Reflexology Paths Around the World
Reflexology Paths in United States
A Bastyr University reflexology path is the brain child of acupuncturist Elizabeth Marazita. The doctoral student at Bastyr first saws a reflexology path in Taipei, Taiwan. During her four years as an international banker in China, she noticed that “Just as we know what a football field is, everybody in China know what a reflexology path is.” According to Matazita, the path of two-inch stones set in concrete is considered to be moderately difficult. Measuring three feet by 64 feet, the reflexology path is open to the public. (Davidow, Julie, “Bastyr’s foot-massaging walkway is a literal path to good health,” Seattle Post- Intelligencer, September 23, 2004)
The Kohler Waters Spa at the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin includes a RiverPath with a foot reflexology path, a bath with its own waterfall and a sokBath with underwater color therapy.
Germany: Barefoot Parks
Engineering company Jauslin + Steble celebrated its 50th anniversary by designing and constructing a “barefoot park” in Birsfelden. The park was then donated to the city. “In the age of the asphalted roads, free areas and hard floor mats concreted our feet a recovery are ever more rarely gegoennt (Eds. Note: lost in translation).
Barefoot paths as consequence of our shoe-basic, civilized generation become increasing the leisure attraction… “The visitors of the barefoot park experience the adventure over different materials to go to balance and in any regard skill show over timber beams… “Barefoot paths are however not only unterhaltsame (Eds Note: English meaning of German words lost in translation) leisure activities, but an outstanding training for bodies and spirit. They train the concentration, strengthen the movement apparatus and support the processing of outside impressions. Not least progressive movement is extended to foot again by the dimension of feeling, which became insignificant in the shoes.”
Charming personal story of a trip to a “barefoot park.” (translated page)
Reflexology Path in Australia
“Foot massages can now be as simple as going for a walk along what is believed to be Australia’s first reflexology track… “The 50m-long path is in a bush setting at the back of the Stretton Community Park in Brisbane’s south and is encrusted with thousands of hand-placed textured and decorative stones chosen for their size and shape…”The path is the work of Brisbane City Council officer Ian Gilbert, who in his spare time is a qualified massage therapist and reflexology student. “He normally works for council’s Local Asset Services, carrying out maintenance and capital works projects… “Its design is considered no mean feat… “The stones range from smooth river pebbles to large stepping stones and a walk along it in bare feet is designed to stimulate the reflexes of the feet and enhance the body’s healing powers.
“Mr Gilbert said he has created an opt-out path for more sensitive feet… “‘If the path is too intense to walk along the first time people try it, I’ve created a chicken-out track to step on to, and complete the walk,’ he said.
“It seems this most creative park project is already a great success…”The Reflexology Association of Australia has endorsed the path and the Stretton Tai Chi Group has vowed to use it every day in their routine…”Reflexology is based on the Chinese principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears that respond to all organs, glands and parts of the body. …”Lord Mayor Campbell Newman yesterday invited Brisbane residents “to kick off their shoes” and try the walk. ‘I love to see the creative and imaginative activities Brisbane City Council staff are involved in, especially when they work to make our city culturally diverse, active and healthy,’ Cr Newman said.
(“Foot path has sole kind of feeling,” Chris Griffith, The Courier Mail , Brisbane)
Reflexology Path in Portugal
“We used to call it ‘going for a walk:’ Intriguing new reflexology treatment from the Hotel Jardim Atlantico (www.jardimatlantico.com) in Madeira (Portugal). It uses local ingredients, such as eucalyptus berries, pine needles and black sand. How so? You walk on them ‹ the “treatment” is a barefoot stroll along an 800 yard path covered in the stuff. Apparently, it “stimulates the cardiovascular system and regulates arterial pressure”. And if you tread on a thorn, it enhances lung capacity, too.” Stephen Bleach, “Neofile,” The Sunday Times (London), March 04, 2007 (Article)
Reflexology Path in Japan: “Sole massage” in the “Forest of relaxation”
Forest of Relaxation (Riraku no Mori)is the name of Japan’s first relaxation theme park. “Eight facilities are scattered in an artificial forest, each specializing in such services as sole massage, stretching, Thai massage, and a spa featuring geranium, believed to speed up metabolism… “Since Riraku no Mori is located inside Namco’s Nanja Town game park, visitors can relax between world-saving exploits in computer games …”Riraku no Mori is crowded with couples and families, particularly on weekends, forcing some customers to wait for four hours to receive service. (“When the going gets rough, get a foot rub,” The Asahi Shimbun , 8/19/2005)
Reflexology Path in England
Trentham Estates in Stoke on-Trent is the location of the UK’s only Barfuss (Barefoot) trail … Since it was built three years ago at the estate (the redeveloped 750-acre grounds of a former stately home) it has proved one of their most popular attractions. ‘People come here just to do the walk!” says the aptly named (Gardens Manager) Walker, as we divest ourselves of shoes and socks…”At Trentham, different stages of the walk present you with running water (pumped from the lake), stone and brick (from the remains of the old house), sand, grass, logs, planks, pebbles, flint, those knobbly paving stones you find near pedestrian crossings and – at the start – a mudbath the colour of dark chocolate. …”The idea of the Barfuss was imported by one of the investors in the private company that now owns the Trentham estate. ‘Willi Reitz suggested it,’ explains Walker. ‘He’s German and lives in the Black Forest where there are lots of Barfuss walks. Willi likes them a lot and he was very keen that we build one here.’ … “The beneficial effects on your whole body of stimulating your feet is the basis of the ancient practice of reflexology. In China, reflexology paths paved with different types of stone have been around for thousands of years and are regularly walked on for relaxation and to promote longevity” (News article) (Nov., 2008)
When completed, the new 4,000-square-meter “reflexology zone” at the National Monument (Monas) Park in Central Jakarta, Indonesia will be the largest in the world or so claims a staffer of the park management. The Jakarta Post reports that the current 2,000-square- meter “wellness belt” meets the interest of “people who are fond of reflexology. Stones are arranged in a certain way and people are encouraged to walk barefoot on them thus stimulating certain nerves to enable smooth functions in bodily organs.” Also included are “…information boards with tips on the 36 different kinds of therapy for problems in human body’s nerve system.”
