Show Your Toes

Although your feet may spend more time under wraps during the winter chill, that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a little TLC. Pamper your digits with a simple, at–home pedicure. All you need is a bowl of warm soapy water, towel, nail file and buff, pumice stone, and moisturizing cream.

  • Soak your feet for 10 minutes
  • Use the pumice stone to scrub away dead skin, being careful to focus on any dry areas; rinse off with fresh water
  • Pat feet dry
  • Gently push back cuticles, then file your nails straight across, and buff to a shine
  • Apply moisturizer, gently rubbing and massaging it in.

Get a Regular and Inexpensive Massage

Massage has been around for thousands of years. It is perhaps the oldest therapy in the world. Experts estimate that about 90 percent of illnesses are stress related, and massage can help, as it is known to significantly reduce stress and relax the mind. The latest medical research shows that massage creates chemical changes that reduce pain and stress throughout the body.

Massage is one of the most popular forms of therapy in the world today. It is a simple and easy way to alleviate tension in our stressful lives and to create emotional, physical, mental and spiritual balance.

Regular massage is proven to help:

• Lower your heart rate
• Lower your blood pressure
• Improve your circulation
• Boost your immunity
• Improve digestion
• Increase your production of natural painkillers
• Speed your recovery from injuries
• Improve your sleep
• Improve your mood
• Better your concentration
• Alleviate depression

There are many different types of massage, including shiatsu, deep tissue, Swedish, sports massage and reflexology, to name a few. Depending on how hard or gentle you like your massage, you can easily find a type that suits you.

But don’t think that you have to break the budget to get a massage! You can easily find a local salon that offers massages costing a dollar a minute. Or you can purchase a massage ball or personal massage machine to give yourself a massage, free of charge. Or try this method: trade massages with your partner, a friend or a family member. Or even pay your niece and nephew ten dollars each in exchange for a fifteen-minute massage!

Spa Treatment

You don’t have to shell out a lot of time or dough to enjoy a little pampering. Set up an in-home spa treatment with these simple indulgences:

Turn off the bathroom bulbs and light several fragrant candles. Go with a heat lamp if you have one. Draw a bath or just run a shower.

Cue up relaxing music or peaceful background noise like ocean waves, trickling water, or nature sounds. Pop in an audio book or spiritual meditation CD. Guys can even tune in to a favorite sportscast — whatever aids relaxation.

Exfoliate with a facial scrub, then massage your scalp, temples, and upper neck as you stand under the spray or soak in the tub. Gentlemen, try wrapping a hot towel around your face for a barber shop effect.

Bar soaps leave some skin dry and flaky, especially during this colder time of year. Lather in a body wash instead. Men will appreciate the more robust scents now available, while women can enjoy silky floral perfumes.

Top off your cleanse with a clean shave. Blot dry, then apply a therapeutic emollient to your face, hands, elbows, knees, and feet. Wrap up with a splash of aftershave or body spray.

Muscle Therapy

Your muscles work hard sustaining your daily grind, from the smallest located in your ear canal to the largest gracing your derriere. It’s no surprise that these masters of might tie themselves up in tension, bearing the weight of physical forces and collecting the fallout of mental stress. Release pressure with these tips for pampering your brawn…

Knead: Massage works out hostile fibers that keep you kinked and knotted. By increasing blood flow it can also stimulate healing, reduce pain, and deliver key nutrients while banishing built-up toxins. See a licensed massage therapist who agrees to use your pressure tolerance.

Nourish: Certain nutrients — protein, selenium, flavonoids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B and C — help aid restoration in fatigued muscles. Try quinoa, a South American grain that contains a complete helping of essential amino acids, or lentils, which pack protein and vitamin B into every bite. Snag your selenium in the form of mushrooms, fish, or supplements, and enjoy mangoes as a refreshing source of magnesium, antioxidants, and potassium. Don’t forget to drink water, especially before and after exercise, to reduce cramping.

