According to traditional Chinese medicine, every organ in the body is connected to a specific reflex point on the foot through 300 intermediary nerves. Therefore, getting a simple foot massage can stimulate your vital functions, eliminate toxins, improve blood circulation, and relax your nerves. Don’t believe it? Try it for yourself at one of these incredible spa retreats in Shanghai.
Massage Parlour, Health Spa
Dragonfly is a successful chain of therapeutic retreats throughout Shanghai and greater China that offers a wide range of massage and beauty treatments. Just landed in the city and need to shake off the negative energy from the plane ride? Dragonfly offers a “Happy Landing” package, which includes a one hour traditional Chinese full body massage as well as a half an hour “Oriental” foot massage and special half hour foot therapy to relieve swelling.
Mai Massage uses a form of traditional Chinese medicine called tui na, which applies a series of brushing, kneading, rolling, pressing, and rubbing to open the body’s defensive qi and get the energy moving. The same principles of acupuncture, taichi, and other such practices are applied to a tui na foot massage. There are several licensed practitioners of the ancient medicinal art form in Shanghai, but Mai Massage is one of the most highly rated on the crowd-sourced review website Dianping.
Popular French Concession spot Subconscious Day Spa combines a traditional Chinese foot massage with organic essential oils to soothe tired feet and restore the flow of energy. Enjoy a complete head to toe massage, which employs one therapist working on a head and shoulder massage as a second therapist simultaneously works on a foot massage. The spa also offers Swedish style foot massages and foot and leg sport oil massages.
Acupressure may not sound like the most relaxing form of foot massage, but at Zhu Xuan, masseurs work hard to eliminate toxins through gently applying pressure in combination with a warm compress. The consummately professional staff are experts at creating a mental and physical oasis in the middle of the city. Extremely popular with a local Chinese crowd, Zhu Xuan is well deserving of a spot on any expat’s radar.
Taipan isn’t just about a foot massage. In fact, their 80 minute reflexology treatment includes all you can eat and drink refreshments. Additionally, all rooms are equipped with a TV and DVD player, so bring along a copy of your favorite movie and escape completely. Some rooms can accommodate up to six people at a time, making Taipan a great place for a “treat yo’self” day with friends.
Zen Massage’s mission is to provide guests with an “escape from the rigor and stress of life in the city, and to restore…body, mind, and spirit.” Among other signature massages, Zen offers both a one and a two hour foot massage, combining traditional foot reflexology and plant essential oils to facilitate blood circulation of the feet, enhance the immune system, and relieve swelling and foot pain.
Many blind massage parlors in Shanghai are stuffy, dark, and unprofessional. The opposite is true at Mu Lan Tang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hall. The spacious and bright center employs blind masseurs for traditional tui namassages. The thought process behind a blind massage is that, lacking the sense of sight, the masseur will channel all his energy into his other senses, and “see” with his hand, ultimately offering a more skillful and efficient massage.
Gin Spa is another full package massage parlor. Like Taipan, Gin Spa offers complimentary food and drink service during your massage. And the food isn’t just small fruit pieces either, tiramisu and black forest cake are just two of the delicious desserts on offer. Each room has a large projector screen that plays movies (in Chinese) during the massage. Be careful, though. The male masseurs here are known for their particularly powerful and deep massages. Although the massage itself may bring some discomfort, you will leave feeling better than ever.
As you enter Orchid Massage, located in a one hundred year old lane house, you will be greeted by the fragrant smell of lemongrass, transporting you instantly to Thailand. In fact, the parlor works in accordance with the Thai consulate in Shanghai to ensure an authentic ancient Thai massage experience. All the masseuses have been certified in Thailand and carry more than ten years of experience with them. Similar to a traditional Chinese massage, a Thai massage can improve blood circulation, increase flexibility, and strengthen muscles.
Lian Ke Yang Sheng is so dedicated to the practice of traditional Chinese medicine through massage that the effect is similar to going to a real hospital. You will be welcomed by the smell of moxibustion, a therapy which places burning dried mugwort on particular points on the body, and even the free welcome tea contains traditional Chinese medicine.