The first trick is to remove as many distractions as possible and set a relaxing mood for the yourself. Turn off the television and turn down bright lights. Play some calming music. Lay a mat or blanket on the floor and lie down with plenty of pillows for comfort. Make sure you have a comfortable position.
Sometimes your feet are a little smelly. If you don't want to embarrass yourself, wrap your feet in hot or cool towels. Investin a quality foot cream with a minty scent. Most lotions are too thin to provide good viscosity for massage, and you have to reapply often. A thick cream provides the right texture and slide. Mint oil refreshes the feet and smells good.
Don't just dive right in and dig your fingers into a sore foot. Start slowly and build to deeper massage techniques. Stretch the muscles of each foot by rotating them gently. Push the toes slightly away from you with a gentle motion (you may hear them crack, but don't worry). Let your heels rest on the floor and slowly push the feet outward and then in toward one another. Apply a cream or lotion only after you have spent a couple of minutes stretching.
Using a variety of methods is important for a massage. Swirling your thumbs in a circular motion over the soles of the feet feels good, but not if you keep doing it for 20 or 30 minutes. Change up your movements for the best results; use your knuckles, thumbs, fingertips, the sides of your hands and the heels of your hands. Massage every inch of both sides of both feet, including between the toes, and spend the same amount of time on each foot so the person feels balanced when you are finished. For a special treat, sweep your hand up under the calf muscles and include the legs in your massage. When the massage is drawing to a close, don't just stop abruptly. Slow down your movements so the person knows their massage experience is coming to an end.