I spent the most delightful weekend in the heart of British Columbia’s wine country to attend the 90th birthday of one of Canada’s preeminent artists, Daphne Odjig. A truly remarkable woman—we should all live such a rich life and be surrounded by so many loving family and friends.
In addition to a myriad of vineyards the Okanagan has such a bounty of edible treats. I got up Saturday morning and went to the farmers market and there surrounded by the sweetest peaches imaginable, organic carrots and heritage tomatoes was a reflexology practitioner, a crystal healer, chakra balancing and energy healing—now that’s what I call a decadent outdoor market. And it went on for two entire blocks!
Reflexology is a method involving the practice of massaging or applying pressure to parts of the feet, hands and ears. The Reflexology Association of Canada defines reflexology as: A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, creams or lotions relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.
My mom, an amazing woman in her own right, studied reflexology and my feet enjoyed many hours of her training.
Known as Reflexology or Barefoot paths nearly every village in Taiwan has built special paths of pebbles and every morning at 3 or 4 o'clock, people walk barefoot around the pebble path for a half hour before they go to work. Hundreds, even thousands do this. It has become a way of life.
The Chinese tradition of "stone stepping" has undergone controlled testing at the Oregon Research Institute. Scientists found that older adult participants "experienced significant improvements in mental and physical well-being." These special paths have been built in parks, spas, condominium complexes and country clubs across Asia. In Germany and Austria, one embarks on a hike through nature with bare feet making contact with specially selected surfaces. Ideas of "acupoints" in Asia and "reflexzonmassage" in Germany tie walking to the health of the whole body.
The crystal sage indicates that from as far back as the days of the lost city of Atlantis, through the ancient Mayan and Hebrew civilizations, and including Far Eastern and Native American cultures, crystals and gemstones have been used both in spiritual rituals and as aids to physical healing. Last year I started to make necklaces and recently have incorporated gemstones in my designs, which are not only beautiful but a powerful adornment.
Since I picked up a big juicy basket of peaches I did some research and found that peach juice is a natural astringent and helps to unclog pores and banish blemishes. It's also very emollient and helps to replenish moisture in your skin. When used regularly, in time, it is said to lighten age spots and to plump up skin, reducing the look of fine lines. So for that "peachy" complexion make yourself a peach facial mask at home.
Peel and cube one peach, mix with the juice of one lemon and add a sprig of peppermint. Simmer until the mixture is completely soft then mash into a smooth paste. Cool and when barely warm, gently massage into skin and rinse completely with warm water, gently pat skin dry. Your face will feel like silk!
The joy of diverse spa treatments can happen anywhere, at home—at the market—on a beach or in a park and of course in a purpose-built facility. Spa Girl says it’s good to be unrestrained!