“There are more than 7,000 nerve endings in each foot, and nobody hits them all like New Yorkers,” says Chantel Cherisse Lucier, the board-certified reflexologist and manager of Angel Feet, a cozy West Village foot salon. The good news is even an amateur (i.e. your sig other) can bring relief to a couple thousand of them even without any training in Chinese meridian massage.
The therapy, which sees a map of the body in the bottom of the foot, may help with back pain and migraines, among other ailments. (Like Louboutins.) But even spending just ten minutes a day rubbing your feet (or conscripting someone else to the task) can do a lot, explains Lucier. “It’s like a deep breathing exercise for your feet.”
So how exactly do you get someone to give your feet some love? We’ll leave that to you. So we asked Lucier to share her expertise on what happens next.
Clean the feet (or not):
“At Angel Feet, we bathe the client’s feet and use a hot towel to soften them,” says Lucier. “But when I give myself reflexology at home, I just take off my socks and do the deed! It’s only a requirement if it helps you relax.”
Consult a reflexology chart (or not):
“We have one on our website. Or buy a mini-wallet card at the health-food store,” says Lucier, who says you can zero in on the parts of the body you want to address. Or forget the chart, and just give the whole foot a rub.
Massage like a pro (or not):
Three techniques to dictate from the reclined position.
1) “Thumb and finger walking”: Move your thumb or finger using an inching action, like a worm. (Ticklish women, look out.)
2) “Rotating on a point”: Put pressure on a really tense spot with the thumb or finger. Then use your other hand to rotate the foot in a way that brings the point in greater contact and pressure with the finger, like juicing an orange.
3) “Hook and back up:” Not a Lady Gaga move. For this one you locate a reflex point with your thumb, and hold the foot steady with your other fingers. Then you press in firmly with your thumb and pull or drag it on and around the point.
Or forget all this and head to Angel Feet.
Angel Feet ($115 for 60 minutes); 77 Perry St., between Bleecker and West 4th Streets, 212-924-3576, www.angelfeet.com