After you have scrubbed your body the next step in your at home spa treatment is the body wrap. It is important to treat yourself, to maximize your relaxation, maximize the revitalizing and rejuvenating aspects of this therapy. So go all out for yourself. If your bath area is large, you may want to take a lounge chair and space heater into it. Or you can utilize the tub by simply adding a bath or real pillow, and the heater of course. Some wraps are best done in the bath to keep clean up at a minimum, but you can always go all out by transforming your bedroom into a spa for a few hours. Draw the curtains, dim the lights, light some aromatic candles, preferably some lavender essential oil ones, and maybe some chamomile too. Then bring in a space heater, some large bath towels and all the items you will need for your treatment. Don't forget to uplug the phone either! Prepare your mind so that you can get the most out of this time, you deserve it!
  • Make sure that if you are not doing this right after you scrubbed, you remove all dirt, perfumes and lotions before beginning a wrap. A quick shower should accomplish this goal with ease.
  • It is important to warm all your tools, towels, sheets, and ingredients prior to use. This will help to retain the heat during your treatment, which will help the treatment to work more efficiently.
  • The sheet or cotton strips should be immersed in water that is approx. 180 degrees F or 82 degrees C.
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin, and avoid burns when wringing out the sheet or cotton strips.
  • Select your relaxation spot and gather all of your needed items before you begin. Having everything at hand will speed the preparation phase and allow for a more streamlined and effective treatment.
  • Using a space heater near the relaxation area will prolong the heat of the wrap.
  • Sipping some hot herbal tea before you wrap will raise your body temperature and intensify the effects of the wrap.
  • You can use a cheap shower curtain liner (they have them at the dollar stores) instead of buying a plastic sheet.
  • Watch for bedding sales and buy yourself an all cotton (you can also use linen, but I prefer cotton) sheet to cut and use for treatment strips. You will need them to be about 3" wide. You can wash and reuse them many times, so one will be sufficient for quite a while.
  • When you make pastes, make them the consistency of mayonnaise for optimal benefits.
  • You are not finished with your treatment when the wrap is done. You need to cuddle up in a warm bath robe for another 20 minutes, and make sure that you do not attempt to do any physical activity immediately after the treatment.
*REMINERALIZING WRAP* 3 ounces fresh seaweed (Kelp) OR 8 ounces dried or powdered seaweed with enough water to make a paste plastic sheet or Mylar sheet blanket space heater Place your blanket at the bottom of your bath tub and then place the plastic or mylar sheet on top of it. Set the heater close by and turn it on. Undress. While sitting on the sheet, cover yourself with the fresh seaweed or the seaweed paste, whichever you are using, then wrap yourself in the plastic sheet and blanket. Relax like this for twenty minutes. After your twenty minutes are up, unwrap yourself slowly. Toss the blanket and sheet out of the tub and fill the tub with warm water. Relax in the tub water for ten minutes, then pat dry and moisturize. Kelp is the most popular type of seaweed used in cosmetics and for healing purposes. Seaweed wraps are an easy and fast way to replenish the body with nutrients and minerals that are lost on a daily basis such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iodine, copper, amino acids, vitamins, protein and phosphorus. Since seawater has the same basic molecular formation as the human blood cell, nutrients from the seawater are able to easily filter through the skin pores and be absorbed directly into the blood stream.
1 cup fresh, chopped lemongrass OR 1/2 cup dried 3" piece of ginger root, grated or minced large pot of boiling water - spaghetti or lobster pot size 1 cotton sheet cut into 3" wide strips 1 plastic sheet 1 or 2 blankets Put the lemongrass and the ginger into a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Cover and let simmer for five minutes, then remove from heat and allow to sit for an additional five minutes. Take a strainer and scoop out as much of the plant material as you can, and throw it away. Place the strips in the infused hot water and allow to steep for five minutes. When the time is up, draw out the strips one at a time and wring out the excess water. Start at your legs and snugly wrap the strips around your body. After the legs, do the arms, then finish with your torso. Tuck strip ends into the strip in another spot to help make the fit snug and secure. After you have applied all the strips, wrap yourself in the plastic sheet then cover yourself with the blanket or blankets. Relax in bed or on a lounge chair for fifteen minutes, then remove the strips and shower in warm water, pat dry and moisturize. This wrap makes a great morning treatment, as the lemongrass has tonic, antiseptic and invigorating properties, while the ginger is cleansing and stimulating. Ginger has been found to rid the body of respiratory ailments, colds and flu type symptoms, while lemongrass is a known mood elevator and rejuvenator.
1 cup fresh chamomile, chopped OR 1/2 cup dried 1 cup valerian root, grated OR 1/2 cup dried 1 cup lavender, crushed OR 1/2 cup dried 1 cotton sheet cut into 3" wide strips 1 large pot of boiling water (spaghetti or lobster pot) 1 plastic sheet 1 or 2 blankets Place all the herbs in the pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer for five minutes, remove from the heat and allow to stand for another five minutes, then remove as much of the solids as you can with a strainer, tossing them out and retaining the infused water. Put the sheet strips in the water and allow to steep for five minuets. Remove the strips one at a time and wring out the excess water before you begin to wrap them around your legs. Continue removing a strip at a time, and wrapping until you are completely wrapped. Do legs, then arms, then torso. Tuck the strip ends into the strip at another point so that it holds snugly. Once wrapped, lay on the plastic sheet and roll yourself up in it, then relax on your bed or in a lounge chair, and cover yourself with a blanket or two for ten minutes. When your time is up, remove the strips and simply hit the bed. Valerian has been used since Roman times as a mild sedative, sleep aide and reliever. Chamomile has calming and anti-spasmodic effects, while lavender has relaxing, soothing, and restorative properties. The use of all three of these combined makes this the perfect wrap to prepare you for bed after a long, stressful day. Do not shower for several hours after this wrap so that you can preserve and prolong the effects of the heat treatment.


With the tips previously covered you can now treat yourself to natural, healthy, easy treatments for your face, hair, hands, nails, and feet. You can even reduce your stress or wake yourself up with some great bathing tips, so what is left you may ask? Well, how about the complete, full-bodied spa treatment in the comfort of your own home? Try this. Turn the lights down low, light a candle or two, unplug the phone, shut off the computer, set some relaxing music on low and prepare to relax, soothe and rejuvenate your mind and body. With the following tips you can treat yourself like the queen you deserve to be! These treatments are more SPA like and definitely more time consuming than the ones for specific body parts, but YOU ARE WORTH IT! So schedule yourself a SPA DAY at HOME! General body treatments include scrubbing, wrapping, bathing, moisturizing, and massaging. So I will take these in order and offer you some tips and recipes for each. Let's begin with scrubbing. When you exfoliate, the fancy word for scrubbing, you rid the skin of dirt, oil residue, and dead skin cells. This is important because, with the layer of dead skin cells gone, your skin will better absorb the products used in the next steps of skin care. It also serves to stimulate and circulate lymph fluids, which help eliminate toxins in the system. The stimulating massage increases blood circulation and stimulate the production of the body's own natural oils. Full body exfoliation should be done daily for great body and skin health. When done properly, it is one of the easiest treatments to revitalize and energize your mind and body. *Tips for doing it properly*
  • Do not abrade the skin. Be gentle, especially when first beginning. As you develop a rountine treatment, your skin will develop a resisitance and you will be able to apply more resistance without irritating your skin. Remember that the purpose is to affect the top most layer of skin, not the underlying tissue.
  • Use the proper tools. This is body scrubbing, not face scrubbing. Use a mitt, a towel, a loofah sponge, or a stiff body brush.
  • Use your tool in circular motions. Begin with the feet, ankles, then the legs. Then do the hands, arms, shoulders, and down your back. Then do your stomach and chest.
  • Use a cool water rinse after you are finished and pat your skin dry.
  • Use moisturizer after you finish.
  • Be sure to clean your tool thoroughly with soap and water after each use. Hang to air dry where it will get plenty of air circulation. You do not want to grow bacteria!
