Relaxation for Mind + Body Healing October 12 2017
Self-care is an important focus for all of us at Province Apothecary. We work and live in a big, busy city and although it can be quite hectic at times, we try not to let it compromise our need for self-care. In fact, taking time to relax and unwind allows us to deal with the everyday hustle and bustle much more effectively.
A lot of people I encounter are constantly in a ‘fight or flight’ state - can anyone relate? - whether they’re commuting during rush hour, working late to meet a deadline, or trying to finish a handful of errands all at once, they’re dealing with persistent stress which takes a toll on our health and wellbeing. This constant stressful state can lead to, or flare up already present, conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, acne, body aches + pains, and so much more. Luckily, some ways to symptom relief can be accessible and affordable.
Before we get to the good stuff (think: a warm bubble bath!) let’s talk more about our state of being. Quite simply, we could either be in a sympathetic (stressed) or a parasympathetic (relaxed) state. Both are a part of our nervous system, and both are important. If we were always in a relaxed state of mind, we would never get anything done. The key is balance, and somewhere along the line we’ve lost touch with that balance. Regaining that balance takes some effort, but with the right tools and available time, it can be an easy part of your daily routine that you’ll look forward to.
Our parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for slowing our heartbeat and breathing rate, promoting digestion and elimination. It provides a calming effect on the body + mind and essentially a feeling of relaxation. This is so important because once we enter this calming state, we give our bodies a chance to heal themselves from the inside out. Our body can work on digesting a big meal, eliminating toxins, clearing skin eruptions and so much more. An example of the powers of this part of our nervous system: when I feel a headache coming on, shifting my attention to my breathing and focusing on long, deep breaths always helps clear the pressure. If i’ve got a full blown headache, lying flat on the ground with a lavender scented eye pillow while focusing on deep breath work is another effective method.
We can harness the healing powers of our parasympathetic nervous system and utilize it as a preventative measure, instead of just focusing on it as a healing tool when symptoms of illness arise. I’ve compiled some of my favourite self-care rituals that help me relax and listed them below. Let us know if you have any tips of your own to share in the comments below!
- If you don’t have a bathtub at home, dry brush your entire body then apply your favourite scented oil (try our Radiant Body Oil) and then step into a hot shower. Allow the oil to infuse your senses and penetrate into the skin, imparting a soft hydrated texture once you step out to towel off.
Wishing you all a relaxing + restorative week!
Cassandra is a holistic aesthetician at our organic skincare clinic in Toronto, ON. She began her journey to health + wellness through a holistic lifestyle in 2012, and began working for Province Apothecary in 2014. Currently she’s studying to become a certified Aromatherapist. Book an appointment with Cassandra HERE
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