Why you should never go foot to face

Why you never go Foot to Face

You may be wondering why on earth you would want to go Foot to Face in your massage session, and to be honest you should avoid it if you can.

However the massage session is all about your client, and there are a few occasions when a client may ask for you to finish the session with a face massage.

Whether this is because they just find that this relaxes them more, or they feel it helps reduce the dreaded cradle face from laying prone on the couch. Whatever the reason, our biggest concern is going to be on the cleanliness of the feet and how we would avoid transferring ANYTHING at all from the foot to our clients face.

Let’s face it, feet are icky.

Many of us don’t work in a facility that allows us to offer clients a shower before their session, and most clients are stopping in for their treatment between other tasks throughout the day. Having freshly cleaned feet, isn’t always the first thing on their mind, especially if they’ve just finished their 7 mile training session for their half marathon, or they’ve popped in for a treatment after 8 hours in the office.

For therapists though, our main concern should be the transfer of any potential bacteria or fungus from the clients feet to the other areas of the body.

What type of ickys are we taking about here?

Cellulitis is a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender, and it may spread rapidly.

Tinea Pedis (Athletes Foot):

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection that usually begins between the toes. It occurs most commonly in people whose feet have become very sweaty while confined within tight-fitting shoes.

Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include a scaly rash that usually causes itching, stinging and burning. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be spread via contaminated floors, towels or clothing.

Plantar Warts:

Plantar warts are hard, grainy growths that usually appear on the heels or balls of your feet, areas that feel the most pressure. This pressure also may cause plantar warts to grow inward beneath a hard, thick layer of skin (callus).

Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus enters your body through tiny cuts, breaks or other weak spots on the bottom of your feet.

You’ve got to admit, those aren’t the nicest things you want to have rubbed and massaged into your beautiful face now is it? Although most of these conditions would be considered a (local) contra-indication, the bacteria and virus that causes them may not always present with the symptoms that you can see above. That, and the smell, oh goodness, the smell of feet. Blurgh.

So how do you get around this issue when a client wants foot work, but also wants work on the face?

Ideally you have a small sink in your treatment room, with hot and cold running water as this would allow you to wash your hands quickly after working on the feet. But if, like myself you aren’t lucky enough to have a sink in your treatment room, never fear, there are some other tricks to the trade that will make this a more pleasant experience.

1 Hand Sanitiser

Even if you don’t necessary need it for the transition from Feet to elsewhere on the body, it’s always good to have Hand Sanitiser laying around your treatment room because you never know what you may get on your hands when working. Or maybe you will want it to clean your hands of product before working with a client who has sensitivies. Either way, your treatment room should never be without it.

2 Hot Towel Cabinet

If you don’t currently offer treatments that include the use of Hot Towels, this may be a great way to slowly introduce them. The Hot towels are normally “steamed” so that they are ready for use, and sit in a small steamer.

You can use the hot towels as a foot wrap before you begin working on the feet (and as a sneaky way to give the feet a little clean) or you can use them for washing your hands after the foot treatment.

You can find them online: Here is one that we use listed on Amazon

3 Pre-session Foot Soak

Another option (in addition to hand washing of course) would be to offer your clients a complementary foot soak prior to their treatment. This can often be used as a way to get them into that relaxed mindset prior to their massage treatment. Foot soaks can be simply warm water with a little essential oil, or epsom salts.

What tricks do you use to get your hands “nice and clean” during a massage treatment?

Obviously washing your hands when necessary will always be your number one rule in staying clean and sanitary, but it’s important to know you have options if you need them.

Just remember, that without a handy method of getting your hands nice and clean afterwards, you should NEVER go Foot to Face!