I get my back aligned regularly, and each of my chiropractors has been filled with theories about how alignment connects to disease processes or a healthier life.
In Asia, I have concluded, they feel the same way about feet.
Whether it's sold as a science of reflexology or just a good foot massage, as in shops I passed last week in Taipei, it seems there is nothing that can't be related back to better foot care. (Picture from Utopiamassagehealinghands.)
For some reason feet bring out the "ick" factor in my son, who turns 18 tomorrow. He refused to let me enter a Taiwanese foot massage clinic, even after one owner offered "no waiting" on the street, even though my blisters have risen to their ultimate expression walking around Chengdu, Taipei and now Tokyo.
I suspect his attitude is not unusual. Maybe it's the removal of socks, but most Americans I know would much rather lie on a table and have someone crack our backs than lean back on a chair and have someone massage our bunions.
I don't know if either really works in the long run. What are the death rates for those who follow the way of the back, as opposed to the way of the foot?
I suspect it's the attitude behind both ways that leads to wellness. Putting yourself the hands of others, being mindful of the connections between how we feel and how healthy we are, seems like a good idea all around the world.