Chinese foot massage is one of the types of massage therapy often found in an Asian massage parlor on the streets of big cities like Beijing, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Considered a form of Chinese massage, the therapy often includes rubbing, kneading, and vigorous massage, which may be slightly painful at times, especially if you have never had deep tissue massage.
Many Chinese use foot massage as a way to relax, however many consider it a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle.
Because it is considered a worthwhile pastime in China, just as going to the movies for people in the U.S., an Asian massage parlor can be found on just about every corner in larger cities.
The therapist will start by putting you in a chair or on stool for a few minutes with your feet soaking in water. The tub may include jets for added relaxation. Teas or herbal combinations may be added to the water as you soak.
As you soak your feet, the therapist will massage the head, neck, and shoulders, often adding deep pressure for about 5-10 minutes.
In a traditional Asian massage parlor, you will also be offered hot tea to drink either before, after or during the session. Dried or fresh fruit may also be offered to eat.
You may then be taken to a room and placed in a comfortable chair or on a massage table.
The therapist will start by wrapping one foot in a warm towel while starting work on the other. He/she will use a lotion or cream to massage easily, adding deeper work to pressure points in the foot.
The ankle and lower leg will also be massaged. Movements may include long flowing strokes, fingertip pressure, massage with knuckles, or hand cupping.
Chinese Style Foot Massage for Common Illnesses teaches many of these techniques, with details of their benefits and massage pictures of the therapy.
Sessions are offered in either 30 minute or 1 hour time frames. The cost is usually $5-$15 dollars in China. In the U.S., the cost will range from $40-$60, depending on where you choose to have the foot massage treatment.
Ancient Chinese medical journals include detailed descriptions of treatments that were performed thousands of years ago for many common illnesses and conditions. Today, Chinese foot massage is still considered a part of Chinese medicine and practiced in hospitals and medical centers daily.