Four Seasons of Inner and Outer Beauty: Rituals and Recipes for Wellbeing Throughout the Year

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9780767903752: Four Seasons of Inner and Outer Beauty: Rituals and Recipes for Wellbeing Throughout the Year

Harness your spring fever, banish the winter blues, and feel healthy and beautiful year-round!

If observed properly, the seasonal cycles of the natural world offer tremendous power for enhancing our physical and spiritual well-being. Acclaimed spa owner Peggy Borgman knows that by bringing ourselves into sync with these ancient rhythms through simple health and beauty rituals, we can look and feel stronger, healthier, more relaxed, and more radiant than ever before. In Four Seasons of Inner and Outer Beauty, Borgman expands on the innovative treatments offered at her award-winning Preston Wynne spa and presents a wonderful collection of seasonal rejuvenating recipes and rituals that anyone can use to indulge in spa-type pampering, alleviate the pressures of daily life, restore body-mind balance, and regain optimum energy and vitality. Each seasonal regimen incorporates a variety of European spa techniques and Eastern wellness practices including meditations, self-massage, botanical beauty treatments, aroma therapy, journal writing, and healing foods. You will:
Reawaken your body in Spring with a detoxifying seawater bath
Prepare for swimsuit season with body-contouring self-massage
Celebrate the Summer sun with an early-morning, outdoor yoga ritual
Ease typical Autumn back-to-school anxiety with a make-at-home, full-body mud treatment
Simulate restorative Winter hibernation with sleep-enhancing aromatherapy and a dream journal
Filled with an appealing array of luxurious, soothing, and energizing prescriptions, Four Seasons of Inner and Outer Beauty is the perfect handbook for nurturing yourself every day and cultivating inner and outer beauty throughout the year.

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About the Author:

A spa therapist and a licensed esthetician for 15 years, Peggy Wynne Borgman is the cofounder and director of the award-winning Preston Wynne Spa and a consultant for spas around the country. Her Silicon Valley spa is one of the most highly acclaimed in the country, named one of Self's top 20 day spas and featured in Vogue and USA Today. She lives in Saratoga, California.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

SPRING:

SEASON OF BEGINNINGS

Few of us are immune to the delights of spring and to the excitement of this exquisite seasonal change. Dark skies, rain, and snow are banished; the sunshine dazzles us with its bright warmth. Our winter confinement indoors ends, and we are liberated into a world that seems new and full of promise. It often seems that each spring is unique, and the season is invented anew each time--unlike autumn, which can seem hauntingly reminiscent of seasons past. Spring offers us the opportunity to begin again, to cleanse ourselves of old attitudes, behaviors, and possessions, and set a course for a year of fulfillment and happiness.

As we long to be a part of all the newness and growth around us, we may find ourselves yearning for a new job, a new home, a new baby, or even a new relationship. We can feel confined by our winter-softened bodies and want to be sleeker, stronger, and to restore color to our skin. The natural tempo of life quickens now that the dormancy of winter has ended. Spring is associated with the energy that governs all that grows--plants, animals, and humans. It is the season of ideas, creativity, and the work of building and making, which are symbolized by the seeds we plant in the spring. "Spring fever" is not just a figment of your imagination--it's a response to the irresistible rising energy of the season, and the return of yang's influence.

Staying flexible is important during spring, as we allow our roots and  branches to grow in every direction necessary. If we try to control our growth too consciously, we risk becoming unbalanced and less strong. Strength is found by allowing your growth to follow its natural course. Spontaneity, curiosity, and an open mind are important to experiencing the energy of spring fully.

Similarly, if we lack Body-Mind balance, spring can result in a quick temper and a feeling of frustration. This is yang's aggressive influence. Winter's passivity can be hard to shake off; we may want to attack our spring cleaning or a new exercise routine but find ourselves feeling heavy and lethargic, unable to act on this urge to purify our environment and ourselves. Movement and activity are essential to encouraging the flow of spring chi. Since everything around you is also being stimulated to grow and change, if you feel you're being left behind, you'll become frustrated and angry. You may listen to your friend describing exciting plans for the season ahead and grow irritated at her enthusiasm and energy.

Spring truly sets the stage for summer, since summer sees the flowering of the buds that emerge in spring. Imbalance now will manifest itself as imbalance in the following season. We must make sure that we clear our minds and exercise our bodies. Bathing rituals in particular help in this cleansing-and-awakening process. The self-care program that follows will help you avoid these seasonal pitfalls and remain in balance so that you can take full advantage of spring's opportunities for personal growth and change.

Cleansing and Balancing with Hot and Cold

Most of us love the sensation that follows a "good sweat," and there's a reason for it. Not only is our skin our body's largest organ, it's a principal organ of elimination. Whereas we tend to think of our skin as mere upholstery, in Chinese medicine the skin is considered the "third lung" and the "third kidney." When you perspire, you are cleansing your body--no wonder it feels great.

Sweating is one of the primary forms of detoxification and has been incorpo-rated into cleansing and purification rituals in virtually every culture. Native American communities still use "sweats," and in Arab countries, the steam bath, or hammam, remains a central part of life.

While heat therapy is generally used alone in this country, some of us have used a "cold plunge" in conjunction with a steam bath, or have heard about certain hardy Scandinavians who roll in the snow after their sauna. Kneipp therapy, from Europe, includes among its many modalities the contrast of hot and cold temperatures, a process that is invigorating for the cardiovascular system right down to its tiniest capillaries.

This is an easy process to do at home, but you may need to overcome a mental block about the discomfort of cold temperatures. Once you've tried temperature contrast, you'll swear by its tonic effects, particularly for jet lag, lack of sleep, or even a hangover.

* First, take a hot shower, allowing your body temperature to rise until you see or feel a flush on the skin. Using a loofah, net sponge, or granular cleanser, vigorously exfoliate the skin. This helps remove waste that's being excreted from the pores and it also further stimulates circulation.

* Now quickly bring the temperature of your shower down to cool, making sure the cool water comes in contact with your entire body. Avoid keeping the cold water in contact with the back of your neck, a spot that is particularly vulnerable to chill.

* Now quickly bring the temperature of the shower back up, allowing your body to once again get very warm.

* Repeat this process several times, until your skin is tingling. Finish your shower with cold water. Your head should feel clear and your energy level elevated; many people feel as though they've had a couple of extra hours of sleep!

Support for the Cleansing Process

Massage therapy as well as body therapies such as wraps, steam, and hydrotherapy accelerate the cleansing process and can be performed in conjunction with your "spring cleaning." They will dramatically enhance the results of a cleansing. Lymphatic drainage massage, while surprisingly gentle, is particularly helpful. Energy-balancing bodywork like polarity, Shiatsu, or Reike can also be very beneficial for normalizing your energy flow during this season of tremendous change.

The Healing Fragrance of Flowers

Having fresh flowers in your living and working space is a wonderful, healthful indulgence that allows you to savor the energy of Mother Nature as she transforms water and earth into abundant blossoms and new growth. The feminine relationship with flowers is innate: The aromatic essences released by blossoms are said by aromatherapists to act primarily on our reproductive system, helping to balance the ovarian hormones.

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