  • Exfoliate your body daily, spending at least 5 minutes on the process to obtain optimal benefits.
  • Since this treatment is energizing and revitalizing, it is best performed in the mornings.
*Irritated or Dry Skin Body Scrub Take 1 ripe avocado, peel it, pit it, and mash it. Set it aside. Take 1/2 cup of almonds and place them in a blender or coffee grinder. Grind them until they are course. Make sure they are not too fine this is not a face recipe! Once ground, mix 1 cup of oatmeal, old fashioned, not instant, and put them into a bath glove or muslin mitt. Scoop the avocado up and rub it over your body with the almond/oatmeal filled mitt. Rinse with tepid water and pat dry, then moisturize. Oatmeal is well known for its anti-inflammatory, skin soothing, and anti-puretic (anti-itch) properties. It is also very rich in vitamin E. Almonds are a natural emollient and make a great exfolient when they are ground. Avocado pulp contains vitamins A,D,and E and posesses collogen rebuilding properties. Not to mention that the pit of the avocado makes a great natural massage tool for sore muscles, so make sure to wash it and save it for use after your scrub! *Revitalizing Body Scrub, especially for Dry, Flaky Skin you will need; 1/2 cup of course sea salt 1/4 cup of rosemary oil body-scrub tool Dip your body scrub tool into the oil and then into the salt. Rub over your skin as described in the tips section. Continue to dip and scrub until you have covered your entire body, then rinse, pat dry and moisturize. Rosemary clears the mind and revives, as well as increases blood flow, while the sea salts work great to exfoliate the skin's surface.
*Body Scrub In a bowl, mix 2 cups of coarse sea salt with 1/4 cup of apricot kernal oil, making a paste. Gently smooth on body, in the mannor described in the tips section, being sure to use the palm of your hand, flattened, applying firm, but un-abbrasive pressure. When you have covered the whole body, rinse off, using a sponge or loofah, pat dry and moisturize. The apricot kernal oil is rich in natural emolients, as well as vitamin A adn B. It is easily absorbed by the skins' pores. It leaves the skin very smooth and well moisturized, while the salt is a natural exfolliant.


So, now that we have taken care of our faces, hands and feet, it's time to address our hair care. Just as there are several steps to proper face care (see http://uniquegardenessences.blogspot.com/2008/06/faceing-facts-about-face-care.html ), there are also four steps to healthy, gorgeous hair. The first step is to condition or moisturize normal hair, or to treat damaged hair. This is the pre-shampoo stage. Then you shampoo to clean the hair, removing oil, residue and dirt. The third step is the rinse, which removes the excess shampoo and replenishes the hair with nutrients. Then the final step is to condition, which seals the moisture and nutrients into the hair and protects it from the elements. PRE-SHAMPOO SAGE CONDITIONER - (especially good for THINNING, GRAYING hair and SPLIT ENDS) Take 8 sage leaves and crush them. Place them in the bottom of small glass bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over the sage and leave it sit to steep, undisturbed for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain and keep the liquid while throwing out the solids. Add 1 TBS. of wheat germ oil and 1 TBS grapeseed oil to the sage infusion. Mix well and pour into a dark colored bottle. Dampen hair and massage a small amount of this mixture into your hair and scalp. If you have split ends, make sure to rub some directly onto the hair ends, then wrap hair in a towel or shower cap and leave on for 45-60 minutes. When time is up, simply shampoo out. DEEP CONDITIONING SCALP PACK This is a mud pack for your hair, without the mud! It is a deep conditioner that is great for all types of hair, if used once a month. 1 TBS coconut oil 1/8 cup sweet almond oil 1/8 cup aloe vera gel 3 TBS gelatin mix* 2 drops geranium essential oil 3 drops bay or rosemary essential oil *gelatin mix = take 1 TBS of unflavored gelatin in 2 1/2 TBS of cold water. Stir. Put in microwave to heat water until boiling, then stir again. Mix all the ingredients together and stir. Put it on towl-dried hair after shampooing. Leave it soak in for 5 to 10 minutes, then wash out. There is no shelf life to this, so mix it just before you want to use it. CONDITIONING SCALP CLAY TREATMENT This is a deep conditioning and cleansing treatment all in one. The clay will remove residue and dirt, while nourishing the scalp. The coconut oil protects and preserves