their face).
Most therapists wipe their hands on the sheet. If you're a keener, have a hot wet towel on the cart and dexterously snatch it between body parts.
I typically save the feet for the very end of the session.
If you start your client face up, you can end with the feet, or at least massage the scalp and face first. I start face up and work on the feet twice supine and prone. I do use hot towels on the feet after I massage them, and that does clean my hands some. I will quickly use a lavender hand sanitizer and another hot towel on my hands if I fee like they have "feet stink" on them. If my client prefers to start face up I will leave the feet until the end if they are stinky, and I just kind of act like that is my routine. The only drawback with the hot towels is they will occasionally "diffuse" the smell throughout the room. Thankfully most clients arent that bad!
There is a peppermint foot gel, that is amazing. I buy it at Walmart. Not only does it disinfect, but if the person has feet that aren't too pleasant smelling it takes care of that problem as well.
I normally start clients prone, after flipping them I continue with legs and feet. I use a hand sanitizer before moving on. Luckily I have not experienced anybody with really stinky feet. And I typically use aromatherapy - some of those essential oils are great antibacterials/antifungals.
I use hand sanitizer after I work the feet. If I feel uncomfortable working on their feet due to fungus or smell, then I work through the sheet and give more of a shiatsu/acupressure type of foot massage.
My clients are 99% women, so this is not usually an issue with me. What I do routinely is give the client a foot wash with Surgical scrub solution, then massage their feet with moisturiser for a short time. I raise the back of the table, then the client sits comfortably while their feet are washed and massaged (feet placed on a spare towel). The client is thereby relaxed into the session, gets to know the feel of your hands, and has a chance for a short chat. Once finished, the spare towel is rolled up and is ready as an ankle support for the thorough foot massage half way through the session.
I use warm water for the foot massage therapy. Since I am very obsessed about keeping my hands clean, I use sanitizer and rub it on my hands once I am done with it. I take special care in washing the towel in warm water and antiseptic liquid before using it for another client.
I leave the feet for the end. One idea is you could wrap the foot in a hot towel and massage through it. My clients love having hot towels on their feet. There are a lot of great ideas listed here!
I always did the face and head first, while my hands were clean...most people aren't that gross that it's a worry to touch their feet, then other parts (not face) of the body? Do you just have feet issues? I wouldnt' like hand sanitizer on my feet (chemicals in that stuff are bad for me, and YOU who might be touching more often), peppermint foot lotion might be a nice addition...essential oils are anti fungal, bacterial and viral...
These are all great ideas! As a reflexologist and former massage therapist, here are my thoughts:
(1) Use a hot towel to wipe off the feet at the beginning of the session. That way they are clean whenever you get to them and you won't have to break continuity. Contrary to popular belief...feet are not the dirtiest part of the body (hands and face are dirtier!) because they are usually in shoes. An antibacterial wipe (use a baby wipe warmer to keep warm) is another option.
(2) Feet that smell are giving you important information about the body. Typically, these clients could use more relaxation and lymphatic work.
(3) If the feet REALLY smell and/or have signs of athlete's foot, etc. do like Qiana suggested and work through the sheet.