The Heat Is on! Summer Feet—Gotta Love ‘em

Kathleen Ismael, Reflexology Practitioner at IronOaks Fitness Center

Our feet carry the weight of our entire body every day with every step we take.

They can quickly become dry, tired, swollen, and sore. Our feet work hard all day for us, and foot care is essential, as well as relaxing.

Our feet need to be pampered, just like our face. Here are a few tips and sweet treats to show your feet that you care:

Elevate your feet whenever possible to help circulation, reduce swelling, and aid in stress recovery.

Wiggle your toes to stimulate circulation. Our feet are at the end of the line and can use a little help keeping blood circulating back up through the feet and legs.

Draw your name in the air with your toes to add motion to your feet and ankles.

Roll your feet over a cool or frozen water bottle or a ball to massage the soles of your feet and to invigorate blood vessels and nerves. There are 7,000 nerve endings on the bottom of our feet, and each one loves special attention.

Arizona heat and dusty streets can cause severe dryness, cracking heels, and flakey soles which can also become very painful. But there is hope!

Soak your feet in tepid or warm water as you are relaxing, reading, or watching TV.

Add Epsom salts to release tension and promote additional softening.

Essential oils such as lavender, lemongrass, or tea tree oil will help. A little baking soda, vinegar, or olive oil also works well in your footbath.

Massaging oil or Vaseline into your feet before bed and wearing a protective sock is very soothing and effective for dry, sore feet. Coconut oil will help heal and soften your feet, and you will think you are at the beach!

To remove dry skin on heels, use a pumice stone or a foot file. Try this while your feet are at their driest before your shower. This may remove more dry skin than a moist exfoliation.

You may also follow exfoliation with salt scrub or sugar scrub before moistening to help soften dry skin.

Dry, cracked heels are common during these hot summer months and can result in bleeding and be very painful. For bleeding heels, keep the area clean to prevent infection. Use pure oils or Vaseline at night and cover with a sock to protect them. If needed, cover cracks with a Band-Aid during the day to keep the area clean while healing. Once bleeding has stopped, foot soaking and exfoliating may resume.

Foot soaking is not suggested for someone who has open sores on their feet. Always seek medical attention for bleeding or any open sores on the feet that do not heal.

Professional foot massage and reflexology are relaxing and beneficial for your feet, as well as your overall health and well-being.

Treat your feet well. They will thank you for it!