NYC’s The Black Lodge Channels European Speakeasies at Weekly Burlesque Show

Recalling the gender-bending nightclubs of Paris and Berlin, and the origins of Victorian Burlesque in London, the cozy and chic decor of the speakeasy is the perfect setting for this naughty and sensual entertainment, as voyeurs can sink into the cushy banquettes with their friends or significant others, to gaze at the performers.

Every Thursday in the Speakeasy downstairs from BL Burger Bar a burlesque show is hosted by Dottie Dynamo, a New York City-based burlesque performer and producer, and feature a different cast of five performers. And you can sip delicious cocktails by Miguel Aranda while watching the show. There is no cover for the show but people who are interested in coming can reserve one of the booths by sending an email to the local hot spot. Otherwise, it is standing (at attention) room only.

When burlesque began it was an underground form of adult entertainment, usually taking place late at night in basement clubs and after-hours speakeasies. There has never been a better time to revamp the model, and go back to where burlesque was born, and no better speakeasy to do that at than The Black Lodge, the unassuming cocktail lounge and below-ground speakeasy at 20 Prince Street in the NoLIta neighborhood of Manhattan.

The classic burlesque shows will have a different cast of five performers every Thursday beginning at 10pm. Dottie Dynamo has been tearing up stages since 2011, and is the producer of shows such as Bare Necessitease, Shaken & Stirred and Risque. Dottie has graced stages all over the United States as well as internationally, winning titles such as the Judge’s Choice Award at the 2014 Arizona Burlesque Festival and Most Classic at the 2015 ABurlyQ! Festival.

Crafty Cocktails at The Black Lodge

While watching, one can lose their inhibitions, by sipping on the handcrafted cocktail creations of mixologist Miguel Aranda, who is one of New York’s most respected barkeeps.

Get your hands on these cocktails at The Black Lodge

Aranda, formerly of Botanic Lab, has created more than a dozen delicious specialty cocktails ($13).

  • Rosemary Gimlet with rosemary infused gin, lemon balm, agave
  • Prince Smash with Bourbon, citrus/thyme reduction, lime, sugar cane
  • Saffron Old Fashioned with Saffron Bourbon, orange bitters, Angostura Bitters, simple syrup, orange peel
  • London Gang with gin, fresh berries mix, lemon balm, fresh mint, sugar cane
  • Sicario with basil infused tequila, pineapple, agave, lime, basil salt and hibiscus tincture
  • Red Kiss with rum, strawberry, fresh ginger, agave, lime.
  • Frida Rush with tequila, herbs reduction, habanero tincture, cucumber water, lime, agave, and more.
  • Aranda also shakes up a Copper Pineapple For 2 ($25) choice of: rum/scotch/ vodka, pineapple juice, walnut liquor, Orgeat, lime, bitters.

For more information on The Black Lodge Speakeasy, visit its website here.


Chef Carlos of DC’s China Chilcano Shares Favorites in Peru: Bonds of Food, Family and Diversity

Recently, we chatted with Chef Carlos Delgado, Head Chef of José Andres’ Restaurant China Chilcano about some of his favorite things to see or do in Peru, and what spirit about the Peruvian people and way of life travelers could take back with them.

A native of the district of Callao, along the coast west of Peru’s capital city Lima, and its main seaport, Chef Carlos grew up familiar with the attractions of the city. “I grew in the Port of Lima, so Lima itself is a food city and there you’re going to learn about the food and culture,” he shared.

IMG_0164 by Renzo Vallejo, on Flickr IMG_0164” (CC BY 2.0) by Renzo Vallejo

“[Visitng Peru,] You’re able to find everything in one country, and it’s a surprise to many people—from the Amazon Rainforest, to a coast full of beaches, and you even have the Andes Mountain Range and imporant historical sites like Macchu Picchu,” he explained.

Lima by Avodrocc, on Flickr Lima” (CC BY 2.0) by Avodrocc

Within an hour or two in the plane you’re not just transported from city to city, but rather visitors can almost literally be transported back in time to a way of life and social customs preserved for centuries in Peru’s small towns and regions. Even the way people have traditionally cooked and dressed for centuries, shared Chef Carlos. “What shines the most about Peru is the culture. The culture behind where the people are from and why they do things a certain way.”

