Upon meeting with a client, be it remotely or in person, we talk, at length about the importance of establishing a consistent practice of daily self-care rituals every day and, in some cases, send them self-care journals to further enhance the commitment level. Whether beginning on a physical healing journey or approaching finding your balance from an emotional or spiritual standpoint through transformational coaching, every aspect of self needs additional support as it works day and night detoxing, clearing and healing from toxic materials and imprints.
Below are my top 10 self-care rituals that will support and balance your wellbeing; body, mind, and spirit.
1. DRY BODY BRUSHING
Our skin is the largest barrier organ in the human body and is an organ of detoxification. Remember, we absorb up to 70% of what we are exposed to or put on our skin. One third of our body’s toxins are released through the skin. Daily dry body brushing helps to stimulate the lymphatic system by increasing circulation and supporting the body to shift and eliminate toxins that may have become congested or stagnant under the skin.
As you brush it is helpful to focus on your intention of self-love to support your healing, wellbeing and vitality.
2. THERAPEUTIC BATHS
The sea is natures medicine. Preparing a therapeutic sea salt bath helps to support clearing out toxins from your body and can cleanse and ground you when you feel “spaced out” or overwhelmed and not at home in your own skin. Here is my recipe for a quick and easy bath salt: 1 cup sea salt, 1 cup epsom salts (or magnesium flakes), 1/2 cup baking soda and the essential oils of your choice. Fill your bathtub with the warmest water you can stand and soak for 20 minutes only. Any longer and your body may reabsorb the toxins you have released. Rinse off the remaining salt on your body in the shower.
3. DRINK SPRING WATER
Water is a the greatest most healing element we can incorporate into our lives. Clean water, drinking it and bathing in it, is vital for our health and wellbeing. I encourage you to become aware of where your water comes from and what is in it. Are there toxins or chemicals present? What is the pH? When I was a little girl all we had to drink was tap water that was loaded with fluoride, chlorine, and heavy metals. Make no mistake, for those of you who think you are drinking purified water, much of it is far from pure. Depending on where you live, there are various water purification systems available (some that ionize and alkalize water). I am lucky enough to have access to amazing spring water from the source and it tastes so much different, even vibrationally purer than it’s bottled cousin. If you can’t get spring water from the source, make sure you are using the purest water you can possibly find.
I love drinking my water with lemon and ginger in the morning and a pinch of salt or a little ACV throughout the day.
4. NOURISH YOURSELF WITH REAL FOOD
For those of you who work with me I use and prescribe supplements, including vitamins, very judiciously, preferring real food to nourish the body. I have never liked taking copious numbers of pills and I adore the rainbow of vegetables and fruits, and the cornucopia of real foods, pastured meats and poultry, cheeses, spices all on offer throughout the street markets of Europe where I have spent a great deal of my life. I truly believe all the vitamins and minerals our body needs are available in the healing, real foods we choose. Whether it’s cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and fresh salads, medicinal bone broths and hearty soups, herbal infusions, grasses and seeds from the land, or green grass-fed pastured animal proteins coming from animals that have lived happy stress-free lives, I believe our physical body easily assimilates the vitamins and minerals in these unadulterated foods and our spiritual body is nurtured and strengthened by the life force (pranic) energy emanating from these high vibration foods. My body dictates that I take into account the season and the local environment when considering which foods to eat. Every food you eat tells a story and each food you choose has a quality that can work for or against your health depending on the season and environment in which you eat it.
Foods can also nourish (or hinder) your particular constitution. I follow (and utilize in my practice) the principles of Ayurveda and the tri-dosha theory: Vata (symbolizing ether/air), Pitta (symbolizing fire/water) and Kapha (symbolizing water/earth). While I have never fallen prey to the “superfood” fad I do utilize TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) herbs and adaptogens into my own nutrition formula (and practice, too) and for that I crush on companies like Sun Potion and Moon Juice who produce high quality powders and potions in whole food form.
A large part of my personal healing journey involved re-aligning myself with the sources and ways I chose to nourish my body that also supported the nourishment of a healthy mindset.
I am passionate about helping you to find the best way to nourish your body, mind and spirit, too. If you are serious about revamping the way you nourish your body please book an Advanced Wellness Consultation and let’s get you started on your amazing journey!
5. HERBAL OILS
One of my favorite balancing practices is healing touch through massage with herbal oils. My morning ritual includes a daily abhyanga (oil massage) before my showers. This is balancing and very nurturing for the skin. Using a dosha specific oil helps stay balanced no matter what seasonal challenges leave you feeling twisting in the wind. I am a huge believer in the power of massage, whether it being for you, your partner or your kids as massage sends a life sustaining energy of love through the fingertips and infuses your body with the vibrational medicine of the flowers, plants and herbs that occupy the oil you choose. A few of the most lovingly sourced and prepared oils I have found are by crafted by Pratima and Jiva-Apoha.
Try this life sustaining foot massage with a high quality oil with toward which you are drawn.
