When it comes to pain management, there are two types of people in the world: those who grin and bear it, and those who don’t manage it well at all. And the best place to spot these two camps? At any foot reflexology centre, of course! Tan Lili speaks to two co-founders of recently opened parlours to find out why more and more young people are drawn towards this holistic therapy.
If there’s one guilty pleasure I don’t ever wish to give up, it’s gotta be my almost-weekly visit to a foot reflexology centre. I can’t even remember when or how my obsession with this treatment began, but it’s become one of my favourite ways to decompress – and probably the closest I’ve been to experiencing the delicious tension between pain and pleasure.
For the uninitiated, Chinese practitioners believe that the different nerve-rich areas on the soles of your feet correspond to specific parts of your body, so by applying pressure to targeted points, it stimulates the body’s natural healing ability. This helps rebalance the body’s Qi and promote a sense of wellbeing.
Interestingly, what was once deemed as an ancient 3000-year-old Chinese practice has recently gained a foothold among the younger crowd as a form of modern holistic therapy. Jumping on the bandwagon are The Good Sole at Quayside Isle, and Feet Haven at Serangoon Garden. “I guess the main reason is due to the proximity of various operators and shops,” says Nicholas Poh, co-founder of The Good Sole. “More shops are opening in shopping malls in Singapore and, naturally, they are able to reach out to a wider audience. Not to mention, it has amazing long-term benefits. I’m one who goes for foot reflexology regularly since I was young, and I absolutely love it.”
Below, Nicholas and Dennis Toh, CEO and co-founder of Feet Haven, tell us more about the different health benefits you can enjoy from foot reflexology:
Boosts blood circulation
The skilful techniques of practitioners are said to improve blood flow and circulation, carrying along oxygen and nutrients to your body’s vital organs to promote organ function and cell growth. An improved blood flow and circulation brings with it a whole host of health benefits, some of which can be found below.
An experience backed up by countless studies, pressing certain points on the feet prompts the release of endorphins – a class of neurotransmitters that is often referred to as the body’s natural painkillers.
Because foot reflexology brings about a relaxed state of mind and relieves stress, it can help improve improve the quality of your sleep in the long run. The Good Sole’s Nicholas used to have insomnia but he swears he’s been sleeping like a baby ever since he got hooked on foot reflexology!
Improves digestive system
The digestive system is a pretty complex one; it involves a whole lot of organs and other systems (nervous and endocrine), which is why all of us experiences digestive problems at many points in our lives. There are several digestive reflexes on the feet that, when pressed, give your digestive system a real workout, relieving common problems like constipation, indigestion, flatulence and bloating.
Kicks up energy levels
If feeling sluggish after lunch is a near-daily struggle, you might want to consider getting a foot rub. Exhaustion and fatigue can be due to low blood sugar levels; by working certain points on the feet, it may help regulate the levels over time. Foot reflexology also stimulates the production of adrenaline to give you an instant perk-me-up.
Enhances memory and concentration
When pressure is applied to the brain reflexes on the feet, it helps facilitates blood circulation and the delivery of nutrients to the brain, resulting in increased mental clarity. In fact, a study conducted in China found that foot reflexology helped enhance the memory of senior patients suffering from dementia.
The Good Sole is located at #01-19 Quayside Isle Sentosa Cove, Tel: 6268 4842; Feet Haven Reflexology is located at #01-01, 136 East Coast Road, and 4A Maju Avenue, Serangoon Gardens.
About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction.