“Foot massage is good for all kinds of illness,” said Lio “Tony” Jingfeng, owner of Foot Massage, one of six such establishments along the 200 block of Valley Boulevard. “If you’re sick, it helps with symptoms,” he said through an interpreter. “If you’re healthy, it maintains your health.” While independent medical tests could not be found to confirm that, Lio’s storefront could not be more busy. Located in a two-story strip mall with other businesses and restaurants boasting a range of wares in both English and Chinese, it was filled to capacity on a recent Sunday evening, with customers of all ages enjoying a bit of weekend pampering at $15 per hour. “In China, Korea, Japan and other Asian countries foot massage is very popular,” Lio said, emphasizing that the therapists who have worked for him since he opened six months ago are all trained in Chinese medicine. “Many guests have come and about 90 percent become repeat customers.” Lio added that many Westerners become regulars after experiencing a treatment. Vivian Lee and her husband, C.J. Stoltman, frequent the establishment, stopping in for treatments consisting of a foot soak with Chinese herbs, reflexology massage on feet and shoulders or full body massage, and herb tea, at least twice a month. “I had tennis elbow and Mr. Lo helped me with it,” said Lee, sitting in an armchair with her feet on a matching ottoman while Lo Jian administered a massage. “It took several visits. I couldn’t even lift my arm, but now I can and I can play tennis like I used to.” Said Stoltman: “It helps with mental clarity. I think the herbs seep through the skin.” Stoltman added that he’s enjoyed reflexology for about five years. Massage specialists Lo and Teng Amy echoed Lio, saying reflexology helps with a range of health issues, including high blood pressure and arthritis. Lio opened the establishment after first coming here from northern China and working in a chiropractic office for four years. He noticed the demand for reflexology was growing and decided to open his own shop, in which 10 armchairs and ottomans face two plasma screen TVs for customer viewing. San Gabriel police Chief David Lawton said about 20 business licenses for foot massage storefronts have been issued in the last two years. “I have been invited, but I haven’t gone yet,” Lawton said. “Some of my friends, very legitimate people, including doctors and attorneys, love it.” He acknowledged some assume prostitution occurs at such massage establishments. But Lawton said recent investigations revealed that most of that illegal trade occurs in residences set up solely for that purpose. Police said that has been one arrest for prostitution at a San Gabriel foot massage establishment. “We’ve also encountered prostitution in beauty salons, restaurants and night clubs,” the chief added. [email protected] (626) 578-6300 Ext. 4461 • Photo Gallery: 3/21: Happy Feet SAN GABRIEL – Got reflexology? Foot massage lounges – the fancy term is reflexology – in tough competition with each other are springing up around the San Gabriel Valley, all the rage for those looking for quick, walk-in relaxation. There’s even a claim that it’s good for what ails you.