As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda in December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.
Your Body, Mind and Spirit Need a Break … here’s how: Years ago a doctor in New York City told me how he relieved his stress at the end of the day…. I never forgot it and have followed his advice most days.
When he went home, he drew a tub of very warm water and soaked in it for about twenty minutes. “When you get out of bed in the morning, your body’s organs are more or less rested,” he explained. “As the day goes on, those organs, as well as your mind and spirit get out of sorts due to the day’s stressful wear and tear, as it were. Hydrotherapy, a fifteen or twenty minute very warm bath, relaxes me better than anything else I’ve tried. I can feel myself returning to a calm state, and I believe it’s good for my long term health and well-being, too.”
I tried it not knowing if it would work for me…It did work! Ever since, I have soaked in a relaxing tub of warm water every day I possibly can. Until you try it it’s hard to believe how well it works. Here’s why:
Hydrotherapy – an Ancient Healing Practice
Hydrothermal therapy (hot water treatment) has been used as a traditional treatment for disease and injury by many cultures, including China and Japan. Asklepios, the ancient Greek god of healing, advocated the use of water as medicine. Similarly, Roman physicians, Galen and Celsus, used therapeutic baths for many remedies. So, water therapy has been used for centuries to heal the sick.
A relaxing hot bath can help relieve congestion, aches and pains and will restore energy to your entire body, especially the neck and shoulders, which often suffer the most under stress.
By expanding your capillaries, the smallest blood vessels in the body, the warm water helps bring more blood to all your organs, providing them with more nourishment. Lying horizontally in a tub also relieves the heart from the burden of having to pump against gravity and increases circulation without using extra energy.
One of the functions of your skin with its millions of pores is the elimination of toxins. Immersion in warm water for 15 or 20 minutes helps stimulate this process, causing perspiration, which in turn, forces skin eruptions to emerge more quickly.
Scientific studies have proved that a warm tub bath has a positive effect on the nervous system. Warm water stimulates the nerve endings in your skin, which in turn deliver soothing messages to the organs, glands and muscles in your body.
Water therapy is also very effective as a nontoxic calming agent to soothe your body and help you get a better night’s sleep. It acts as a mild tranquilizer, if you do it just before going to bed.
Taken in the morning, it provides energy for the day.
How to Set Up Your Home Treatment Spa
Your peak of good health, ultimate beauty and youthful vitality can be attained only when your body, including your internal organs, mind, and spirit are in harmony. But you don’t have to go to a health spa, spend time in a whirlpool and indulge in a massage. An ordinary bathroom can be turned into a luxurious home treatment spa.
Here is a checklist of things you can do easily to accomplish this and pamper yourself:
•Hang a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign on the bathroom door during every treatment – yes, I have one. • Put your favorite plant or flower or two in the bathroom. • Add a tranquil painting or two. • Soft towels – you deserve them. • A soft bathroom mat. • A tub tray, if you don’t have enough shelf space close by • Soft, soothing music, if you wish – nothing loud, and no commercials • Something cool (not cold) to drink or sip with a straw. Cool juice is great. • Have all your Spa Treatment products at arms length. • Make-up cleanser/remover • Tissues • A rough or textured wash cloth. A loofa or sponge is OK, too.
Achieve Total Relaxation – Here’s How
Most of us think we know when we are totally relaxed, but we usually are not, not even when we’re sleeping. Follow these five steps to reach that state:
1. Once your personal spa is ready, get into the bathtub and slowly sink into the water. Allow your shoulders to submerge up to your neck, even if you have to bend your legs and keep your knees out of the water. Make sure your feet are in the warm water though. Now get comfortable. Get so comfortable that you do not have to hold up any part of your body – you must become “dead weight” to get totally relaxed.
2. Focus your attention on one part of your body at a time and command it to relax completely – you’ll feel that part getting limp. Relaxing your back and neck muscles fully is most important. Rest your head on either a rolled-up towel, or better yet, a small waterproof head and neck cushion (you can buy one at most bath supply stores). It will greatly assist the relaxation process, and help keep your hair dry, as well.
3. Once you are totally relaxed, take a half dozen or so deep breaths s-l-o-w-l-y, and then exhale completely.
4. Think of one of the most pleasant things that ever happened to you. Focus on it.
5. Now soak for 15 or 20 minutes, pretending you are asleep. Make sure your shoulders and the base of your neck remain immersed in the warm water. Your hydrotherapy treatment will do the rest.
Stress relief through relaxation has been the subject of numerous posts on the blog. Here are some links if you want to explore it further: