They say nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
Gina Nagano was just about ready to open Foot North Reflexology Studio when the COVID-19 pandemic threw her timing for a loop. But through all the stress and uncertainty, it became more and more clear: the time is now.
Reflexology is an alternative treatment for a variety of health and medical conditions. By merely applying pressure to specific areas of the feet, hands and ears, specific relaxed areas of the body can be treated. The pressure points correspond to other organs and body systems – much like acupuncture and acupressure points – for a holistic approach to wellness.
And at the Foot North studio, it’s an absolutely relaxing experience.
Nagano says it’s the perfect remedy for people who do hard physical work, who are out in the elements all day, or spend a lot of time on their feet. “Over time, these aches and pains start to happen,” she says, “whether it’s from stress and strain, physical injuries, or just the process of aging.”
Conventional massage therapy can be very effective, but Nagano saw the need for something more holistic. She also wanted to offer drop-in service.
Due to the high demands, sometimes you have to wait a week or more for regular massage therapy, she said. Foot North can book you in on a next-day basis or you can even just drop in – anytime.
The client experience is what sets Foot North Reflexology Studio apart.
“You’re greeted at the door and you’re asked if you’d like a cup of tea,” Nagano said. “You go to one of our beautiful, soft, comfy chairs and put your feet up and relax.”
“The lighting in the studio can be dimmed. There’s beautiful, relaxing music. That environment itself just allows your body to relax.”
At this point you are in the care of a Master Reflexologist – either Angel Li or Tong Chen. Both are highly experienced practitioners whose education and training is backed up by many generations of traditional knowledge.
In turn, the two masters are sharing their learning with local trainees, creating a new generation of reflexology practitioners right here in the Yukon.
It’s an extensive discipline involving much more than a foot massage.
“We go beyond the foot to work on the whole body – where we offer a complete reflexology body massage as well. Your whole mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional wellness are within the treatment scope of the reflexology,” Nagano said.
And while she was doubting her timing a few weeks ago, she is convinced that Whitehorse and the Yukon need this service now more than ever.
“We had our location and had started renovating when pandemic hit. My heart sank,” she said, “however I remained optimistic and persistent!” She has since got the green light to open, with appropriate distancing measures in place.
“Now people are coming in and we’re getting great feedback. People are saying this is exactly what they needed, they are so happy this is here.
“You know,” she said, “it’s the right time.”