I know that for many of my readers, December feels like this:
For some it’s the Holidays that throw them off balance. For others it’s travel and still others have a difficult time adapting to the colder weather and darker, shorter days.
We all know the usual tips to restore balance: eat well, exercise, get sunlight, get enough sleep… but if we COULD do those things, we wouldn’t have gotten off balance in the first place, right?
So today I want to introduce the concept of Extreme Self-Care and I want to share some lesser known techniques to help soothe the soul and restore equilibrium. First up:
The Hot Towel Scrub
Body scrubbing can be done before or after your bath or shower, or anytime during the day. All you need is a sink with hot water and a medium-sized cotton washcloth.
For the maximum effect, scrub your body twice a day: once in the morning and once again in the evening. Scrub from 2 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on how much time you have. The process of the hot towel scrub has a deeper physical, mental and emotional effect when done at the sink, as opposed to in the shower.
- turn on the hot water and fill the sink
- hold the towel at both ends and place in the hot water
- wring out the towel
- while the towel is still hot and steamy, begin to gently scrub the skin
- do one section of the body at a time: for example, begin with the hands and fingers and work your way up the arms to the shoulders, neck and face, then down to the chest, upper back, abdomen, lower back, tush, legs, feet and toes
- scrub until the skin becomes slightly pink or until each part becomes warm
- reheat the towel often by dipping it in the sink of hot water after scrubbing each section or as soon as the towel starts to cool
- reduces muscle tension
- reenergizes in the morning and deeply relaxes at night
- opens the pores to release stored toxins
- softens deposits of hard fat below the skin and prepares them for discharge
- allows excess fat, mucus, cellulite and toxins to actively discharge to the surface rather than to accumulate around deeper vital organs
- relieves stress through meditative action of rubbing the skin
- calms the mind
- promotes circulation
- activates the lymphatic system, especially when scrubbing (gently!) underarms and groin
- easy massage and deep self-care
- can be a sacred moment in your day, especially if done with candlelight and a drop or two of essential oil, such as lavender, rose, orange, or ylang ylang
- creates a profound and loving relationship with the body, especially parts not often shown care, especially for those of us with body image problems
- spreads energy through the chakras
This morning I did a hot towel scrub with a few drops of lavender and ylang ylang in the water. Then I dressed and drank a tall glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice. It left me feeling really energized and well-taken care of. What a great way to start the day!
I know it’s a busy time of year, but let’s make an effort to carve out a few minutes here and there to nurture ourselves and arrive at 2011 feeling great and not like 2010 ran you down like a semi!