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Foot Reflexology

Sole Healing

The occasional pedicure doesn't always cut it when you're pounding the pavement and hills of this city day and night. And you can only beg for so many foot rubs from your significant other before they start to ignore your yelping feet.

Try visiting the Foot Reflexology Center in Chinatown. Though the center does offer massages and steam saunas, its focus is on conditioning the feet. Foot reflexology believes your foot is the foundation and interlinked with all major organs and glands in your body. So working the foot in essence is working and healing all other related areas as well. As the foot charts decorating the Center show, the temples, for example, are connected to the bottom of the big toe. Specific areas on the pad of your foot are related to the lung, eyes and ears, and heart. The foot is essentially the representation of the state of the whole body.

The Center resembles a doctor's office, decorated with Chinese characters and a large Chinese mural depicting the importance of pampering the feet. Two rows of comfy, faux leather reclining chairs fill the main room. Dramatic Chinese muzak plays in the background, but soon dismissed when the acupressure therapists start to work on your feet. The therapists have all been formally trained, whether in China or in the United States. Though it may sound quackish, it is believed in Chinese philosophy that the benefits of healing the foot include curing allergies, diabetes and obesity, and many other ailments. It definitely improves blood circulation and relieves stress and tension. And like other forms of body healing, it can help release toxins in the body.

The healing session begins with your feet getting soaked in a hot water bath of Chinese herbs for several minutes. Next, constant application of simple white lotion is smothered into every inch of the foot, ankle and lower calf. Different types of pressure are applied to awaken all the sense in the foot. The therapists knead their fingers and knuckles to really dig deep into the base of your sole. The intense force teaches one the meaning of pleasure in pain. The pain can become near bearable at times, but then comes right back to a soothing sensation. Once the acupressure nears its end, hot towels blanket and warm the feet.

This truly foot-pampering experience can be had for different times at a very small cost: $30 for 40 minutes, $45 for 60 minutes. Session times can even be increased beyond the full hour. Reservations can be made, but typically, you can walk right in and not have to wait.

Our poor tired feet certainly deserve pampering like this more often. Whether you wear stiletto heels or casual flip flops, you might find that true healing starts from the sole.