Machu Picchu Inca Ruins by Image Catalog, on Flickr Machu Picchu Inca Ruins” (Public Domain) by Image Catalog

Although in cosmopolitan or urban cities like Lima most people wear western-style clothing, for example, in more rural areas or villages people still often wear traditional clothing based on their regional background. Many customs are fused with influences from pre- and post-Spanish colonial and native Incan traditions.

When it comes to the way of life of Peruvian people, travelers will notice how leisurely and united the spirit of Peru is. We’re so used to being busy here [in America], but in Peru the culture is more slow-paced, he explained. I can agree, in the U.S. its common culture to be driven by our work schedules. We usually only slow down when we’re on vacation, or take the opportunity to spend true quality time with family when we have the time to travel. Chef Carlos notes that in Peru this type of quality time is very much a part of everyday life. In fact, it’s these cultural values that Peruvian families share together that influence their children. Traveling to Peru, you’ll often see families working and just spending the day together.

Ladnscape_peru by michele_saad, on Flickr
Ladnscape_peru” (Public Domain) by michele_saad

“The kids are still doing things their parents did, and that their parents did. You go anywhere in Peru, or Lima for example, and you’ll see the mom and dad, sons and daughters out doing things as a family. Those kids are going to be able to have that under their belt or in their heads as expertise. Like me, I had no clue I’d come to America at the age of twelve, but knowing I was in love with cooking and that I wanted to do that in Peru, here when I was 15 I knew I wanted to be a chef.”

Feature Photo Credit: “Lima” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by antonde

What if, Like Bourdain, We Saw our City as a ‘Cultural Wellspring’

Surely I’m not the only one that loves to live vicariously through Anthony Bourdain’s worldwide travels and culinary adventures, especially through his recent stories on the CNN Show, “Parts Unknown,” which airs Sunday’s at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

This last episode really excited me though because he traveled to his native state of New Jersey for a taste of its hometown cultural experiences. The story included a stop for Italian-American fare at the landmark Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City, which has been serving spaghetti and pizza for over 70 years.

“I’m here to feed my soul, the cultural wellspring that is New Jersey,” Bourdain said in his newest episode, and this is what really got me excited—references to local cultural experiences that can ignite curiosity, appreciation, value and hopefully love for what’s in our own backyard. And most importantly, for the unique people behind them so eager to share their heritage from abroad.

In one of his recent Tumblr posts, Bourdain references ‘Jersey Italian’ as being eternal to New Jersey culture. I had to Tweet back to the show about it when they featured the post—I’m not sure if it was seen, but that short reference to Italian heritage as part of the fabric of NJ culture spoke volumes to me.

@HelenCho @Bourdain @PartsUnknownCNN Amen at Jersey #Italian ‘eternal’; #cultural authenticity in our own backyard.

— MezzeCulture (@MezzeCulture) May 31, 2015

His brother Chris Bourdain said in this recent article in the New York Post “I remember we were trying Japanese food and Indian food long before anybody had ever thought of such things,” he recalled. “It’s just what our parents were. They appreciated those kinds of things.”

How cool is that? That before Tony traveled the world so that travelers could feel like locals, he grew up exploring the world locally in his own city. Can’t wait to learn more when Bourdain comes to Austin in July. I’ve already got my ticket to see his show on July 9th. Check out his 2015 Tour Anthony Bourdain: Close to the Bone.

Personally, I’m hoping to learn more about how I can encourage more Americans to become cultural enthusiasts—to encourage them to get to know the world through the genuine international people and places around them.

In a CNN article supporting the episode, “Don’t trash Jersey until you’ve traveled it,” Cindy Y. Rodriguez, Special to CNN, wrote of six places to check out in New Jersey for a taste of local culture—among them, where Jersey City for a diverse food tour, and West New York for what she dubs “some of the best Hispanic food in the tri-state area.”

This episode was raw and real, which I love about every episode. Thank you, Mr. Bourdain. A first-generation American myself, I truly believe that inspiring people to view their own backyard as a ‘cultural wellspring,’ could do wonders for enabling people to bridge cultural divides, span cultural distances, and even overcome common travel barriers (half of Americans don’t have passports).