the hair, as it does the skin, by providing a sealing layer that holds in moisture. In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt 1/2 cup jojoba oil with 3 TBS of coconut oil. Remove from heat and set aside. In a small bowl, put 4 TBS powdered white clay [make sure you use white clay, as red or green will be too harsh to use on the hair]. Slowly stir in up to 1 cup of distilled water, until a paste is made. Blend the melted oils with paste. Mix thoroughly. Apply a palm full of the clay mixture to damp hair (hair should be clean). Massage into your scalp, then cover the hair with plastic wrap, a turban or a shower cap. Leave on for 15 minutes then shampoo out. CONDITIONING SCALP TREATMENT for NORMAL HAIR This is another once a week treatment. This one is especially good for hair that has been over exposed to wind and sun. The olive oil will improve the hair elasticity, making it stronger and less likely to break. This treatment will leave your hair feeling incredibly soft and smooth. Lavender possesses many healing and nourishing properties, and is known to reduce tension, as well as alleviate headaches. So massaging this into the scalp will have benefits, beyond what it does for your hair! In a small saucepan, over low heat, heat 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil until it is warm. Once warm, remove from heat and add 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix well, then massage into the scalp of damp hair. Cover the hair with a turban, plastic wrap, or shower cap. Leave on for 20 before shampooing out. EASY SHAMPOO RECIPE To accommodate every hair type in your family, you can take liquid Castile liquid soap (this is very mild, olive oil soap which is low sudsing) and then add various herbal and/or botanical essential oils to make it appropriate for the different types of hair. Actually, if you cannot find Castile, or if you prefer more a more sudsy shampoo, you can use an uncolored, unscented baby shampoo as the base for the following shampoo recipes. For each one you will use an amount about the size of a quarter. Simply place into the palm of your hand, combine with water to lather, then apply to the hair. Work through your hair, lathering, then rinse and repeat if needed. The following recipes, using the Castile soap as a base, should last from three to six months. Store them in a plastic bottle after they are mixed. ____________________________________________________________________________ NORMAL HAIR HERBAL SHAMPOO This recipe gently cleanses without stripping the hair. The herbs in this recipe will clarify the scalp and hair, and help to add shine. This recipe contains glycerin and white vinegar which will help it to rinse clean, leaving no residue in your hair. Mix together 1 cup of liquid Castile soap (or your plain baby shampoo) 1 tsp glycerin 3 drops rosemary essential oil 3 drops sage essential oil 1 tsp white vinegar DRY OR DAMAGED HAIR SHAMPOO This recipe has several enriching herb and oils that are soothing as well as conditioning. This formula will put that silky feeling back into your hair. Mix together 1 cup of liquid Castile soap (or the baby shampoo previously described) 1 tsp glycerin 1 tsp aloe vera 1tsp jojoba oil (may substitute apricot kernal oil) 3 drops chamomile essential oil 3 drops lavender essential oil 1 vitamin E capsule (take a 400 unit or more capsule and pirce it with a pin, then place the liquid in the mix) OILY HAIR SHAMPOO The trick for treating oily hair is to not strip the scalp so much that it signals for more oil to be produced. You want to brace the scalp and slow the oil production without being overly harsh or drying. This recipe should be just what you need! Mix together 1 cup liquid Castile (or the baby shampoo previously described) 1 tsp glycerin 1/2 tsp tea tree extract or oil 1/2 tsp nettle extract or oil 1/2 tsp witch hazel 3 drops each of your choice of TWO of the following essential oils; orange, frankincese, grapefruit, lemon, juniper, cypress, borage or lavender _____________________________________________________________________________ SHAMPOO for LIGHT COLORED HAIR This shampoo is mild enough for daily use, and is especially formulated for light hair. Take 1/2 cup fresh (or 1/4 cup dried) chamomile* and crush them in a small glass bowl. Pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water over the chamomile, cover and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Once time is up, strain and throw away the solids, while reserving the liquid. Stir 3 TBS liquid Castile soap and 1 tsp jojoba oil (may substitute