Thursday, March 24, 2011

China Invests in Reflexology

© Akhilesh. Image from

What’s the return when an entire country invests in reflexology? China may provide some answers to such a question.

Banking on traditions, reflexology has attained a value in China. Educated and informed consumers have expectations from reflexology services, products and self-health activities. The net result is a diverse and widespread availability of reflexology.

Take reflexology paths, for example. They are found in city parks, the gardens of newly built homes and the common areas of themed housing developments.

Other industries have entered the business. Companies which provide stone for construction target market specific stone products to build reflexology paths. One company’s Web page shows 17 different path designs. Want an “intelligent” or “smart” path? Buy tourmaline and germanium stone as a raw material.

When it rains, the Chinese stay home and walk on a cobblestoned mat. Originally produced as on the side at blanket manufacturers with felt as a base into which plastic “cobblestones” were embedded, mat products have evolved and become specialized. Want a mat with a reflexology chart? More environmentally friendly and more durable? They’ve been developed.

Visit a pharmacy and you’ll find sandals with cobblestone-like soles for sale.

Reflexology services are available in a range of prices with decor styles. From mom-and-pop corner shops to sanitary white to opulent luxury salons, Chinese clients know their price range and anticipated services.

The government actively encourages reflexology. A Class-One license is given those who attain the highest mastery of skills, offered at medical facilities. The government recently noted a shortage of 1 million reflexologists and is encouraging filling this number with a more educated reflexologist. Reflexology is part of China’s 10-Year Fitness Plan. Funding for reflexology paths is included in monies given to cities to develop parks that encourage physical activities. The reflexology path is seen as a perfect, moderate exercise for the older Chinese with soccer fields and badminton courts for the younger.

Then there’s the research. When information about reflexology research first filtered out of China twenty years ago, it was presented at conferences held by the China Reflexology Association, an organization of 5,000 physicians. Since that time literally thousands of studies have been conducted meeting standards of randomized and controlled groups.

Barbara and Kevin Kunz

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