That’s what the idea behind MezzeCulture was in 2015 and now what Mezze Weekly represents as a travel magazine—inspiring new cultural and international experiences to love locally, and beyond the pages of lovely guide books and the media, but by stepping outside your front door. By exploring authentic local destinations for international culture expressed through food, drink, music and more.

One day, I hope to add New Jersey and other US cities to the list, as well as their wonderfully authentic destinations, and the stories of the people behind them. But, for now we’re working on building that community of cultural enthusiasts and destinations in 6 other cities—what are your favorite local cultural activities near you?

(image is courtesy of digidreamgrafix at

The Thread That Connects Us

Guest Post By Jessica Lipowski

Around the world, people are fundamentally the same. No matter where you are, in which country you are visiting or living, you will find numerous similarities. Of course, we all know there are differences, but at the core we are alike. Please allow me to explain.

When I lived in Utrecht, a city situated in the center of the Netherlands, and commuted to Amsterdam on a regular basis, I noticed several universal traits. As I walked along the cobblestone streets to the train station, people were swiftly walking or biking by, in a hurry to get to work. At the station, the atmosphere was even more alive like a beehive. I bumped into many of the same passengers each morning, sometimes waving and nodding a brief hello as recognition.

In the train, some munched on their homemade peanut butter or cheese sandwiches (not the two ingredients together mind you), while others purchased a croissant or piece of fruit beforehand at the station in the few minutes they had until the train departed. Sometimes I’d catch someone doze off en route, but most were busy checking their email, reading or preparing for the busy day ahead. What’s more, I noticed coffee was, and is, a staple. It seems to be a universal truth across cultures that people love and need their caffeine.

As I biked in Amsterdam, weaving through rush hour traffic, I saw the mothers and fathers dropping their kids off at school, tiny, little fingers interlaced with the parent’s. This sight melted my heart. To this day when I see a moment like that, it takes me back to my childhood, when I would go to school and my Mom or Dad would drop me off, kiss me goodbye and wish me a great day. It’s very much the same here in the Netherlands.

Over the last four years, I’ve seen young couples kissing on a bench along the historic canals. I’ve seen elderly couples holding hands, taking a mid-day stroll or just waiting for the tram. I’ve seen young children climbing on a play structure, shrieking in pleasure. I’ve seen families gathered around the dinner table, sharing a meal together and engaging in conversation. These sights, familiar and comforting, are ones you can find everywhere, not just in Amsterdam.

People are people. Amsterdam is home to 178 nationalities, and while we may have been raised in different environments, in general we share the same emotions, stresses and joys. We want to do well. We simply want to live, laugh and love. It is part of being human, no matter from which culture we come. In a way, we are all tied together by the same thread.


This post originally appeared on Jessica Lipowski’s website. Read the post here, titled “What We All Share,” and follow her on Twitter @JLipowski. She is also a host of two weekly twitter chats: a cultural travel chat using the hashtag #CultureTrav and another on the road less travelled (#TRLT) .

Author Jessica Lipowski Shares How to Bike Like The Dutch

Guest Post By Blogger and Author Jessica Lipowski

The city of Amsterdam is synonymous with biking. According to iamsterdam, the Amsterdam Tourist Board, the city is home to an estimated 881,000 bicycles and only 811,185 inhabitants, more bikes than residents. On average, 58 percent of the population cycles daily. Biking is more than a method of transportation; it is a way of life.

Completely different from any other city I’ve experienced, biking in Amsterdam is like a fast-paced game. Peddling along in the designated bike lanes, others fly by, accustomed to the speed. Parked bikes are peppered across the city, sometimes clustered together in huge structures like that at Centraal Station or sitting outside on the street, locked, in residential neighborhoods.

At first, the Dutch intimidated me as they made their way from Point A to Point B while chatting on their cell phone, holding hands with a lover or even riding with an extra passenger sidesaddle on the back. Out of shape, I couldn’t even comprehend biking 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to commute to work or meet up with friends. My first biking experience in Amsterdam was a disaster, almost colliding with a tram and losing a shoe, twice. Now, after living in the Netherlands for more than four years, I can keep up with the best of them. On average, I bike 8 kilometers (5 miles) one way to go somewhere and weave my way through the city, knowing the fastest route.

