Tuesday Toesday – using a heating pad to warm feet

This time of the year, many of us are struggling with warm hands and feet when we do our barefoot massage. In fact, I often have a problem in the summertime too when the air conditioning is cranking. Today, we’ve got a cheapo heating pad to the rescue.

Firstly, the directions tell you not to lie on the heating pad, but that’s because the manufacturers don’t want you to fall asleep on one and burn yourself. I’ve had an unlucky client who lost her match with the heating pad this way (at home).

Standing on it is ok because you’re really on there for a short while. Plus, you’re awake. And you can tell if it gets too hot. By that time, you have been happily massaging with those hot feet.

Although you can step directly on the fleece that covers it, you only have one. Since you don’t want the Board of Health knocking on your door, simply cover it with a pillowcase. Fold the edges over so you can see where the heating pad is.

You don’t want to be stepping around on the pillowcase trying to find the heat!

The pillowcase I used today in the video is so wide that it’s almost folded in half. If you’re clever with a sewing machine, you could make your own heating pad pillowcases quite easily.

A heating pad on the table is a given, so the sheets are cozy warm when the client lies down. (Yes, we realize that some of you massage on the beach in Belize and don’t need a heating pad. Don’t rub it in.)

Once I have the pillowcase on the heating pad, I crank the heat to “high”.

It’s an inexpensive heating pad, so the settings are “low”, “medium”, and “high”. I then place the heating pad on a stool or chair and put the client’s pillow that we bolster with on top of it.

If you are using a wooden stool or table, I would recommend placing a double folded towel under the heating pad so as to not warp your wood.

Once the client is slowly melting into your deliciously warm table, we add in the lovely accouterment of the hot pillow. Pick up the pillow and place it under your client’s shins and feet, hot side up.

Don’t be surprised if you get a compliment on your spa-like skills.

Place the heating pad on the floor near your client’s head or wherever you like to stand to lubricate their back.

Lubricate your client’s legs, clean your feet, and step onto a clean towel by the heating pad. Literally, your next step is to get onto the heating pad.

Massage your client’s back with cream for a minute while your feet marinate on the deliciousness of heat.

You’re ready to go.

Or ARE you?

Sometimes I am simply chilled to the bone, and I feel like nothing will get me warm. This usually happens in February when I am just “done” with winter, but it happens sometimes when I’ve been in AC a lot.

So now step onto your clean towel and place the heating pad on your stool that you step on. Carefully step onto the stool.

(Please practice this without a client’s head nearby if you’ve always gotten onto the table from the end or the side.)

Now just switch back and forth, one foot getting hot, the other massaging.

Seriously, the clients will think you have magic feet.

You’re welcome.

p.s. I leave the heating pad on for the whole session because I stand on it again before I work on their neck. Just because it’s amazing.

Make sure you turn it off when you are done working! 

Want to see some other ways to warm your feet? Check out this post!

Side note: Wondering why you see a meditation pillow on the floor (I use it to a power strip when I’m not sitting on it) and a pool noodle on the stool at the head of the table in our header image?

Click on the linked words above to see what those are all about!


Share this with any therapist you know whose soles and feet make you shiver!

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