15 Mar FOR YOUR HEALTH: BAREFOOT PLACE
By Tracy Jacks
An hour of calmness, without demands, expectations and without anything required of you.
Anyone who’s been a visitor to downtown Rock Island knows that it’s never lacking for energy. Just check out the dancefloor at 2nd Ave. on a Saturday night or look upon the sea of revelers at Ya Maka My Weekend and you’ll see energy in motion.
But what happens when your own personal energy goes askew and gets out of whack? Downtown has you covered there, too. Natalie Anderson is an Integrative Reflexogist and Reiki Master Practitioner. She’s also the owner of The Barefoot Place, part of the alternative wellness community in downtown’s Be Well QC space.
Through reiki and integrative reflexology, Anderson says she can increase the movement of life force energy throughout your body and put you on the path to spiritual healing and self-improvement. Anderson should know – she experienced it herself. “Life can hand out multiple stressors at once,” she explains, “with opportunities to grow in unexpected directions. Around 2008-2009, I experienced both personal and professional stress at the same period in my life, coupled with a minor yet chronic daily health issue.”
“When it seems like everything converges at once, it’s time to find a way to relax. Having no experience with alternative wellness treatments, I was hesitant to do any of it, even when friends suggested a simple massage.”
“I did, however, seek out the help of a counselor, which was also unfamiliar territory for me. It was during a visit to her office that I noticed a Reiki practitioner in the same building. And, like most of my new clients, I took her business card but did nothing with it. Finally, one day I thought, ‘Well, why not try it and see what it’s about?’”
“And so, I did. And I started enjoying the energy work, asking questions, and wanting to learn more. That led me to train as a certified Reiki master.”
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Reiki is administered by “laying on hands” and based on the idea that an unseen life force energy flows through us. Reiki therapists channel this energy to activate one’s natural healing processes to restore well-being.
“My primary reason for taking Reiki and then Reflexology training was the sheer curiosity in what I had just experienced,” Anderson elaborates. “I didn’t even plan to start a business with it. In fact, the concept was a bit terrifying. I didn’t know if anyone would be interested because I remembered how skeptical I was at first.”
Reflexology, which Anderson also offers, is a similar holistic therapy that involves the stimulation of nerve endings in your feet. This approach is said to affect the muscles, lymph, blood, and fascia as part of an overall process of relaxation and detoxification.
“When you come to Barefoot Place, my goal is simple,” says Anderson. “I want to treat you to an hour of calmness, without demands, expectations, or anything required of you, other than to lay peacefully on the massage table.”
Anderson initially worked out of her home, but chose to move to the Be Well QC space to grow her business. “Be Well QC is an incubator space for small businesses in the holistic and alternative wellness field,” she says. “It’s been a fabulous environment for my business to grow. Each Be Well QC tenant has their own room with a shared common space, so I can come and go as needed. My business has street-side parking right outside the front door, which is ideal for many of my older clients who have canes or walkers.”
For Anderson, downtown Rock Island is a natural fit. “I’ve connected with so many other small business owners who, like myself, are exploring newly found passions that tap into a part of themselves that’s actually always existed. My Reiki and Reflexology work, and the zen-like approach I try to practice in my daily life has given me so many unexpected opportunities to connect and share with our community on their path to balancing a peaceful lifestyle in a chaotic world.”
Natalie works on an appointment-only basis on evenings and weekends. Clients can reach her by texting or calling 563-349-3074, or going to barefootplace.com, visiting facebook.com/barefootplacereflexology, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.