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Written by Tera on March 27, 2012 – -
- by Heather Gardner
Its spring at last, but do you leap out of bed in the morning with a spring in you step? Or do you slither like a slug, reluctantly emerging from your cozy cocoon?
If you have been making less than perfect dietary choices and skimping on exercise to cozy up to the TV, then it may be that you are in need of something to get your blood and body moving. Instead of forking out for the latest designer detox product, we can look to Mother Nature and ancient knowledge to show us how to ditch the dither and slither for ‘get up and go’, sparkle and glow!
One of the most ancient forms of self rejuvenation used by man is the science and art of hydrotherapy. It was used in Ayurveda and by yoga practitioners, by the ancient Greeks and Romans as well as the Turks and Japanese. It became popular in 19th century Europe for those in search of a ‘nature cure’. People would flock to numerous spas and mineral baths to walk barefoot in nature and be cured of their ills.
Nowadays, we can create a nature spa in our very own homes using the shower or bath. A simple way to do this is to start finishing off your showers with a cold-water hose down. Once you are used to this, you can gradually start ending you showers with alternating hot and cold water.
When the body is subjected to heat, the blood and lymph moves to the surface of the skin in order to keep the inner organs cool, alternatively when the body is subjected to cold the blood and lymph moves in greater volume to keep the inner organs warm.
So by heating then cooling the body several times in succession we create movement and a pumping effect with in the body.
As well as the detoxifying effects, it also contracts the skin pores and increases the tone and elasticity over time. If you have cellulite then it’s a good idea to pay greater attention to skin brushing in addition to hot and cold showering in the effected areas.
After you have taken your normal shower, change the setting to cool, then starting at your feet let the cool water flow all over moving from the feet upwards to the torso.
You can move the water in a circular motion to give the skin a little massage.
When you get to the torso, run the water up and down both arms around the neck and briefly to your face. Change the water temperature back to warm and repeat the process.
Do a minimum of 3 times with hot water, followed by 3 times with cold, and always finish with cold water.
If you don’t have a shower, you can keep a jug or water container by the bath then simply fill it with alternating hold and cold water, splashing your body with it.
The best way to get the benefits of hot and cold showering is to do it in the morning. First do some skin brushing, as this will magnify the benefits and increase the natural healing effects.
The body can be more sluggish and stagnant in the morning after lying in bed overnight and processing what we may of eaten and drunk the day before.
These two techniques – hot and cold shower hydrotherapy combined with dry skin brushing – can help to get you feeling alert and ready for action.
Heather is a lifelong 3rd generation vegetarian, Raw Food and Kundalini Yoga Teacher. She began learning about herbs and wild foods at a young age from her herbalist mother while growing up on a remote mountainside in Ireland and delving into the world of foraging, potion making, nutrition, and raw & living foods as a teenager searching for answers to numerous health challenges. At 20 she began learning and experimenting with the Raw Lifestyle and in 2005 she began to move onto a raw diet and has transitioned to a balanced high raw diet over time. She has studied Natural Nutrition and many other healing modalities and has over 10 years experience as a Natural Remedies, Health & Beauty manager and Brand manager within the UK Natural Products industry, and helping people to achieve better health naturally. Now she lives in the west of Ireland, teaching and running her business www.consciousearthcompany.com as well as running after her feisty little toddler! Connect with Heather on Facebook here.