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Foot Reflexology Massage


I walk a lot. I mean, A LOT. When I’m not giving walking tours, I’m walking around the city researching for them, or checking up on places for the guidebooks I write. And I walk my dogs at least three times a day. I wear out shoes in no time, and eventually the feet get worn out, too (even when I try to cut down on the stilettos after dark). So I’ve tested a lot of reflexology foot massage places in Paris.


Usually I go to one near me in Chinatown, called Dong Fang (update: this address is now closed). They have big lazy boy chairs so I can sit next to my friends and chat if I have company, and they always offer tea, but it’s not really fancy at all. They start here with a foot soak. If you’re wearing trousers, make sure they’re loose enough to roll up to the knees. The ladies who do the massage have hands of iron, and I’m sure they get a kick out of watching my hands grip the arms of the chair, but I refuse to cry. They usually chat among themselves, and I imagine they’re saying “my god, this woman has huge feet!”. My feet are a different shape after an hour, for just €32. This is where I go when I need a bit of “no pain, no gain” therapy.

Last weekend I tried a much prettier place, Xin-Sheng (12 rue Bichat, 10th). The price is the same, but it looks like you’ve walked into a Shanghai opium den (in a good way). The massage was on a bed (trousers off, but covered in a blanket), with an eye mask and peaceful music, and the massage was much softer, more like a massage than reflexology (although they still snap the toes, ouch!). I probably could have asked for more pressure, but I dozed off, no clenched fists. Both parlors finish with a neck and shoulder rub. Nice for when I just want to relax and feel good, but it’s best for when I don’t need to get the deep kinks out of my feet.

So, different salons for different moods. And always on the lookout for more, so send in your addresses if you’ve got good ones!


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  • Hi Melissa, As you mention you're a licensed massage therapist, I assume you understand that licenses exist for a reason. To perform any massage therapy in France you would also need a license: a French one. But that doesn't matter if you don't have a work permit to do business here. As an American, you can come to France with your passport for up to 90 days, but it does not give you the right to work in France. If you have a working visa, you would still need to register your business and obtain the proper license to do business here. I doubt every masseur on Craigslist Paris is licensed and legal, but then again I would never recommend anyone use Craigslist for a service that puts you in such a vulnerable position. Enjoy your vacation in Paris, but leave the massage therapy to when you return home. 😉

  • Hi Heather 😁Have you been to Nice ,France ? I'm a licensed massage therapist in the USA for over 12 years. I would like to travel and massage people. I been told French people like light massages .. is that true ? I'm very experienced and popular in my city. I'm learning my French which is NOT an easy language. Im excited to visit Nice and Providence areas. Any suggestions on why they require to work their as a mobile massage therapist? Thankyou I appreciate any information 😀❤

  • I was looking forward to Dong Fang but now I think that I will try Xin_sheng. Does anyone else have reports on Dong Fang. How much do you tip? Thanks for a great blog.

  • I had a similar experience here to some. I got a body massage and the masseuse was doing a half assed job, lightly stroking my shoulders while talking with someone. I asked her to massage a little harder. She sighed, limbed up and starting massaging me with her feet. They have rails in the ceiling for such things. After a few painful digs directly to the spine I asked her to get down. She disappeared for awhile and came back and finished the job is a sloppy manner. She waited in the cubicle as I dressed and had her hand out for a tip as I walked out the door. This woman was younger than some of the others. I've been here other times and have been massaged by some of the older woman and it was great.

  • Wow…. I had a really challenging experience at Dong Fang! Hopefully, I am one of the very few who could report that… I made the trip to Dong Fang after reading your review. I so related to your description of tired and aching feet— and I so anticipated the session of deep reflexology.Now maybe it is because I don't speak french very well— I was not able to communicate what I wanted, which was strong and deep reflexology (like the kind described in your article).The woman who was assigned to me seemed… sort of blase about the whole thing — kept talking in a conversation with another masseuse in another part of the room…At one point, I asked her in my best french if she could do the foot massage "plus fort, s'il vous plait"… She was working with a plastic implement, yet still it didn't feel all that strong to me. Maybe I've been spoiled by the chinese reflexologists that I'm used to in NYC.Well, she starts to get angry with me for asking her to make an adjustment— and it began to feel really uncomfortable. I wanted to end the session— and that made her REALLY angry. Another english speaking customer tried to help me– saying that it was just a "cultural thing"— that the reflexologist was acting that way just to "save face". So I reluctantly agreed to let the lady do the other foot–But the bottom line was, it didn't feel at all good to me— (it was never that strong, even with the plastic tool she was using)– and I left feeling more stressed than when I went in.My whole day has been about trying to shake it off.Yeeesh!Thanks for listening …. (reading)

  • Er…not the last time I checked, but maybe because I just give them one so they don't need to ask.

  • Hi Heather,I came across your blog and decided to give Dong Fang a try. Everything was going well but I found it really bizarre that before I had even had time to put my shoes on the masseuse asked me for a tip. I'm just wondering if this is normal?Thanks for your great blog,Laura

  • Hi Heather, Well I trekked 30 minutes yesterday (in running shoes, horrors!) to Xin Sheng. I did make an appointment 40 minutes in advance, just to be sure, but I didn't get the sense it was necessary. I would completely agree with your assessment that it was more like a massage than the reflexology that has you wanting to jump out of the chair. I really enjoyed it though, and it was very affordable. One side note is that I think I got propositioned by men about 5 times during the walk between Porte St Denis and Xin-Sheng (even while wearing Nikes!). I say I *think* I did because I don't understand much French yet, but you can understand the tone… Something to note for other potential customers, though I never felt unsafe at 3 in the afternoon. Can't wait to try Dong Fang next!

  • Hi Lynn,I think in general you can walk in, at least I've never seen people waiting…give it a try!

  • Hi Heather, I just moved to Paris for a few months and just found your blog. It's great! I'm from San Francisco, where these types of reflexology foot massage places are pretty common. I'm wondering here if you have to make an appointment in advance, or can you just walk-in as we do in SF? Merci! Lynn

  • As a reflexologist its great to hear people's experience of this wonderful holistic therapy. Reflexology is a wonderfully relaxing experience, this specialised foot massage can help your body to manage the stresses of everyday life, Im glad you have found some wonderful treatments.