Home Spa Treatments
Stretch And Breathe
Stretching is one of the best ways of relieving tension in your muscles which interferes with the flow of blood and lymph and can play a key role in the build-up of cellulite. Breathing draws oxygen deep into the lungs so it can nourish every cell in the body. Start your own routine with these two stretches:
- Stand straight, with your arms raised above your head. Breathe in and stand on tiptoes reaching towards the sky. Hold for 10 seconds, breathe out and release. Repeat.
- Stand with your hands clasped behind your back. Breathe in and bend forward, stretching your hands up to the sky. Relax your head down and hold for 10 seconds, then breathe out and come up slowly into a standing position. Repeat twice more.
Using a dry natural bristle brush to buff the body smoothes and softens the skin by sloughing away dead, flaky cells. At a deeper level it stimulates the blood circulation, giving skin a healthy pink glow. Firm, sweeping strokes boost the flow of lymph, carrying excess fluid away from the tissues.
Each day, before a morning shower, brush your whole body (not your face) for 5 minutes. Begin by brushing up the arms from the wrists towards the shoulders and armpits. Lightly brush down the neck, across the shoulders and down the chest. Lightly circle the stomach clockwise with smaller movements, and brush down your back as far as you can reach. Finally brush up the legs from the feet to the thighs and hips and up over the bottom.
Your skin may feel ultra sensitive at first, but after several days you should be able to apply reasonable pressure to reach the deeper tissues.
Hot And Cold Showering
This classic hydrotherapy treatment – known as affusion – involves running a gentle stream of water over the body. At home an ordinary hand-held shower head four inches from the body will do the trick. It works wonders for boosting blood circulation.
Begin with a warm shower, or spray yourself with warm water. Switch to cold water only and using small, circling movements, spray different areas of the body, concentrating especially on the hips, bottom and upper thighs. Keep on the cold for about 20 seconds before changing back to warm water for a further 1 to 2 minutes, then changing back to cold again. Dry your skin and wrap yourself in a towel. Lie down on your bed for at least 10 minutes. Your skin will feel tingly and fresh.
A wonderful way to clarify and refine delicate facial skin. Put 2 liters of water in a saucepan, sprinkle in 1 tbsp of fresh lavender flowers or rose petals and bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool for a while. Put a towel over your head and bend over the steam. This will open the pores on the face and coax out impurities. After 5 minutes pat away any moisture droplets and apply your face mask evenly. Place two cotton wool pads soaked in orange flower water over your eyes, and relax for 20 minutes. Use a piece of muslin pre-soaked in warm water to wipe away the mask. Apply rosewater (dry skin), orange flower water (normal/sensitive skin) or witch hazel (oily skin) as a toner, followed by a moisturizer.
Deep relaxation is a wonderful feeling of being at peace with yourself and the world. Techniques such as meditation need to be practiced for a while to reap the benefits, but visualization is great for first timers because it’s just like daydreaming. Shut your eyes and picture a special place which symbolizes stillness and security – either somewhere you know or an imaginary place such as an empty white beach with palm trees and a blue sea.
Now try to sense the sun on your skin, a breeze in your hair, and the sound of lapping waves. This allows you to ‘be’ in this dream world, free to beach comb or float on a raft or do whatever. But make sure you’re alone. If you find daydreaming difficult, use a creative visualization tape or CDs.
Hair And Scalp Treatment
A scalp massage is a relaxing treatment which stimulates the blood supply to the hair follicles. Pour a little stimulating scalp oil into your palm and massage into your scalp with circular movements before washing your hair. Focus your efforts on the top and back, where most tension is held. Massage for 5 minutes, then wrap your head in a warm, damp towel so as to deep condition the hair itself. Leave for 20 to 30 minutes, shampoo and rinse. To add gloss to the hair, comb through 30 to 60 ml aloe vera gel. Leave for 10 minutes, then rinse out.