Tips for Biking in Amsterdam

  • Stay in designated bike lanes, often marked with a biker painted in the path or with white dotted lines on either side.
  • Observe traffic rules (even if you are tempted to follow someone ignoring signs). One in particular is worth mentioning. There are little triangle shapes on the road, indicating who has the right of way. If the triangles are upside down and facing you, you must yield.
  • While most Dutch do not wear a helmet, it is better to be safe than sorry, especially if you are feeling unsure.
  • Respect other cyclists. It is fine to bike side-by-side, but if it is particularly busy do not block the entire bike path. Be courteous to your fellow cyclists.

Growing up in metro Detroit, I learned to ride my bike as a young girl around the age of six, but biking for me was a fun activity in the spring and summer months. For the Dutch, however, biking is ingrained at a young age. It’s viewed as an efficient mode of transportation, not necessarily promoted for being green or as exercise. Of course, those two aspects are added benefits, most certainly helping the Dutch maintain their slim figures, but the bicycle is a great way to drop off and pick up children from school, do grocery shopping, meet up with friends or get to and from work. Families even cycle in groups, whether heading into the city or for a picnic in the park.

Tips to Incorporate Biking Into Life Back Home

  • Hop on your bike to meet-up with friends, especially if you’re meeting for a drink. If your city does not have designated bike lanes, research cyclist rules and follow those practices. You can also bike on the sidewalk, but respect pedestrians, as well.
  • Explore the local area by bike. Biking gives you the opportunity to look around and take in your surroundings.
  • Instead of taking the car to go grocery shopping, hop on your bike. Invest in saddle bags and a backpack. You will naturally bring less groceries home, but this enables you to shop for a day or two at a time and use the freshest ingredients for your upcoming meal.
  • Research groups in the area that you can join. Who knows; perhaps your new best friend – also a cyclist – is just out there waiting to be found.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • In the end, it’s simple; enjoy!



Follow Jessica Lipowski on Twitter @JLipowski. She is also a host of two weekly twitter chats: a cultural travel chat using the hashtag #CultureTrav and another on the road less travelled (#TRLT).

6 Ways to Use What’s in Your Backyard to Beat Travel Barriers

It’s vacation season in the United States, but even so Americans are often led in our culture to believe that traveling is greatest when it’s a college rite of passage, or better yet, scheduled when we’re not busy at work—or best yet, a luxury to be enjoyed in old age.

Why? Because we’re taught that at any other point in our life, exploring so greatly is simply inefficient. We’ve been led to believe we don’t have enough money, time or courage to be curious about other people, or that travel is a hassle best for when it least disrupts us.

These are self-imposed cultural barriers. Now, here’s hoping the half of Americans with passports don’t mind elbowing their way through another 150 million peers who haven’t traveled abroad, but let me share 6 reasons why it’s important. Whichever half you fall into, when was the last time you took the euphoric plunge into something new?

If you haven’t ever or even recently stepped off a plane—or into your backyard—and into a different culture or country, then these 6 tips are for you.

Me, scared sh*tless until she saw the view with Europe’s tallest mountain behind her.

1. Change routines to put more time on your side.

Our American work culture makes it hard to take long vacations, and it’s easy to feel guilty or even too busy to be far away or out of touch for long periods. So, try changing the way you treat the time you have outside of work. Find unique ways to break away from the typical afternoon or weekend by getting to know the world through authentic cultural experiences locally.

Dream of the Caribbean? Start salsa lessons. Find out what you want to learn more about, and you’ll covet your free time. It’s up to you to live beyond the nine-to-five. Time can’t be saved, but it can be invested.

2. Examine activities that improve the value of a dollar.

If you’re constantly letting costs and logistics prevent you from experiencing new things, then you don’t know one simple truth. Logistics are a part of everything we buy, and by getting hung up on every little decision, you’d never buy anything. Look at the money you do have, and then a closer look at your philosophy for living life. Ask yourself if you’re fulfilled in your current lifestyle investments. Reevaluate what investments are truly worth your resources.

For $20 you can go to Cuba—try a Cuban restaurant nearby, ask the owners about their culture, and try some new flavors. These types of new activities can inspire you to travel with the money you do have.

Check out upcoming exclusive events for exploring cultures in Austin. More »

3. That’s it, take a couple more steps out of your comfort zone.

If unknown flavors and cultures pique your curiosity, but you aren’t courageous enough to be adventurous, take a deep breath in and ask yourself why. Then tell yourself that every person and place you know today was once a step outside of your comfort zone. What you enjoy eating and doing today was something you once tried for the first time. Friends and acquaintances, at one point were strangers to you.

