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recovery

For generations European experts in natural medicine and top athletes have been masters at using hydrotherapy to vitalise, restore strength, regenerate and rejuvenate the body.

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Blitz Guss For Energy And Good Looks

Blitz Guss For Energy And Good Looks

Hydrotherapy is a powerful external tool for rejuvenation. The Germans are masters at it. Thanks to the electrical properties of water, using alternate hot and cold water on the body can alter the electrical charges of molecules in the body—particularly the low-level voltages which regulate lymphatic drainage—by alternately increasing and decreasing them. In physiological terms this opens up the capillaries increasing blood flow and helping to stimulate the elimination of wastes through the blood and lymph systems. It also relaxes and tones muscles and helps you feel energetic. Here's how: After standing under a hot shower for 3 to 5 minutes so that your body is warm and comfortable, alternate hot and cold water—2 minutes of hot followed by 30 seconds of cold—three times, finishing off with cold. Once you get used to the Blitz Guss protocol you are likely to find that you want to increase the time your body is exposed to cold water just because it makes you feel so good and so alive. Don't do this just before bed or you may feel so energetic that you can’t sleep. And, of course, if you have a pacemaker or any sort of heart condition it is essential that you check with your medical practitioner and get his or her OK before you try it. Be sure to check out the video below: [video src=http://d1vg7rm5xhtxe9.cloudfront.net/video/sd/blitz-guss.mp4 poster=http://d3oy45cyct8ffi.cloudfront.net/health/into-the-bliss/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2012/02/lk-video-blitz-guss.jpg ]

Sacred Truth Ep. 49: Inflammation—Put Out the Fire

Sacred Truth Ep. 49: Inflammation—Put Out the Fire

The most dangerous damage your body ever has to handle is inflammation. When your body becomes inflamed this can trigger serious degenerative illnesses, from early aging and heart disease to diabetes, arthritis, food intolerance, and mental disorders. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection, injury, and tissue damage. It comes in two forms: Acute inflammation and chronic/ systemic inflammation, which spreads throughout your body. Acute inflammation is temporary, the purpose of which is to restore good tissue function as soon as possible. Your body creates inflammation as its defense against disturbing homeostasis in an attempt to prevent harm to surrounding tissues. Chronic inflammation, however, can be dangerous. It can turn into a festering fire that creates pain, illness, and disability. This is because your body reacts to chronic inflammation by triggering cellular and molecular distortions to pro-inflammatory immune cells that circulate throughout your body. This can bring damage to healthy areas like the linings of your blood vessels, as in arteriosclerosis, or your joint tissues in arthritis, or gut mucosa and diabetes. It may even act as a precursor to cancer. When it comes to the treatment of long-term illness—such as heart disease—savvy medical doctors now warn that we’ve been misled. It is inflammation in the arteries that is the real cause of arteriosclerosis and heart problems. Cholesterol can never line artery walls and cause heart attacks and strokes unless systemic inflammation is widespread in your body. So prescribing drugs to lower cholesterol and telling people to restrict saturated fats do not protect from heart disease as we’ve been told. In fact, statins, which the majority of cardiologists continue to prescribe for cholesterol, can seriously damage your health. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Arizona, is one of many outspoken physicians in regard to this mistake. As he says, “We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority, often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong.” He continues, “I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years’ experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.” So, what are the causes of chronic inflammation in your body? The most common causes include: Exposure to chemical inhalants and pollutants, and electromagnetic exposure to cell phones, smart meters, and towers. Another is taking long-term courses of powerful drugs, from antibiotics to hormones, anti-depressants, analgesics, and sedatives, as well as drugs like statins and other pharmaceuticals, the remains of which can literally poison your body long term. Want to protect yourself from inflammation? Become aware of your possible exposure to these things and make changes to help protect you from possible causes. In many ways the simplest place of all to begin is by changing the way you eat, since the typical 21st century diet is right at the core of widespread chronic inflammation. Learn which foods are inflammatory in nature and which foods can help protect you from it. Then it’s time to throw out every one of the inflammatory foods that line your cupboard and your refrigerator, and forever change how you may have been eating. Foods that cause inflammation, which you want to avoid at any cost, are all kinds of sugars, regardless of how much they may be promoted as “good for you;” all artificial sweeteners, which are chemically dangerous to your body; and all GMO foods, which can literally be deadly. A large percentage of the population nowadays reacts badly to cow’s milk products—from the milk itself to cow’s yogurt and cheese. Buy goat, sheep or buffalo milk, yogurt, and cheese instead. Another category of foods that can be seriously inflammatory to the body are high-carbohydrate foods—breads, pasta, cakes, and biscuits made from common grains and cereals as well as all the common convenience foods that line our supermarket shelves. These are chock-full of colorants, flavor enhancers, and other chemicals that poison your body. And it goes without saying that you want to avoid all junk foods completely. Certain foods, herbs, spices, and supplements can help reduce inflammation and protect your body from it in the future. Organic dark green vegetables are high on the list: spinach, kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy, beet greens, and asparagus are high on the list of protective vegetables. So are organic berries of all kinds, organic chicken, grass-fed lamb, beef, venison, wild salmon, and green-lipped muscles from New Zealand. Clearing inflammation from your body in whatever form it occurs is likely to be the very best action you can take to help you live a long and healthy life, during which you look and feel your very best at every age.

