Happy Garlic Day!

Posted by Maria on April 19, 2017 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Esthetics School, Face, Feet, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

When you think of a spa, you probably don’t think about garlic at the same time, but did you know that garlic is actually a supernatural spa ingredient?

In honour of National Garlic Day on April 19th, here’s a quick snapshot about how garlic is used in cosmetics and how it can be used in the home spa.

GARLIC (Allium sativum):

  • Home spa recipes: extracts, baths, lotions. Garlic among the roses.
  • Role in cosmetic formulation: skin conditioning, masking.
  • Baths: Add whole cloves with their peel to bathwater for antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and to treat ACNE scars.
  • Body: Add extract to a lotion to rub Rheumatic pain and to disinfect insect bites.
  • Feet: Apply to feet to heal corns and bunyans.
  • Food: Eat for flavour and nutrition and to help with colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, digestive problems, high blood pressure, vericose veins, Rheumatism, and to support healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Balances: Root (1st) and Third Eye (6th) chakras plus reduces Vata (Infinity/Air), Increases Pitta (Fire), Reduces Kapha (Water/Earth).
  • Find in: Healthfood stores, grocery stores, markets, wellness centres, pharmacies, cosmetics, food products, medications/supplements, gardens.
  • Caution: Garlic’s odour may be overpowering to the people around you.

Here’s a quote that talks about the aromatherapy side of garlic:

“I could smell garlic, butter, and wine – the world’s most delicious flavor combination. It made me feel warm, like the first few sips of wine always do,”
~ Sarah Jio, The Violets of March

So as you can see, even though it’s known as the “smelly rose,” garlic is still loved by millions around the world and has been regarded as both a food and a remedy since ancient times.

Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

Help, I’m Losing My Hair!

Posted by Maria on January 10, 2015 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Fitness, Green Living, Home spa, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Massages, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Help! I'm losing my hair.Linda gathered some of her shoulder-length, strawberry-blonde hair, ran her fingers through it, and pulled out several strands to show us. “Look,” she said. “But this is nothing compared to what normally happens when I brush my hair and check the brush.”

My friend Linda was recently talking about her significant hair loss and as someone in the business of helping people manage stress with Homespunspa Mobile Spa, my ears perked up.

Linda is a new mom in her early 30’s. She also works outside the home as a manager in a stressful office job. She’s a smoker and is overweight but exercises a couple of times a week.

Losing hair can be quite traumatic for many people and my friend’s rapidly thinning hair was really bothering her. She figured it had something to do with a recent stressful event in her life.

I thought I’d do some research on female hair loss to help her out and yes, sometimes hair loss can stem from stress.

Telogen effluvium is considered to be the most common type of stress-related hair loss. In this case, a stressful event may pre-maturely send hair follicles into the resting phase of the growth cycle which stops the hair from growing any further. The hair will start to fall out after a few months and the time lapse makes it difficult to tie the hair loss back to a specific event and to know the root cause that triggered the stress symptoms in the first place.

The stressful event that triggers the hair loss a few months down the road can be physiological and/or emotional in nature — something like a car accident, illness, surgery, a move, a job loss, or giving birth. The good news is, often times, the hair will start to grow back once the body has had enough time to recover from the trauma.

5 Ways to Encourage Healthy Hair Growth

There are certain things you can do starting today that can stimulate hair growth including Managing Stress, Getting Enough Sleep, Fueling your Body with Nutritious Foods, Moving your Body, and Taking Care of Your Hair.

1. Manage Stress

In my opinion, managing stress is the key to living a healthy life and getting regular massages is a great way to alleviate stress. The benefits of massage include:

  • reduced muscular tension and stiffness;
  • chronic pain management;
  • relief from tension headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • reduced fatigue, anxiety and depression;
  • boost of endorphins (the feel-good hormone);
  • increased circulation;
  • detoxification;
  • better posture to name a few.

If you’ve never had a professional massage before, you’re in for a real treat. But if you’re unsure about whether or not you’d enjoy a massage, I recommend looking into chair massages to start. All you have to do is sit in a special kind of chair and you don’t even have to disrobe at all and that’s what I recommended for Linda.

Talking to a professional therapist or coach is another great way to minimize stress. I guarantee that if you get whatever you’ve been thinking and worrying about off your chest, you will feel better. It’s just a matter of finding someone who will actively listen without judgment in a safe and sacred space.

