A toe pull can result in a very gratifying pop as gases release and the bones reseat in the joint. This can be gratifying for the giver in that we then know change is being affected. And, gratifying to the receiver as they feel the release of pressure and ease of movement in the joint.
Sometimes we get so excited about the pop that we forget, though, that it’s all the good stuff leading up to the pop that is doing the best part of the work. So, don’t neglect the prep poses below. The pop is just the cherry on top. And, sometimes it just doesn’t need to happen, so don’t worry if you get no pop: it just means your partner’s toes are healthy!
How to do the Toe Pull:
- Firmly hold your partner’s foot with one hand and grip a toe between thumb and forefinger.
- Swirl each toe, making circles with the bones in the joints, then gently traction the toe by pulling the toe away from the body.
- If any toe pops, great. If not, great.
- Repeat with all toes.
Benefits: Releases tension and gases in the little joints of the toe.
Cautions: Some people find the sensation of toe work disconcerting or uncomfortable; if this is the case, skip this step of the massage. Never try to force the pop.
*It can be an interesting experiment to try this move toward the beginning of the massage, then again at the end. The results are often very different!
**You can totally do this move with yourself, too! I find the angle for the pull sometimes difficult on myself, so I will often swirl the toe then bend the joint for a similar response.