Most manicure and pedicure treatments can be mastered by experienced technicians in a relatively short time, and the nail bars and beauty salons offering these treatments make sure that their staff stay on top of the latest products and trends. But there is one pedicure, offered in a private treatment room at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong's Mandarin Spa, that cannot be taught at the beauty schools, because its techniques are a family secret. It is called the Shanghainese pedicure, and is performed by Samuel So Cheung-fat, who was taught this specialist procedure by his father, So Yan-ko. Mr So (senior) retired from the Mandarin Spa in 1998 after nine years of offering his services to hotel clients and well-heeled Hong Kong residents. The Shanghainese pedicure is a technical Chinese medical procedure that requires the pedicurist to systematically 'shave' away the hard skin on the feet using various sharp blades similar to scalpels. The feet are then buffed and treated with a tonic, and polish is applied if required. The blades are used to cut the toenails. Mr So uses the traditional equipment to treat all manner of foot problems, including ingrown toenails and verrucas. In Chinese medicine, the well-being of the feet is highly regarded, and feet are the location for many stress points in acupuncture. Mr So said he believed his service was important to many people, and he found it frustrating when people were lazy and didn't look after their feet. 'Feet are so often neglected,' he said. 'But they do need regular attention. Healthy feet are essential for a healthy outlook.'