La Costa has always been a resort dedicated to wellness. Upon its opening in 1965, Spa de La Costa (as it was originally named) ran under the direction of physician, R. Philip Smith where health was at the heart of its medically-based programming. Complete with a separate medical wing housing exam rooms and state-of-the-art laboratories, the spa’s regulars included the Queen of Iran, Jackie Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Seen in this old newspaper clipping from 1966, TV stars like Cheryl Miller (from “Daktari”) would visit the Spa for much-needed R&R.
Over the past few decades, treatments have changed, the facility has had a few facelifts, but wellness has and will always remain at the heart of the Spa. It was with this in mind that Spa Director, Michelle Frye and Lead Massage Therapist, Keith Launiu designed The Spa at La Costa’s very own reflexology path in 2011. While you look to your massage and facial therapists to provide the healing benefits of a treatment, by walking along the beautifully landscaped reflexology path, you let the stones do the healing.
What is Reflexology
Reflexology is based on the Asian belief that reflex points exist in the feet which correspond to vital organs, muscles, nerves and glands in the body. The theory is that by walking on uneven stones you’ll stimulate the reflex points in your feet, thus improving circulation, balance and overall health. Just as you would drink plenty of water following a massage, the same goes for reflexology paths – drink plenty of it to help flush away toxins.
Benefits of a Reflexology Path
- Walking on the stones provides gentle, yet deep-working therapy
- Stimulates reflexology areas and pressure points in your feet that correspond to all major body organs and areas
- Stimulates vital energy and blood flow throughout your body
- Relieves stress, improves balance, enhances physical and mental well-being
- Allows you to control the length and amount of stimulation, e.g. short, light walks on smooth stones, or longer walks on thinner, sharper-edged stones
- Recent studies have shown that reflexology can ease cancer symptoms
Tips to Walking a Reflexology Path
- Your feet may be tender at first, so start with just a few steps
- Use the hand-railing for balance assistance and for rocking exercises to the arch of the foot
- Walk the path breathing in as you lift your leg to step, and breathing out as you place your foot on the path (The different positioning of the stones will allow you to press all of the reflexology points on the foot)
- For the best acupressure affect, walk barefoot or in socks
- After walking the reflexology path, drink water to help flush away the toxins
- Enjoy the paths as a regular part of a healthy and active lifestyle.
Have you ever walked a reflexology path? Did you notice any benefits? Leave a note in the comments and we’ll be happy to respond. If you’re interested in booking a massage treatment or coming to The Spa at La Costa for the day to try out the reflexology path, click here. We’d love to have you!
*Reflexology Paths are not recommended for pregnant women.