Mend: A cold compress can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation in pulled muscles. Apply ice the first 24 hours after injury. After that, hot and cold contrast can manage pain while supporting recovery. To help loosen stiff, achy muscles, take a hot bath/shower or go for a hot tub dip.

Conscious Care for Your Feet

Our feet keep us grounded to the earth’s energies while also taking us where we want to go. Ah, what faithful servants our feet are! It’s only fitting that we treat them with the care and attention they so richly deserve.

Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles, and 107 ligaments. Virtually supporting the entire body, feet tend to hold or reflect the state of your mind and heart. If you don’t’ believe me, consider the seemingly endless foot metaphors to describe our moods and inclinations: When decisive, self confident, flexible, and on the move, we’re fleet of foot or quick on our feet. When immobilized, weak or wishy-washy, we have feet of clay or are dragging our feet. We get a foot up on our business competitors, and our dogs howl after a long day of rushing around. So put your best foot forward and consider the following ways to nurture your feet:

Warm water soak
Many spas provide a foot bath and scrub ritual as a prelude to any service. The root of this practice is found in the hospitality customs of ancient civilizations. To provide at-home TLC, try one of these warm water treats. Add Epsom or sea salts (natural exfoliators) to relax the feet and soften rough, dry patches of skin. Another option: add 1 to 2 cups of pure, organic pineapple juice to a footbath. The enzyme bromelain naturally sloughs off dry skin. Or, shower or bathe to soften skin, then scrub calloused areas with a mixture of 1 tablespoon sea salt and 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil. A pumice stone and gentle body wash also work. Rinse, towel off, moisturize, then don fluffy organic cotton socks.

Foot massage
Massage encourages better blood flow, and it just plain feels good. When you release tension in your feet, your mind-body physiology follows. Use a small amount of certified organic plant oil or lotion with several drops of organic geranium, lavender, patchouli, or tea tree essential oil, all of which possess potent anti-bacterial effects. Distribute the oil or lotion through the hands. Briskly stroke the soles, then massage the rest of the feet with small strokes. Work toward the heel, and thus toward your heart to direct blood flow. Gently pull each toe outward from base to tip. Put on organic cotton socks, and it’s time for bed!

Let your feet breathe
With about 250,000 sweat glands, our feet can produce up to 8 ounces of sweat a day. Don’t use harsh products that attempt to block foot perspiration – it’s your body’s way of eliminating toxins.

• Take a footbath using essential oils with toning, astringent, and antiseptic properties – like eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, rosemary, and tea tree. Add 2 to 6 drops to warm water. The toning properties firm foot skin tissue, reducing the amount of oil and perspiration excreted. The antiseptic quality helps with potential odor.
• Soak your feet in a bath that’s been infused with black tea. Brew 2 tea bags in 2 pints of water, then add 2 quarts of cool water. The tannic acid acts as a drying agent and helps prevent odor.

Keep the blood flowing
It’s a long way from your heart to the tips of your toes. But for healthy, comfortable feet, it’s important to encourage blood flow. Massage and exercise play important roles, as do well-fitting shoes! Don’t’ forfeit comfort for style or you may walk a painful path, possibly filled with bunions, calluses, plantar fasciitis, deformed toes, and various other potential maladies (including musculoskeletal problems!).


Feel stressed? It’s not surprising when you consider what you have done before your day officially begins. You have already coped with making breakfast (or nagging others to do it), left the home tidy, organized the children, taken them to school, and then coped with rush-hour traffic to get to the place where you are officially to get to the place where you are officially starting work! No wonder you feel permanently tired and edgy.

I have found that, with a little forethought, many of the stresses in our lives can be either reduced or eliminated altogether. We put up with things because that is how they have always been (and, if we are honest, because it is easy to be a martyr). It’s time to reorganize. In conjunction with this reorganization, make sure that you are using essential oils, eating well, sleeping well, having fun, exercise, and leisure time, and communicating with your family and friends.

