BY STEVIE WHITE, CIVANA SPA DIRECTOR
Setting the stage for a healing spa experience at home, we recommend adding elements that touch all the senses.
1. Create Your Space – Whether it’s your bedroom, bath or that cozy nook, soften the lighting in your space by amplifying it with glowing candles or adjustable dimmers. Choose linens that speak to your comfort. All-natural fabrics such as silk help with thermal-regulation; high-quality cotton is a wonderful budget-friendly option that is smooth, soft and lightweight; and bamboo excels at wicking moisture. Soothing paint colors such as lavender, gray, cool blue, and other pale neutrals help to create that cocoon-like, stress-reducing atmosphere.
2. Choose Your Attire – Smooth, soft, natural fabrics, such as fine cotton and silk, are some of the most soothing materials to incorporate into loose-fitting pajamas and robes. Both are absorbent and help draw body moisture away from the skin. Rayon and linen are also nice alternatives for sensitive skin. Accessorize with warm fuzzy socks or slippers.
3. Cleansing Your Space – The art of smudging is an ancient spiritual ritual for purification, dispelling negative energy and improving mood and can easily be incorporated into your weekly routine or meditative practice. Using simple tools such as a sage stick or Palo Santo in combination with a fire-resistant vessel such as an abalone shell, you allow yourself to take a moment to set your intention and cleanse your space to allow positive energy to enter.
4. Select Your Scent – Aromatherapy is an affordable relaxation technique to help you feel calmer and elevates frustration. Scent can have a powerful effect on one’s mood, stress levels, memories, and libido. Essential oils can easily be incorporated through massage oil /lotion or by inhalation from a diffuser. Lavender improves mood and lessens anxiety, whereas citrus and rosemary are more invigorating.
5. Bring In Nature – Natural sounds and green spaces promote a sense of wellbeing and leave you with a clear head. Whether it’s a beautiful outdoor view, the subtle sounds of a waterfall or open windows to allow fresh air through and the sound of trees rustling, the interaction with nature decreases the body’s sympathetic response (feeling of fight-or-flight) and increases the parasympathetic responses (feeling of relaxation).
6. Nourishment – When it comes to snacking, choose antioxidant superfood snacks that are dense in vitamins that help to minimize cell damage such as pecans, dark chocolate, blueberries. You can make your own trail mix from the bulk section of your favorite natural grocer. Relax with some anti-inflammatory tea such as green tea, ginger and chamomile
7. Contrast Therapy – The therapeutic benefits of hot and cold therapy include increased circulation, boosts the immune system and promotes healthy, restful sleep. At home, this can be accomplished by starting with a bath or shower for 8-10 minutes immediately followed by an icy cold shower or standing in a bucket of ice water for 30-60 seconds or until your body has reached its limit. Allow your body to rest until the heart rate is normal and then repeat for 3 cycles.
8. Power of Touch – Physical touch, whether it’s a massage by your partner, a simple hug, snuggling your kids or cuddling your fur babies, all will increase levels of dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that help regulate mood.
9. Set Your Intention & Reflect – At CIVANA, we start and end our day with a daily set and reset intention ceremony. Start by allowing yourself a few moments to focus on what is important to you, how do you want to live in the moment. End with what brings you gratitude and joy. Incorporate your loved ones in this exercise, allowing you to have further connection.
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