Breath Of Youth

Breath Of Youth

Every one of our cells needs a continual supply of oxygen. It is this oxygen that feeds our brain, sparks metabolism and calms nerves. One of the reasons why regular aerobic exercise is so beneficial in slowing down the rate at which you age and warding off degenerative diseases is because it improves your use of oxygen. So can learning to breathe fully. It can also improve your mood, increase your resistance to colds and illness, and improve sleep as well. Full breathing is also an important tool for encouraging waste elimination. It is a kind of spring-cleaning process that can go on all year round every day of your life. Chinese medicine (which I spent three years studying and working with) has a long tradition of natural-law ageless aging. And a great deal of it centers around the use of the breath. This is something to which we give little attention in the West and it is strange to think that specific breathing techniques are so ignored when the body's use of oxygen is the central determinant of the rate at which we age. Few people breathe fully. Most of us, particularly if we have sedentary jobs, breathe high - that is we breathe quickly and shallowly concentrating the inhalations in the upper chest area which is the part of the lungs which holds the smallest quantity of air. Not only does this kind of breathing inhibit oxygen intake, it can also encourage the lungs to atrophy and to lose much of their natural elasticity - something which is a common occurrence as people get older. Other people, who allow the air to flow deeper into their lungs are mid-breathers - an improvement over breathing high because it encourages the ribcage to move and brings more oxygen into the lungs for body use. But to make the best use of oxygen for ageless aging it's important to develop the habit of taking total breaths so they become your normal way of breathing. The Total Breath This is not something that you can learn overnight for there is nothing more unconscious and habitual than the way we breathe and that takes time and a little persistent effort to change. In breathing totally all of your breathing apparatus comes into play - the chest and ribs are lifted but not by themselves. The intercostal muscles also expand the ribs outward to create a large space in which your lungs can inflate to their maximum. Finally the diaphragm moves down, pulling the lower ribs outward which lets even the very bottom of your lungs fill up completely with air. With total breathing a much higher proportion of your lung power is used, as are most of your chest, rib and stomach muscles. Practice it lying down for five minutes a couple of times a day - perhaps just on awakening or just before going to sleep - and gradually it will become an automatic way of breathing which will not only help in ageless aging but will also improve your resistance to fatigue, improve the glow of your skin and help protect you from minor illness. Here's How Lying flat on your back with a small pillow beneath your neck, place one hand on your abdomen and rest the other on one side of your ribcage. Now inhale slowly through your nose while imagining that you are sending your breath to a place about 2 inches below your navel. Your tummy will start to well outward rather like a balloon. This has the effect of filling the lower part of your lungs with fresh air. As the in-breath continues, let it fill the rest of your stomach and then expand your ribcage outwards to the side as well as the midsection of your chest. You can feel this side expansion by keeping your hand against one side of your ribcage and making sure it moves outward. Now let the fresh breath fill the upper part of your chest area as well, watching it as it expands outward and to the side. (The whole process of inhalation should take about 5 seconds altogether.) Hold your breath for another 5 seconds. (In time you will find you can hold it much longer which gives your lungs a good opportunity to absorb all the oxygen available to them.) Now exhale following the same process you did in inhaling: first contract your lower abdomen gently to move the air upwards then as the lower lungs deflate you should feel the ribcage contracting again followed by the upper chest. This process too should take about 5 seconds. Rest for a second or two before beginning the whole cycle again.

