Archive for the ‘massage’ Tag

Time to Take Care of the Nestee   Leave a comment

Upon reaching the unfortunate “1 year of trying to conceive without success” milestone (it’s closer to 1.5 years on the calendar but interruptions like gallbladder surgery messed with the schedule), I started doing some self-evaluation in addition to testing. One of the things that I realized was that I had gotten distracted in this process and had been neglecting myself. I suppose this is in general a problem for many people, and mothers especially, but when trying to get pregnant I’d guess it is counter productive. I’ve been so focussed on house stuff and financial matters, and the intellectual side of trying to become a good baby-host, that I kept procrastinating the stuff that was just for me. After years of being pretty good about monthly massages, I got ONE massage in 2011. After a few years of being good about monthly clothing purchases I bought a pair of jeans and some socks in the first 10 months of 2011, and both of those were almost-emergency purchases (translation: I had 7 pairs of socks left, and jeans with an impending hole). I don’t remember if I did any home facials all year, most weekends involved fairly extensive to-do lists and attempts at productivity, and I can’t remember the last time I cuddled up with a good book. It’s not that I didn’t do anything fun, or that I wasn’t taking care of myself in the basic sense, but that I wasn’t taking care of my emotional/mental self.

As my friend also pointed out, I usually approach everything in life with a rather spiritual/emotional perspective, but so far have been largely intellectual on the trying to conceive front. I’ve focussed on reducing external stressors, eating right, maintaining my exercise routine, charting, taking supplements, and house-projects (nesting). Yes, I was doing some visualization, and trying to deal with internal stressors, but entirely unsuccessfully.

It is time for that to change. I am re-committing to myself. One of my personal golden rules is that I am the most important person in my life, and I need to live by my own rule. February has been a good month to get that started with two massages (courtesy of a gift certificate), a hair cut so that I like the person in the mirror for the first time in over  a year, and a consistent visualization practice. I created a daily invitation/prayer to my future child, and am doing myofascial release treatments in the pelvic region to release stored tension (the pelvic region is the seat of the second chakra, which deals with relationships and sexual function among other things). Maybe the most important thing is mentally putting my foot down on the recent habit of putting the house first, and the inclination to be busy. It’s hard since there’s so much I’d like to do, and I enjoy doing it; but it creates internal stress and pressure to do-do-do-go-go-go. Internal psychological pressures are a bear! Especially for those who could be described as planners, or people who love to have multiple “projects” going on at any given time.

Some of this stuff is considered luxury by many even if it isn’t: like monthly massages, hair cuts, or clothing purchases. On a spiritual/emotional level taking that sabbath-time for a massage, even just one hour a month, has a huge effect. No, your muscles will not stay loose, but the benefits of a release of surface tension, break from mental stressors, and possible release of stored tension will last longer when it is a regular practice. And believe me, not liking what you see in the mirror or dreading getting dressed in the morning because your clothes are worn out or you have to wear the same things every week, has an incredibly negative effect on a persons psyche.


Super-Splurge Self Pampering   2 comments

Every time I come home to Albuquerque, I have to make an appointment for a massage at Betty’s Bath and Day Spa, where I can soak in a hot tub or sit in a sauna before the massage. In my humble opinion massages are sooooo much more effective when preceded by heat therapy. The heat therapy takes care of the surface tension of the muscles, and so when you go into the massage both mind and muscles are better able to be treated by the massage. Unfortunately, I have yet to find somewhere in Sacramento where I can experience the same. Arden Hills Spa does allow spa patrons to use the hot tub and sauna in the club, but that place is somewhat pricey and I had a rather bad experience there for my pre-wedding spa party. So I splurge when I come home. It is a case where an egregious use of energy (to heat the water in the hot tub or keep a sauna at temp) is perfectly ok in my book. Maybe it is hypocritical of me, but I really value the heat therapy on a spiritual level and not just the physical/mental level, and isn’t one of the main purposes of life to enjoy living?

This time, I added an extra splurge. They were featuring a holiday special of a 1 hour massage and 1 hour facial, and since I have a backlog of 3 body treatments (goal rewards), I decided to go for it. I haven’t gotten a facial at a spa in several years because I am usually content to do it at home. It was nice and very relaxing to have the facial treatments done to me, and I think I dozed off at some point (This was after 15 minutes in a sauna, 15 minutes in a hot tub, a few minutes of stretching, and a full body massage). But there were a few times during the treatment when I remember thinking, “What is she doing now?”. She went through lots of cotton and tissue, and I lost count of how many different products she used. It was the nicest feeling facial that I’ve ever paid for, but looking at the shelf covered with open bottles for all of the products that she used I decided that I still prefer doing it my way at home.

The professional way means using a fancy steam machine, lots of cotton, tissues, and hot washclothes, and using countless products. All of those products required manufacture, packaging, and shipping. And I’d be surprised if most of those products actually DID anything during the treatment. Call me a sceptic. When I give myself a facial treatment at home it is simple and cheap. I need a pot with boiling water, dried herbs (mostly lavender, rosemary, and fennel), essential oils (mostly lavender, tea tree, and bergamot), a ground oatmeal scrub, dried buttermilk or plain yogurt, and clay. One tub of clay may be pricey, but it lasts for years. I tried grinding the pure clay kitty litter to save money but found that I just couldn’t grind it fine enough to really work well. Most of these ingredients are already in my pantry and require very little energy or packaging to prepare and store. So maybe in five years I’ll get another professional facial, but until then I’ll stick to my homemade pampering.

Posted December 28, 2010 by mayakey in frugal living, personal care, resource use, self-care

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