It's Wednesday, What's Under Wrap?

I always say that Unique Garden Essences offers spa quality products for use in the privacy of your home. So this Wednesday, I want to revisit one of the most "spa like" treatments there is. While there are many "at home" treatments that can make you feel like you are in a spa, none other is quite so spa like, so luxurious as the Body Wrap. While the body wrap treatments are more time consuming than most facial or hair treatments, they are certainly well worth the effort. YOU are well worth the effort and deserve the indulgence!  In addition to the physical benefits of the various ingredients used, you should not ignore the spiritual aspects. So go ahead and wrap yourself in the ocean's best, and emerge like a new creation.... a mermaid perhaps?

To get going in the right direction, there are some tips that, when followed, will help to enhance your treatment. To begin with, before starting these, or any treatment for that matter, make sure that you remove all lotions, perfumes, deodorants, and dirt. The simplest way to do this is by taking a quick shower. When taking that shower, make sure that you use an all natural soap. If you don't have one, at least make sure that you use a mild soap, and preferably a non-perfumed one. Next, warm the tools. By warming the tools, towels, sheets and wrap ingredients you will help to retain your body's heat, thereby enhancing your overall experience. To this end, the use of a space heater is also recommended. By placing it near you in your relaxation area you will not only prolong the heat of the wrap for as long as possible, but will also increase your general comfort level. You can further intensify your treatment, as well as raise your body temperature, by sipping on some hot, herbal tea before your treatment. The cotton strips or sheet that you use to wrap should be immersed in water that is approximately 180 degrees F or 82 degrees C. Make sure that you wear rubber gloves to wring out the sheets/strips so that you can avoid burning your fingers. 
When you are ready to wrap, begin by wrapping the strips (snugly) around your legs, then move to your arms, and lastly do your torso. Make sure to tuck the ends of the strip under a wrapped area nearby to ensure a snug fit. Once you are finished, lay yourself on a plastic sheet (or a shower curtain) and wrap yourself up in it, then cover yourself with blankets, as this will help to maintain the warmth and heat, which helps to activate your treatment. Once you are finished wrapping, put on a warm robe and sit and relax for 20 minutes, unless otherwise directed. Keep in mind that it is very important that you do NOT attempt any physical activity immediately after your treatment. It is usually best to slowly remove the strips and simply roll into bed after relaxation type wraps. Showering shortly after most treatment is not recommended, so please do so only if the recipe/directions specifically mentions it.


For all recipes; 
First off you need to prepare. Select a relaxation spot, such as your bed, the bathtub or a lounge chair. Then cover the area with a plastic sheet or shower curtain liner. Set the space heater next to your relaxation area and turn it on. Place some blankets nearby so they will be handy when you need them.

Relaxation Wrap

1 Cup fresh, chopped, chamomile OR 1/2 Cup dried chamomile 1 Cup fresh, grated valerian root OR 1/2 Cup dried valerian root 1 Cup fresh, crushed lavender OR 1/2 Cup dried lavender 1 cotton or linen sheet cut into 3" wide strips 1 large pot for boiling water (a lobster or spaghetti pot works well) 1 plastic shower curtain liner or plastic sheet blankets Place the herbs in a large pot and fill with water, then bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes. With a strainer, scoop out as many of the herbs as possible. Then place the sheet strips in the pot and allow to steep for five minutes. Once your five minutes is up, remove the strips one at a time, as you use them, and wring out the excess water. Proceed to wrap yourself as described above, making sure to cover and relax for 10 minutes, after which you should remove the strips slowly and roll on into bed. Valerian has been used since ancient Roman times as a mild sedative, and is used today as a mild sleep aid and anxiety reliever. Chamomile offers calming and anti-spasmodic properties, while lavender lends its balancing, relaxing, and restorative properties, all of which combine to make this wrap the perfect end to a stressful day. Using this wrap just prior to bedtime will maximize its effectiveness, as will delaying washing until the next morning.
Detoxifying Wrap

1 Cup fresh, chopped lemongrass OR 1/2 Cup dried lemongrass 1 3" long piece of grated or minced ginger root 1 large pot for boiling 1 cotton or linen sheet cut into 3" wide strips 1 plastic sheet or shower curtain liner blankets place the lemongrass and the ginger in a large pot and filled with water. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for another 5 minutes. Scoop out as much of the herbs as possible, then place the sheet strips in the pot and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the strips one at a time, as you use them, and wring out the excess water. Apply as instructed in the tip section above. Once completely wrapped, cover with blankets and relax for 15 minutes. After you remove the wrap strips, shower off. Ginger has been cultivated in Southeast Asia for over 2,500 years for its medicinal properties. It has been found to rid the body of flu-like symptoms, colds, and respiratory ailments, while the scent of lemongrass uplifts and rejuvenates moods. Lemongrass has tonic, invigorating and antiseptic properties, while ginger offers stimulating and cleansing effects, which makes this wrap perfect for part of your morning ritual.

Remineralizing Wrap

8 oz dried or powdered seaweed OR 3oz fresh seaweed water (enough to make a paste) 2 Plastic sheet or shower curtain liner blankets This wrap is probably best executed in the bathtub for ease of cleanup. Put a blanket (or blankets, enough so that you are comfortable) on the bottom of the tub, then set the plastic sheet or shower curtain liner on top of the blanket(s). While sitting in the tub, on top of the plastic, cover yourself with the seaweed past or the fresh seaweed, then wrap yourself with a plastic sheet and blankets. Relax for 20 minutes, then slowly unwrap yourself, remove the blankets and sheets from the tub, fill with warm water and relax for an additional 10 minutes. After the treatment pat your skin dry, and don't forget to moisturize. *Make sure that you use the space heater for this treatment. Seaweed wraps are a quick way to remineralize the body while replenishing the body with nutrients and elements that are lost on a daily basis, such as amino-acids, calcium, copper, iodine, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, protein, and vitamins. The molecular formation of the human blood cell and that of seawater is very similar, which allows nutrients from the seawater to easily filter through the pores of the skin and directly into the bloodstream. The most popular type of seaweed used for cosmetic and healing purposes is kelp, which is the common name for the leafy brown algae that grows along colder coastlines. Although using fresh seaweed is optimal, a seaweed powder (mixed with enough water to create a mayonnaise-like paste) will give you equally satisfying results.

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