METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS

LOOKING GOOD
HEALTH, BEAUTY and FITNESS

Heal Your Soles





Giving your feet a good rub down after a long day of shopping or running around not only feels great, but according to alternative medicine, it can also be therapeutic.
Maya Vardaman reports on foot reflexology.


There is much documented on the effects of a stressful life on the body' health. Seventy-five percent of illness is said to be stress related, from general headaches, neck and shoulder tension, colds and flu, to cardiac illness, respiratory problems and cancer. Reducing stress is the best preventative measure one can take, and one easy way to do so is to head straight for your feet.

According to Eastern medicine, your feet are the "two other hearts" of your body. Certain areas of them correspond to distant structures and organs in the whole of the human body. Applying pressure to specific areas on the bottom of your feet cause sensory nerves to carry that information to the brain, stimulating it to function in another part of the body more efficiently. This regulates the digestive and circulatory systems, stimulating blood flow; while blood carries vital nutrients through the body, it also carries away toxins and waste products.

Throughout history, foot reflexology has been depicted in relics from ancient Egypt, China, India and Japan. It has been so integral in the history of alternative healing that some hypothesize that it's an archestructure, or a physical demand within the nervous system that creates the impetus for whole cultures to practice the activity. With high heels, long and crowded train rides and paved roads, many people suffer from sore feet. Reflexology can be used by anyone who can spare a few moments (if you do it yourself), or a few thousand yen if you visit a reflexology salon.

Reflex and relax
Do-it-yourself foot reflexology is easy and very relaxing. Wash your feet first, and make sure you drink something warmer than your body temperature afterwards to flush out any wastes. You can use the chart provided to locate the specific areas of the foot you need to massage to cure what ails you. Being careful not to hyper-extend any of the joints in the fingers or wrist, feel free to use all of your "tools:" the fingers, knuckles, fists, palms, and elbows. There's no need to endure any discomfort; apply enough pressure so you feel a small amount of pain at first, and then it should start to ease out and feel good. Trust your intuition, though: if there is any excessive pain, stop. Never work on areas that are bruised, cut, scratched, inflamed or infected. Steer clear of swollen, puffy, red, and/or oozing areas.

Try doing it in the bath, or sit in a comfortable chair. Lotion or oils should be used so that the hands can flow smoothly over the foot receiving the treatment. Lotions work best, as oils can be too slippery. If you don't want to use your hands, there are fancier, more creative goods available at Tokyu Hands or Loft in Shibuya - they have dolphin-shaped massagers, foot tubs that create bubbles and vibration, massage oils and bumpy mats to step on.

Tender foot
Instead of an at-home treatment, why not indulge yourself at one of the foot reflexology salons in Tokyo? Popular among women is Mammy's Touch, located on the sixth floor of the Kobayashi Building on Aoyama Dori, which gives massages using aromatic oils. After filling out a simple medical/clinical record sheet, you can change into a bathrobe, wash your feet and then soak them in a footbath. Next, choose from either the foot reflexology session or the calves massage session, which are both JY5000, and last for half an hour. If you think you'll need both, there's a combined hour-long session. They will adjust your massage according to whatever requests and physical problems you may have. Soon you will start to sweat, and then the initial pain will subside. Not only will your feet feel refreshed, but your mind as well. Mammy's Touch is open weekdays 11am to 9pm (10am to 8pm Sundays and holidays), and is closed on Tuesdays. You can't make reservations, but try calling them at 03-3470-9855 for details.

Dr. Foot is located near JR Hamamatsu station. They wash your feet with an antibacterial liquid, then massage the bottom of your feet and your toes with lotion. They have you replenish your body by drinking hot water. You'll get sweaty as they flex the stiffness in your body. It may be painful, but your legs will feel lighter and more flexible afterwards. You can make a footprint that will help the clinicians there find out what your physical problems are, and they will give you suggestions on how to solve them through foot reflexology. This salon is open all year from 11am to 9pm on weekdays, and until 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Call 03-3436-1183 for more information.

