Put Your Feet Up

I'm Barry Petersen, and this Letter From Asia come from Beijing, China. We're going to talk about da-feet. Not the kind of defeat when two armies mix it up, but these kind of feet.

Who would have thought the lowly foot could be a way to help the rest of the body.

Well, these people think just that, and they're building into a boom as foot massage becomes ever more popular here.

The origins of foot massage are lost in the mist of ancient Chinese history but it's always been about how massaging the foot can help the rest of the body.

"Blood circulation and the internal organs, heart, disease, kidney and so on," said Stephen Mak, director of the Oriental Taipan Massage and Spa.

When we gave it a try it started with a very hot foot bath, which left the feet looking a bit like boiled lobsters. Then proceeded to being poked, rubbed and occasionally slapped.

A massage takes 90 minutes and costs about 12-dollars. In the west it's called reflexology, and proponents claims it can help everything from back pain to infertility.

I don't know about that, but Su Cheng Harris-Simpson is a believer. A real believer in another much-told tale about foot massage.

"There's a certain part of the foot that if the foot massage person rubs it will cause you to go into labor," Su said. "I was probably a week overdue. So on a Saturday evening my husband and I went to the foot massage place. I went into labor Sunday at 11-o'clock in the morning."

And when you stop to think about it in these stressful times maybe the best part about a foot massage is the healing power of just letting you shut out the real world and...shhhh.
by Barry Petersen