Dance - Vitality Reborn

Dance - Vitality Reborn

The next time you have a chance, watch an animal move. The rhythmic lope of a wolf whose body almost becomes the motion. The horse in a field, tossing its mane, pounding its hooves and charging about for sheer pleasure. The dolphin who leaps high in the air twisting its powerful body before disappearing into the waves to emerge a minute later with yet another joyous leap. For many years I wondered why most of us after childhood no longer experience this kind of explosive, rhythmical freedom and energy, grounded in the physical body. Why do we often feel only half alive? And why do those of us who are women tend to look upon our body as something separate from ourselves, something to be criticized, judged, or pushed and shoved into shape, instead of celebrating its power and the joy of movement the way animals do? For too many human beings the primary experience of life is one of deadness. And since none of us is able to live with deadness for long we are forced to seek artificial stimulus through drugs or alcohol, compulsive work or sex - just to make us feel alive again. The trouble is, none of the artificial things that we turn to in an attempt to recover our aliveness ever seems to work for very long. Where does the real key lie? MUSCLE MIRACLE The answer to this question may surprise you. It stunned me when I first came upon it because it is so simple. The key to aliveness is found in the body itself. It lies in the same place as the key to burning excess fat is - in muscle. Your muscle is the engine that turns food calories into energy, burns fat and creates an experience of ongoing simple joy whatever you may be doing. Muscle creates the life-energy for you to think, to move and to feel. The power of the horse, the rhythmical gait of the wolf able to run on and on with ease, the wild playfulness of the dolphin - all depend on good strong muscle. To create a firm, beautiful, lean body for yourself, begin to listen to, nurture and develop your muscle. Your body is a potential powerhouse of vitality. If you want to access it, you need to move. People sometimes talk about the body as if it were a machine. In reality your body is nothing like a machine. A machine, when you use it, wears out. Your body was designed to be active. The more you use it wisely the stronger and more beautiful it will become - regardless of your age. I learned all this the hard way—the best way too I guess—but it wasn’t fun. ENDLESS PAIN Several years ago I injured my left leg badly from a nasty fall while walking down a steep incline to board a plane in Munich. The thing was running with water. Amidst a lot of blood and mess I had no idea just how bad the injury was until I found I was in constant pain and could hardly walk for weeks. This injury was followed by another nasty one to my right ankle, then another a few months later when I cracked my sacrum at 5am in the middle of winter getting out of a spa when I tumbled back onto a hardwood deck. Anyway all of this meant that I stopped using my body. In fact my body became for me a source of pain and fear, not pleasure and joy. Where I had once done exercise regularly for the sheer joy of it, I stopped completely—not just for months at a time—for years. I forgot what it was like to experience the joy and feel the sense of radiance I had long been used to from movement I had for thirty years adored doing. I lost a lot of muscle tone and ease of movement and I no longer felt the kind of vitality I had been used to for many many years. LIFE REBORN Then one day, for no apparent reason, I woke from my ignorant stupor and began to move a little just to find out if my body was still alive: to dance to music, to stretch, to cycle on a wind trainer in the garden, allowing my body to feel the sensuous pleasure of swimming gently in our pool or spending 10 or 15 minutes in passive relaxation on our PowerPlate. Slowly, steadily I began to come alive again. I kept asking myself, “How could I have forgotten how simple and joyous moving my body could be, and all of the rewards it brings when one begins to exercise, not because it’s supposed to be good for you - out of some kind of duty - but because you owe it to your body to let it live?” Anyway, I wanted to share my own experience with you and here is the bottom line: No matter what your age or how much you have neglected moving your body, no matter how much tone your muscles may have lost, your body has the most amazing capacity to regenerate and restore its muscles, its vitality and its capacity to provide you with the joyous experience of freedom which is everyone’s birthright. You need only to remember what is possible and begin with kindness and love to let yourself move again.