“`It’s good to walk here. Try yourself, you will feel fresher,'” said Ernawati Husin, 47, a resident of Jl. Cempaka Putih, Central Jakarta. She came to Monas Park with her neighbors to try the new
zone …”They walked on the reflexology field, dotted with stones which when stepped upon could make the body healthy. … “The `reflexology” zone is located on the eastern part of the Monas Park, near the Gambir railway station and across from the deer zone. While parents exercise there, children can enjoy watching the deer from the fence’. (“Monas Park to have ‘reflexology zone’,” The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Indonesia, April 12, 2004)
Reflexology Paths in Malaysia
The special children who attend school at Sekolah Mememgah Kebangsaan in Kuala Lumpur now have a reflexology garden thanks to the ExxonMobil staff. The staff created a reflexology garden, an area for recreational and relaxation activities that includes a reflexology path, water fountain, and flower beds. (Metro KL News, October 29, 2004)
A reflexology path, fountain, goldfish pond and lawn bowl are included in the garden of the “fully funded charity residence” for the aged and poor recently constructed in Kuala Lumpur by the Little Sisters of the Poor. The state-of-the-art facility includes 72 private rooms with attached bath for residents and a multipurpose hall for karaoke sessions, band practice, line dancing and movies. (Yvonne Yoong, “Restoring dignity to the years,” New Strait Times , July 24, 2004)
A reflexology path became a reality at senior citizen facility Rumah Sejahtera in Petaling, Malaysia. Thanks to the funds raised by newspaper Star Metro, the eighteen residents can enjoy walking on the path. (“Home for the aged in the spotlight again,” Star Publication Malaysia Berhad, October 25, 2004) A water reflexology path is included with a swimming pool complete with wave pool and slides at the Aseania Resort in Langkawi, Malaysia.
A “Healthy Pebble Path Zone,” a path laid with pebbles on which to walk to “stimulate reflex areas of the feet and hence improve the blood circulation” is popular with visitors to Lingnan Garden in Hong Kong. Victoria Park in Hong Kong offers the opportunity to “get a ‘taste’ of sole reflexology on the foot reflexology path for free.”
The roof top of the Chinatown Complex in land-starved Singapore is the site of recreational facilities including a reflexology path, jogging track, wading pool, jacuzzi, playground, barbecue pits, multipurpose court and study corners…
Reflexology Path in Hong Kong
A “Healthy Pebble Path Zone,” a path laid with pebbles on which to walk to “stimulate reflex areas of the feet and hence improve the blood circulation” is popular with visitors to Lingnan Garden in Hong Kong. (Http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/parks/lckp/en/specialites.php#2) Victoria Park in Hong Kong offers the opportunity to “get a ‘taste’ of sole reflexology on the foot reflexology path for free.”
Reflexology Path in Singapore
The roof top of the Chinatown Complex in land-starved Singapore is the site of recreational facilities including a reflexology path, jogging track, wading pool, jacuzzi, playground, barbecue pits, multipurpose court and study corners.
Reflexology Path in Macau
A reflexology path in Macau is pictured by a tourist: “A strange-looking path in Colina de Mong Há, Macau. Half the path had raised-edge stones.”
Reflexology Path in Korea
A “beautiful botanical garden near Itaewon” is described: “There’s a nice botanical garden just about 15 to 20 min walk from Itaewon. Outdoor Botanical Garden in Namsan mountain, just next to Hyatt hotel. It’s very nice, quiet and there are many benches that you can sit and talk with your friends. Small park. There’s water fountain and foot reflexology path.”