How Regular Sleep Promotes a Healthy Mind

active and healthy lifestyle in Athens

The cognitive skills we depend on in our daily lives are affected when we fail to get good sleep. Our abilities to focus, concentrate, reason, remember and make good judgment calls all suffer from lack of sleep. Our Foot Palace health team uncovered ongoing research that suggests our brains depend on a nightly bath, of sorts, to keep them functioning at their best. Not getting enough sleep or not sleeping deeply enough, hinders your brain’s ability to perform this nightly flush, possibly leading to a less productive day.

For the average person, a lack of sleep could translate to the inability to focus on what’s being said at a meeting, to gather information assemble it into an important report, or to engage with co-workers in a collegial and collaborative manner.

How Much Sleep is Enough Sleep

The gold standard for sleep is six to eight hours nightly, and evidence suggests the average American adult is getting at least that much. But just depriving yourself of an hour a night adds up and can have cumulative effects on your mental status throughout the week.

“Fortunately, recovery sleep works,” says A. Thomas Perkins, a sleep expert and director of the Sleep Medicine Program at Raleigh Neurology in Raleigh, North Carolina. “So you can be chronically sleep deprived for weeks in a row, and have a few long nights’ sleep and a nap and sort of boom, you’re caught up. In other words, you don’t have to make up what you miss in a 1:1 ratio.”

Going to bed early and staring at the ceiling does not make for more efficient sleep, and taking a hot bath raises your core body temperature, when your body actually requires a half-degree drop in temperature to trigger its nightly shut down.

And what about those people who say they just function better on less than the recommended hours of sleep?

“They’re full of it,” Perkins says. “It’s like saying, ‘I don’t need eyeglasses,’ but you didn’t realize you needed them until you had corrective lenses to compare what you’re currently seeing to what you ought to be seeing. They don’t have a reference point for normal sleep and refreshment.”

So the next time you’re tempted to work late and burn the midnight oil, remember: sacrificing sleep could actually put you at a disadvantage. Putting in regular hours with a clear mind is more beneficial than overtime on limited sleep, and you’ll feel healthier for it.

Natural Ways to Fall Asleep Faster

Give yourself acupressure

• Here are some acupressure techniques to alleviate sleeplessness:
Between your eyebrows, there is a small depression on the level of your brows, right above the nose. Apply gentle pressure to that point for a minute.

• Between your first and second toes, on top of the foot, there is a depression. Press that area for a few minutes until you feel a dull ache.

• Imagine that your foot has three sections, beginning at the tips of your toes and ending at the back of your heel. Find the distance one-third back from the tips of your toes and press on the sole of your foot for a few minutes.

• Massage both of your ears for a minute.

Use the “4-7-8” method

Championed by best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil, the “4-7-8” breathing technique will help you fall asleep in under a minute. The method relaxes you by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood stream, slowing your heart rate, and releasing more carbon dioxide from the lungs. 

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens

1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290


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10 Wellness Tips to a Healthier You

active and healthy lifestyle in Athens

Much like babies, New Year’s resolutions are fun to make but hard to maintain. Here are a few tips that can help you stay on track.

1. Try wearing a pedometer. They say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” New research suggests that wearing a pedometer encourages people to walk about an extra mile each day, and in effect lose weight, and lower their blood pressure. Having a constant reminder helps, and you can get a decent one for about $20. Make your goal 30 minutes of walking a day or 10,000 steps per day.

2. Lift weights! Too many people neglect resistance exercise, especially women. Strength training is crucial for preventing muscle and bone loss with age. Lift weights for at least 20 minutes, two- to three-times per week. Don’t forget strength training, involving both the upper and lower body.

3. Eat more fish. Try eating least two fish meals per week. The evidence is strong that the oils in darker types of fish, such as tuna, salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring, are very beneficial for the brain and hart, and may even lower risk of cancer.

4. Drink water. You’ve heard it a hundred times before, because its true- drink more water! Water truly is essential and should always be the first thing you reach for when you’re thirsty.

5. Sleep 8 hours a night. Studies have confirmed that you really do need at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Some of the many benefits: You feel better, decreases risk for cardiovascular disease, and boosts memory.

