Tag Archives: stress relief

reflexology reduce stress solar plexus point

Relieve Stress Through Reflexology

Reflexology is a study of the feet and how specific points on the feet relate to specific parts of the body. Through reflexology, the nerve endings in the feet are stimulated, which can help to relieve stress, improve blood supply, unblock nerve impulses and help to achieve a balance of the flow of energy throughout the body.

There are many ways to relieve stress in the body through the soles of the feet. Pressing on all the parts of the foot — called “walking the zones” — can stimulate the nerves of the feet that run all the way up through the body. This stimulation can improve circulation, bringing more oxygen to parts of the body and encouraging relaxation.

One of my favorite points to hold on the feet is the solar plexus. In the body, this is the bundle of nerves that is found behind the stomach and in front of the diaphragm and extends throughout the abdominal cavity. On the foot, it is located just below the ball of the foot in the middle where you can feel a slight indentation. The solar plexus is one of the main attack points of family-related stress.

At the end of a reflexology session, I hold this point on each foot until my thumbs feel an even steady pulse. Sometimes it can take a while before this pulse comes together. When it does, it indicates that the energy flowing throughout the body is balanced. For many of my clients, this hold is very relaxing.

Some other benefits of massaging and holding this point include assisting with regular breathing, relieving nervous disorders, insomnia, allergies, asthma, skin irritations, and maybe the best benefit of all is that it has been known to help young children fall asleep.

Visit Nurtured Living to find out more about reflexology, raphaology and other services offered.

Woman getting a shoulder massage with a red wall behind

Massage Envy: Getting Rubbed the Right Way

I’m standing in a dimly lit room with a table in front of me. There is soothing music emanating from my right. The question I’m asking myself is, “What exactly is my level of comfort?”

I quickly undress and fight to entirely cover myself with the sheet while I awkwardly climb onto the heated massage table before Rose returns. She begins by asking a few questions and massaging my back. I opted for the Swedish Massage — the most popular — with some deep tissue for the problem areas. She also works my legs, arms and face. Before I know it, 50 minutes have passed and Rose informs me she will wait outside with a glass of water.

This was my first experience at Massage Envy. I thought I should give them a try since, in my free time, I regularly beat myself up hiking, canyoneering and rappelling. Toting a load that weighs more than 50 pounds — for multiple days backpacking or canyoneering — full of wet ropes, webbing and gear tends to make one’s shoulders and back awfully sore.Man getting a massage

I was at the newest location in Tempe Marketplace. Massage Envy opened in 2002 with its first store at the Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road. It has or is planning on opening 862 locations with more than 600 already open. Arizona currently has 30 locations.

The International Spa Association (ISPA) confirms that Massage Envy is now the largest spa chain in the world. It performs more than 1 million services each month to more than 920,000 members. Despite a sluggish economy, membership is up 23% from 2009.

Massage Envy’s philosophy is three-fold:

  • Professionalism: 100% of its therapists are trained and licensed, where required;
  • Affordability: $49 a month in Arizona;
  • Convenience: Locations are open evenings and weekends so people can get pain or stress relief when they need it — often without even making an appointment.


Massage Envy is the world’s largest employer of licensed/registered therapists, with more than 16,000 therapists providing more than 250,000 massages every week. In March 2010, it performed its 20-millionth massage. In 2008, Massage Envy partnered with skin care giant Murad, Inc. to launch a new concept: Massage Envy Spa. Murad is one of the world’s most respected skincare companies and was founded by a professor of dermatology at UCLA.

New for 2011 are two signature services: the “Choices” program of:

  • AromaTherapy
  • Deep Heat Relief Muscle Therapy


Massage Envy is also active in the community. It has partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and raised more than $1.8 million for the breast cancer organization.