Some cultures say the window to the soul is through the feet. The health science of Ayurveda has an interesting perspective on feet and proper foot care. Caring for your feet and hands goes beyond cosmetic purposes: it benefits the whole body and nervous system.
Most of us soak our hands and feet in moisturizers and skin creams full of chemicals, synthetic colors, fragrances, and lots of preservatives. Unfortunately, the skin soaks up these undesirable chemicals as well. With these chemical-laden beauty products, the hands and feet may look pretty, but this prettiness is transient. The effect of this constant chemical attack on the vulnerable skin may lead to early aging, wrinkles, spots, marks, and so on.
Ayurveda says true beauty comes from within and without. Soft and supple hands and feet reflect a brimming level of inner health, but how to get that level of health? To most of us, it may look like a medieval dream, when people had enough time to pamper themselves with elaborate beauty rituals. But that's not so! Here are some of the incredibly effective ancient discovery fresh beauty secrets -
Preserve the inner fire
It may seem unbelievable to you, but the true beauty of skin emerges from the stomach. Our digestive system is the one that makes either nutrition or toxins for our tissues, depending on its strength and metabolic balance. If you have a bad digestive system, you will have polluted blood and thus not-so-great skin. So, the time-tested grandmother's advice works the best -
Eat on time
Sleep on time
Don't skip meals when hungry
And don't overeat.
If you follow these four pieces of simple digestion advice, you will discover a fresh glow, not only in your face or feet but all over your body.
Massage is the ancient beauty secret of Ayurveda, not with chemical cocktails aka commercial beauty products, but the nourishing nectar from Mother Nature. A gentle hand and feet massage every day with an Ayurvedic oil helps to enhance the circulation and thus the nutrition to the skin. No wonder, your hands, and feet will glow with a dazzling radiance if you practice a "daily 5 min massage" of your hands and feet!
You can choose Ayurvedic oil depending on your Prakriti or body type. For example
Almond oil works great for dryness-prone Vata skin.
Coconut oil cools down the fiery pitta
Sesame oil warms up the coldish Kapha skin
In one of the oldest fundamental works of Ayurveda, the Chakra Samhita (Sutra Sthana V, 90–92), one can read:
“By massaging the oil in the feet, roughness, immobility, dryness, fatigue, and numbness are instantaneously cured; tenderness, strength, and steadiness of feet are effected; the eyesight becomes clear and Vata (vitiated) is relieved thereby. Prevention from sciatica, cracking of feet, constriction of vessels and ligaments of feet is ensured if (oil) massage is applied to the feet.“
Ayurveda advises never to use steam treatment on your feet. Therefore, if you plan to use steam after a hand and feet massage, avoid using steam on the feet.
Hot water treatment
Hands and feet are the abode of Vata dosha. Therefore gentle warmth works great to relieve vata generated fatigue, enhances blood circulation, and thus provides more moisturization and nourishment.
So, whenever possible, soak your hands and feet in warm water after a gentle massage. Warm water treatment for 5 min or more tremendously enhances the impact of massage.
No long list of To-Dos, only three simple pieces of advice-
Follow a healthy lifestyle
Daily hand and feet massage
Hot water treatment
Many spiritual traditions believe the body and soul are connected to—and even embodied in—the soles of the feet. Buddha’s footprints, for example, have long been used to represent his entire being.