Column by: Shelby Jones, Public Relations Manager, ISPA

It’s all Carrie Bradshaw’s fault. Ever since she first started stepping out in Manolos, Jimmy Choos and Louboutins on Sex and the City feet around the world have been suffering. Ladies (and some guys) will pay a pretty penny for designer shoes, but many of us won’t put any money down when it comes to taking care of our feet. After stuffing your toes into six-inch stilettos they are probably swelling, blistering and aching.

So what’s a stylish girl to do? The answer lies at the spa (of course!) and there’s one treatment that will make you feel like you’re walking on air. Reflexology is an ancient Chinese technique that uses pressure point massage (usually on the feet, but can also be performed on the hands and ears) to restore the flow of energy throughout the body.

It’s also known as zone therapy, a turn-of-the-century practice developed by three American physicians. In their view, energy travels from critical zones of the body and ends its journey in the feet. Charts showing which zones correspond to which internal organs are utilized during the treatment. The theory is that when excessive granular texture is felt in the feet as pressure is applied, it indicates the presence of uric acid crystallization which could lead to gout and kidney stones. By rubbing the crystals on the nerve endings in the soles, a reflex reaction is supposedly set up between the zone and its associated body part. Reflexology will not only make your feet feel fabulous, but it’s also recommended for chronic conditions such as asthma, headaches and migraines.

Even if you can’t make it to the spa, reflexology is one massage technique that you can do yourself or have a partner perform on you. Coupled with a pedicure, reflexology is the perfect remedy to get your feet back in shape and ready to tackle your favorite pair of heels.

If you want to learn more about different spa treatments visit ISPA’s spa glossary at experienceispa.com.

Shelby Jones is based in Lexington, KY at the ISPA headquarters, Spa Week’s exclusive trade partner. She has worked as ISPA’s Public Relations Manager for five years where she connects with top media outlets to promote ISPA members and the spa lifestyle. To get in touch with Shelby please visit experienceispa.comemail her or follow @ISPADoYou on Twitter.