Recreating The Effects Of A Health Spa At Home
What Stress Does To You
Modern lifestyles can play havoc with our health and good looks. Few things undermine our sense of well being more than too much stress. Feeling rushed and frazzled most of the time slowly depletes our energy reserves so we are tired even before the day has begun. Relying on cups of coffee for an energy boost, glasses of wine to unwind and over processed foods for convenience creates more problems than it solves as the body struggles to deal with these social props.
The effects of an unhealthy diet are familiar. Vitality dwindles, skin loses its natural radiance and cellulite settles on the hips and thighs. It’s tempting to think that a two week holiday in the Caribbean holds the only hope of recharging the batteries and making skin glow again. But take heart. Following a three day program devoted to relaxing and cosseting yourself in your own home can make a world of difference.
Going Back To Nature
The home spa regime is based on the naturopathic premise that, given the right environment, the body will revive or heal itself. Naturopathy aims to create conditions that are conducive to restoring energy levels. A wholesome diet which places the emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables is a fundamental part of the program.
The idea is to give the liver, kidneys and intestines,which get rid of toxins, a much needed rest so that they can do their job properly. The good news is that you can eat as much as you like, within reason of course.
Gone are the days of punishing, puritanical regimes. Nowadays the emphasis is on nourishing your mind, body and soul. Feeling pampered is an essential part of the cure. The natural treatments are all designed to help the cleansing process. Water is extremely therapeutic and hydrotherapy play an essential role at the best European spas. Generally, it is important to drink up to 2 liters of pure mineral water a day as it cleanses the body from within. Most people are marginally dehydrated because they do not drink nearly enough water.
Pure essential oils such as lemon, grapefruit and juniper (avoid juniper, black pepper, peppermint and rosemary if pregnant) enhance the hydrotherapy and massage treatments by combating fluid retention. Naturopaths often prescribe herbal teas to take the place of coffee and tea. Papaya and peppermint soothe and cleanse the digestive system while strawberry is rich in natural antioxidants.
Relaxation is just as important as a part of this spa weekend as the therapeutic activities. Specialists realize that tension can prevent the digestive organs from functioning as well as they should. This spa weekend is a good opportunity to take time to indulge in total relaxation. Discover the art of switching off at will – it’s the key to restoring your energy reserves whenever they are running low.
What Are Toxins?
Toxin is the umbrella term used by some alternative therapists to describe the waste products formed as our bodies create energy, digest food, transport blood and we use our muscles. These by-products are processed and eliminated by organs such as the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs and skin. However, there are times when the body seems overwhelmed by its task. Drinking coffee, tea, alcohol, fizzy drinks, smoking cigarettes, taking medical drugs and eating foods laden with chemicals and pesticide sprays stresses the body and are often associated with the further burden of a lack of nutrients from a good, nourishing diet. This lack of nutrients rapidly contributes further to feelings of anxiety and stress.
From time to time it helps to give our body a rest. The liver, in particular, bears the brunt of overindulgence, especially of having too much wine and fatty food. Emotional upsets such as anger, worry and nervousness also place a strain on this detoxifying organ as it has to break down the surplus stress hormones. A hung over feeling is a sign that the liver needs a break.
Simple steps such as drinking freshly squeezed grapefruit or lemon juice, adding dandelion leaves to salads and drinking nettle tea stimulate the production of bile in the liver and help give it a new lease of life.
Getting To Grips With Cellulite
Most women know exactly what cellulite looks and feels like. The French call it peau-d’orange because the skin looks bumpy and puckered, rather like orange peel. Cellulite is usually found on the hips, thighs and bottom, although sometimes it settles on the upper arms too. It’s simply an accumulation of subcutaneous fat given a dimpled appearance by the strands of fibrous connective tissue that anchor the skin to the deeper tissue below – so creating bulging pockets of fat.
Female hormones can encourage fluid to be held in the tissues and this makes the skin appear puffy. Some alternative therapists believe that toxins can be stashed away in areas of cellulite. Minimizing cellulite isn’t easy and requires a multi-pronged program. Be pleased if you lessen the cellulite, rather than eliminate it completely. Stimulating your circulation, especially locally, is your best ally. Toxins and excess tissue fluid are removed from tissues by the blood and by a clear fluid known as lymph which bathes the tissues. Massage with specific essential oils and body brushing both help improve circulation and the drainage of the lymphatic system.
As well as ensuring you get enough general exercise, exercises targeting the muscles of the bottom and upper thighs also help to speed up the flow of both blood and lymph, as can spraying them alternately with hot and cold water. Regular salt and seaweed baths offer one of the best ways of clearing away the toxins that contribute to cellulite.
However, most experts agree that a good diet is just as vital for minimizing cellulite as any external rubbing and pummeling. Foods to avoid are: starchy foods rich in refined carbohydrates such as white bread, biscuits, pastries and desserts. Too much salt promotes water retention in some people so out go smoked salmon, salted nuts, bacon, sausages and other preserved meats. On the positive side, onion (raw or cooked) improves lymphatic drainage, and juniper berries, lemon and fennel help to flush excess fluids from the body.