There’s no better way to break up a day of sightseeing in Hong Kong than to settle in for a foot massage, also known as reflexology. Of course, a good foot massage is about much more than just the feet. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the feet (and hands and ears) are deeply connected to the rest of the body, with different points on each corresponding to different organs. Reflexology stimulates these points on the feet to promote a healthy energy flow along the body’s meridians. Whether or not you subscribe to these notions, a good foot massage will, at the very least, leave you feeling relaxed and energized. Some people swear it helps with jet lag. All over Hong Kong, neon signs, many with glowing feet, advertise the treatment. Many are open late, and some are very inexpensive; but there are more luxurious options, too. Here are five spots to hit to get your reflexology fix:
Felix, the reflexology specialist at this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spa at Five-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, has been practicing TCM for more than 23 years. Spend a moment in the steam room or sauna before the 50-minute Oriental foot reflexology treatment, and then let Felix work his magic. To make it last, finish up with a nibble in the relaxation room, where you can take in views of the Victoria Harbour from the 116th floor of the International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong’s tallest building.
All treatments at the spa at Langham Place Hotel Hong Kong are designed with the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine in mind, keeping its focus on the Wu Xing, or the five elements (earth, wood, fire, metal and water) theory. No mere massage, the Chuan Heavenly Jing Luo foot treatment clocks in at 90 minutes, starting with a thermal application to the lower back and an herbal foot wrap to stimulate your qi. Be sure to arrive early to indulge in a tri-bathing ritual (steam or sauna, Japanese onsen shower and Oriental hot tub) before your treatment.
The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spa, which is located inside of Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, offers a 60-minute reflexology treatment in the naturally luminous treatment rooms. While we prefer the feet, reflexology techniques can also be applied to the hands during this spa experience. Be sure to carve out some extra time because you’ll have access to locker rooms that are a spa in and of themselves, with a crystal steam room, ice fountain, sauna and Jacuzzi.
The Five-Star spa at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong offers a range of TCM therapies, including a one-hour reflexology treatment. If you wish to take the therapy further, it’s possible to book a consultation with a Chinese doctor, who can discuss everything from cupping to acupuncture. In any case, arrive early to take advantage of the wet areas and other amenities in the gorgeous space, which seamlessly combines retro and modern Chinese sensibilities.
If you don’t want or have time for the whole spa experience, but still want a dose of luxury, try Ten Feet Tall, which is run by the team behind Dragon-i, one of Hong Kong’s most exclusive nightclubs. They’ve taken the street-level foot massage joint and elevated it with a large amount of style and comfort, with interiors by Parisian design firm Gilles & Boissier. Communal and private rooms are available, all furnished with chic, chinoiserie details. Ten Feet Tall offers reflexology for both the hands and feet, as well as other treatments such as lymphatic drainage and pressure point massages.
Photos Courtesy of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company LLC and Langham Hotels International Ltd