Owner of new Chinese massage business aims to help elders in the community | TheUnion.com

Owner of new Chinese massage business aims to help elders in the community

Jiannanchun Art Troupe performs a dragon dance for the grand opening of Panda Foot Reflexology in Grass Valley Thursday.
Laura Mahaffy/lmahaffy@theunion.com | The Union

Yindi Shen discovered Grass Valley during a recent exploratory trip in California.

The Chinese native felt a strange pull as soon as she landed in the historical town.

This is one of the cities that the first Chinese gold miners settled in the early 19th century, the 50-year-old said.

So Shen, who is from Shanghai and currently resides in Auburn, decided that she wanted to develop a deeper relationship with the city by opening a massage business in the area.

“When you are tired, getting a massage really helps you relax.”Yindi Shenowner of Panda Foot Reflexology

Panda Foot Reflexology, located at 434 A Colfax Ave. on the corner of Colfax Avenue and Ophir Street, hosted its grand opening Thursday.

Shen said she used the word “Panda” because it is a well-known symbol of China.

The store, which measures 1,400 square feet, employs six Chinese workers who have either undergone training or have had previous experience working in massage studios.

By establishing the business in Grass Valley, Shen hopes to reconnect with the Chinese residents who live in the area.

She also wants the store to serve as a springboard to disseminate Chinese culture and tradition.

Shen brought with her a special gift to the veterans and elderly in Grass Valley, she said.

“I want to help older people who have wounded themselves, and I also want to help those that live on low wages,” said Shen. “I want to help as many people as I can.”

The store will offer a month of free service for veterans 70 or older during November and December.

The coupon also extends to disabled individuals who “have hurt themselves while performing a duty for the government,” she said.

Her kindness attracted the attention of Soufu Ma, a friend of Shen and an established acro-gymnast.

Acro-gymnastics is a specialized form of gymnastics that includes acrobatics.

Ma is a part of the Sichuan Sports Acrobatic Team.

From 1984 to 1987, Ma and three other teammates won the championship title for the National Sports Acrobatic Competition for four consecutive years.

When he retired in 1988, Ma formed the Jiannanchun Art Troupe.

The group toured the continents to perform kung fu, acrobats and qi gong acts.

During the grand opening, Ma and six other members of Jiannanchun Art Troupe gave a presentation to cheer Shen on.

“They do good things,” said Ma, who is currently the owner of a restaurant in Auburn. “They are not only about making money.”

Dancers of Jiannanchun hid underneath an extended figure of a dragon and mimicked acts of the legendary creature.

The Dragon is a symbol of good luck and prosperity in China.

The new massage therapy studio is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Appointments and walk-ins are welcomed. For an appointment, call 530-272-1528.

Services offered at the venue fall into the following three categories: foot and body massage, special combo massage and body massage.

Prices range from $15.99 to $50.

The special combo massage, which costs $35, is a service that includes using Chinese herbal medicine as rubbing oil on customers, Shen said.

Massage therapy is beneficial in strengthening one’s body and enhancing one’s immune system, said Shen. She said benefits can include alleviating weariness, preventing diabetes, colds and thrombosis, among other uses.

“When you are tired,” said Shen, “getting a massage really helps you relax.”

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please call 530-477-4236, or email tliu@theunion.com.

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