If you’re looking to work with a coach, I’m offering a zero cost, GET THINGS OFF YOUR CHEST, 30-minute introductory coaching session to people who are feeling stressed out, so please check out the coaching page on www.homespunspa.com and contact me, if you’re interested.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health and your hair. No matter what day of the week it is, try to keep a regular sleep schedule from night to night and aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

3. Fuel Your Body with Nutritious Foods

A poor diet will show up in your hair one way or another and eating healthy foods each and every day goes a long way toward looking and feeling your best.

Starting with breakfast, eat at least three meals a day that are well-balanced and include lean protein and fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods, sugary foods, and foods that are high in trans fats.

Also, consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements, especially:

  • B complex vitamins (which are good for stress);
  • vitamins C and E, (which are good for skin and hair);
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, and Selenium, (which are good for skin and hair); and
  • Magnesium and Zinc (which are also good for stress).

Also re-evaluate your medications. Sometimes, hair loss can be a side-effect of certain meds and if you suspect your prescriptions are contributing to your hair loss, talk to your doctor to see about making some adjustments.

4. Move your body

Our bodies are built to move and exercising is a great way to release stress. There are thousands of different activities to try like stretching, walking, running, swimming, and dancing so do something that you enjoy several times a week.

The benefits of regular exercise include:

  • better balance and coordination;
  • healthy body weight;
  • better mood;
  • healthier heart;
  • lower blood pressure;
  • increased energy; and
  • improved appearance to name a few.

5. Take care of your hair

A visit to a hair salon every couple of months not only keeps your hair looking good, but getting that massage during the shampoo time will increase circulation in the scalp which promotes hair growth. And chatting with your hair stylist can do wonders for your mood, too.

Also, don’t add any unnecessary stress or tension to your hair, especially if you’re going through a period of hair loss. For the time being, avoid harsh chemical treatments or using styling instruments that involve heat (like blow-dryers and flat irons), and try not to constantly wear your hair in a pony tail all day either.

Use Hair Care Products with these Ingredients

Look for shampoos and conditioners with the following ingredients on their labels to stimulate hair growth. If you can’t find suitable hair care products in any stores, make your own customized recipes for your hair type:

  • Amla, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Basil, Basil Essential Oil, Bay Laurel Essential Oil, Bayberry Root Bark, Catnip, Cedarwood Essential Oil, Chamomile, Chamomile Essential Oil, Gotu Kola, Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Juniper Berry Essential Oil, Melissa (Lemon Balm) Essential Oil, Nettles, Passionfruit Seed Oil, Quinine, Rosemary, Rosemary Essential Oil, Sage, Sea Buckthorn, Sorrel, Southernwood, Soy Milk, Soybeans, Spanish Sage Essential Oil, Spearmint, Spearmint Essential Oil, Stevia, Thyme, Thyme Essential Oil, Tonic Water, Walnut Oil, Yarrow, Yarrow Essential Oil, and Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.

Our hair gives us clues about our health and if you are noticing changes in your hair, like hair loss (more than 50 to 100 strands a day) or dandruff, or too many bad hair days in a row, then evaluate what’s going on and take steps to remedy your situation as soon as you can.

Hair loss doesn’t have to be permanent and there are many ways you can encourage your hair to grow again naturally.

Unravel the Mysteries of Female Hair Loss: I’ve come across this really great ebook (affiliate product) if you’re interested in learning tips for successful hair regrowth. Click Here!

Have you ever experienced significant hair loss? If yes, what did you do about it? Please leave your comments. Thanks and I hope my blog post, “Help, I’m losing my hair” was helpful.

Happy World Coconut Day!

Posted by Maria on September 2, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Guest Bloggers, Home spa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sponsors, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

By Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
& Laura Benvenuto, guest blogger

Did you know that September 2nd is World Coconut day?

Coconuts (Cocos nucifera) are one of the world’s most nourishing, versatile and popular foods and to celebrate World Coconut Day, I’ve teamed up with Laura Benvenuto of Truth be Told New York and Nutiva in this blog post to showcase the many wonderful health benefits of coconuts.

From my research, I’ve found many fun facts and interesting applications for coconuts.

First of all, the word “coconut” comes from “cocos,” a 16th century Portuguese & Spanish word that means “grinning face.”

