Spa goers indulge in body wraps to relax, detoxify and lose inches. Herbal wraps are also great for tightening tummy skin following pregnancy, and for decreasing arthritis-induced joint pain and inflammation. But you don’t have to go to a spa to enjoy the benefits of an herbal wrap! You can enjoy an herbal wrap in the comfort of your very own home.
First you need enough thin towels to cover your entire body, or a clean white sheet. Alternatively, you can purchase a salon-grade wrapping sheet, which will more effectively squeeze your tissues together for better results.
Next, you want to chase everyone else out of the house, or make an emphatic announcement that you are not to be bothered for the next 90 minutes unless someone’s head literally bursts into flames!
The next step is to prepare the wrap recipe. Here’s a simple clay body wrap recipe:
* 1 cup green clay or bentonite
* cup sea salt
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 cups water
Bring the water to a boil, and add the sea salt until dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir. You can add more water if necessary; the consistency you want to achieve is a wet paste.
You can add two tablespoons of an essential oil to this mixture if you like. Recommended essential oils include lavender, sandlewood, sage, rosemary, lemon or lemongrass and grapefruit. Alternatively, you can sprinkle in some herbs to the mixture. Recommended herbs include chamomile flower powder, rose petal or rose hip powder, alfalfa leaf powder or ground basil.
Now cart your little spa concoction to the bathroom. Light some candles, and have your towels or sheet ready. You may also want to set aside any rugs so as not to spill any of the mixture on them. It might be a good idea to place some old towels on the floor. You can also have a plastic laundry basket handy to put your towels or sheet in following your herbal wrap” session. Take a warm or hot shower to open up your pores.
Get out of the shower and dry off, then rub the mixture over your entire body, except your face. Cover yourself with the towels or sheet, wrapping them snugly around your body. It’s up to you whether you wrap your legs together or separately. Wrapping them together will help you retain more body heat, but wrapping them separately will allow the cloth to squeeze your inner legs.
Since herbal wraps are messy, lie in the bathtub for 45 minutes to one hour. Hanging out in the bathtub without any water can be a little boring — soothe yourself with some relaxing music from a CD or your ipod. If you like, you can also cover yourself with an inexpensive foil blanket to help retain your body heat and stay warm.
After your home herbal wrap session, remove the towels or sheet from your body while standing in the tub, then place them in the laundry basket. Next, luxuriate in a long, hot shower or bath to remove the wrap residue from your skin. You can wash your towels or sheets in warm water later.
It’s important to drink at least eight to 16 glasses of water a day, not just every day, but especially preceding and following your home herbal wrap. That’s because water helps flush toxins out of your system. Following your home herbal wrap, avoid caffeine, sugar, fried foods, high-fat foods, sodas and alcohol to maximize the detoxification benefits.