The Weekend Healer: More than a Dozen 3-Day Plans to Relax, Relieve Stress, and Re-energize

Overview


It's a rare moment when we can find respite from the day-to-day rush. Even during the weekend, we often feel locked into a fast-paced groove; the last thing we're thinking of is our health. Coming to the rescue is The Weekend Healer, an inspiring collection of seventeen programs designed to boost physical fitness and lift our spirits -- all in the space of a weekend, and all in the comfort and privacy of our own home.

Fun, easy to follow, and beautifully illustrated in color, ...

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Overview


It's a rare moment when we can find respite from the day-to-day rush. Even during the weekend, we often feel locked into a fast-paced groove; the last thing we're thinking of is our health. Coming to the rescue is The Weekend Healer, an inspiring collection of seventeen programs designed to boost physical fitness and lift our spirits -- all in the space of a weekend, and all in the comfort and privacy of our own home.

Fun, easy to follow, and beautifully illustrated in color, each plan offers natural and effective ways to make positive lifestyle changes that can last far beyond three days. Among the weekends presented here, you'll find:

  • Ways to detox your body through cleansing, breathing, and diet
  • All-natural beauty recipes for facials, moisturizers, and masks
  • Exercises ranging from yoga to chi kung
  • Simple meditation techniques to ease undue anxiety or stress

This weekend, take care of the most important thing in your life -- you.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615514540
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/2/2002
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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BODY CARE: Detox yourself

Sometimes you just know you've overdone it! Your mind is sluggish, your body feels uncomfortable, and your energy levels are close to zero. It's time for a detox. This weekend cleanse is gentle and safe (yet still effective) and offers your body a rejuvenating break.

CAUTION: Don't detox when pregnant, breastfeeding, menstruating, or with a cold or infection. If you have any medical problems, check with your doctor first.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
* Seasonal salads, fruits, and vegetables
* Herbal tea: thyme, ginger, peppermint
* 10 pints (6 litres) of mineral water
* Six lemons
* Essential oils: rosemary, plus chamomile, pine, or juniper
* Epsom salts (or mineral bath)
* Natural bristle brush with long handle
* Plenty of towels
* Candles, inspirational books, music

Friday evening: GETTING READY

Eat a light diet throughout today in preparation for your weekend. Cut out tea, coffee, and heavy proteins and fat. Drink at least 3 pints (2 litres) of unchilled water. Eat a light supper of salad (with a little olive oil, garlic, lemon, and cider vinegar dressing). From now on, only drink fresh water (warm or room temperature), herbal tea, or ginger tea.

SKIN BRUSHING

Before you go to bed brush your skin — make sure it's dry so brush before a bath. Skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system and encourages the expulsion of toxins.

* Brush your feet, toes, and soles and then the front and back of your legs (use longs, smooth strokes). Always brush upwards and towards the groin.
* Brush your buttocks and lower back (as well as you can) using upwards strokes.
* Brush your hands and arms towards your armpits.
* Brush across your shoulders and down the chest towards the heart (avoid your nipples).
* Brush the back of your neck with downward strokes.
* Using a circular, clockwise motion, brush your abdominal and stomach area.

Now have a bath to which you have added two drops of rosemary oil. Gradually add cool water until, over a period of about half an hour, the water is quite cold. This further stimulates the lymph.

Saturday: SERIOUS CLEANSING

Today, follow a strict mono-diet by eating, or drinking the juice of, one type of fruit or vegetable: either grapes, apples, or carrots. Taking small amounts throughout the day, make sure you chew thoroughly and sip your juice slowly — be conscious of every mouthful.

Start the day with a mug of hot water and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Get out in the fresh air and take a good walk, noticing the world around you.

THE DETOX BREATH

This powerful breathing exercise will help you eliminate the toxins you are releasing and strengthen and tone your entire system. CAUTION: Do not use it you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, epilepsy, hernia, or if you have any ear, nose, or eye problem.

1. Inhale slowly and deeply. Don't overstrain in any way.
2. Exhale briskly, as if you were sneezing. As you do, become aware of your abdomen which will naturally tighten and flatten as you exhale.
3. Inhale naturally and exhale briskly again.
4. Continue this cycle for as long as you feel comfortable. It is very energetic so you may not be able to manage more than a minute to begin with. Do it regularly throughout your weekend and notice how you improve.
5. When you finish, return to normal breathing. Notice how you feel.

Follow this exercise, if you can, with a Turkish bath for a steam and massage or else go swimming. You could try a bodywork or massage session: MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) is particularly useful while detoxing as it supports the lymphatic system. But any massage will do you good (ask you therapist to use detoxing oils if you're having aromatherapy).

EPSOM SALTS BATH

Before turning in for an early night you're going to have a thorough skin-brushing session and then an Epsom salts bath. This induces lots of perspiration so you can sweat out lots of the toxins you are starting to release.

CAUTION: Avoid this bath if you have heart trouble, are diabetic, or feel tired and weak. Instead, you can substitute a mineral bath such as a Moor mud bath.

1. Dissolve about 16 oz (450 g) of Epsom salts into a warm bath — it shouldn't be too hot.
2. Get in and relax for about 20 minutes. Visualize all the toxins coming out from your pores and dissolving in the water. Drink a hot herbal tea (thyme or peppermint) to increase the sweating and replace any fluids you lose.
3. Get out carefully as you may feel light headed. Don't rub your body; just swathe yourself in large, warm towels and go to bed, making sure your feet are wrapped up warmly. You'll probably go straight to sleep.

DETOX YOUR LIFE

This evening, write down how you could detox your life — rather than just your body. What is toxic in your life? Any people? Your work? Your home or the place where you live? What changes would ease your toxic load?

Sunday: COMING CLEAN

During the night you've sweated so sponge yourself down with warm water or shower. Vigorously rub your body dry. Your skin may well be tingling. Drink a cup of hot water with squeezed lemon. Eat fresh fruit salad or, if the weather's cold, stew some fruit (apples, pears plus sultanas, raisins) in a little water instead.

Get some exercise and for lunch eat another fruit salad (mixed seasonal fruit) topped with plain live yogurt. Eat slowly, with awareness, tasting every mouthful.

DETOX MEDITATION

Repeat the detox breathing this afternoon and then spend some time in meditation.

1. Sit either on a straight-backed chair or on the floor.
2. Check your body to ensure you aren't holding on to tension, especially jaws, shoulders, legs, and buttocks.
3. Now focus on your breath. Don't try to change it — just be aware of it. Notice how you breathe in, and how you hold the breath for a moment before exhaling. Then another pause before you inhale. It's a four-step process.
4. Follow your breath like this and if your mind starts to wander, don't be angry — just gently bring it back.
5. Imagine you're exhaling toxic thoughts and emotions from your body and mind and inhaling new, exciting energy and possibilities.
6. When you feel ready, return your focus to the breath.
7. Now become aware of your body — of your buttocks sitting on the floor or chair; of your head balancing on your neck; of your shoulders relaxed and heavy.
8. Now become aware of the world around you: the sounds, the temperature. Slowly and gently open your eyes and return to normal consciousness.
9. Sit for a few minutes. Drink water before getting up.

GO EASY ON YOURSELF

Eat your evening meal early, around 6pm. A simple bowl of steamed vegetables with herbs, spices, and garlic to taste (but no salt). Make a dressing of a teaspoon of olive oil and lemon juice (plus ginger and garlic if you like) and pour over the steamed vegetables. Allow it all to mix together for a few minutes. If you're ravenously hungry, add a portion of boiled brown rice or a baked potato.

Take it easy and pamper yourself this evening. Light some candles and burn an aromatherapy oil (juniper, chamomile, or pine). Curl up with a good book or listen to music.

Check in with your body and see how you feel. Are there parts of the detox you might continue? Give up coffee for good? Drink the hot water and lemon every morning? Devote 20 minutes a day to meditation? Even small changes will help your body feel better.

BODY CARE: Beauty weekend

Who honestly doesn't want to be more beautiful? We may spend a lot of money on fancy cosmetics but few of us really spend time and thought on our bodies. Allowing yourself the luxury of a pampering beauty weekend can make you look — and feel — like a million dollars.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
* Food for beauty, including plenty of fruit for eating raw and juicing
* Four pints (2.5 litres) fresh, whole milk
* Ripe, red cherries; ripe, organic grapes
* Large bag of sea salt
* 25 ml beeswax and 40 ml rosewater
* Almond, grapeseed, wheatgenn, coconut oils
* Cider vinegar
* Wild honey
* 2 eggs
* Green tea
* Essential oils: see text for options
* Glass jars, sterilized

Friday evening: MAKE A FRESH START

Look in your make-up bag, your bathroom cabinet, your cosmetic "shelf" and what do you see? Ten to one, they are all stuffed full. Yet make-up and cosmetics don't have an indefinite use-by date; in fact, they can go off quite quickly. Have a complete turn-our: throw away anything that is over a year old; anything you don't wear; or anything that no longer suits you.

If you want to combine this weekend with a detox then follow the eating guidelines from the Detox weekend. If not, eat a good, healthy diet with an emphasis on fresh fruit and juice.

Throughout the weekend, try to give your face a break from make-up — allow it to breathe. Turn your Friday evening cleansing session into a mini-ritual.

1. Light some candles and put on soothing music in the bathroom. Make sure you have plenty of fluffy towels ready and warming on the radiator.
2. Gently remove all your make-up, ideally with a little coconut oil — take care not to pull the skin.
3. Allow the bath to fill with warm water and then add 4 pints (2.5 litres) of fresh milk and a couple of drops of chamomile essential oil.
4. Mash up ripe organic grapes into a paste (grapes are toning and nourishing) and apply as a face mask.
5. Now gently lower yourself into your milk bath (which will smooth and moisturize your skin).
6. Relax for around 10 minutes then rinse off the mask and pat your face with the milky water.
7. Stay in the bath for another 10 minutes and then get out and pat your skin dry.

