Traditional Japanese Foot Massage & Reflexology
Dr. Kada 華 佗
(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