Aromatherapy Bath Salts
IIt's the old familiar story. You walk in from a crazy day at work, it's been raining on your way home, you've fought with traffic, engaged in a little road rage, dropped your groceries on the way into the house, you're damp, tired and just want to climb into bed and sleep. Somehow you have to take care of a little matter called personal hygiene!
What will you sprinkle in tonight?
You could take a quick shower, soap yourself up and be done with it. OR ... you could languish away an hour in the tub away from family demands, inhaling the mind calming fragrance of some lovely aromatherapy bath salts. There's nothing like a touch of heaven in your bathroom to wash away the stresses of the day. Relaxation is something many of us see as a low priority, yet it is essential to our emotional and physical wellbeing. Every day we should allow ourselves the opportunity to recharge the body and mind, even if just for half an hour in the evening. Aromatherapy bath salts added to the water send wonderful perfumes wafting through the atmosphere, and by closing your eyes and simply breathing gently, you derive special benefits. With your body practically weightless under the surface, and your muscles relieved of their duties for a short time, you are free to enjoy the emotion-enhancing qualities of your salts of choice. Some aromatherapy bath salts are designed to relax, to help you chill out and drift into a dreamily calm state. Others are formulated to revive and stimulate, perfect for when you have plans for the evening and need a refresher to perk you up and back to life. Still others serve a much more simple purpose. If you absolutely love the scent of a particular fragrance, it can only do you a world of good to add it to your bath water. Luxuriating ensconced in a perfumed environment is not only decadent, but should be on your to-do list! There are also aromatherapy bath salts intended for healing purposes. Rich in mineral content, they often originate from mud or clay. The skin feels softer and aching muscles are noticeably improved. Mineral salts can come from exotic reaches of the world, or more affordably, created closer to home. You can make your own aromatherapy bath salts to enjoy yourself or to give away as gifts. Handmade gifts are always popular and show that you really care about the recipient. By keeping in mind their lifestyle and personality, you can create highly personalized recipes they'll adore. The kinds of ingredients to consider are the basics such as Epsom salts and sea salt, plus a vast array of fragrant additives from herbs and spices to essential oils and fresh botanicals. Choose from natural eucalyptus, jasmine, lavender and dozens of other flowers; rosemary, thyme and lemongrass from the herb families; and cloves and cinnamon for a spicy kick! You can also create a summer spritzer version of a favorite fragrance combination by mixing the ingredients through water and decanting into a spray bottle. Turn your bathroom into a day spa. You can create a sanctuary for yourself where you can think, meditate, reflect on the day or switch off entirely. Lock the door, play some music appropriate to your mood and don't come out until you're good and ready!
What is dance therapy?
Dance therapy treats emotional problems with dance.
Dancing goes back to primitive times, and magical powers have been attributed to it. When a witch doctor dances, it is to exorcise evil spirits from the sick person. I read that during the Middle Ages people even danced to avoid the plague. The Tarantella of Italy is believed to have originated after a poisonous spider's bite caused tarantism, and the cure for it was a jumping dance. Today's dance therapy evolved from the age-old idea that dancing has the power to cure.
These days, dance therapists are mental health professionals, who treat problems such as neurosis, psychosis, and even alcoholism with the dance. Dancing is a primal response to rhythm and music, so the dance therapist uses dancer's techniques to put the patient in touch with himself. A psychiatrist, of course, talks a patient through his problems, while a dance therapist uses the non-verbal, movement oriented techniques.
In dance therapy, the patient is made aware of his feelings through sensation and movement. Emotional problems and conflicts become concrete this way, they say. By integrating body and mind, the goal of dance therapy is to build the self-esteem and self-identity of an emotionally ill person.
The American Dance Therapy Association was founded in 1966. Its aim was to establish criteria for professional education and competence in this highly specialized area. The result of this is that there are now standardized procedures based on the present-day knowledge of the human nervous system and psyche, and of dance.
It is known that each one of our five senses sends messages to our brain through the nerves. And we react accordingly. In a nutshell, we jump for joy when we're happy about something, we slump when we are sad. That is body language. When the body doesn't react to the messages of the brain, we may blow an emotional fuse, and withdraw.
In Dance Therapy, patients are taught to act out hidden hurts. It is believed that acting out past hurts and frustrations can help the individual come to terms with his emotional problems and thus, learn to deal with them.
A Dance Therapy session consists of a small group, observed by a therapist. Sometimes, patients sit on the floor at the start, and as appropriate music plays, they keep time by striking beaters, in actuality bamboo reeds, against the floor. This is to help release hostility. Or daily routines are acted out, to the music. Finally the group begins to move around the room by walking, running, hopping, jumping, skipping, sliding, and leaping.
Then, patients learn how to re-establish contact with themselves by touching. First they touch their own hair, eyes, ears, lips, limbs, etc., then partners are selected and they are encouraged to touch each other's parts. Basically, these exercises lead to movements of varying tempo, dynamics and rhythm.
The purpose of all the various dance rituals and movements is to help patients participating gain new insights into themselves. And the session usually ends with a group hug, to create an atmosphere of love and acceptance.
Dance Therapy has been found very effective for people living out their lives in nursing homes. By providing opportunities for freedom of expression through movement, many of these old people regain more positive attitudes about themselves.
Although Dance Therapy is still a fairly new practice, it is known that it can provide an emotional release for pent-up, repressed feelings, and as a result, the patient may be sent on the road to improved mental health. And for the average person, putting on some music and dancing around in the kitchen, is not only great therapy, it's also fun!