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Fall 2009

Reflexology and Champissage by Barada
Located at 359 East 50th Street (just west of 1st Avenue)
Make an appointment today   Call 212-741-5541 or

Hi there.  Happy Fall to my dear family, friends and colleagues.  Reflexology is definitely a great way to get back into the hustle and bustle that the autumn months bring.  The weather is still beautiful and starting to get chilly at night and in the morning.   It makes for wonderful bike riding to and from the Salon where I practice reflexology - about six miles up and back from my place in the West Village. When I am not cycling, giving reflexology or Champissage, dancing, etcetera,  I am walking around the City. Inevitably I run into former United Nations colleagues.  No longer Ms. Barada Weisbrot, Human Resources Officer, the first thing they ask me is what am I doing now?  When I tell them how much I enjoy my reflexology practice they ask with surprise and curiosity: "what do you love about working with feet?".  What a wonderful question.  

Very simply, I love the effect it has on my clients. Oftentimes, people come in filled with tension and one or more ailments .  Then, after an hour session, they usually leave with a sense of deep peace and an improved condition. Many clients express that they don't just have a session, but that they have had an experience. I love that! 

I also love the fact that doing reflexology means far more than working on feet. To me it means working with the entire person in order to mobilize their physical, mental and spiritual energies with the goal of bringing them into balance and wellness. The same is true for Champissage. The more I do this work the more I experience that regardless of how out-of-balance our body may have become, it still retains the information necessary to return to balance.  

Finally I love the fact that reflexology is an excellent tool to bring us into greater awareness of where we may be alienated from certain aspects of themselves - which inevitably cause suffering and pain. We can see together that the pain and suffering may be a signal to change something in our lives - for the sake of our "wholeness".   I certainly cannot solve my client's problems, as only they can do this themselves. But often I am allowed to facilitate or inspire people to break a cycle or habit or make some shift in their life so they are actually free to make choices. Yes, all this through the feet. Amazing? 

In  this issue I have responded to the wish of many clients and friends (as well as myself) to have a better night's sleep by reporting on reflexology and insomnia.  Also, since I deeply enjoy working on senior citizens, I have written a bit about reflexology for the elderly. Last but not least under "what's new at the Salon" is the news that I will be available to make Office visits.  Yes, that's right!  How would you like a Champissage session right in your office chair?  
So when and if you finish reading the entire issue (quite a feat indeed) you are most welcome to send me your comments or questions and/or of course, your request to make an appointment!!  But for now, please read on................


One. Can reflexology help you sleep better?  
Two. How can Reflexology help our senior population lead a more healthy life
Three. What's new at the Salon:  bringing Champissage to your office

According to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institute of Health - an estimated 30 to 40% of the U.S. population experiences some form of insomnia each year, most commonly chronic intermittent insomnia in which periods (days or weeks) of insomnia alternate with periods of good rest.  The word insomnia means "inability to gain adequate sleep".  Generally, the word is not used for the occasional night when an exciting day or a worrisome event makes it difficult for you to quickly fall asleep. Instead, insomnia usually refers to a state in which sleeplessness is a regular condition and actually interferes with a person’s normal life activities. The condition may refer to difficulty falling asleep as well as the condition of waking up prematurely or a sleeping pattern punctuated by frequent periods of wakefulness.  
During a bout of chronic insomnia, the nervous, endocrine and cognitive systems are sometimes in a high state of arousal (i.e. whirling thoughts, short or uneven breathing, muscle tension, etc.). Sometimes one can fall asleep even with those symptoms but after a few hours, when the extreme head-nodding exhaustion wears off, you wake up.  The response is physiological - if you're tense and your body is aroused, it's difficult for the parasymathetic nervous system (the one which regulates relaxation) to override the stress-reactive sympathetic nervous system. 
There are endless cures and books and tapes and drugs to cure insomnia.  However, it seems that many sleep researchers and scientists believe that insomnia can be managed, even cured using behavioral changes and relaxation techniques.  By behavioral changes they suggest, for example, cultivating the habit of going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, eating at the same time, exercising at the same time, etc.  By relaxation techniques, they recommend incorporating into a routine some sort of relaxation technique like yoga and/or meditation.  In order to sleep you must feel calm, be relaxed and at peace in your mind.  That is where reflexology sessions can be supportive in achieving the above-mentioned. 

Reflexology and sleep
One of the first things that my clients often notice about reflexology is how well they sleep the evening after a session.  The simple act of settling back on the reclining chair and having the feet worked on continues to be a marvelous way to induce a feeling of relaxation and to prepare the mind for the business of sleeping. 
Reflexology is not a cure for insomnia but it will help prepare the mind for sleep, help us relax and cope better with stress. Most clients I've worked with on a regular basis notice that reflexology has been useful in improving their sleep patterns, i.e. they have longer sleep cycles, less interrupted sleep and deeper sleep.  For some clients, having regular reflexology sessions is a powerful stimulant for their minds and bodies to make a shift and create new habits such as adding a few gentle yoga postures to their bedtime routine or having their last meal of the day at 7pm.   
How do I work on the parts of the body responsible for insomnia?
Reflexologists divide the body, from head to toe, into ten zones. Each of these zones is reflected in a particular area on the foot. For instance, reflexes on the toes correspond to the brain, the center of our sleep.  So when I know someone suffers from insomnia,  I give those reflex points special attention. I also use the pressure of my thumb and finger on the reflex points that stimulate blood circulation and increase oxygen absorption.

