Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Foot Massage

The feet are often the most neglected or ignored part of the body. Hutched up in socks and shoes all day, the feet rarely get the chance to be out in the open. And, being ignored, small twinges and discomforts on the feet often go unheeded. With this, it’s no doubt that the feet need to be treated, and perhaps a real treat for someone close to you is the gift of a foot massage. My husband and I will frequently give each other foot massages in the evening after dinner while sitting on the couch relaxing.

What is Foot Massage?

The theory of foot massage is plainly simple, but the practice is far more complex than the other therapeutic techniques. It is commonly associated with the concept of reflexology, which is pressure therapy that involves applying a focused pressure to the particularly known reflex points in the foot to cure any form of discomfort. However, it is important to note that foot massage is different from foot reflexology. In reflexology, some of its benefits will happen automatically by virtue of massaging the feet, while on foot massage, the main aim is to help the tired feet feel better.

How to Give a Foot Massage

Generally, the foot massage techniques do not claim to have any documented medical benefits. Nevertheless, when the massage is applied correctly and properly, chances are the receiver can walk away with a feeling of well-being and peace.

Now to begin with, it is very important to make sure that you have the right supplies. Typically, what you will need are two or three big towels and some form of lubricant. For many, a rich cream works better for the tough calluses and the hardened skin of the feet than the hand lotion or oil. But, if you don’t have a rich cream, you can use the lotion or the oil for any of these will work.

Wash thoroughly the feet of the receiver, and anoint it with a skin lotion for lubrication when carrying out the foot massage. Start rubbing the sole of their foot with your thumbs. You can do this by simply working your thumbs in a circular motion all the way from the heel to the base of the toes. However, we can’t escape the fact that most people are sensitive and ticklish on their feet. So if this is the case, reassure the receiver that you will use firm, slow strokes rather than light and quick ones. Make him or her comfortable if possible.

Take each toe individually and place it between your thumb and forefinger. Then, gently manipulate it and give it a slight tug at the end. Gently press your fingers into the person’s foot all along the sole. At the end of the foot massage, gently run your fingers along the top of the foot to provide a relaxing feeling. And, remember to do the massage on each foot.

It is important to note, however, that when applying the foot massage, you should use more oils as needed, but do not use to much of it for this will only cause your hands to slide, making the receiver feel uncomfortable.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This is a low-cost idea for gift-giving this holiday season. If you are accustomed to giving gifts for your children's teachers, dance instructors, the women that share car-pooling duty with you, a hostess gift and more......then consider this option for your holiday gift giving.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Healthy, Natural Ways to Look 10 Years Younger

You don't have to go under the knife or spend money on botox treatments in order to look ten years younger. Instead, make a few lifestyle changes and start treating yourself with a little TLC and you will be amazed at the results. Things such as sleep, diet, exercise and more play a huge role in your appearance.

Getting a good night's sleep is a sure-fire way to not only look younger, but to feel great as well. This is because while you sleep, cells go through a repair process and your body releases the hormone melatonin. This hormone has very positive effects on the skin. The result is radiant and youthful looking skin, fewer lines and less puffiness around the eyes. So do yourself a favor and get your z’s.

Be sure to eat a balanced diet, including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Not only will this regimen help you to maintain a healthy weight, the vitamins and anti-oxidants in the fruit and veggies nourish your skin and hair. Having healthy skin and shiny hair is a definite recipe for a more youthful look.

While you're at it, drink lots of water each day. Water cleanses your body of toxins and hydrates your skin. Hydrated skin just plain looks younger. While we’re talking about skin, don’t forget to protect your nicely hydrated skin by wearing sun screen. The damaging effects of the sun, including skin cancer, have been well documented and should be taken very seriously. Excessive exposure dries the skin and will eventually give it a leathery appearance at the least.

It's important to use a good cleanser on your face each day to unclog pores and keep your skin from looking dry and dull. Don't forget to moisturize after washing and this includes your entire body, not just your face. Your hands take a beating in the course of daily life and are exposed to the sun while driving in the car. Treat your hands to a rich lotion, nightly, to have soft, younger looking hands.

Exercise increases bone density and muscle tone. So get regular exercise, including a routine like Pilates or Yoga, to tighten sagging muscles. A fit, trim body looks younger. Not only will you be healthier and more energized on the outside, you'll feel younger too. I fell in love with Pilates and took 2 classes a week for 2 years.

Updating a haircut can cut years from a woman's appearance.Consider highlights rather than simply dying your hair to soften your look. Find a cut that accentuates your best facial features and your lifestyle. Talk with your stylist about what type of cut and color will look best on you and try it, you never know you might just fall in love with your hair again.

Your lifestyle choices greatly affect whether you look ten years younger or ten years older. Smoking and drinking both negatively affect the aging process by blocking the absorption of necessary nutrients and over time cause damage to the major organs of the body. So, if you smoke or drink more than “moderate” amounts of alcohol (I won't give up my wine!) quit and soon you'll begin to look and feel younger.

There are so many easy, natural ways to become a younger you. Once you’ve applied some of the tips above and started seeing a difference in yourself, try not to look too smug when people find out your true age.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stress and Exercise

If you are a mom then you’ve dealt with stress at some point. The problem with stress is how to make it go away. Maybe exercise is the answer to your stress problem.

Exercise and stress are related. Exercise can reduce the amount of stress in your life. Lets take a look on how it works.

When we are under stress, the body secretes a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has been shown to help the body store fat and not let it go. As we worry, we get bigger. Lack of sleep has the same effect. Stress busters inhibit this hormone from being secreted.

One such stress buster is exercise. Exercise keeps the body running like a well-oiled machine. Doing it daily helps our bodies to age slower than the biological clock. We look and feel younger despite our busy schedules. Moms everywhere would love that.

Exercise release endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good. The more you exercise, the more your mood will lighten. Blood pressure lowers and more oxygen reaches the brain. Some people find better solutions to their stressful situations while walking on the treadmill or using the elliptical trainer. If you can get outdoors to hike or bicycle, not only will your mood lighten, but you’ll be breathing fresh air too.

These are byproducts of exercise that are sometimes more beneficial than the reasons we were exercising in the first place. Exercise decreases incidence of depression without medication. Working out with a partner doubles the benefits. Not only do you get in shape but you can share a laugh with someone else who understands you. I am sure you can find another mom, sister, or friend to work out with you. My husband happens to be my workout partner.

Our bodies become stronger and fit. When I lost 14 lb.’s a few years ago and was able to fit into size 6 pants and in some cases size 4, not only was I ecstatic, but my stress level went down too. Here is the fun part….exercise is not limited to the gym…..Yeah! Romantic aerobics can benefit the body and combat stress. Sex releases endorphins throughout the body without having to drive across town to the gym. How fun is that?

Exercising with your kids can help everyone’s stress level. Use a walk around the neighborhood to discuss issues that are on your child’s mind. Working through his/her problem won’t leave room for you to think about yours. It may even give you a few ideas about how to deal with your own stress. Helping others does put our situations in perspective.

Confidence is a part of a healthy mind and body. When moms are confident in themselves they cope with stress better because they believe that they can. Exercise increases confidence. Health improves, disease is curtailed, and your outlook changes.

There is a connection between stress and exercise. The latter can bring down the levels of the former. Put on those sneakers and get moving girlfriend! And after you’ve worked out, take a hot shower or bath with some uplifting and refreshing soap and treat your skin to some fabulous lemongrass Sage energizing lotion.