How To Relief Pain, Nausea & Anxiety with a DIY Acupressure Massage!


Did you know you can push on pressure points on your body at home, and relieve things like nausea, headaches, anxiety, depression and even a sore throat? Our highly trained Los Angeles Massage Therapist Michael Canvin has been using the acupressure technique for over 20 years,  and now he's sharing his wisdom with you! Read how to do an at-home acupressure massage to help you relax and heal...

About Acupressure

Acupressure stems from ancient Chinese medicine, where it's believed that many energy lines run through our bodies, also known as meridians. These meridians run all the way from our fingertips to our brains and toes and connect to all our organs, enabling a system of communication. Through the meridians runs a vital energy, known as qi (chi). Like in Ayurveda, it's believed that when there are blockages or imbalances in our meridians, we get ill. Acupressure and the related technique acupuncture can relieve these blockages and imbalances.

Acupressure Massage Technique

All along the meridians in our bodies lie pressure points, which are often connected to organs. During an acupressure massage session, acupressure practitioners use their fingers, palms, elbows, feet or a device to target specific target points. They apply gentle, gradual, but steady pressure on the pressure points for about three minutes, until they sense a soft pulse under their finger. This pulse is called the therapeutic pulse. When practitioners feel this they know the blockage or imbalance has been relieved, and that they can move on to another point.

The Biggest Pressure Points & Their Acupressure Benefits

There are hundreds of pressure points along our body's meridians, but these are the ones most commonly targeted:

Large Intestine 4 Pressure Point (LI4)

Where to find it: In between your thumb and index finger. Helps with: headaches, sore throat, fever, lower back pain, and postopreative pain.

Liver 3 Pressure Point (LR-3)

Where to find it: In between your two biggest toes. Helps with: menstrual cramps, headaches, vision problems, shortness of breath, lower back pain and insomnia.

Spleen 6 Pressure Point (SP-6)

Where to find it: About three finger widths above your inner anklebone on the lower calf muscle. Helps with: abdominal pain, digestive problems, insomnia, dizziness, and pain in the lower back, knee, ankle and foot. This pressure point is a contraindication during pregnancy!

Stomach 36 Pressure Point (ST-36)

Where to find it: About a hand's length below your kneecap on the outside of your lower leg. Helps with: Almost any digestive issue imaginable, heartburn, nausea and hiccups. It also an invigorating effect on your body.

Pericardium 6 Pressure Point (PC-6)

Where to find it: in the groove between the two large tendons on the inside of your wrist, the ones that start at the bottom of your palm. Helps with: nausea after surgery and chemotherapy, from motion sickness and related to pregnancy.

How To Do Your Own Acupressure Massage

Choose a pressure point and then use prolonged finger pressure directly on that point. Do it in a steady and gradual way for about three minutes, and then move on to another point. Before starting on your own though, Spa Sophia's massage miracle worker Michael Canvin highly recommends to see an acupressure practitioner first.

Most of our Los Angeles massage therapists are experienced in the acupressure technique. Want to book an acupressure massage at Spa Sophia? Book one online, email us, or call (310) 564 6676. Namaste!

New Massages: Esalen Massage, Jade Stone Massage & DeStress Express


Spa Sophia is excited to offer the Los Angeles area three new massage treatments! Massages have a tremendous amount of health benefits, and ours will completely recharge your body and soul. Wether you need a quick pick me-up during the workweek or an extensive experience that leaves you absolutely Zen, we've got you covered!

Esalen Massage

The Esalen massage was created at the world famous Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California and we are proud to be one of few spas that offer this type of massage in Los Angeles and even Southern California. Using long, integrating strokes along the entire body, the Esalen body worker includes techniques from Swedish and Deep Tissue massage styles, along with breathing techniques from yoga teachings. The gentle rocking and kneading moves performed to the sound of ocean waves, bring you to an alpha state of total relaxation. A massage that truly has to be experienced! The Esalen massage is performed by our new massage therapist Michael. Read more about this massage therapist with over 25 years of experience in our Meet the Team section.

90 minutes - $150 | BOOK NOW

Jade Stone Massage

Let the healing qualities of Jade Stone work wonders on your back and neck. This specialty massage incorporates heated and cooled stones placed on key parts of the body, used to destress organs and discharge toxins.

60 minutes - $85| BOOK NOW

DeStress Express

This head, neck, and shoulder massage will wipe away the work day in a half hour! Shrug' off tension with targeted kneading and acu-pressure to work the boulders out of your shoulders, and instantly relax your neck and scalp. Stop in at lunch and take a break from the computer, the phone, and your desk. Leave feeling lighter and refreshed!

30 minutes - $50 | BOOK NOW

See all of our massage treatments here, book one online nowemail us, or call (310) 564 6676 to set an appointment.