To get to know the world, take a couple steps and start locally. If you saw a show on Mexico, then find the nearest Mexican restaurant. Explore your city for people and things from around the world that you’ve heard about; you just don’t know you’ll love yet. Do that enough, and you’ll realize just how small this world really is, and that your backyard holds a lot of it.

4. Use your passions to overcome your circumstances.

Our circumstances set easy stumbling blocks in the way of travel if we don’t examine them closely. What notions of the future may not be leaving any room for you to explore today? What you chose to do today may be leaving more exciting doors unopened. If you love coffee then stop settling for the chain, and find an authentic Italian café or coffee class nearby tomorrow. If you’re seeking triumph up the corporate ladder, take another minute break and keep reading.

As Americans, we need to stop graduating, working and retiring to travel. Don’t become complacent because of daily—or worse, cultural expectations. Don’t settle for chain coffee. Open a new door, and you’ll add cool memories and quality to your life starting today.

5. Look for people eager to share something with you.

Don’t just try a new international restaurant, salsa class or espresso bar. Step outside and now ask yourself what else you can’t do. As Americans, we are fortunate to live in a beautiful, vast and very diverse country. It could take a lifetime just to see all of the regional and geographic diversity of the United States alone. Make that a goal, but you don’t have to go far to experience our cultural kaleidoscope.

Nearly a quarter, over 80 million of us recently immigrated here. Open the eyes of your soul and you’ll start to see the wealth of experiences, destinations and people eager to share their talents, heritage and firsthand international experiences from abroad right in your own neighborhood.

When you travel to celebrate something, that feeds your senses. When you go somewhere for no reason, that feeds the heart. Cross the boundaries of your own city for something new and fun, and you’ll find that people smile in the same language.

6. You don’t know what you don’t know, so find it.

If you’ve got a global outlook on travel, you’re almost ready to go. Look around you first. People around you might minimize the importance of world travel because, well, they don’t know what they don’t know. To them, other people might seem scary, strange and unapproachable—because of what they have only perceived. By traveling you can help to dispel myths and break down these barriers.

Once you truly see the cultures and traditions, languages and faces around you, they are no longer left to your imagination. Maybe that’s why it’s been said that travel is the ultimate form of diplomacy. Get out there locally and find something new in your own backyard.

True triumph over travel barriers comes when we learn to value the experience—not after we return but before we step on the plane. By relishing in travel’s enriching authenticity beforehand, traveling is simpler. Americans can change our outlook on international travel simply by changing how we interact with the people, places and things that are all around us.

Go explore something new today.

This is Why America is not a ‘Melting Pot’

It’s been proven that beauty is refined in diversity. Because when we take a canvas and mix, or melt, all the colors together into a single composition, it blocks individual characteristics and essentially creates a void of color.

So, to me, America is not a melting pot. It’s a kaleidoscope of color.

By allowing each individual color’s unique properties to shine on its own part of the canvas, it brings out a composition that is pure, and ‘cultured’ because it’s free of our own coarse perceptions of what is beautiful. That’s also how I see diversity and the cultural contributions of immigrants in the U.S., and why I became inspired to join and partner with the campaign celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month in June.

In America, especially in recent years, we’ve gratefully had opportunities to chase our dreams, to travel, and to see and get to know the world through the places we go and people we meet along the way. Along the way, we discover affinities and commonalities, not by mixing them up, but rather by viewing them in light of their natural beauty, and then adopting them with an open heart.

But only if you let your guard down.

It takes courage, knowledge, empathy and love to do that. I think for most people who have ever gone to a local cultural event or traveled abroad, and gone out of their comfort zone, they get it.

I founded the cultural event company MezzeCulture in 2015 and the online magazine Mezze Weekly this year to help more people do that. To encourage the nearly half of Americans who’ve never traveled abroad to do it, and those who have to do more of it. Both communities are about exploring cultures through stories and activities in your backyard. Local businesses become beacons of world discovery, for getting to know the world in our own backyards.