Essential oils are available everywhere, even the local supermarket, but be careful what you buy, as most of the cheaper ones are blends. It’s all a matter of “you get what you pay for” with essential oils. The most expensive are always the most pure. But please try to make your own if you can. Begin by sticking to the simple herbs like lavender, and you will soon find it the most rewarding experience you can have, by treating your family and friends with pure, safe, and lovingly prepared oils.

The following recipes will help to ensure that your life becomes easier and more joyful.

Workplace stress busters

Whether you work alone, as id do, or in a busy, noisy office, or factory, there are stresses with which one has to contend. It is important to first sit down and itemize which parts of your day are the most stressful. For instance, do demands from other people interfere with your own work? Do you have too high expectations of yourself or others? Are you subject to high noise levels, isolation, or being on your feet or on your bottom for excessive lengths of time, and are you in an unhealthily synthetic environment? You will probably be able to add many more stress factors to this list.

Children also have their own stresses to contend with, and essential oils can help to create a productive and happy day at school. It has been my experience that children respond more quickly than adults to essential oils and love having their own in special bottle of oils. Any of the following recipes and suggestions may be used by school-age children, but the strength will have to be adapted to suit their age. I wouldn’t suggest giving a bottle of the oils to children under the age of 10 years, but rather putting a few drops on absorbent cotton (cottonwool) and slipping them into the school bag, pocket, or other convenient place for them to sniff during the day.

Oils for school-age children (five to puberty)

All the oils considered safe for adults may be used but in smaller amounts.

In bathwater – 5-8 drops of appropriate essential oil with 1 tablespoon olive oil and dispersed thoroughly into the bath water.
Massage – 16-20 drops (total) mixed or single essential oils in ½ cup mixed olive and almond oils. Shake well before use.
Air sprays – Use one-quarter the adult amount for a 5-year-old, gradually increasing (drop by drop) with child’s age.

Day break for girls

The “smooth you out and perk you up” blend to begin your day.

• 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil
• ½ teaspoon bergamot essential oil
• ½ teaspoon geranium essential oil
• 20 drops peppermint essential oil
• 20 drops clary sage essential oil

To make and use

Place all ingredients in a labeled, dropper bottle and shake to blend. If possible leave for four days to synergize. Store in a dark, cool place.

• Add 5 drops of the blend to 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil. Use as a body oil after your shower.
• Put 2-3 drops on a wet wash cloth, squeeze to spread the oils and use to wipe over your body in the shower before drying yourself.
• Put 2 drops on absorbent cotton (cottonwool) and tuck it in the front of your bra where the heat of your body will evaporate the oil.
• Put 2-3 drops on absorbent cotton (cottonwool) or tissue and tuck it in your pocket, handbag, or purse to enliven you each time you open it.
• Put a couple of drops on a tissue to inhale while getting ready for work.
• Wipe a few drops of the blend over the dashboard of the car.
• Add 5 drops to 2 fl oz (60 ml) atomizer of water. Shake well then spray on the face, avoiding the eye are.

Day break for guys

• 1 teaspoon bergamot essential oil
• 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil
• ½ teaspoon rosemary essential oil
• ½ teaspoon cedarwood essential oil

To make and use

Place all ingredients in a labeled, dropper bottle and shake to blend. If possible leave for four days to synergize. Store in a dark, cool place.

• Use in an aftershave or toilet water splash.
• Add 5 drops of the blend to 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil. Use as a body oil after your shower.
• Put 2-3 drops on a wet wash cloth, squeeze the oils and use to wipe over your body in the shower before drying yourself.
• Put 2-3 drops on absorbent cotton (cottonwool) or tissue, and tuck it in your pocket to give you a reviving lift.
• Put a couple of drops on a tissue to inhale while getting ready for work.
• Wipe a few drops of the blend over the dashboard of the car.
• Add 5 drops to 2 fl oz (60 ml) atomizer of water. Shake well then spray on the face, avoiding the eye area.