The Beginner's Guide to Ayurveda


Spa Sophia is proud to be one of the few places in Los Angeles to offer Ayurvedic treatments. On top of the Ayurveda Massage, our resident massage therapist and Ayurvedic practitioner Megan Darwin offers treatments such as Nasya, Abyhanga, Therapeutic Steam and an Ayurvedic Detox Program . Want to know what exactly Ayurveda is, and why it's so good for you? Read our little Beginner's Guide to Ayurveda...

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old lifestyle philosophy and comprehensive natural healing system from India. It's a Sanskrit term and means "science of life" or "practices of longevity." Ayurveda is all about the person as a whole, physically, mentally and spiritually, and teaches that these three things are intricately connected. Ayurveda also emphasizes a person's place in his or her environment, and the world. Through natural medicinal treatments, mediation, nutrition, yoga, massage and essential oils Ayurveda aims to prevent and cure diseases and help you live a balanced life to reach your fullest potential.

Three Elements of Ayurveda

In Ayurveda there are three doshas, which are biological forces in the body believed to govern life. Pitta includes the elements fire and water, which are responsible for heat, appetite and digestion, while Kapha is characterized by the elements earth and water, which are responsible for structure and stability. Vata is the biggest life force and derives from the elements of space and air, which constitutes the energy of movement. When the three doshas are in harmony, you are in optimum balance and health. Symptoms of mental and physical illnesses are seen as doshic imbalances, which can be healed through Ayurvedic medicine and therapy.

ayurvedic practitioner ayurveda los angeles treatments massage detox venice abbot kinneyTreatments of Ayurveda

Ayurvedic practitioners believe mental and physical health are inextricably connected, and equally important. Since Ayurveda places big emphasis on our place in the world around us, things like changes in weather, society, economy, lifestyle, diet, work, financial status, emotions and relationships are also considered. That's why Ayurvedic healing - on top of herbal treatments - almost always includes lifestyle interventions. Think of a healthy diet, sleep pattern, and yoga, but also skin care and hygiene.

Contemporary Ayurvedic Treatments

Contemporary Ayurvedic practitioners, such as Spa Sophia's Megan Darwin, focus on attaining a healthy metabolic system, maintaining good digestion and releasing toxins. The combination of specific massage techniques, diet, oleation, lymph drainage, steam and purgation makes Ayurvedic cleansing an incredibly comprehensive and successful process for detoxifying and rejuvenating the entire system.

Ayurvedic Massages

Ayurvedic massage with warm therapeutic herbal oils can open up the channels in our bodies through which all of our fluids flow. Without healthy flow, these channels will accumulate toxins that will eventually lead to disease. Spa Sophia offers several Ayurvedic massages with essential oils, that will leave you feeling totally relaxed and renewed. Here are just some of the benefits of Ayurvedic massages: Building immunity, decreasing stress, cleansing the body, achieving overall balance, improved sleep and glowing skin. Want to discover Ayurveda in Los Angeles at Spa Sophia? Book a treatment online, email us, or call (310) 564 6676to set an appointment! For more information on the 5 Day Ayurvedic Detox Program, email Megan directly at

Which Massage Should You Get?


It's massage month all October at Spa Sophia! Bring one friend in and both get 25% off your massage! Massages have been proven to have a wide range of health benefits, but which massage should you get? Not knowing can lead to quite unwelcome surprises. A deep tissue massage for example is quite a different experience than a Swedish massage. To help you select the massage that's best for you Spa Sophia will break down all the massages we offer, the differences between them, and for whom they're best suited. Read on!

which massage should i get spa sophia abbot kinney venice los angelesDeep Tissue Massage

The deep tissue massage focuses on the deepest layers of muscle tissue and tendons and addresses trigger points in the muscular, skeletal and nervous systems. Our experienced massage therapists use elbows and knuckles to really alleviate tense trigger points. This is not the massage you want to get if you're looking for a relaxing experience; A deep massage can be quite an intense experience and you could feel sore for a few days after.

Who Should Get A Deep Tissue Massage?

You should get this massage if you have dense muscle or particular sore spots, such as a tense neck and shoulders.

Sports Massage

Spa Sophia's Sports Therapy massages are customized for your specific sport. There are several different types of sports massages: the pre-event sports massage, the post-event sports massage, the restorative sports massage and the rehabilitative sports massage. While all are slightly different, they either loosen, warm and prepare muscles for future performance or relieve pain and stiffness. A sports massage increases flexibility, range of motion and can speed up injury recovery.

Who Should Get A Sports Massage?

Sports massages are best for athletes, people that work out a lot, people with injuries or a restricted range of motion, and people that are doing physical therapy. If you don't know which type of sports massage you should get, no worries. We will always consult you in advance.

