Thousands continue to be stranded and stressed over flight cancellations due to the volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajokull. Here are some easy and quick ways to de-stress anywhere with the help of your feet.

According to RealAge.com, online health and wellness resource, "having a backup stress-reduction technique on hand when you can't otherwise destress can make your RealAge 6 years younger."

Whatever your age, Roberta Lee, MD, author of The SuperStress Solution, recommends her 10-step foot massage that incorporates ayurvedic reflexology, based on the principle that "balancing the flow of prana has a positive influence on the body's stress response activity, and helps to keep levels of stress and tension within a normal range."

Step 1 - Wash your feet with warm soap and water, then wipe them dry
Step 2 - Apply a small amount of sesame seed or almond massage oil mixed with lavender essential oils
(RealAge recommends adding any of these de-stressing scents: "roses, basil, orange, grape, mango, and lemon - all contain a special compound called linalool, the smell of which apparently reduces anxiety")
Step 3 - Start rubbing at the base of your little toe.
Step 4 - Move to the base of the next toe and continue rubbing.
Step 5 - Apply slight pressure on the flesh between your little toe and the next toe over.
Step 6 - Now move to your middle toe.
Step 7 - Massage, stretch, and pull your middle toe in a circular motion, repeat with other toes.
Step 8 - With your fingertips or the palms of your hands, gently apply pressure to both sides of your heel just below the ankle, and then rub around your ankle clockwise to boost energy and circulation.
Step 9 - Finally, knead and squeeze your calf muscle to release tension.
Step 10 - Repeat on the second foot.

Steps one and two may be difficult at an airport but you may be fortunate enough to find a massage kiosk or spa. Treating yourself to a footbath, massage and pedicure may alleviate or extend the time to your next meltdown when re-routed to another airport or left staring at another blinking screen of cancellations.

Lee also has a free application to assist in managing and assessing your stress on-the-go: The SuperStress Solution available on iTunes. Some other iPhone applications that can help you de-stress with your feet include Acu Calm €2.39, Reflexology €2.39 and Acupressure €0.79.

Sources:
http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1991/fnov91/pranstr.shtml
http://www.realage.com/tips/grab-your-foot-when-you-feel-stressed

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