6. Consider reflexology, acupressure and massage as valid therapies for chronic problems. Seeing a good massage therapist for neck strain may work better than taking extra strength Tylenol and/or Advil regularly. At the very least, these holistic options will help decrease stress and maintain overall wellness.

7. Keep sugar and caffeine to a minimum. Decreasing sugar actually increases your energy, by minimizing the highs and lows and preventing a sugar crash. People react differently to caffeine, but most of us are already overstimulated and could do without the additional boost. Drink green instead of coffee, the added bonus is weight loss.

8. Don’t pop too many vitamins, evidence for their benefits are low. Try getting your daily vitamins from foods and consider taking a multivitamin right before bed.

9. Don’t focus on dieting. Focus on eating, and WHAT you’re eating. If you’re hungry, just eat something- otherwise you’re more likely to overeat, especially in the evening. Instead, of sacrificing all day and gorging later, it’s better to eat enough during the day to avoid hunger pangs and uncontrolled eating at night. Eat every four hours or so, to keep your energy up and make you less hungry in the evening. And mix it up by eating different foods at every meal.

10. Don’t drink all your calories. It’s easy to drink calories without noticing: that eggnog latte at Starbucks has nearly as many calories as a Big Mac. It’s okay to have one as an occasional treat, but consider it a meal, not a drink.

Whether you need a spa treatment or relaxing massage therapy, Foot Palace invites you to melt away your pain and stress!

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens

1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290


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How Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Can Improve One’s Health

essential oils for aromatherapy massage

Our nose plays a huge role in our day-to-day emotional lives whether we realize it or not all through the smell of scents. The nose is a direct path to our limbic system which is our system that creates feeling and emotions. Our sense of smell is the most primitive of our senses and very powerful. We can detect at least one trillion distinct scents. The nose connects to the deepest part of the brain which triggers basic instincts, our emotions and memories. Offering your nose aromatherapy is a simple way to improve your overall health and quality of life.

What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy also known as essential oil therapy, is the use of naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to help promote the health of body. Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine that offers many benefits and has been around for thousands of years. Essential oils can either be inhaled through the nose, applied directly to the skin or added to a bath to work emotionally or physically to improve one’s general state of health. This alternative medicine can help boost energy levels, reduce stress, ease depression, eliminate headaches, improve sleep, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain, improve digestion, and increase circulation just to name a few.

Types of Essential Oils

The most popular aromatherapy essential oil in the word is lavender. Lavender has a long list of uses and ranges from cosmetics to well-being remedies. Lavender oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant that is fragrant in nature. Having a light fresh floral-herbaceous aroma. Lavender when inhaled is used to reduce anxiety and emotional stress, improve sleep and alleviate headaches. The essential oil applied to the skin can heal burns and wounds, restore complexion and reduce acne and improves psoriasis.

Jasmine oil nicknamed “queen of the night” is derived from the jasmine flower that has a strong small at night. Known to be the most popular oil for improving mood, balancing hormones and low libido. It’s “seductive” strong scent is a natural aphrodisiac that can increase sensuality and has libido-boosting qualities.

Clementine oil made from the peel of the succulent fruit with a smooth and shiny appearance is used in aromatherapy owing to its rejuvenating nature. With an amazingly sweet and crisp aroma. It offers purifying properties and uplifts the mood and enhances mental clarity.

Rosemary is one of the most powerful essential oils on the planet and is considered sacred by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. This essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant and is part of the mint family. With a woodsy evergreen like scent this essential oil is used to improve memory, relieve muscle aches and pains as well as soothe digestion. Rosemary has become increasingly popular over the last few years for its ability to stimulate hair growth as well.

One of the most studied essential oils with numerous health benefits is peppermint. Peppermint is a cross between the watermint and spearmint plant and the oil derives from the leaves. This essential oil aids in indigestion, respiratory issues, nausea, fever, pain relief, blood circulation and has antifungal properties. Due to the extensive research on peppermint oil, you can purchase it in capsules and it is prescribed by alternative medicine doctors.

Benefits of Various Aromatherapy Scents

Expect a heightened experience when combining aromatherapy, acupressure ( or other massage services. Lavender, Jasmine, Clementine, Rosemary and Peppermint are only a few of many beneficial aromatherapy scents offered in the markets today. Each of these 5 aroma scents offer a different aid in promoting the health of body. As part of the Foot Palace Aromatherapy package you can chose one of these essential oils to be applied directly to your skin carried in our oil and lotions, all of which are from Pure Plant-Based Ingredients. This allows your skin to feel nourished, supple, healthy and youthful while rejuvenating your senses and physical well-being. Let your nose choose the scent to improve your senses.