COCONUTS AND COCONUT WATER, JUICE, MILK

  • Home spa recipes: cleansers, refiners, creams, lotions, moisturizers, soaps, spa snacks.
  • Role in cosmetic formulation: abrasive, skin conditioning, emollient, hair conditioning, humectant, masking.
  • Face: Add to facials to soften, exfoliate, protect skin, strengthen elasticity, promote healing, fade age spots, and minimize acne scars.
  • Skin Types: Use especially on AGING skin.
  • Food: Eat for nutrition and to quench thirst.
  • Balances: Sacral (2nd) Chakra. Calms Vata (Infinity/Air), calms Pitta (Fire), and increases Kapha (Water/Earth) Doshas.
  • Native Region: Tropical and sub-tropical countries worldwide.
  • Find: grocery stores, health food stores.

COCONUT OIL

Emollient Coconut oil is moisturizing to the skin and the scent can whisk your imagination off to a tropical beach. It’s also considered one of the “super foods.”

  • Home spa recipes: cleansers, make up removers, creams, suntanning lotions, moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, massage oils, soaps.
  • Role in cosmetic formulation: emollient, skin conditioning, hair conditioning, masking, solvent.
  • Face: Add to facials to cleanse pores, remove make-up, moisturize, soften, protect, and heal skin, to reduce the signs of aging skin, relax facial expression, de-stress, for fragrance.
  • Skin Type: Use especially on DRY & SENSITIVE skin types.
  • Massage Oil: Add to massage oil to relax, to condition, soften and cool skin, for sun protection, for anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties, to carry ingredients and for scent.
  • Body: Use in body care products to moisturize and cleanse skin and as suntanning lotion.
  • Hair: Apply to hair as lathering agent to revitalize hair, curb dandruff, cleanse hair, condition normal, dry or damaged hair, and inhibit static.
  • Soap: Add to soap recipes for lather.
  • Food: Use as a delicious and nutritious cooking oil as it contains Lauric Acid, one of the good fats.
  • Balances: Sacral (2nd) Chakra. Calms Vata (Infinity/Air), calms Pitta (Fire), and increases Kapha (Water/Earth) Doshas.
  • Native Region: Tropical and sub-tropical countries worldwide.
  • Find: grocery stores, health food stores, online.
  • Caution: 1) Solidifies and melts according to room temperature. 2) Can irritate skin for some. 3) May be drying to skin. 4) Do not confuse with hydrogenated coconut oil.

Nutiva’s products (including Coconut Oil, Coconut Manna, O’Coconut, and Coconut Sugar) can be used to enhance a favourite recipe or make a DIY beauty product. All of Nutiva’s products are non-GMO and organic and certain products are vegan-friendly or have low-cholesterol.

Below are two of Nutiva’s most popular DIY summer beauty recipes.

Home Spa Recipe #1: Ocean Hair Spray

Use this ocean-in-a-bottle spray for gorgeous beach hair. Salt water provides texture and coconut oil provides moisture and nourishment for dry hair.

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
  • 4oz Purified Water, warm
  • 3 tsp Sea Salt
  • 4 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

Directions

  1. Put coconut oil in an 8 oz canning jar and place in a pan filled with several inches of water. Melt the coconut oil over low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, fill an 8 oz spray bottle about ¾ full with warm, purified water and add the sea salt. Stir until the sea salt is dissolved in the water.
  3. Use a funnel to add the coconut oil and essential oil to the spray bottle.
  4. Shake the bottle to blend, then fill to the top with purified water.

Yields 8 oz. Sometimes the oil solidifies. If this happens, run the bottle under hot water to melt. Shake the product and it’s ready to use.

To use: Shake the bottle and spray 2 to 5 pumps on damp hair. Try different amounts to see what works best for your hair.

Home Spa Recipe #2: After-Sun Calming Balm

A soothing blend of coconut oil, shea butter, calendula, aloe and lavender to calm the skin after spending time in the sun. Shea Butter is available at most natural foods stores.

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Shea Butter
  • 1/4 cup Aloe
  • 2 Tbsp Calendula Oil
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E oil
  • 25-60 drops *Lavender Essential Oil

*Note: Lavender is well known for its skin healing properties and is especially soothing for burns. Be sure to use lavender and not lavendin, which can actually cause more inflammation.