Free The Body: Charge The Mind

Free The Body: Charge The Mind

Too many of us - fitness freaks and lounge lizards alike - experience our body not as a joy or a finely tuned instrument of expression for our inner being, but rather as a prison incarcerating the Self which cries out for physical expression but is rendered mute by walls of chronic tension, fatigue or postural distortions. Most of us live at only a fraction of our capacity for vitality and we have not the least notion of our body's potential for beauty and for pleasure. For exercise to be of real benefit it needs to be an integrating activity which draws together mind and body. We live in an age of aerobic fitness. Joggers pound the pavements summer and winter, dance studios brim with all sizes and shapes of sweaty women in lycra, and every month or so a `new' system of physical exercise appears on the scene. You'd expect to find the world full of strong supple bodies brimming with grace and energy. The reality is somewhat different. The fine muscle tone, buoyant energy and rich mobility of a coordinated, supple and responsive physical body is a rare occurrence in the Western world even amongst those who consider themselves most fit. Instead we are faced with contracted shoulders and sunken chests, distorted thighs and faces which have aged before their time thanks to poor muscle tone and flagging energy. the body as energy Just as it's important to recognize that the aging process as a whole is not only a biochemical phenomenon but is also dependent upon energy changes - structural information that comes to us through our food and our environment, and our mental attitudes and expectations - so a new approach to exercise is needed to make the most of its potential. Thinkers such as von Bertalanffy and researchers such as Szent-Gyorgyi and the American orthopedic specialist and expert in electrobiology Robert Becker have helped to create a new awareness of the physical body and the mind as a single complex. They have demonstrated that it is no longer enough to consider the body as a physiological and biochemical phenomenon alone. Beneath our physiology and biochemistry lies a unifying system of energetics, which is subtle and complex as well as enormously potent in its effect on body, mind and overall vitality. Becker even uncovered a second `nervous system' previously unrecognized by science which he insists controls growth, healing and regeneration of broken bones. This energetic system appears to be influenced by both our environment and by our thoughts. It is currently being used to explain such diverse phenomena as why acupuncture can be used for pain relief and how hypnosis works. So far very little of the new scientific findings about the body as a unified energetic system has filtered down into the awareness of exercise physiologists and teachers. As a result there are still a great many people for whom even a dedicated and dynamic exercise program followed regularly but mechanically does little good. To an unfortunate few it can even be harmful. To make the most of aerobic exercise for ageless aging, you need not gear yourself up for some superhuman effort. You only need to leave behind the mechanical approach to exercise which tends to treat your body as a machine to be put through its paces - and to get back to basics.

The breakdown

The breakdown

One of your body’s most effective mechanisms for protecting itself from excessive toxicity taken in through food, air and water, or produced as a by-product of metabolism, is to lock these toxic materials into fat cells. In the case of cellulite, this natural protective mechanism goes one stage further—encasing these wastes in the interstitial fluids and ground substance of your skin by binding them with hardened connective tissue. To shed cellulite, you need first to help your body detoxify itself. The reason you have built up these wastes is simply that your body continually has to cope with more toxins than it can eliminate in the normal day-to-day course of events. Remove some of the burden of what is creating this excess toxicity in your system by laying aside coffee, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, over-processed foods complete with chemical additives, and avoiding sugar and grain-based foods for a time, and you’re halfway there. Add to that a very simple and temporary regime designed to trigger rapid detoxification, some gentle exercise, and some external help, and quite naturally you trigger your body’s own mechanisms for clearing out the junk. There are lots of ways you can do it, but the simplest of all to begin with is to go on a two-day apple fast. (See Apple Magic.) External work on your body is also important to trigger the detoxification process. Incorporate skin brushing into your daily routine during an apple fast (see Skin Brushing), and afterwards continue to use skin brushing to help break up hardened connective tissue and keep the detoxification process going while you are rebuilding new, strong connective tissue and ground substance. Another excellent technique which helps with this process is hydrotherapy, particularly the German Blitzguss. A real one needs to be done by a professional, but you can get many of the same effects in the shower yourself at home—especially if you have a hand-held shower which you can direct on different parts of your body. Here’s How [video src=http://d1vg7rm5xhtxe9.cloudfront.net/video/sd/blitz-guss.mp4 poster=http://d3oy45cyct8ffi.cloudfront.net/health/into-the-bliss/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2012/02/lk-video-blitz-guss.jpg ] Take a warm shower until your skin is really glowing with warmth. Then turn off the hot water and using only cold, direct it over your face and then down your arms and legs, over your trunk and abdomen and down your back. Finally, concentrate on the areas of your body where cellulite accumulates—the thighs, abdomen, hips and buttocks. The whole process should take no more than 30 seconds. Then get out of the shower, pat off the excess water and dress warmly. Do this at least once a day after skin brushing. Help From the Outside Exercise used as part of a program to banish cellulite needs to be isotonic in nature. This means it needs to take you through large movements such as running, walking briskly, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, rowing, swimming and cycling, all of which shorten and lengthen your muscles rhythmically without bringing about a big increase in tension. Isotonic exercise is one of the finest ways for you to eliminate wastes before they have a chance to build up. What kind of exercise is best? The kind you like best. Try walking briskly in comfortable clothing, dancing, cycling, whatever you love to do, for 15 to 60 minutes a session, three to five times a week. Start slowly, then when you notice positive changes in energy taking place in your body, and an enhanced self-awareness as you get into an exercise program, you will find your body craving more.

