Self-care is an essential part of wellness. From self-massage to meditations to decluttering,The Little Book of Self-Care (Adams Media, 2017) reconnects you with your body, mind, spirit, and surroundings to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face the world. Adams Media provides 100 relaxation exercises to help you focus on your own personal needs in an enjoyable way. By caring for yourself, you’ll learn how to care for the world around you. The following excerpt is from the “Body” section.
If you’ve never had a hot stone massage, you are in for a one-of-a-kind experience. The stones are used in two different ways during the massage. One way is by applying heat to areas of the body to make the muscles relax and increase blood flow to speed up healing. Hot stones are usually placed along the length of the spine or at the chakra centers of your body. A towel will be between you and the stones, so don’t worry about being burned. Another way the stones are used is as tools for deep tissue massage. Your massage therapist will cover the warm, smooth stones in oil and rub them on your body using long strokes in the area she is working on. This is an unbelievable sensation and one you will truly enjoy. If you are used to traditional Swedish massage, try this version instead.
When was the last time you took a long, hot bath? If you can’t remember, then it might be time to reconsider the idea of taking one as a way of distancing yourself from a long day and relaxing enough to think about getting to bed in decent time. Many people prefer a morning shower, and that’s fine, but a leisurely bath isn’t just about cleanliness. It can be one of the fastest ways to cut ourselves off from the rest of the world and find a little calm after a long day. It shouldn’t take you very long to fill up the tub or indulge in any other rituals you might want to include. Some people enjoy a good book and a glass of wine; others prefer bubbles, dim lights, and a few candles. You can even add some favorite music to the mix. There’s no right or wrong to relax in the tub. Anyone who has already added a bath to their routine already knows how great it feels. Try one tonight and discover the benefits for yourself.
A foot massage can feel like heaven, but did you know that it can benefit other parts of the body as well? Reflexology is the practice of massaging specific areas of the feet in order to affect other parts of your body. Much like acupuncture and Reiki, reflexology works by changing the flow of a person’s chi, or life-force energy, to promote healing. Different areas of the foot correspond with different body systems. For example, the tops of your toes correspond with your brain, the inner arch of the foot matches the stomach, and the lower foot and heel match the colon and bladder. Look online for a map of the foot and the body parts affected when you massage them. You can give yourself a massage or give one to your partner.
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