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Reflexology is the art/science of applying pressure to the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. While it is not “officially” part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in the way that acupuncture and acupressure are, reflexology applies pressure–sometimes light, sometimes heavy–so it feels a lot like acupressure.

And it’s a modality I like to use when I’m working with clients, and also to teach students in classes.

I sometimes get asked about those reflexology massage sandals. Some of them are made of wood with little pegs or beads for the “points”, and drawings of the mapping. See this example, which is an actual board. I received a similar one as a gift. It’s good as a reference, but is VERY painful to stand on. Plus the foot size it too big for me.

acu sandal

However, I have found some plastic sandals with little nubs that stimulate the entire sole of my foot. I love these sandals. I notice I breathe deeply when I put them on, and my feet feel great. I must admit the first few times I put them on, they were VERY uncomfortable after even just 10 minutes. It takes a bit of time to break them in.

The pair I got only cost about $15 at a local shop (Soko Hardware in Japantown, 1698 Post St., SF, 415 931-5510), but I was told that they are so popular they are difficult to get. Here they are online.

I found Okabashi, a company that seems to sell a whole line of sandals based on this concept; I don’t know them, but want to offer as a resource, too. If you have used Okabashi sandals, please post a comment to share your experience with them.