Back Help When You Need It

Back Help When You Need It

Pain is what many of us fear most. We all know the misery that can come from a sore back, a throbbing headache or toothache, not to mention children’s earaches. All too many also know the immobilizing pain of migraine. Herbs and essential oils can reach out and help when pain strikes, and without the upset stomach and muzzy heads that over-the-counter treatments can bring in their wake. We’ve all done it—picked up something too heavy or twisted awkwardly—and suffered the pain of an indignant back. Essential oils really come into their own with back pain; use them to relieve muscle spasm and ease your mind. Essential oils of sage, thyme and rosemary all contain thymol and carvacrol, which are excellent muscle relaxants. Rosemary has the added advantage of being anti-spasmodic. Clary sage is also used traditionally to ease the pain of a pulled back. You can mix a few drops of one of these essential oils with a couple of tablespoons of almond oil, coconut oil, or walnut oil. Either massage it into the sore spot yourself, or allow someone you trust to do this gently for you. A warm bath will also help ease the tightness out of strained back muscles. Put a few drops of essential oil of rosemary or clary sage in the bath, plus 2 cups of industrial grade Epsom salts—simple magnesium sulfate—which you can find at a pharmacy in kilo packages or order much more cheaply over the net in big 25kg bags. Allow the essential oils to vaporize on the steam to help you relax all over. Stay in the bath for half an hour, topping up with warm water, to let the Epsom salts do their muscle-relaxing work. Then get out of the bath, dry yourself gently, and crawl into bed or lie down for 30 minutes with a good book. For my family, Epsom salts in huge bags are always in good supply. Aaron and I take an Epsom salts bath daily. It’s a practice which is not only health enhancing but deliciously pleasant.

Kneipp Techniques

Kneipp Techniques

The following are particularly useful for stress or if you find you are unable to get to sleep easily. wet socks A favorite of Kneipp himself, this is an easy way to apply a foot compress. It is quite extraordinarily relaxing. Here's How Wet a pair of cotton socks in cold water and wring them out so that they are no longer dripping. Put them on and then cover them with a pair of dry woollen socks, then pop into bed. Leave the socks on for at least half an hour, although it doesn't matter if they stay on all night should you fall asleep. cold sitz baths These last only ten to thirty seconds, according to how quickly and how well you react. They are carried out with the upper part of your body well clothed, always in a warm room. This is also an excellent way of boosting immunity and protecting against minor illnesses - particularly throat and chest conditions - eliminating flatulence, constipation and stress. Here's How Fill the bath with enough cold water to reach to your waist. Climb into the bath and stay there for a few seconds, then get out, gently pat the excess water from your skin and immediately climb into a warm bed.