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens

1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290


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Five Points to a Holistic Hangover Cure

holistic hangover treatment

The new year is just around the corner; everyone is gearing up for the holiday cheer. As we all know too well after all the cheer comes the next morning that can be quite debilitating. You wake up with a throbbing head, heavy eyes, a stomach ache, and the feeling of a cloud hanging over your head. We’ve all heard about the standard hangover cures – a glass of water before bed, exercise to sweat it out, hair of the dog. Everyone seems to claim that one thing will rid you of a hangover, but have you ever tried a reflexology massage? A Reflexology session is a sure-fire way to get you up and going after a binger the night before. How does it work and why should you give it a go?

How Reflexology Relieves Your Hangover Effect

Reflexology is known to relieve a slew of ailments and hangovers are no exception. A reflexology session is a great natural way to relieve the effects of being over served. There is 5 key reflex points that once stimulated will have you perked up and feeling better in no time. Liver; helps the body to flush out the remaining toxins. Kidneys; to help filter and eliminate the alcohol. Stomach; reduces the nausea and tummy ache. Head; relieves the throbbing, pounding headache. Solar Plexus; brings your body back to a neutral center ground. By stimulating these 5 key points your body will get the boost it needs to overcome the dreadful hangover. To cure that dreadful hangover and get your body back to its senses you’re in need of reflexology relief!

Spa Hangover Relief Trick

If you just can’t muster to get out of bed and make it to the spa you can try to target the most important pressure point to get some relief, the liver. Press and rub the outer edge of your right foot, halfway between the middle of your foot and your pinky toe. When pressing on this area you may notice they are “crunchy” this is a sign that congestion is in the area. Continue to press and rub until this feeling dissipates.

Stimulating these pressure points will sure get your blood moving to help your body eliminate all the poison you consumed but not without the help of H2O. Hydration is key after a reflexology session hungover or not to help your body flush out the toxins just released from pressure points.

Your Holistic Happy Hour Hangover Treatment

No one likes a hangover, but it happens to the best of us. Next time you get a little “extra” Happy at happy hour just know, you don’t have to suffer the next day. Whether fighting the flu or a hangover, holistic treatments work, so give it a try and see the magical relief for yourself.

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens

1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290


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How Our Wellness Therapists Fight the Flu and Stress

girl suffering from flu and stress

It’s that time of year. The holidays are quickly approaching and if you’re like most, you’ve got a lot to do. Whether you’re preparing for travel, planning big holiday gatherings, or working overtime in order to ensure you can afford to get everything on that holiday wish list, chances are you’re already starting to feel it. Stress. It’s the one thing we all share, regardless of our family’s cultural or religious holiday traditions. It reminds us that we are short on time, short on money, and maybe even short on patience. It’s easy enough to feel the mental and emotional drain that stress causes, and that can really slow us down.

What most people don’t realize though, is that stress causes a physical drain on our bodies as well. It may not be the only reason we become more susceptible to cold and flu at this time of year, but it’s often overlooked.

A Stressed Immune System

Stress can cause a normally functioning immune system to falter, making our body’s natural immune responses suppressed and inadequate. This means that a chance encounter with a sick neighbor, an exchange of money at Starbucks, or even pushing a cart through the grocery store, becomes a potential catalyst for the misery of coming down with the dreaded flu. Where a healthy immune system might easily defeat the nasty flu virus, a stressed system is going to really struggle and leave you feeling the effects of that microscopic battle going on inside your body.

So, how can we avoid the added stress of coming down with the flu? While your doctor and local pharmacy are belting out that holiday jingle, “Get your flu shot!” there are many things you can do naturally to help prevent catching all the strains of flu that aren’t covered in that vaccine.  As Benjamin Franklin wisely advised: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Staying Healthy During Flu Season

Here are just a few tips from the Foot Palace team on how we like to keep our families healthy during flu season:

Nia: “For me, I know every person’s immunity is different, so there’s not just one thing that works for everyone. My number one thing that is most important for me is sleep!  Even if everyone else gets sick, if I have enough rest, I know I will be okay.”

