According to reflexology, an alternative healing practice, the bottoms of our feet possess invisible channels that link particular areas of each foot to particular areas of our body.
“Those channels are like highways in our body,” Ye said, holding up a large, colorful, easy-to-read reflexology chart. Traffic jams in those channels negatively affect our organs. For example, menstruation pain indicates a blockage in the kidney channel; insomnia means that the liver channel is tied up. A trained practitioner can apply pressure to specific areas of the foot in order to ease these conditions.
Happy Feet Massage, which opened in January, is a bright, peaceful haven scented with herbal incense. But it’s not a spa. Happy Feet Massage aims to be a health center combining body massage, acupressure and unique modalities that stem from traditional Chinese medicine in order to promote healing.
Ye believes many chronic illnesses cannot be cured with Western medicine, which addresses only the symptoms of a condition. When we experience pain or illness, it means our Qi (or “chi,” our life force) is out of whack. Traditional Chinese medicine zeros in on fundamental imbalances within the body and strives to rebalance our inner Qi, all the while building on the philosophies of yin/yang and the five elements (wood, gold, earth, fire and water).
“I have a passion for massage and health care,” said Ye, who graduated from School of Healing Touch in Castro Valley and learned traditional Chinese medicine from Five Branches University in San Jose and University of East-West Medicine in Sunnyvale. “We can help people with their chronic illness. That’s behind the drive and passion.”
Happy Feet Massage currently employs three additional massage therapists, including Brian Harris, whose mellow disposition is sure to soothe. He graduated two years ago from Carrington College California in Antioch, and his desire to pursue massage therapy comes from personal experience.
“I massaged my mom a lot,” he said. “I got into massage so that people with similar illnesses to hers could receive the same treatment.”
Clients new to Happy Feet Massage fill out an application that includes a brief questionnaire about their past and current health, physical conditions and therapy goals.
Have a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis? Ye has an herb for that. The bitter herb coptis chinensis franch is also a healer and can be applied directly to the skin for maximum renewal.
Is weight loss a concern? Ye would suggest an herbal tea for detoxification of accumulated waste or excess water. “If obesity is an issue, that person’s stomach is too hot,” Ye said. “The yang is flaring up, and no matter how much they eat, they’re not satisfied. So certain herbs help to cool the stomach and increase the yin.”
If back pain ails you, Happy Feet Massage provides two stretching benches tailored for back pain therapy. Additional alternative treatments designed to improve blood flow and Qi are cupping – a heated glass cup is placed directly on the skin – and fresh ginger wraps. The latter can be viewed on YouTube.
The latest addition to Happy Feet Massage is its summertime specific Ice and Fire Massage. An ice cube is gently rubbed on the body, which closes pores and also feels good in the heat. Afterward, the therapist pours red wine on the body, which opens the pores.
“This process of closing and opening of the skin helps with detoxification and better circulation,”said Ye. “The skin will look more tender and beautiful.”
For more information, visit Happy Feet Massage at 1135 Second St., Suite C in Brentwood or call 925-240-9839.