Sensuous Massage Do-It-Yourself

Sensuous Massage Do-It-Yourself

The simplest treatment can sometimes bring the greatest healing to body, mind and spirit. So it is with massage. Yet few have yet discovered this truth. Not only does massage calm the mind, relieve pain and bring better muscle tone. It enhances immunity, clears the toxic wastes we all pick up in day-to-day life, improves athletic performance, and builds greater health all round. There are many different kinds of massage—from deep tissue massage, acupressure and Amma Shiatsu to lymphatic drainage and simple stroking of the body. Each has its benefits. And, while some need the trained hands of a professional to be used well, I think you will be surprised to learn that you can bring exceptional benefits to yourself, a friend or partner by using simple hand movements which require no professional training at all. SIMPLE BASICS Here are the six basic massage movements. Have a play with them on your own body. You will be surprised how easy and rewarding this can be. Begin any massage of yourself or another with effleurage, allowing one hand to follow the other in a rhythmic pattern moving in a direction towards the heart. Effleurage means “skimming over”. This is a light pressure applied to an area of the body with moving hands. It boosts the circulation of blood and lymph in the areas to which it is being applied. This improves the functioning of the glands, increases skin sensitivity and heightens the ability of the skin to feel pleasure. Used on the abdomen, it improves digestive functions and helps eliminate constipation. Effleurage is also great for getting rid of chilling sensations in feet or hands, for eliminating numbness, and decreasing swelling caused by obstructions in the circulatory system. Deep Muscle Massage consists of tiny circular movements with a thumb or finger which is firmly pressed into a muscle and then rotated. The finger doesn't actually move over the surface of the skin. Rather it moves the muscle under its pressure. After you have made several small circles in one place you move on to another nearby, always working in an upwards direction on the body. It is excellent for calming overactive nerves and tense muscles, as it is for treating neuralgia or muscular aches. This kind of pressure on the abdomen improves digestion and elimination. Used in imaginary lines up the limbs it can also significantly improve lymphatic drainage and the elimination of wastes. Single Point Pressure where you press on the surface of the body with the palms, thumbs or fingers is also good for deep muscle aches and tensions. It is used when giving acupressure or shiatsu massage for a specific purpose, such as eliminating a headache or calming nerves. Petrissage is a kneading movement in which a muscle is held firmly but lightly and moved in circular patterns using the palm of your hand or the balls of your fingers. This increases circulation, and is an excellent way of helping muscles recover from fatigue and eliminating lactic acid build-up, which causes muscle ache after a workout. Always keep your fingers relaxed while kneading or you will pinch the skin uncomfortably. Vibration is where you put your fingers or palm against the skin of a part of the body and then shake it gently. This is particularly helpful where there is a feeling of numbness, say in fingers or toes. Tapotement is a tapping with both hands—one after the other—against the skin surface, usually with the palms cupped. It is very invigorating, which is why it is used before sending athletes out on the field, but it is not good if you are using massage as a means of ‘detensing'. GET IT TOGETHER If you are massaging yourself, you will need to be in different positions to work on various areas of your body. The legs are easy—they can be done lying on the floor with your legs propped up against the bed or a wall and your head and shoulders against a cushion or two. Or you can simply sit on the edge of a bath. To do your neck and shoulders, it's best to sit at a table with your head lying forward on a pillow in front of you. Lie on your back to do your abdomen and chest. For your lower back, lie on your stomach with a pillow underneath your waist. Then using some oil (see below), begin with an effleurage of the area you are working on, and go on to any of the other movements which feel right to you. WORK WITH A PARTNER Make sure the room is warm. Usually the floor is best, covered with a blanket and a towel. Let your friend or mate lie on his or her stomach and begin to work on the back. Never pour cold oil directly onto the skin. Instead, put it in your hands and give it a chance to warm before applying it. Let your friend relax as you do an effleurage picking up the back, one hand after another. Always maintain contact with his or her skin, so that as one hand is ready to come off the back, the other is already making contact with the skin. And don't be too light or feathery—it makes people feel uneasy. They need to sense good clear contact with your hands to be able to relax deeply. Let your partner do just that, so that he or she doesn't feel a need to speak. Indeed, the massage will work better if he or she doesn't. After you finish a minute or two of effleurage on the back, try a kneading movement or a deep muscle massage on the areas which seem most stiff or uncomfortable. Then, move on to other parts of the body—the feet, the legs, the arms, using the same sequence of movements. Ask them to turn over and work on the front of the legs and arms, the abdomen and the diaphragm, then finish off with some soothing petrissage on the shoulders, and finally some deeper circular movements to get rid of tension there. End the session with a more gentle effleurage to relax him or her deeply, or do some tapotement to stimulate energy levels, whichever your partner prefers. The whole process is not as difficult as it may seem at first, even if you have never had a go at it. There is an instinct most