With your choice of oil massage each foot completely before moving onto the next, giving gratitude and love to your feet for connecting you to the Earth. Talahridaya: With your thumb, gently massage the point located in the middle of the arch of the foot (good for the heart). Big toe: With your thumb, massage the point located in the middle of the underside of the big toe (regulates hormonal activity). Toes: Starting with the big toe, massage the underside of the base of each toe. Then go back and massage each toe all around by gently pulling upward from base to tip (each toe, from biggest to smallest, corresponds to a major organ: brain, lungs, intestines, kidneys, heart). Kshipra: On the topside of the foot, place the tips of both thumbs in between the base of the big toe and the second toe, and massage about one inch towards the ankle until you feel the bone (strengthens the liver). Foot: With both hands, massage the foot in upward strokes from toes to ankles. Do top and bottom (massages all the nerve endings and improves circulation).
6. DECONGEST WITH CASTOR OIL PACKS
Castor oil, first recommended by American mysticist Edgar Cayce for treating many ailments that resist traditional therapies, a castor oil pack is a piece of wool (or cotton) flannel saturated with castor oil and applied to a specified area with, or without, heat. Edgar Cayce recommended castor oil packs in general to improve assimilations, eliminations, and circulation (especially of the lymphatic system) and in particular to breakup adhesions of the lacteal glands. Ricinoleic acid, the fatty acid comprising 90% of castor oil, binds to a specific receptor EP3 and EP4 and can help contribute to increasing peristalsis in the gut (and can cause contractions to induce labor incidentally.). It is also a methyl ester and can promote the support of the methylation pathway leading to a natural, effective way to detox the liver.
I use and prescribe castor oil packs as a natural and gentle way of detoxifying the body. A castor oil pack is placed on the skin to increase circulation and to promote elimination and healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. I have personally used castor oil packs to stimulate the liver, relieve pain, increase lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion. Download Here to learn how to make a castor oil pack.
7. HARNESS YOUR BREATH
Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.
~Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh
We all know the importance of breathing but are we conscious of breath the element Air and its natural rhythm within us? When we are under stress, breathing is the first thing to become shallow and strained.
Conscious breathing is a powerful tool for self-healing rooted in Pranayama (Prana being life force or breath that sustains the body and Ayama is to extend or draw out). Vedic texts teach that Prana can be cultivated and channeled through breathing exercises to affect the very energy centers in our body. The healing power of breath lies in its ability to regulate the autonomic nervous system, bringing harmony to the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.
I encourage all types of breathwork as it is capable of purifying the body and its 7 energy centers or Chakras, giving movement to energetic blockages or patterns and moving Spirit through the body. Two of my favorite breathing practices are Alternate Nostril Breathing and 4-7-8 (Relaxing Breath).
For 4-7-8 Breathing begin by exhaling completely through your mouth, then closing your mouth and inhaling quietly through your nose to a mental count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 7. Exhale completely through your mouth to a count of 8. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle 3 more times. Use this practice twice daily. This also works under times of anxiety and stress. The sooner you catch yourself before you lose control of your breath the faster you can stop a spiral downward into stress and chaos.
8. FLOWER REMEDIES ARE YOUR FRIENDS
I have a secret crush on all things homeopathic and natural. Though I utilize some pretty powerful functional supplements and TCM herbs in my practice I also have the deepest respect for harnessing the power of the flower kingdom when undergoing times of heavy emotional and mental bombardment, especially when coming on the heels of periods of deep clearing, cleansing, detoxing and healing. My favorite supportive remedy is the Bach Rescue Remedy – a blend of five flower essences including Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose & Clematis. This is a short term remedy indicated when one is experiencing trauma, shock, stress, fear, anxiety or feeling ungrounded. I always carry the spray bottle in my bag and always have the pastilles in the car for when the kids start to act up.
9. TUNE INTO NATURE
Spend time in nature- in the forest, by the sea, in the mountains or desert, under the rain or in the sun, even if it is in the park across the street from your office – absorbing the elements and restoring the body through the abundance of healing energies surrounding you. Nature is super intuitive in how it knows how to heal not only itself but its inhabitants. The crashing of waves on the beach releases negative ions into the air. When we are barefoot here or walking in the dewy, green grass our feet are making direct contact with the surface of the Earth and our body is being nourished by the natural, subtle energy of Mother Earth. This is important not only on a physical level as it resets our own rhythms (including helping reset our circadian rhythms) but on a primal emotional level as our predecessors lived in bare feet, in harmony with the subtle energies. There are some that believe that it is those energies that contribute to the “collective consciousness”, that it was how our ancestors survived hostile constantly changing territory.
If spending time in nature (going for a walk counts a little!) is not in the cards for you at the moment, remember, you can surround yourself with plants and flowers, open a window and let the wind in, sleep on cotton sheets over an earthing sheet as a way of connecting to those elements. Do you have a sacred space? If so, where is it? How do you connect to it? If not, what are you waiting for?
10. A BALANCE OF MOVEMENT & REST
We all know the value of exercise and also of sleep. We have heard from every avenue “You just need to exercise more!” “You need to get to sleep at a reasonable hour!” But here’s the thing. Both movement and rest are, indeed, imperative to healing and balancing your body. The lack of movement stagnates the body as much as the lack of sleep congests the toxins in the body.
Tune into your body and intuitively begin to sense the time for movement or the time for rest. Honor your individual cycle, as we honor nature and all of life.
Wishing you health, wellness & beauty,