It was in the early 90’s and Lennard’s mother was plagued with persistent migraine. Like any concerned son, Lennard wanted a cure for his mother but drugs were out of the question. Having been brought up exposed to Eastern cures, his instinct told him he could probably find a solution in traditional Chinese healing method. Fortunately for Lennard, while he contemplated on this, he bumped into an old friend who happened to be in the reflexology business. So, naturally, Lennard asked his friend for advice.
His friend taught him a few reflexology and massaging techniques for the feet and assured him that it would be effective in relieving migraine pain, so he quickly headed home and applied his newly acquired skill to his mother’s feet. To his amazement, his mother’s headache vanished without a trace. Each time he applied the technique, his mother’s migraine disappeared. With a combination of regular treatments and herbs, his mother’s illness was subsequently cured.
Lennard says, “Of course, I was so happy to see my mother relieved of her pain. I was also dumbfounded that something so simple could have such an impact on health and well-being. I was so motivated by its efficacy I couldn’t stop thinking how others could benefit from it. So I began learning all about reflexology during the years which followed. I was then working for Singapore airlines as an aircraft technician but that was how I became interested in reflexology and massage.”
As destiny would have it, Lennard met his friend again a decade later in 2003 in his Holland Village shop. Not surprisingly, he was still running his reflexology business. Seeing Lennard’s passion for reflexology, his friend invited him to become a partner of his business. Without hesitation, Lennard immediately left his job of 14 years as a certified aircraft technician and began to learn what it was like as a full-time masseur and therapist. Then a year later, in 2004, an unfortunate incident crippled his partner and Lennard took over the entire business in Holland Village. Lennard reorganized his business and began expanding his range of services (see SERVICES below).
In regard to maintaining professionalism and integrity in the massage and reflexology trade, Lennard says, “I have 10 therapists – 5 masseurs and 5 masseuses. I am very selective in my choice. Every one of them has at least 10 years’ experience. They have all undergone government certification courses and are qualified
therapists in their own fields. For foot therapists, after they join us, they are additionally trained according to our house technique, which is based on a particular, traditional, Taiwanese method. There are other methods but this particular approach, which focuses on certain meridian points, appears to be a very effective foot massaging technique, so we adopt it. ”
Lennard continues, “We follow very strict rules in regard to attire and assigning therapist. When a female customer comes into the shop for massage, we will assign a female therapist unless she specifically makes a special request. For a full body massage, the client must be fully clothed during the massage. For sports massage, we assign a male therapist and we will let female customers know beforehand. We are very serious in what we do and our customers appreciate that.”
Lennard describes how he is able to attract and retain customers, “I don’t advertise. I believe that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising for my kind of business. I have built up a solid customer base here out of our reputation for authentic services and reasonable prices. They come from the clubs – Swiss, American, Japanese, Tanglin and all over – all through word-of-mouth. I have expatriates as well as locals. Everyone is welcomed.”
Lennard explains the meaning of “Ashi”: “During the initial years, we used to have quite a fair bit of Japanese clients, so we adopted the “Ashi” name. But our service quality and price appeals to all, as we have discovered over the years. Some of my competition use the term ‘Ashi’ when they canvass for customers, implying that they have some similarity or connection with us but this is not true. They are not connected to us. ‘Ashi’ has nothing to do with technique. It is simply the Japanese term for ‘foot’.”
Concerning his passion for the business, Lennard says, “I love this business because it has saved my mother from her anxiety. It is special to me. I am personally here every day, so as to make sure my customers get what they come for.”
Well, you can be sure that your feet are in good hands at Ashi Reflexology.
211 Holland Avenue
Holland Road Shopping Centre
Tel: 6468 9773
10am to 9pm (daily)
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