According to the WebMD, she’s not wrong: “A lot of studies show our T-cells go down if we are sleep deprived,” Balachandran says. “And inflammatory cytokines go up. … This could potentially lead to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu.”

Maria: “Eat right.  If you eat right it will strengthen your immune system and help prevent you from getting the flu.”

WebMD offers this list of immune boosting foods.

Melly: “If I feel a little phlegm or scratchy in my throat I use a spoon full of lemon and sweet soybean sauce.  If there is a fever I make a soup with ginger, garlic, and chicken. Also, I don’t drink cold water until I feel better. It works well for my husband, but he doesn’t like the soybean sauce. If you don’t like it you can substitute with honey.”

Sweet soy sauce is an Indonesian secret remedy. Melly gets hers from an Indonesian market in Atlanta, but you can also find it on Amazon.

Kimberly: “Staying hydrated & upping your vitamin D. I also take Emergen-c everyday and eat more broths and soups.  Whenever I feel under the weather, I take oregano oil capsules. Oregano is a natural antiviral and antibiotic.”

Brett: “Diet is huge. What you put into your body is really important. Lots of water. Exercise. Walks in the park. Echinacea is supposedly a natural immune booster.”

What we put into our bodies is key.  There are many immune boosting supplements and antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial botanicals.  They can be taken in the form of supplements, herbal teas, and essential oils. Consult a local herbalist for more detailed information on safety & efficacy, as each individual has different immunity needs.

More important than any supplement though, is hydration! When your body is dehydrated, it cannot function as it should. This can leave your immune system lagging and susceptible to attack.

Using Reflexology Massage as Stress Reduction and Prevention

Of course, this list would be incomplete if we forgot to add our favorite method of melting stress and keeping our bodies in balance and harmony: reflexology!

Similar to acupressure, reflexology is a therapeutic method of massage that facilitates stress and tension relief by stimulating your internal pressure points and nervous system. The pressure is mostly applied to the hands and feet.

There are a few useful points to know if you want to give your immune system a quick and painless boost, but the benefit of a peaceful environment and soothing touch cannot be underestimated.

*Disclaimer – none of the tips from the Foot Palace team should constitute medical advice.


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Acupressure Therapy – The Basics, Benefits, and Techniques

acupressure therapy massage techniques

What is acupressure, and how is it different from massage?

Acupressure, not to be mistaken for acupuncture, is an ancient art of healing by applying pressure to key healing points on the body. A massage is where the muscles are rubbed and stretched, applying pressure all over, and not on just a specific point.

Acupressure versus Acupuncture

This healing technique was developed over 5, 000 years ago. Although acupressure and acupuncture therapy use the same pressure points and meridians, acupuncture uses needles, whereas acupressure uses gentle to firm finger pressure.

Health Benefits of Acupressure

Stimulation of these precise trigger points, causes the body’s natural self-curative abilities to wake up and start working. This type of therapy boosts the immune system, helping with preventive healthcare.

Acupressure also is very effective for stress relief. It increases circulation, releases tension, and reduces pain and stiffness. The great thing about acupressure is that you can do it yourself, once you learn where the pressure points are and what they do.

Tips for Maximizing Your Acupressure Therapy Session

When you’re receiving acupressure therapy, it’s best to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and try to relax. If it’s painful or uncomfortable, ask your therapist to ease off on the pressure. Some may think, “No pain, go gain”, it’s actually not true when it comes to self-healing. Pain will cause you to tense up and the therapy becomes less effective or even counterproductive. It’s best to reach a “good hurt” but not go beyond that. Remember, relaxation is key. Listen to your body and communicate with your therapist.

Here’s a list of some commonly used pressure points.

Gallbladder 20 (GB20): Feng Chi – This point is recommended for headache, migraine, eye blurriness or fatigue, low energy, and cold/flu symptoms. It is located by feeling the mastoid (ear) bone and following the groove back to where the neck muscles attach to the skull.

Gallbladder 21 (GB21): Jian Jing – This point is located by pinching the shoulder muscle with your thumb and middle finger and is commonly used for stress, facial pain, headaches, toothaches and neck pain. Use with caution in pregnant women.

