YOU’LL HAVE just until today to get a pedicure similar to those that keep Cate Blanchett, Robert de Niro, Naomi Campbell, and Gwyneth Paltrow on their feet. Until Sept. 16, the Conrad Manila highlights “Healing Foot Treatments” with celebrity podiatrist Albin Brion of BGA at its Conrad Spa. The 60-minute treatment consists of a specially designed foot care and pedicure session followed by a relaxing foot massage that helps alleviate foot ailments or soreness and aides in restoring the elasticity of the skin and nails.

These celebrities get their treatments from BGA founder Bastien Gonzales, and one of his disciples, Mr. Brion, is offering the “Signature Bastien Pedicure,” which helps regenerate the natural glow and shine of the nails while also preventing any future nail problems such as ingrown nails. It also addresses corn, calluses, or tough and dry skin, among other benefits. Immediate benefits following Bastien Gonzales’ foot massage technique include increased blood flow, joints mobility, muscular flexibility, improved skin elasticity, and more soothing foot sole. The treatment is priced at P8,500 net per session, with prior reservations highly encouraged — only seven slots are available per day.

The Paris-born Mr. Brion studied podiatry before training under the renowned “foot virtuoso” Mr. Gonzales. He has worked in private clinics in Europe as well as select luxury hotels in Dubai, Mauritius, and Hong Kong and often caters to international celebrities and athletes. Mr. Brion was cited as the “Best Therapist/ Trainer of the Year” at the 2017 Spa China Award and also received the “Best HK Pedicure” from Prestige Magazine Hong Kong, among other accolades.

Mr. Brion was a professional football player turned foot care specialist. Telling BusinessWorld how it influenced his current career, he says, “I discovered the job of podiatrist when I was a football professional player. I got a serious twisted ankle. As the physiotherapist couldn’t heal my injury, he recommended me to see a podiatrist. There and then, I found my vocation and knew I wanted to study podiatry in order to help all my football mates. I am now a professional specialist for sport podiatry and taking care of the tennis, football players, and lots of runners. As a former athlete, it is easier to understand the body posture and how to fix/prevent injuries.”

One might tend to think that the feet are merely flesh stumps designed to keep you up and on the ground (a blessing that those of us who can walk can take for granted), but the feet are an important ecosystem; a virtual machine that can influence how one lives their life. As Mr. Brion said, “The word ‘pedicure’ has been misleading and not well utilized. Indeed, if you split the word into two: pedi, podos, podiare — in Latin, that means feet; and cure, curare, means curing. However, in most of the salons and spas, the first question they ask is: which color do you want? That shows that they are not doing a pedicure but a beauty [treatment] for feet. Podiatry is a field where the specialist examines the condition of the feet and addresses specific concerns using scientific tools and procedures; even before using cosmetic products.”

Furthermore, what else is luxury but treating even the most overused and hardworking to only the best?

“Feet are one of the most sophisticated and anatomically intricate parts of the body: 26 bones, 51 muscles, and 103 ligaments. They carry our body weight and give us mobility for all of our lives; but are still the most neglected parts of the body,” said Mr. Brion. — JLG