21 March 2011
Body brushing stimulates the lymphatic system (the tiny network of vessels which clear waste from the cells), and also the circulation. It only takes five minutes to do, and is very effective in removing dry skin, especially on the legs. You can use a natural bristle brush or a dry wash cloth, or a dry loofah: simply apply it to the skin on your feet and make small, circular strokes, moving up your legs, always working upwards in the direction of the heart area. Once you've reached this part of the body, move to the top of the neck and brush downwards to the heart. Body brushing is most effective when followed by a warm bath or shower.
This treatment will make your skin tingle as it stimulates your blood circulation. You will need a pack of coarse-grain sea-salt, a wash cloth or bath brush, and a shower. Have your warm shower as usual, then turn off the water. Throw some sea salt on to your legs and rub briskly with the cloth or brush, and gradually work up your body, throwing on more salt (always work towards the heart). Then rinse off salt with lukewarm water. Salt rubs are not suitable for those with eczema or psoriasis.
Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt baths are easy to enjoy at home and very relaxing, but do not use if you suffer from high blood-pressure, eczema or psoriasis. In addition, they should not be used in combination with a salt rub (see above), or your skin will become very dry. Epsom salts contain magnesium sulphate and help to draw impurities from the skin. Add 1/2 lb-1 lb (225-450g) of salts to a hot bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. When you get out of the bath, keep warm by wrapping up in thick clothes or going to bed. For several hours afterwards, your body will continue to perspire and eliminate toxins from the skin. Epsom Salts are available from chemists and some health food stores; if you can't get hold of them you could use ordinary bath salts instead.
The dry heat of a sauna encourages the body to sweat and eliminate impurities through the skin. Some people can stay in a sauna for 20 minutes at a stretch, others heat up much more quickly. As soon as you start to feel uncomfortable or your heart begins to pound, leave the sauna room, shower off and cool down. After five to ten minutes you'll probably feel ready to go back in again, but an hour to an hour and a half altogether is usually enough time in a sauna.
Hot, humid and jungle-steamy, a Turkish bath is an experience not to be missed. A series of communal areas range in temperatures and humidity, all designed to produce sweat by the bucketful and help flush out impurities. In between relaxing in each area, you are supposed to shower off under a cold jet of water, or jump into an icy-cold plunge pool. This closes pores and improves blood circulation.
Masseurs are usually available to scrub and massage your body if you wish.
This form of massage combines the technique of body massage with the use of essential plant oils. Massage is most satisfying when someone else is doing it for you, but you can do self-massage too. All you need is a bottle of almond oil and an essential oil of your choice. Pour out an eggcup ful of almond oil and add a couple of drops of essential oil (eg lavender, ylang ylang or rosemary). Using smooth strokes, massage it into your skin.
For a tranquil start to your day, try a little meditation. If possible sit cross-legged on the floor, shut your eyes and breathe in deeply and slowly. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then let it out slowly. Repeat the sequence twice. Now picture a calm and beautiful scene and concentrate on it, feeling the measure and energy it generates. Continue for five to ten minutes, then gently rouse youreelf.
Lie on the floor face up and gradually tense up all your muscles and hold for ten seconds, then release, and repeat twice. Remain lying down, but place a book under your head. Draw your feet up towards your body, so that they are just below your knees. Feel your hips and spine sinking into the floor and gently stretching and realigning. Vapours from an oil burner, coupled with the sound of relaxing music, can enhance the atmosphere.
Give your face a cleansing boost with a facial steam. All you need is a heavy-based bowl, some just-boiled water, a towel and a bottle of essential oil such as lavender, ylang ylang or geranium. Fill the bowl half-full with the water and add two drops of essential oil. Then place your head over the bowl and cover it with a towel. Steam for five to ten minutes. This will open pores and make it easier to extract blackheads and dirt from your skin. If you have time afterwards, smooth on a face mask and cover your eyes with two slices of cucumber (very soothing to tired eyes). Then wash off the mask, cleanse, tone and moisturize.
Make your hands look fit for a queen by giving them a home manicure treat. Trim and file ragged nails, then soak your hands in a bowl of warm soapy water, for a couple of minutes. Pat them dry with a towel and push back cuticles with an orange stick. Massage in a rich cuticle cream and leave for a few minutes, wipe off excess cream, then for a spot of real glamour you can paint your nails a glossy colour (use a neutral base coat first to avoid staining the nails).
Your hair and scalp deserve a bit of special treatment just as much as any other part of your body. First of all, why not give yourself a relaxing massage, to get rid of those tight bands of tension. Starting at the bottom of your neck, place your fingertips against your skin and move upwards on to the head. Make kneading patterns over your neck and head - be firm, it works better. If your scalp is dry use a little almond oil to help moisturize it. Now wash and condition your hair. If you have time, use a deep action conditioner and wrap your hair up in a towel while it goes into action. Then rinse hair and blow dry.
Choose from these suggested Extra Ways to Pamper Yourself
|Suggested Treatment||The One Day Juice Plan||The One Week Juice Plan|
|Body brushing||once||every day|
|Salt Rub/Epsom salt bath (shouldn't be done on separate days; not suitable for eczema or psoriasis sufferers
|Body Scrunching||once||every day|
|Gentle Exercise||once||every day|