Living in Tucson is like being on constant vacation, a prelude to an imagined lovely retirement. I took today off from work to celebrate with my friend Julie, with whom I share a June 11 birthday. Now I’m so relaxed I don’t want to jump in the pool, clean the house or make the yummy carrot-sweet potato soup I had in mind. All because of Heavenly Feet.
I kept hearing about this new business in Tucson. Once I peered in the storefront window, noticing rows of clean and waiting cushy recliners. The place was so clean. I was impressed. It was only $35 for a 20-minute back massage and 40-minute foot massage. Julie agreed to embark on this adventure for our pre-birthday outing.
Two young Chinese men greeted us for our appointment, leading us into the “back room” for our back massages, which was a fully clothed affair. The Chinese are ingenious, that’s what I always think, and I wasn’t disappointed. My guy — I don’t know what his name was — threw a soft bath towel over my back and started crunching. He had strong, very strong hands.
I’ve had wonderful massages over the years, and luckily when I heard cracking sounds emanating from my vertebrae, I wasn’t scared. Barry, the superb bodyworker who visits Tucson from Kripalu in Western Massachusetts, lets me know the cracking sound is a form of release, a positive occurrence. The Heavenly Feet guys didn’t say a word, except to each other, since one didn’t speak English (he later told Julie his name was Frank).
“This must be the sweatshop of Chinese massage,” Julie chuckled as we got in her car. It was probably the lack of communication that made her feel that way. I didn’t mind because “my guy” got rid of layers of tension in my back and neck. I’m always surprised after bodywork to realize how tense I had been.
When it was time to move from the back room to the foot massage room there was no lull. “Foot massage” was spoken and we quickly followed the two young men.
A soft cloth was placed over my face. Trickling water from an unseen fountain provided a lovely background tone. My feet were lowered into a wooden bucket lined with plastic and filled with hot water — laced with “Chinese herbal solutions.” Forty minutes of foot massage with pinching, squeezing and slapping nearly put me to sleep.
I wondered if the two young men and the one woman who worked there were family. “No,” the English-speaking one told me. “Was he the owner?” He wasn’t. Who brought this new business to Tucson, who’s in charge? I’m just curious. I hope the three energetic employees aren’t making sweatshop wages. I’ll go back. My two little feet have never felt so good.