We say it all the time, but we do truly believe it: Austin is an amazing place to raise a family. With this in mind, we’re on a mission to go discover all the things which make our town special. To help get out more without getting overwhelmed, we came up with the Austin Bucket List project. Each year, we pick 10 things we’d like to do in Austin — with or without our kids. That sounds doable, doesn’t it? Then, we document our adventures here, with the idea of getting each of you inspired to do the same. This time, special guest Catherine is joining us, on a mission to actually do what we all know we should get more of: self-care.
We eat out at least a couple of times each month in the Chinatown Center on N. Lamar and Kramer, and I am often tempted to walk over to Foot Relax to check it out. Since I almost always have the kids in tow while eating out, the idea of relaxing while getting some foot reflexology done is but a pipe dream.
While I know that self-care is high on the list for leading a more balanced and pleasurable life, especially as a parent, I fall short in this area of my own life. There are moms and dads who are pretty good at taking care of themselves by carving out specific time in their day to exercise, get a haircut, massage, meditate, do yoga. Unfortunately, I usually put off the these tasks as long as possible and instead work like crazy while balancing (ha!) work and home responsibilities. Sound familiar?
A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of an extremely busy time, I decided to take an hour out of my day to check out this foot reflexology place that I’ve longed to try for a year now. A friend of mine decided to join me in this adventure, making an appointment for both of us on a Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. to take advantage of their Daily Deal: $28 for a Classic Foot Relax 1-Hour massage.
Foot Relax has two locations: Chinatown Center and one in the Parmer Lane and I-35 vicinity. We decided to to to the Parmer Lane location in north Austin (Tech Ridge) as it’s a little closer to our houses. On this particular Monday morning, the place was empty except for the two of us. The wait was non-existent, I’m guessing because I arrived a few minutes late. We were immediately led back from the bright strip mall lobby through a darkened, quiet room. I was expecting more of a pedicure-like set up with chairs and was quite happy to learn that I had an hour-long massage on an actual table coming to my tired body!
The Foot Relax is their classic acupressure massage (one hour, $35 if you arrive after their Daily Deal time of 10 a.m.) focusing on the feet, legs, arms, scalp, neck, and back. The massage began close to my eyes- yes, they massage the eyes- and moved around my head, shoulders, arms, down to my legs and eventually my feet. I was expecting the massage to end there when Cece, my masseuse, instructed me to roll over. Roll over I did, although it was very slow since I was having some intense lower back pain. Did I mention that I was a tad bit stressed?
Cece took this fact into account, asked me exactly where the pain was and proceeded to WALK ON ME! That’s right. She crawled up on top of me and massaged my back with her feet. And maybe her knees. I couldn’t see how she was doing it, could only go by guessing, but it felt so wonderful and offered some relief to my aching back.
As our session wrapped up, we were led back to the waiting room where we could refresh with water or tea and these really tasty little candies from China. Check in and out were both quick and easy, the service was friendly and we left feeling like new, albeit a little sore, women!
– No undressing required.
– Expect to shower when you are done as they do use some oils that can leave your hair a little slick. They do use steaming towels to wipe your legs, arms, hands and feet.
– Massages are done in the open with as many as 6 others potentially sharing the space with you. There was a little grunting going on from both myself and my friend as they worked on some sore spots. If you are uncomfortable with sharing space, perhaps ask when they are at their slowest time to ensure that it’s not a full house.
– My massage was somewhat deep but I was able to tell her to go a little lighter on spots that were too tender.
– I had some tender spots the next day but was without back pain so it was well worth dealing with soreness in place of an aching back.
Here’s to hoping we can all find time and money for a little extra self-care.