A Closer Look at Tickling Massage Therapy


I have been checking out some historical references (Ancient Egypt,
Victorian Russia, oh, and Drew Barrymore has it done) to a light
touch technique that involved lightly stroking the bottom of the foot
for stress relief. I wanted to try it but, one, had a hard time
finding anyone who knew anything or was willing to try it, and two, I
was a little nervous. Either way, last week I found a certified
massage therapist who never tried it, but had heard of it and was
willing to give it a go. I had it done a few days ago and the results
were amazing!
She had me lie face down on a massage table where you face fits into
the ” face ” pillow. (I don’t know what it is actually called. She
massaged each foot for fifteen minutes each. I was expecting a deep,
heavy massage, but never really having one done professionally, I was
surprised at it.
She held the foot and very lightly massaged it and as she repeated
the process got a little heavier each time. Regardless, I had to
fight to stay awake. It was soooo relaxing. She spent the last half
hour with the light technique-fifteen minutes on each foot. The
technique she used, she learned while in school, though then they
used pencil tips to stimulate the sole. I have several historical
references to this technique.

She said, I believe in Taiwan, they used toothpicks and that is what
she started with. It was hard to tell what she was doing but I later
asked her and she said she was using them in short strokes in a
circular motion. It tickled and though I laughed
a little, it was more just causing me to flinch. The toes were more
sensitive and she tended to stay there longer. Then she used her
fingers, trying various techniques. She finally had me laughing
pretty good. It was amazing the effect it had. She held under the
foot with one hand to hold it relatively still. She ended that foot
by placing her palms on the soles and just held them there, slowly
sliding the off and repeating the process. I could feel the stress
melt away. I can’t fully describe it but it was a complete stress
melt. She too said she was surprised at the result.
Then she did the right foot which was much more ticklish than the
left. I started laughing almost immediately with the toothpicks, then
the fingers got me to laugh steadily. It sort of put me in a state of
euphoria, like a high. I actually had tears in my eyes. She ended the
same way and I honestly cannot describe the stress relief. I was so
weak and relaxed. (I was wiped out for the entire day!)
When I sat up, my ears popped, my head cleared of congestion, my
entire body felt like a wet noodle and I wondered how I would drive
home. It was simply amazing. The therapist actually said ” That was a
lot of fun; I really enjoyed that. ” She mentioned she felt more
relaxed as well. The theory behind it suggests a combination of
reflexology, nerve stimulation, and the laughter. I think too that
you just have to give into it and not resist it. Any thoughts on
this. It really intrigued me when I read the historical accounts, but
to have it done really opened it up. I would appreciate any thoughts
or insight into this. Thanks much!

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