sesame oil if desired) into the chamomile infusion. Stir well, then add 3 drops of patchouli or ylang-ylang essential oil and mix again. Place into a plastic bottle with a pour-top spout. *you may substitute calendula or lemon peel for the chamomile if desired. SHAMPOO for DARK COLORED HAIR This shampoo is mild enough for daily use and is especially formulated for dark colored hair. Take 1/2 cup fresh (or 1/4 cup dried) rosemary* and crush them in a small glass bowl. Pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water over the rosemary, cover and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Once time is up, strain and throw away the solids, while reserving the liquid. Stir 3 TBS liquid Castile soap and 1 tsp jojoba oil (may substitute sesame oil if desired) into the chamomile infusion. Stir well, then add 3 drops of patchouli or ylang-ylang essential oil and mix again. Place into a plastic bottle with a pour-top spout. *you may substitute sage or cloves for the rosemary if you so choose. DRY SCALP SHAMPOO Tea Tree oil has many healing and soothing properties. It is used to treat everything from viruses to rashes, even burns. On the scalp it works well to sooth dry, flaky skin. Simply mix 2 TBS of the SHAMPOO for LIGHT or DARK hair with 3 drops of tea tree essential oil, instead of the essential oil additive at the end of the recipe(s). VITALIZING RINSE After shampoo rinses remove all the soap and residue from the hair, while leaving it extra shiny. Chop two sprigs of fresh rosemary and place it a jar. Fill the jar with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and cover. Store jar in cool, dark place for 1 week, shaking jar vigorously once each day. After one week, strain, retain the liquid and throw out the plant material. Return the liquid to the jar. When you are ready to use, dilute 1/3 cup of the liquid in 3 cups of warm water. Rub into freshly washed, damp hair and scalp. Rinse thoroughly and dry as usual. *Avoid getting this mixture into your eyes!* AFTER SHAMPOO RINSE for DANDRUFF 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 4 cups water 1 cup thyme infusion [infusion is made by steeping 1 tsp of fresh thyme in hot water for 5 min., covered] Mix all together and use about half, depending upon the length of your hair, as a rinse after shampooing. Store in a dark glass bottle in a cool, dark place. This will remain good for about one week only. In this recipe the vinegar works as a mild astringent, and the thyme as a toner. Dandruff is a common scalp condition that occurs when the dead skin is shed. It is often referred to as seborrhea, which is an inflammatory skin disease caused by a problem with the sebaceous (oil secreting) glands. It is often recommended that you increase your B complex vitamins, along with trying a topical treatment such as this rinse. SWEET HAIR WRAP To add shine and moisture to your hair, Take 1/2 cup of honey, molasses or maple syrup and massage it into your damp hair and scalp. Then cover with a turban, shower cap or plastic wrap. Leave in for 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water and shampoo out. *HAIR FACTS AND CARE TIPS* As with every other section of skin health that I have written about, maintaining adequate hydration is important to the health of the hair. Moreover, your general health and nutrition will impact hair health. If you are healthy inside, it will reflect on the outside. So eat well, drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of exercise and sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and over exposure to the elements. Hair grows about 1/2 inch per month, but it tends to grow faster in warm weather than in cold. Avoid shampoos with detergent bases, as they tend to dry out and damage the hair. Natural ingredients are generally safe and gentle for all types of hair, including color treated hair. Hair should be protected from the sun just like the skin. Hats are sunscreen for hair! The scalp is more receptive to treatment when the pores are dilated and the skin is relaxed. For an all over spa treatment, apply a hair treatment before you get into an essential oil infused bath. That way you can be soaking as your hair is being treated. Do not overuse gels, mousses, or hairsprays. They can build up, leave heavy residue and irritate the scalp. Use a wide-toothed comb instead of a hairbrush on your hair, as the brushes bristles tend to damage the hair shafts, causing breakage. When you rinse your hair, use cool water for the final rinse. This will tighten your scalp pores and leave your hair shinier.