It wasn’t until I moved to Hong Kong that I really learned to pamper my feet. Beyond the occasional summer pedicure or winter rubbing of lotion, my feet were possibly the most ignored part of my body, and frankly I was fine with that. But within weeks of my arrival, I had heard enough people raving about foot massages as the Must-Try thing to do in Hong Kong. And by the end of my first 75-minute session, I was an unabashed convert.
Walk around the streets of Hong Kong for any length of time and you are sure to see signs for foot massages advertised by signs of foot diagrams, color-coded and labeled with organs and body parts. According to foot reflexology, there are over 7000 nerve endings in each foot and they correspond to every organ and biological system in the body. By applying pressure to the various reflex points on the feet, you can stimulate those respective organs and systems to relieve tension and pain or to open energy or qi pathways for healing.
Do I actually believe in foot reflexology? I’m neither a doctor nor an alternative health practitioner, but I can personally attest to the fact that my whole body and mind feel better after a good foot massage session. But as with other therapeutic massages, some parts of the massage might not be as comfortable as others. Apparently my brain needs stimulating and my sinuses need clearing, because my toes are always my pain point. It’s a bit like interpreting horoscopes to me – I can make anything personally relevant. But one of my friends, who just happened to be taking fertility drugs at the time, was regularly told that one of her pain points corresponded to her reproductive organs. Coincidence? Hmmmm….
For my kids however, the foot massages are all about the fun and pampering. The masseuses are always very friendly, chatting with the kids in broken English (broken Chinese on my kids’ part), and automatically giving them light pressured massages – either that or their young bodies are full of healthy organs and clear energy pathways! Quick tip: I like to book a private room for a small additional fee when I’m with the kids so their chatter doesn’t disturb the other patrons.
Our favorite foot massage spa is Ten Feet Tall in Central. The facilities are clean, their staff is great, and their chairs and ottomans (chaise lounges in the private rooms) are the most comfortable ones in the city. The ambience and décor lean more towards Caribbean beach resort than Far Eastern zen. (For that, go across the street to Foot instead.) And best of all if you are short on time but don’t want to skimp on the foot massage, Ten Feet Tall offers a massage lunch special where you can enjoy a dim sum platter or daily salad served on a tray while your feet are being massaged. (Quick tip: You have to book the massage lunch special at least a day in advance.)
It sounded a little weird to me at first, but I’m completely sold on the concept now! You enter hungry and tired, and leave full and rested. What more could you want or need?
For more nourishment, Ten Feet Tall: 21/F L Place, 139 Queen’s Road, Central, 2971 1010
For more zen, Foot: 8/F Regent Centre, 88 Queen’s Road, Central, 2997 7138
For more old school, Happy Foot: 19/F Century Square, No. 1 D’Aguilar Street, Central, 2522 1151
For DIY, get yourself some foot massage shoes.