What’s new in the reflexology paths of China? For one thing, the rocks underfoot are now touted for their qualities. Walking on the paths has been refined with contra indications noted for those who should not participate in such “fitness walking.” Also new is a generation of cobblestone mats with questions raised for promises made for use of the “smart,” “intelligent” mats.
Reflexology paths, cobblestoned walking surfaces, are found throughout Asia. The beneficial pressure of reflexology is provided by gravity’s pull as one walks on a surface of cobblestones or other rocks. In China the tradition of Tap Shek (stone stepping) is now a part of the country’s 10-year Fitness Health Plan. It is a “fashionable fitness activity” with senior citizens eagerly lining up to take their turns at walking on paths in city parks. When it rains, the Chinese roll out the cobblestone-like surface of a reflexology mat.
Research confirms the health benefits. In a study frequently noted in Chinese articles about reflexology paths, Oregon Research Institute scientists compared walking on a usual surface to walking on a cobblestone mat. They found that the older adult mat-walking participants experienced a reduction in blood pressure and pain as well as an increased feeling of control over falls.
Part 2 Next- Stone for Building Reflexology Paths