people have of finding out how to use these movements, so that they feel good not only to the person being massaged but to yourself. Massaging each other can be an excellent way of communicating for a couple feeling somewhat at odds with each other. It eliminates the need for words and seems to restore a sense of unity between people. OIL BLISS The best massage oils are those you mix yourself from a “carrier oil” such as almond, sesame, or coconut, to which you add a small quantity (measured in drops) of specific essential oils. Essential oils are the complex hydrocarbons which give plants and flowers their characteristic odors. Each essential oil has its own spirit as well as its biological characteristics. Each will affect the body in a slightly different way. Depending on what you want from a massage, you can choose what is best to use. For instance four drops each of the essential oils of rosemary, camphor and wintergreen mixed with half a cup of carrier oil makes a superb massage oil for sore muscles after strenuous exercise. Oil of sage mixed with a carrier is good for aches and pains from gardening. A few drops of pure sandalwood or camomile or lavender—or all three—in a carrier is excellent for relaxing you if you feel tense or under stress. (You must make sure that you buy the real essential oils however. The chemical analogues which are often sold in their place don't have a therapeutic effect.) These mixtures are also excellent treatments for both male and female skin. They help keep skin moist and protected from the hazards of environmental stress. ONLY THE BEST Once you fall in love with one or two essential oils, you will probably want to build up a whole collection. Be savvy about what you buy. A natural essential oil is impossible to reproduce artificially. It is something which, in its wholeness and its power to act on the human mind and body, can only be created by life itself. You should only ever use pure essential oils as they alone contain the full range of aromatic compounds from the plant. There are many—probably the majority of—products on the market which call themselves “essential oils” but which are poor quality. Some are synthetic, others diluted. Although they may not smell too bad—actually, most of them smell sickening to me—you will not get the full benefits from them that you will from a pure essential oil. The healing, the beauty, the sanctity and the pleasure you can experience using floral essential oils or their blends in these ways is hard to describe—just try it. It is likely to spark off new ideas for aromatherapy and self-healing that have yet to be tried. Note: Whenever possible buy organic oils. Organic or not, however, they need not cost a lot to be good. The reasons I order the majority of mine from iherb.com is that the prices are fabulous and the oils are great. Here are some essential oils and carrier oils I particularly recommend both for quality and price: Flora, Certified Organic Almond Oil, 8.5 fl oz (250 ml) Flora's Almond Oil is a light, premium quality oil pressed from carefully selected, certified organic almonds. The almonds are pressed using Flora's unique European HydroTherm pressing method under low temperature and then carefully bottled in light-resistant, amber glass. Order Flora, Certified Organic Almond Oil from iherb Eden Foods, Organic Sesame Oil, Unrefined, 16 fl oz (473 ml) It is simply pressed from Eden select seed and lightly filtered retaining sesame's full aroma and flavor. Contains the revered antioxidants sesamol and sesamin. Nitrogen flushed when bottled. Order Eden Foods, Organic Sesame Oil from iherb Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Rosemary Aroma: Warm, camphoraceous. Benefits: Purifying, renewing, uplifting. Mixes Well With: Bergamot Oil Lemongrass Oil Peppermint Oil Thyme Oil Extraction Method: Stem distilled from flowering tops. Order Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Rosemary from iherb ow Foods, Essential Oils, Camphor Benefits: Purifying, energizing, invigorating Mixes Well With: Cinnamon oil, frankincense oil, rosemary oil Extraction Method: Fractional distillation of crude decamphorized oil Order ow Foods, Essential Oils, Camphor from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Wintergreen Aroma: Warm, sweet. Benefits: Stimulating, refreshing, uplifting. Mixes Well With: eucalyptus oil, lemon oil, peppermint oil, tangerine oil Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from leaves. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Wintergreen from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sandalwood Aroma: Subtle floral, undertones of wood and fruit. Benefits: Grounding, focusing, balancing. Extraction method: Steam distilled from wood/bark/roots. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sandalwood from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sage Aroma: Warm, camphoraceous. Benefits: Normalizing, balancing, soothing. Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from partially dried leaves. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Sage from iherb Now Foods, Essential Oils, Chamomile Aroma: Intense sweet, delightful. Benefits: Relaxing, calming, revitalizing. Extraction Method: Steam Distilled from plant's flowers and stalks. Order Now Foods, Essential Oils, Chamomile from iherb Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Lavender Aroma: Floral Benefits: Soothing, normalizing, balancing. Extraction Method: Steam distilled from fresh flowering tops. Order Now Foods, Organic Essential Oils, Lavender from iherb

More in recovery

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 11 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 19th of November 2019 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.70 lb
for women
-0.97 lb
for men
-0.70 lb
for women
-0.97 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 19th of November 2019 (updated every 12 hours)

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