Sokushin Do

Traditional Japanese Foot Massage & Reflexology



Click Here For An Explanation Of Buddha's Foot Prints



Dr. Kada 

(Hua Tuo, Yuanhua)

Kada developed the use of anesthesia, a tradition of surgery, and taught the Chi Gung methods know as the frolics of the five animals.

Sokushindo (Zhak She Dao / Chinese) is the oldest tradition of foot massage and reflexology in the Orient. "Soku" means foot or leg. "Shin" means heart, center, core, the most important part of something. "Do" means way and indicates a complete discipline. Sokushindo has its origins in India. According to tradition, it was taught by the Buddha who created a foot reflexology chart along with foot massage methods. Shortly after his ascension, a stone image was carved of his foot reflexology chart and other teachings. The picture you see here is of a stone-carved image over 2000 years old of Buddha's feet held within the Yakushi Temple in Japan. It is not know who actually carved the original image. May have been Buddha himself. The core theory of Sokushin Do is mainly based of the meanings of these symbols.


Around 40 B.C. Buddhism entered China by travelers who brought with them large amounts of knowledge. This included the science of Buddha's feet. Slowly this foot science was combined with Chinese medical concepts such as Yin-Yang, five element theory, meridians, acupoints, oriental diagnosis methods, etc. The oldest reference in China to Buddha's feet is from the Nan Ching Yellow Emperor’s Classic Of Internal Medicine where it was referred to as Kanshi Ho (foot diagnosis method). It is thought that Buddha's feet entered into Japan around the 5th and 6th century along with warrior monks who brought with them a great many sciences and shared these teachings which found a home in Japanese culture. These monks taught at temples in Japan and it became a standard that one had to study medicine for 7 years before one could practice at a temple.


Also, at some point in Japanese history, a well-known doctor by the name of Kada introduced Sokushindo as a separate discipline in and of itself. Kada added things like the use of oil for the practice of foot massage techniques. In addition, foot massage techniques from the Anma tradition were added as well. Kada's teachings were kept secret and many branches formed out of his method passed down within certain Japanese families. This tradition is part of Folk Medicine in Japan. Sokushindo was at one time given in Japanese inns. Travelers would enter the inn, remove their shoes, soak their feet for a while, and then receive medicine in the form of Sokushindo, foot massage and reflexology.



Butsu Soku Seki

2000 Year Old Buddha's Footprint Stones

Yakushi Temple, Japan



An Example Of Stage I Foot Warm Up Methods



Sokushin Do Five Stages of Treatment

  1. Warm up methods, foot stretching and percussions

  2. Acupoint pressure and stimulation methods

  3. Meridian stroking methods

  4. Organ reflections

  5. Meridian reflections

Stage I

A. Soku Junan Ho (Warm Up Techniques)

These methods are applied to loosen up superficial muscle tension and remove foot and leg fatigue. These techniques are used to deeply relax the client and prepare their feet for deeper work. During the application of these techniques, vital energy (Ki) and blood circulation are increased in the feet and legs. The very important turn around points for the leg meridian pathways are found in the toes and feet. This is one reason why foot massage is deeply beneficial for balancing the health of the whole body.


B. Soku Shincho Undo Ho (Foot Stretching Methods)

Various stretching methods are applied to increase the flexibility of the ankles, toes and muscles of the feet. These techniques help remove foot pain and increase the flow of blood and energy (Kiketsu) to the lower extremities of the body. They also help repair the three arches of the foot, which are deeply linked to the health of our physical structure and the proper functioning of our internal organs.


C. Soku Koda Ho (Foot Percussion Methods)

Percussion applied to the feet deeply stimulates nerves and blood circulation. These methods drive vibrations deep into the various layers of the feet helping to release tensions. In advanced application of foot percussions, specific acupoints (Tsubo) are hit to balance the points and their associated meridian pathways.


NOTE: Stage I represents the “basics” of Sokushin Do training. If you learn its methods well it can be applied in and of itself to comprise a very complete foot massage session. Stage I is very easy to combine with other forms of massage.

Stage II

Tsubo Chiryo (Acupoint Pressure & Stimulation Methods)

In this stage of Sokushin Do, various acupoints (Tsubo) are stimulated with pressure on the feet, ankles and even the legs. Three categories of points are used to treat various conditions and balance the health of the individual. Keiketsu Tsubo are points which are found on meridian pathways, Kiketsu Tsubo are points not on meridians and the Aishi Tsubo, are natural points which bring relief.

Stage III

Keiraku Keisatsu Ho (Meridian Stroking Methods)

This consists of stroking methods to help balance the six leg and foot meridian pathways. If a meridian line does not have enough energy (Kyo) or has to much (Jitsu), stroking the meridians in different directions balances the pathways by adding energy, known as Tonification (Ho) or removing excessive energy, known as Sedation (Sha). Kyojitsu Hosha requires training in oriental medical diagnosis to be able to determine which meridians need to be treated. This restores the balance of In and Yo energies of the body which restores one’s health.

NOTE: Stage II and III represent the “intermediate” level of training in Sokushin Do. One must have a deeper understanding of oriental medical theory to be able to treat the various conditions of the body correctly. This is especially true for Stage III techniques and the higher stages which follow.

Stage IV

Zofu Hansha (Organ Reflections)

During this stage one applies stroking and pressure techniques to the areas of the feet which reflect the internal organs of the body. As described in Stage III, one changes the direction of the stroke in accordance with the principles of Kyojitsu Hosha to readjust the function and balance of the internal organs as needed. One also learns to adjust and balance the emotions in a similar fashion. The charts used for this stage of Sokushin Do are similar to modern charts used by reflexologists today. The Sokushin Do tradition has used “reflections” to treat conditions for over 5000 years.

Stage V

Keiraku Hansha (Meridian Reflections)

There are 12 internal organ meridians in oriental medicine. Only 6 of these physically run into the feet. During this stage of Sokushin Do, one works on the reflections of the meridians which do not run in the feet. In this way one is able to treat all the organ meridian pathways of the body through the feet. There are only three places in the body where meridian pathways change back and forth from In (Yin) and Yo (Yang) energies, the head, hands and the feet. For this reason working the feet is a very important and powerful way to balance the energy of the whole body.


NOTE: Stage IV and V represent the “advanced” level of training in Sokushin Do. They are unique to the Sokushin Do tradition. A considerable amount of training in oriental medical diagnosis methods is needed to apply these methods correctly whereby various conditions are treated.



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