Large Intestine 4 (LI4): He Gu – This point is good for stress, headaches, toothaches, facial pain and neck pain. However, as a word of precaution, it can induce labor and must never be used during pregnancy.

Liver 3 (LV3): Tai Chong – You need to take off your shoe to find this point. This is an excellent area to stimulate for stress, low back pain, high blood pressure, limb pain, insomnia and emotional upset.

Pericardium 6 (P6): Nei Guan – This point can help provide relief for nausea, anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, upset stomach, motion sickness and headaches and is even used for regulation of heart palpitations.

Triple Energizer 3: Zhong Zhu – This point is located in the groove formed by the tendons of the 4th and 5th finger, behind the knuckles and is commonly used in the clinic for temporal headaches, shoulder and neck tension, and upper back pain.

Spleen 6 (SP6): San Yin Jiao – This point can be very helpful for many urological and pelvic disorders as well as fatigue and insomnia. Avoid during pregnancy.

Stomach36 (ST36): Zu San Li – You can find this point useful for fatigue and depression as well as knee pain and gastrointestinal discomfort. Asians frequently stimulate this point for health promotion and longevity.

There are clear benefits of an acupressure therapy. If you have any discomfort or the aforementioned conditions, give this ancient healing technique a try.

Listening to your body and improving your overall wellness improves your quality of life. Stress and pain reduction can happen in as little as 30 minutes; visit our Athens massage spa today!

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens


1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106 Athens, Ga 30606

Phone: (706) 521-5290


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My Dogs Are Barking! – Translation, My Feet Hurt

my feet are hurting and painful from standing

In Athens, Georgia, when we hear the phrase, “My dogs are barking!” we usually assume one is speaking of The University of Georgia, Bulldogs! However, in the world of Reflexology massage, and other parts of the south, this phrase means, “My feet hurt!”

How did the word ‘dogs’ come to mean ‘feet’? In 1913, a journalist for the New York Evening, by the name of “T.A. Dorgan”, was well known for rhyming slang, published the word ‘dogs’ as a citation for his feet. From that point forward the word ‘dogs’, has been used as slang for feet. So now, a century later, after a long hard day on our feet we may say, “My dogs are barking!”, in reference to ‘our feet are killing us’.

How Long Periods of Standing Affect Your Feet and Legs

Whether at work or play, standing all day can do a real number on your feet and legs. Making an extra effort to take good care of your feet can go a long way towards staying healthy. The most common symptoms from standing for lengths at a time are discomfort, swelling, and fatigue. Spending too much time on your feet can affect your shins, calves, knees, thighs, hips, and lower back.

The Effect on Your Muscles, Tissues and Blood Flow

So many of your muscles work really hard to hold you upright. Without giving your muscles a rest, or at least moving around, can cause the joints to get “stuck” temporality. This happens because your muscles get tired, and can cause minor or major soft tissue injuries. Standing on your feet all day also reduces blood flow to your muscles. Blood flow that returns blood from the feet and legs back to the heart. When blood doesn’t flow properly, your feet, ankles, and legs swell, causing pain.

Supportive Shoes, Compression Socks and Rest Reduces Discomfort

Sometimes, standing all day is part of our job, so to help prevent the discomfort, wearing supportive shoes is a must. Unfortunately, no matter how good the shoes are, after many lengthy hours, you just need a rest! One of the best known ingredients for foot comfort are compression socks. Wearing compressions socks and changing feet positions frequently, can really help reduce the discomfort, as well as standing in different positions, and shifting your weight around. On those long dreadful days be sure to take a seat every chance you get to help your dogs out.

Stretching and Improved Blood Flow to the Rescue

If your dogs do start to “bark”, the best thing you can do is stretch them out, and kick them up! Stretching out the tendons and muscles in the feet will help to relieve the pain, and improve the blood flow. At home you can roll your feet over a tennis ball to massage the sole of each foot. This will loosen the starting point of the connective tissues that run all the way up the backside of your body, to the crown of your head. This home method can really do wonders for you! Try to do it a few minutes per foot, on a daily basis.

If you can’t even imagine doing anything else yourself after a long day on your feet, come and allow us to soothe your soles, with a Reflexology massage, the ultimate foot loosening treatment.

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens


1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106 Athens, Ga 30606

Phone: (706) 521-5290

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