Like armpits, feet are a body part many people prefer to never see the light of day. They are worn down by the weight of our daily activities and are prone to fungus, calluses and verrucas: bad feet symptoms even sound disgusting. But you can’t wrap your tootsies up in clobber forever. We’ve found some treatments that offer more than just a basic pedicure so you can put your best foot forward.
The Spell, Lush
I’d done some serious damage to my feet (not to mention to the lawns at Ascot), stomping back and forth to the totes for a flutter in a pair of rapier-like stilettos. So, the thought of a 60-minute massage, dubbed ‘The Spell’ is magic to my tortured soles.
Oddly, first I am required to scribble down a worry on a scrap of parchment and pop it in a copper pot. My therapist torches it with a match, and with a ‘poof’, it was banished. That’s psychology for you – I feel lighter on my feet already.
Celtic melodies and birdsong pipe overhead, and candles flicker as my toes are immersed in warm water, tickled by the fizzing of a volcanic bath ballistic – a metaphor for the purging of any angst.
As I recline, hot stones are placed under my shoulders and on my abdomen, and my tootsies are lathered in heady concoctions of lemongrass, clove, ginger and cocoa butter. They are kneaded in a bout of reflexology for what seems like a very blissful lifetime.
Finally, my legs and hips are rocked side-to-side, and my head and neck massaged. Invigorated, I feel like I have the world at my feet.
Acupuncture, Duncan McGechie
If you suffer from numb toes, constantly cold feet or pain from twisting your ankle, having a few sessions of acupuncture could be what you need.
An important element of Chinese medicine, it involves needling key points in the body to harmonise the flow of Qi, the body’s life force. The Chinese believe ailments arise when there are blockages in that flow.
Most people seek acupuncture after they have exhausted all options of conventional medicine and it has been known to work a treat.
And, don’t worry, while it sounds painful, it’s just uncomfortable to begin with.
Bespoke treatment, for men
Leave your masculinity at the door, lads. Here, weary, mangy feet get a fizzy electric foot bath, a vigorous peppermint exfoliation and, just to make sure there are no more crusty bits, a brisk pumice job.
After your nails are daubed with moisturiser, your talons get a tidy-up with a bewildering host of implements. The piece de resistance is a full foot coating of piping-hot paraffin wax.
You’ll leave feeling as though you’re walking on cotton wool.
Treat your feet to a relaxing massage
Radiant therapy, Thai Square Spa
Masks are not just for your face, you know. In this ritual, your tootsies are coated in a concoction of tumeric, vitamin C, honey and lemongrass designed to banish any impurities and tone your skin. Then, cue the so-called Divine massage oil for a soothing rub-down of feet and legs.
Not only will this uplift your weary feet, but the aroma of orange and bergamot also promises to do untold wonders for your soul.
thaisquarespar.com; £55 1hr15mins
Sink your feet into darting shoals of garra rufa fish, which nibble away dead skin.
Specific points in your feet are pressed and kneaded to remove blockages in the body’s energy flow.
Not for the squeamish. Corns and callouses are exterminated, cuticles cut, ingrown toenails treated and feet scrubbed. A splash of varnish tops off the look.