Nearly 1 in 5 small businesses, and almost 40% of restaurants are owned by recent immigrants, those who are foreign born, first or second generation immigrants. Why? Because they’ve gone out of their comfort zone too and reaped the rewards. They have a cultural story, and are eager to share it with anyone who is willing to listen and in the cases of services businesses like restaurants and musicians, to experience it socially.

It is when we can see, empathize with and appreciate the characteristics of the individual, that the ever changing beautiful canvas of a kaleidoscope comes  into view. America’s rich multicultural heritage makes it the most diverse country in the world. It is home to 189 million citizens spanning 15 ancestries, and over 80 million foreign-born, first- and second-generation Americans.

Yet only half of our country has ever traveled abroad.

I’m grateful to have traveled internationally, letting my guard down, learning to bridge different cultures—both as an American and as the daughter of immigrant parents. My experiences have brought an inherent understanding of the unique challenges of being an American of recent immigrants, but also of the multidimensional refinement of our perception of beauty when one culture is allowed to be positioned next to another.

For the half of Americans who have passports and have experienced the diversity in the world, millions are shedding light on the beauty of our local immigrant communities. It is only when international experiences—whether abroad or locally—reach the heart that empathy can develop to illuminate the beauty of diversity in our own backyards.


“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was born in America in 1983, as a first generation American to immigrant parents of Middle Eastern heritage, and today feel fortunate to live in a country that has the greatest potential to be tolerant of differences, where we can get to know people of different backgrounds because of America’s heritage.

I’m also proud to be a partner because I believe that by elevating the worldwide influences that make America unique, we can break down barriers, span distances and bridge cultural divides by uplifting the history, authenticity and charm of our country’s rich multicultural heritage.

It’s a privilege to share my story to support the like-minded mission of co-founder Tolu Olubunmi, and her team, who are showcasing the inspirational stories of American immigrants, who will one day ha e the same opportunities as citizens who came before them. residents who  MezzeCulture is my way of helping to elevate immigrant businesses in local communities by turning international travel experiences inside out and illuminate them locally.

In an age of globalization, it’s often easy to forget the origin and value of the unique people and places around us, but through MezzeCulture and Mezze Weekly’s communities, local businesses and partners we can unite across diversity by celebrating cultural heritage through every destination, experience and story contributed to both platforms to intersect the cultural affinities we have in common.


At both MezzeCulture and Mezze Weekly, this collective effort can expand not only cultural tourism in every city the platform reaches, but also creative and enrichment tourism activities anywhere. The MezzeCulture platform is starting with Austin, Houston, Miami, Washington DC, New York City, and San Francisco.

For more than half of Americans who have never traveled abroad and even for veteran travelers who relish in authentic cultural experiences, barriers often get in the way of international travel. My hope is that both MezzeCulture and Mezze Weekly encourage people to get to know the world through the cultures, traditions and origins of the immigrants around them in addition to the inspiration they’re used to through guide books, online media and television.


By trying international culture expressed through food, drink, music, shopping, and more locally, people can be inspired to integrate, embrace and overcome barriers like cultural knowledge, and time, hassle or cost of travel, while sampling international activities in their own city to illuminate a kaleidoscope of color, so to say.

Sources: Ancestry statistics according to the 2000 U.S. Census; Immigration statistics according to a 2015 article.

Explore Healing through the Southeast-Asian Art of Massage

For centuries, the art of massage has been practiced all over the world, but when it comes to healing through relaxation, circulation and stress-reducing techniques, Thai massage and reflexology have both found popularity in the US for both its healing properties and local availability of genuine practitioners.

Those who have experienced the traditional combination of a Thai-style massage—the yoga-style stretching, and it’s work on pressure points and energy meridians—know that it’s one that helps to invigorate, relax and balance the body for better mood and sleep quality. It’s become very popular in the US because of its ability to relieve stress, aches, pain, and tension, as well as promote healing.

Reflexology has been found to be practiced in the cultural history of China as well as the African country of Egypt. It’s an alternative ‘medicine’ that is practiced by applying pressure to the hands and the feet with specific techniques using the thumb, fingers and hands (without the need for lotion or oils).

It’s considered a healing art by many, and is based on the belief that zones on the body correspond with reflexes and zones in the ears, hands, and the feet. As mentioned, the art has been sought by many for its use in relieving tension and stress, as well as for helping with circulation and natural body functions in the trigger areas.