Stress Busters - by Editor
Japanese Foot Relaxation
Try the Japanese method for foot relaxation. Soak your feet in a tub of hot water for a few minutes. Then dry them by rubbing vigorously with a towel to stimulate circulation. Massage toes well - 5 times each, clockwise and counterclockwise. When done, pull each toe outward. Then put your feet on your lap and massage your soles well using your fingers at first, then fists. Finish off by light, tapping motions on the soles.
Apply hot oil and massage your scalp, using brisk, circular motions. Place your fingers on your pressure points and press, not too hard, but just enough to let your stress drift away. It can work wonders for relieving tension in the head and neck area. Or try this: lie down with eyes shut, and with clean, warm hands, gently massage your face and head. In just fifteen minutes this can relieve a headache or help you feel better after a stressful day.
Rub a few ice cubes on your face. This is a great pick-me-upper. Place ice cubes on your closed eyelids, and feel the energy rush back to your tired eyes. Alternatively, you could use used tea-bags.
Place your hands on your abdomen and inhale deeply. Push your stomach OUT while inhaling, not IN. Feel it fill up with oxygen. Hold your breath for as long as possible, without straining yourself. As you exhale, pull IN your stomach, pumping out the air. This is called abdominal breathing, and it has great yogic benefits.
Lie on the floor and place your legs on a higher surface, perhaps a bed. Cross your arms across your chest and inhale deeply, letting the blood rush to your head. Alternatively, lie on the bed and let your head hang down below the level of the rest of your body. Those who do not have the ability to stand on their heads can substitute it with this exercise. Aasans which involve standing on your head or raising the body above the level of the head have always formed an integral part of yoga, with manifold benefits. Such exercises boost circulation to the brain, and is beneficial for the entire body. They also have anti-aging advantages. Make sure you don't do such exercises after a meal!
Dry Skin Brushing
IndiaParenting strongly recommends dry skin brushing. This has untold advantages: it exfoliates your skin, gives it a healthy glow, and boosts circulation. And the best part - it is really quite easy. Take a dry bristle brush or a loofah and start brushing your DRY body with small strokes, from your feet up. Begin at the bottom of your left foot, moving up the left leg. Repeat on right side. Use a circular motion on your hip area and buttocks. This will also help you get rid of cellulite. Complete your rejuvenation by using circular motions on your back and chest area. The rule of thumb is to brush towards the heart. Thus, brush up from the legs, and down from the neck to your heart.
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