Saturday: STIMULATE YOUR CIRCULATION

Get moving! If you want to beautiful body, you need to move it! This morning do some exercise and then give yourself a shiatsu facial massage in the afternoon. In the evening take a salt massage bath followed by a wonderful sleep — they don't call it beauty sleep for nothing.

If you're new to exercise visit your local sports or health club and see if anything appeals, or check out gentle yet powerful exercise systems such as yoga or Pilates — they stretch and tone the body without all the huffing and puffing. At the very least go for a good walk or swim. Remember: start and finish any exercise with a series of stretches (your instructor or teacher will show you how).

SHIATSU FACIAL MASSAGE

Massaging various tsubos (acupressure points) can help to revitalize the face and relieve tension which gives rise to lines. Use either your thumbs or the pads of one or more fingers (experiment with what works best for you). Press for around five seconds on each point — use whatever pressure feels right (some points may be tender but don't press to the point of agony!).

1. Close your eyes and gently and softly circle your face with your fingertips.
2. Cover your eyes with your palms and relax like this for a few minutes. You can rest your elbows on a table.
3. Find the point at the lower edge of each cheekbone, where the bone sticks our. It is usually directly under the middle of each eye. Press on both sides simultaneously.
4. Move your fingers to the top of your nose, in the corners of your eyes. Press here with your index fingers.
5. Move your fingers out to either side of your eyes (the outer corners nearest your ears). Press at these points.
6. Find the spot just under your ear lobes, between the bones. Press here (both sides at the same time, as always).
7. Move back to the area under your eyes and find the tsubo on the bony edge of the eye sockets. Hold gently.
8. Finish by working on your "third eye" spot in between your eyebrows. Press firmly, then apply a little coconut oil and gently, very gently, massage this point in a circular (clockwise) motion. The longer this point is massaged the better — it helps eliminate wrinkles, stimulate circulation, and bring a profound sense of peace.

SALT MASSAGE BATH

This bath increases circulation and deeply cleanses the skin by sloughing off old cells. CAUTION: Do not use if you have broken skin, high or low blood pressure, or any heart condition.

1. Fill the bath with warm water (it shouldn't be too hot) and add a cup or two of sea salt.
2. Pour a handful of sea salt into your hand and add some warm water until you have a thick paste.
3. Using small, circular movements, massage the paste over your body: start with your neck and shoulders and move slowly down until you reach your feet (don't use on your face and don't rub over nipples).
4. Get into the bath and soak for at least 10 minutes.
5. Rub yourself dry and have an early night.

Sunday: LOVING ATTENTION

This morning you can make your own cosmetics, It's good fun and the beauty of homemade products in that you know exactly what's going into them. But they won't keep as long as store-bought products so keep them in the fridge and use quickly. In the afternoon give your hands and feet some loving attention, followed later by your face, hair, and body.

FEET AND HANDS MASSAGE

Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes in a large bowl of warm water containing 15 ml sea salt, 3 drops almond oil, and 2 to 6 drops peppermint or patchouli oil.

While your feet are soaking, give your hands a treat. Soak them in warm water for about five minutes then massage with a mixture of 10 ml of wheatgerm oil, 5 ml of wild honey, and five drops of lavender oil, Use small, circling movements. Very gently, push back your cuticles and massage your nails with the mixture.

SOOTHING TREAT

Tonight give your face, hair, and body a soothing treat.

1. Prepare a luxurious hair treatment by mixing together two egg yolks, one tablespoon of almond oil, and a drop of tangerine essential oil.
2. Moisten your hair and massage the mixture into your scalp and hair. Wrap your head in a plastic bag with a towel on top. Keep this on throughout the following.
3. Steam your face: add two drops of geranium oil to a bowl of just-boiled water. Put a large towel over your head and the bowl. Keep your face about 18 ms (45 cm) away from the water for about 10 minutes — but don't get uncomfortable. The steam opens and cleanses the pores. CAUTION: Do not steam if you have thread veins, are asthmatic, or suffer from a heart condition.
4. Make a cherry mask with fresh cherries. Crush them into a slushy paste and pur all over your neck and face.
5. Run a hot bath. Add four drops of fennel oil to a cup of milk, mix and add to the bath. Soak for about 20 minutes. Drink a cup of green tea while in the bath.
6. Pat off the cherry mask. Finally, unwrap your hair and wash. Have another early night: beautiful dreams!

Copyright © 2002 by Gaia Books Limited
Text Copyright © 2002 by Jane Alexander

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Bodycare Weekends 12
Body awareness 14
Detox yourself 22
Beauty weekend 30
Energizing weekend 38
Ayurveda weekend 46
Part 2 Mind and Emotion Weekends 54
Explore your subconscious 56
Relationships weekend 64
Rearranging weekend 72
Break your routine 80
Part 3 Spirit Weekends 88
Retreat weekend 90
Shamanic weekend 98
Spiritual awareness 106
Qabalah weekend 114
Part 4 Seasonal Weekends 122
Welcoming Spring 124
Welcoming Summer 130
Welcoming Autumn 136
Welcoming Winter 142
Sun Salutation 148
Moon Salutation 150
Recipes 152
Resources 154
Further reading 156
Index 158
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