Westborough salon offers traditional Asian treatment
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Westborough—The traditional Asian practice of foot reflexology—using pressure points on the feet to affect the rest of the body—is relaxing but also, according to its practitioners, is therapeutic for the entire body.
Sakura has been offering foot reflexology, along with Tui Na body work which uses pressure points on the body, for two years in a salon where pots of orchids, low lights and soft shades of pink and mauve contribute to the relaxing experience.
Lucy Chen, owner of Sakura, opened Spring Foot Reflexology in Northborough in early 2012. The Westborough location is the larger of the two salons, with 10 reflexology chairs and several body work rooms as well as a shower room.
The larger size makes it easy for Sakura to accommodate groups. The salon offers packages for such events as bridesmaids’ celebrations, birthdays, or just a girls’ night out, and it also specializes in couples’ treatments, both foot reflexology and body work. Gift certificates are available.
“We are seeing more repeat customers now as people learn about reflexology and more groups of people,” said Chen. “People enjoy the chance to take a break, relax and talk together.”
One recent morning, two women were just finishing up a foot reflexology session. One was a repeat customer, and she had brought her friend with her.
“I was here a couple of weeks ago, and it was wonderful,” she said. “You almost fall asleep.”
“I drove quite a long way to get here, and I’m glad I did,” her friend said. “I feel very relaxed and want to come back soon.”
Reflexology has a long tradition in Chinese medicine. Foot reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to specific areas of the feet. Reflexology contends that these “reflex areas” of the feet correspond to specific organs and parts of the body, and that applying pressure to those points, using trained techniques, can relieve tension and promote improved natural function of the related parts of the body.
“This style of treatment is almost a thousand years old in China,” Chen said. “We can feel the parts of the body in the feet. Chinese medicine teaches that people age from the feet up. If you keep your feet young, you will get older more slowly.”
A typical foot reflexology treatment at Sakura lasts for an hour and starts with soaking the feet for 15 minutes. “We use different herbs and minerals in the soaking water depending on what the person needs and on the season of the year,” Chen said.
While the customer’s feet are soaking, the technician rubs the back, shoulders and neck to encourage relaxation. The technician then applies pressure to various parts of the feet for the rest of the session while the customer relaxes in a comfortable, reclined chair.
The one-hour session costs $35, and Sakura offers one free session with the purchase of five sessions in advance.
Sakura also specializes in Tui Na Asian body work, acupressure techniques applied to specific points on the body along with deep tissue pressure. That treatment, Chen said, is different from the Swedish-style massage people may be more familiar with because it focuses on specific pressure points. An hour of Asian body work is $60.
Sakura Foot Reflexology, located at 164 Milk St., is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. More information is on the website, www.sakurafootreflexology.com, or call 508-870-0087 to schedule an appointment.