Exfoliation the process of using a gentle abrasive agent on the skin - is the simplest way to cleaner, softer, smoother body. It is also the perfect way to prepare your body for most other spa treatments and relaxation therapies. Exfoliation works by removing the dead cells on the surface of the skin. This unblocks the pores, which are then able to absorb creams and oils much more efficiently.
Exfoliation is particularly good for cellulite, by boosting the circulation and for removing the hard skin that builds up on the feet, knees and elbows. Sea salt's coarse texture makes it ideal for exfoliation and for stimulating the circulation. Sea salt contains about 97 percent sodium chloride, plus important trace elements, such as calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium that can be absorbed through the skin and act as catalysts for many vital biochemical reactions.
Hand and Feet Care
People who suffer from chapped hands should wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when you wash dishes or do other household chores and always apply hand cream. If your nails are constantly peeling and chipping, or they have white spots, you need to include more calcium in your diet. If your nails are dry and splitting, a hot oil treatment can be very beneficial. Warm half cup almond oil in a small pot. Pour into a bowl and soak the fingertips of each hand for about 15 minutes. Rub remaining oil into cuticles, hands, and on the soles of the feet for a smooth, satiny feeling.
If the soles of your feet are hard, soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften the hardened skin before rubbing them with a pumice stone. Use smooth, continuous strokes.
The two most obvious benefits of massage are increased circulation and flexibility. From a physiological point of view, massage increases the lubrication between muscle fibers and allows the muscle to move optimally. Muscle fibers are designed to work independently of each other. Aging is largely a process of dehydration. When muscles dehydrate, the fibers stick together and the muscle becomes stiff or ridged.
As fluid is reintroduced, the muscle softens and regains its flexibility. As circulation increases between the muscle fibers, nutrients reach the cells and toxins are carried off more efficiently. Degenerative diseases like cancer and muscular sclerosis are anaerobic and can not live in an oxygenated environment. Because blood carries oxygen to the cells, circulation is necessary for optimal health. Massage increases circulation, hence, increases oxygen to the cells.
Massage gives one a feeling of comfort and relaxation. A clinical study at the University of Miami School of Medicine, shows that massage increases mental alertness and accuracy in mathematical calculations. Massage also increases beta waves in this study which shows that one is more relaxed after a series of massages. This relaxed state lasts longer as the cumulative benefits of more massage at regular intervals are experienced.
The stressful period in our lives often results in sheer adrenal exhaustion, lowered immunity, digestive disorders and discomfort.
The stress response, via the stimulation of adrenal hormones, affects the metabolic rate and water balance. Adrenalin stimulates the heart, increasing blood pressure and heart rate; it constricts blood pressure and increasing the blood flow to the muscles and the brain and decreasing it to the digestive tract. Adrenalin also raises blood-sugar levels and stimulates the liver to release more glucose ad cholesterol into the blood.
Increasing the intake of B group vitamins, together with vitamin C and magnesium, is crucial during periods of stress as these nutrients are all swiftly used up. Herbs such as lavender and chamomile have a wonderfully relaxing action on the nervous system and can help sooth frayed nerves.
Other important stress management techniques include meditation, or similar relaxation practices, and exercise. Many studies support the mood-enhancing effect of exercise on the mind, and intense aerobic work-outs are now used to treat depression and anxiety. In periods of stress, we need to avoid all stimulants including caffeine, sugar and cigarettes.
Breathing exercises are especially useful to control rapid, shallow breathing, which is a common symptom of anxiety; yoga would be a superb way to learn and perfect your breathing techniques.
Lastly, hands-on therapies such as massage shiatsu and reflexology are also some calming considerations to help soothe inflamed nervous system and restore a sense of equilibrium. Spending one to two hours of our time being cared by using the tactile therapies is a safe and truly delightful way to address stress management.