Spa Sophia Signature Massage

The Spa Sophia Signature Massage is a customized massage that targets all those areas that are tense and painful for you, but not in the intense way the Deep Tissue massage does. The Signature Massage is a comfortable experience and will leave you feeling relieved and totally relaxed.

Who Should Get A Signature Massage?

If you don't know which massage you should get, this one is a good place to start. It's relaxing yet still alleviates trouble spots. The perfect massage to get after a long day of work!

Pregnancy Massage

Pregnant women face a special subset of aches and discomforts, such as pain in the lower back. On top of that they can’t lay on their belly as is custom for most regular massages. Spa Sophia’s special prenatal massage relieves aches in weight bearing joints as well as edema and stress, so moms to be can continue their pregnancy glowing and relaxed.

Who Should Get A Pregnancy Massage?

All mommies to be!

Bliss Combo Massage

The bliss combo massage is a full body massage aimed to let you de-stress, relax and escape. It uses essential oils to restore your skin and send you to Zen land. This is the ultimate mental de-stressing therapy for achieving total mind body balance.

Who Should Get A Bliss Combo Massage?

This is another good choice is you're still unsure which massage you should get. It's for those who don't have or don't want to address specific trouble spots, but just fully relax their body and mind.

Deep Therapeutic Massage

Our deep therapeutic massage consists of two full hours of relieving pain, stress and tension throughout your entire body. Multiple techniques are used and customized to your needs to leave you feeling completely restored.

Who Should Get A Deep Therapeutic Massage?

If you want to know which massage you should get to sample a ton of different massage techniques, this is the one. The Deep Therapeutic Massage combines alleviating pain in trouble spots with techniques that serve to relax and de-stress. Getting this massage is like hitting the reset button for your body and mind.

ZENTS Journey Massage

This aromatherapeutic massage allows your senses to navigate your escape from reality. By selecting an oil of your choice at the start of your massage, you decide the experience. Through the inhalation and application of oils and hydrating shea butter, the massage restores, allowing your senses to be renewed and awakened during this journey to well-being. Great for the skin too!

Who Should Get A ZENTS Journey Massage?

The ZENTS Journey massage is great for the more adventurous client that wants to relax and escape reality in new ways.

Want to experience a Spa Sophia massages? You can book one online, call us at (310) 564 6676 or email us to make an appointment. If you'd like to enjoy our 25% off for two October special, please call or email instead of booking online.

7 Health Benefits of Massages


Did you know massages have been proven by science have a wide range of health benefits? Not that you needed any additional reasons, the benefits of a massage are quite clear when you’re on the massage table, completely Zen. But if you want to know what other benefits there are to massages, here are the seven health benefits of massages…

massages spa sophia los angeles venice beach abbot kinney1. Massages Relieve Pain

It’s not just imagined, a massage can lead to significant pain relief. A massage benefits sore muscles, stiffness, and sports injuries. They can also decrease chronic back pain and provide a better range of motion for people with osteoarthritis and other joint conditions.

2. Massages Reduce Anxiety & Depression

Massages have been proven to be able to reduce anxiety and depression. They stimulate the production of neurotransmitter serotonin, a substance in the brain that’s widely associated with feelings of happiness. Massages also reduce the production of cortisol, often called ‘the stress hormone’ and therefore massages can make you feel less anxious.

3. Massages Are Good for Your Blood & Cells

Massages encourage lymphatic drainage. This is the transportation of toxins out and away from cells so that there’s more place for nutrients. It also increases blood circulation. Both these things have great effects on your complexion and hair, which is why we always include a massage in our facials.

4. Massages Make You More Alert

Studies found that massages - even short ones that last about 15 to 30 minutes - increase alertness and problem solving abilities. So they’re a great way to start your day!

5. Massages Decrease Headaches & Migraines

Due to the beneficial effects of massages on stress, there are a lot of massage benefits for stress induced conditions, like tension headaches. But massage benefits aren’t limited to tension headaches. Massages can also lead to fewer migraine attacks and less painful migraine attacks.

6. Massages Boost The Immune System

Although the support for this finding isn’t very large yet, science does indicate that a massage benefits the immune system. Researchers have found more disease-fighting white blood cells in people who received regular massages. It’s not a surprising finding: Stress puts your immune system on hold, which can damage it in the long run, and massages decrease stress and thus this damage.

7. Massages Increase The Quality of Sleep

People who struggle with insomnia or other sleep problems should give regular massages a try. Massages can increase healthy sleeping patterns, something that’s thought to be due to the effect massages have on delta waves; brain waves associated with sleeping.

Want to enjoy these health benefits and get a heavenly massage? Call Spa Sophia at 310.564.6676 to set an appointment today, or book online.