Then, at the center of the top pad in each large toe is the reflex point that corresponds to the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a small cone-shaped structure that produces the hormone melatonin. Because that hormone affects a person’s sleep patterns, maintaining a balanced level is important for healthy sleep. Understandably, working the pineal reflex gland would be part of the treatment. 
I would also focus on reflex points that correspond with the solar plexus, the network of nerves in the abdomen, the respiratory system, the digestive system, and the circulatory system. Clearing away imbalances in any of these systems can lead to a healthier, more relaxed sleeping pattern.
Therefore, the effect of reflexology is twofold, one, to relax the body and thus aid and prepare the body for sleep and two, to assist in strengthening the body's own renewal and self-healing processes.  The latter may well be useful in those cases where there is a physical cause for sleep problems or where sleep is difficult because of the presence of pain.   
Reflexology is not a magic potion and the effects take time to work so I would recommend a course of treatment of anywhere from 5 to 10 sessions.  After which, treatment can be maintained at the same level or, if it seems appropriate, continued less frequently.  Also, I can show you how to work some of these key reflexes at home.  I wish us all - a deeply peaceful and restorative night's sleep every single night!

Several years ago, when my elderly mother's health was failing, the idea came to me to learn some sort of massage that would be gentle yet at the same time enhance the length and quality of her life.  The number of pills she was taking every day was staggering and only seemed to help her decline.  I decided to study reflexology and enrolled in a course scheduled to start in July - two months away.  However just weeks before I could begin my studies, my mother died.  Inspired nonetheless, I eventually completed the hundreds of hours required to become a certified reflexologist.  In a society that relies on chemically laden prescription drugs to cure the sick, especially in the elderly sector of society, reflexology is providing success stories worth examining.  I will continue to pay utmost attention to this topic and look forward to working with and educating our seniors about reflexology. 
How does reflexology benefit older people?  As a complimentary treatment, reflexology is beneficial for everyone but especially for seniors who often suffer from muscle, joint and circulation problems.  By stimulating specific reflex areas on the feet (and/or hands) - which correspond to every organ, gland and system of the body - the blood flow can be stimulated and toxic buildup can be eliminated.   And because reflexology works to put the body in a state of well-being and balance, it is beneficial to every system in the body. It helps reduce body tension and definitely brings a sense of relaxation.  Now if only I could have done that for my mother.
Studies have been done, especially in England, to find out how the health of the elderly has been affected by regular reflexology treatments.  Success has been noted for sufferers of arthritis, constipation, fatigue, swelling and edema, loss of muscle control to name a few.  Research also shows that patients that routinely get reflexology treatments can reduce cholesterol, lower and maintain blood pressure and treat painful digestion often times better than drugs. 

How does a reflexology treatment differ, if at all, when working on an elderly person?  When I work on a senior client, I am especially aware of fragile bones and thin skin.  Therefore, I work gently and for shorter periods of time compared to my normal one hour sessions.   I remind them to be patient given that reflexology is cumulative.  Anotherwords, it could take a few days to start feeling the results - although most feel the effects almost immediately.  And reflexology is such a gentle modality.  I can easily work on someone in their own recliner with only having to remove their shoes and socks. 
How would I sum it up? So many of our seniors lead full and active lives.  Thus, reflexology can provides a valuable contribution to the maintenance of both physical and mental health.  Speak to me if someone in your life can benefit from "gentle reflexology".

Do you find yourself tired and edgy at the end of the working day?  Are there times when the pressure and the strain are just too much to bear?  Can you honestly say you have never taken the day off, because even the thought of what awaits you gives you a headache?  If this sounds like you - and who doesn't feel like this sometimes?  - then you could benefit from a soothing, healing Champissage or Indian Head Massage.  
What does it feel like?  Well, for those of you who have not had a Champissage, imagine having your upper back, shoulders, upper arms, neck and head - all energy centres where tension is most likely to accumulate - gently, firmly and rhythmically massaged until the pressure begins to simply float away.  The continuous stretching and mobilization of the neck and shoulder tissues eliminates muscle tension and restores joint movement.  Then with gentle stimulation of the scalp, Champissage relaxes and tones the subcutaneous muscles relieving eyestrain, headaches and improving concentration. 
A Champissage taken, for example, just before an important meeting will leave you feeling relaxed yet alert and able to produce your best work without feeling tense or tired.  Most people who have had it say it relieves stress and gives them the strength to face whatever the day can bring.  
Why not have a Champissage come to you during your work day?  Because it only takes between 30-40 minutes, and does not involve undressing, it can be performed right in the Office - before or after work or during the lunch hour - without you even having to leave your chair. 
Sounds too good to be true?  Why not give it a try?  Modern office managers, supervisors and directors are beginning to realise that there are creative ways to help their employees be happier and more productive at the workplace.  Proven therapies such as Champissage can offer a quick and pleasant way of improving productivity, efficiency and alertness.  Not to mention relieving stress reduces tension in the office and minimises anxiety-related illness and absenteeism amongst the work force.  The whole office or company or division shares the benefit - on the spot!

One Office visit of 30-40 minutes (in and around downtown to midtown NYC area) costs only $40 for one Champissage.  For two Champissage sessions back to back, i.e. two colleagues, the cost will be $70 or $35/each person.  The more colleagues that participate, the less the cost per person.  
Once again, you've made it to the end of the Newsletter.  I applaud you!  Now remember: "If you're feeling out of kilter, dont know why or what about - let your feel reveal the answer, find the sore spot - work it out!" - author unknown (and it's not me).
So do make an appointment today by sending an e-mail to or calling me at 212-741-5541 (leave a message please). 
Also do check out the website to the Salon where I do my reflexology: it is called Natasha's Beauty Salon and it is where I have had wonderful manicures, pedicures and facials for the last twenty years.  The website is: - you will find me under "services" and the last 4 photographs. 
In good health, Barada