Abish Reflexology Room, a women-only salon, also doubles as a hair salon. One session lasts 60 minutes and costs JY6000. Win Shiroganedai 1F, 3-16-36 Shiroganedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo. To make your appointment in English, dial 090-9294-6235. To set up an appointment in Japanese, call 03-3449-6077.

Foot reflexology, or the art of massaging pressure points on your soles, heels and toes can relieve fatigue, some pain and improve overall vitality. Walk - don't run, or it'll damage your delicate feet - to your nearest reflexology salon. It may be good for your health.


ADVERTISERS
Ash 03-3770-3755
Biodanza
Boots
Clinique TCA
Club Boy Beau
Crunch 03-5459-123-
Dr. Allen Leroy Robinson
Hair Dressers Archecal 03-0449-6106
Hayato New York 03-3498-9113
Hugo BOSS
Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
Maiko Make Over Studio Shiki
My Boo Nail Salon 03-5428-1121
Neal's Yard Natural Therapy Center
03-3405-7216
Roksen Bar Cosmetic 03-5658-7675
Sin Den
Takagi Skin Clinic
Tamariba.inc.
Tokyo Skin Clinic
Toni&Guy Japan 03-3797-5790
Watanabe Hair Dressing 03-3405-1188
Who Ga 03-5570-1773

IN STORE
BUYLINE
HEALTH AND BEAUTY:
349: Come slither
Reptile skin is in
348: Snow how
Strap on your snow shoes and get fit
347: White out
Getting whiter and brighter with cosmetic dentistry
346: Check it out
The pleated tartan skirt
345: Smarty pants
The unique pants of Thoma Kawakami
344: Keeping abreast of cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness month
343: Pashmina passion
The Himalayas most stylish accessory
342: L for leather
Get leathered up for the fall
341: Cosmetics Garden
Shiseido's unique showroom
340: Protein power
Does protein help build muscle?
339: Karako's Asian accents
Homemade remedy to Asian shopping fever
338: Gold Rush
Go for the gold in fashion
337: Sight for sore eyes
LASIK eye surgery
336: Body Heat
Keeping your cool while working out
335: On the tube
'70s style tube tops
334: Heal Your Soles
Foot reflexology
333: Jet Lag Drag
Tips on avoiding jet lag
332: Big is back
Sunglasses fashion
331: Capsule Cafe
Vitamin cafes - the latest spin on cafe culture
330: Tan Technology
Tanning without sunbathing
329: No More Sleepless Nights
The ways to improve your sleep
328: Mid-Summer Chills
Protect your body from an aircon attack
327: Hello Dolly
Scarves are the must have for the summer
326: Knotty Business
How to wear a yukata
325: Slaves to craves
How often do you succumb to your craves?
324: Surface Issues
"Facial remodelling treatment"
323: What a wash out
The fast track to inner cleanliness
322: Studs
Punk is back in studded belts, chokers, bracelets and jeans
321: Keitai couture
Accessories for your mobile phone
320: Big is beautiful
Gaijin-sized fashion
319: Get Personal
Get in shape with a personal trainer
318: Color me happy
How makeup can change your life
317: Out of joint
Dealing with arthritis
316: On your head bead it
Two hair salons that cater to all corners of the community
315: Fitness
Exercise myths
314: Pet Projects
Pampering your pets
313: Mad City
Getting therapy in Tokyo
311: Say cheese
Cosmetic dentistry in Japan
310: Common Fitness Mistakes
Know the proper exercise sequence
309: Sahaja yoga
A kinder, gentler yoga
308: Antenna Dome
Curious hair salon in Harajuku
307: Keep the Faith
Ways to beat Tokyo winter
306: The Berry Latest
Dishing out the juice about berry health benefits
305: Positive energy
Healing duo incorporate therapies for the mind, body and spirit
304: Stress-Free Sephora
A beauty store that gives you the freedom to shop
303: Fashion to Fit the Season
MaxMara's autumn/winter collection
302: Cyberstyle
Internet beauty sites
300: Body and Sole
Tender loving care for your feet

ISSUES 350+

ISSUES 299-

TOP