Directions

  1. In a double boiler over low heat, gently warm the coconut oil and shea butter. Be careful not to melt the oil and butter — heat just enough to blend easily. Once incorporated, transfer the oil and butter mixture to a bowl.
  2. Using an electric mixer, blend the coconut oil and shea butter mixture on low to medium speed until well incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and avoid having clumps in the final product.
  3. Add calendula, aloe vera and vitamin E oil. Blend for 3 to 5 minutes until thick and creamy.
  4. Add essential oil and blend to incorporate.

Yields 8oz. Transfer to a container like a wide-mouth canning jar for easy scooping. Keep out of direct sun as the oils and butter will separate if melted.

Thank you, Laura, for sharing these lovely home spa recipes that include coconut oil.

Please let us know in the comments how these recipes have worked out for you or if you have any other ideas on how to celebrate World Coconut Day.

Happy World Coconut Day!

My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)

Posted by Maria on July 1, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Facials, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Manicures, Massages, Nutrition, Pedicures, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Happy Canada Day!

You may be surprised by my pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada in 2014.

I’m going to go out on a limb and not pick something obvious. I’ve decided to go with Holly Oil (Ilex aquifolium) this year.

Yes, I realize Holly is an invasive species and the berries are poisonous for humans to eat and it’s more associated with December 25th than with July 1st, but Holly berries are the same lively red as our Canadian flag and Holly oil is a great Canadian spa product.

Since 1993, Holly oil has been manufactured in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada by All Deep Neuromuscular Massage as a massage oil.

Pressed from Holly leaves and branches, Holly Oil makes an excellent massage oil because it’s a clear, lightweight, non-scented, and non-staining massage oil that travels well over skin. And it will not cause allergic reactions because it’s not a nut-based oil. And it will not clog pores or leave an oily residue on skin. Holly oil is also easily absorbed by the skin and has an unlimited shelf life.

Chances are, when you get a massage at a spa, the massage therapist is using Holly oil.

Holly Oil Profile:

Here are some applications for Holly oil.

Home spa recipes: massage oils, aromatherapy blends, creams, lotions, soaps.

Role in cosmetic formulation: skin conditioning.

Face: Add to facials to moisturize skin, relax facial expression, de-stress.

Skin Types: Use especially on NORMAL or OILY skin.

Massage Oil: Add to massage oil and body care products to nourish, condition, heal and soothe the skin, rub sore muscles, preserve blend, carry ingredients.

Hands & Feet: Add to manicure or pedicure to cleanse, moisturize, condition skin, for massage, to treat nails.

Soap: Add to soap recipes.

Balances: Kapha Dosha and Water/Earth Elemental Natures and Root Chakra.

Region: Canada

Find: online and in spas.

So that’s Holly oil in a nutshell.  Let me know if you agree or disagree with my 2014 pick for the #1 spa ingredient native to Canada.

Win a Guest Spot on My New Show on VoiceAmerica

Posted by Maria on June 22, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Books, Magazines, Music, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Sponsors, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

I’m about to live a dream I’ve had for most of my life.

Let me take you back to the mid-80’s when I was 15 or 16 years old. One summer, I went to a tennis camp in upstate New York and one of the girls I met there, Raisa, was from Chicago and she told me that she once saw this woman called, “Oprah Winfrey,” in the airport and that was the most famous person she had ever seen. I hadn’t heard of Oprah at that point but for some reason I made a mental note. Raisa said, “keep an eye out for her because some day she’ll be a household name.”

Wow, did she ever call that one!

A few months later, Oprah’s talk show went national and my mom and I watched her show at 4pm in the afternoons. The Oprah Show, among other talk shows of the era, inspired me and my friends to pretend we had our own talk show and we would interview each other and sing songs and laugh at our own goofiness. I think we also recorded our shenanigans on the technological marvel of the time, VHS!

I didn’t mention Oprah because I’m about to meet her – that’s not the dream I’m talking about – though fingers crossed, maybe I’ll meet her some day :) .

I mentioned Oprah because to me, she’s a great communicator and she has been one of the touchstones of my life. Someday, I’d like to thank her in person for paving the way for people like me and for showing the world how important good communication is in the grand scheme of things.

Back to my story. Also while I was in high school, I went on a weekend retreat. At some point, everybody had to go to the front of the room and speak to the group and share their story. That was a turning point moment for me because when I stood at the podium and spoke to everyone and made them laugh, I discovered that I actually like public speaking!

I think my dream of being a professional speaker was born in my teens but as my life continued, the dream somehow never got off the ground in spite of my many attempts.

Fast forward a few years to the early ‘90’s – this was before the Internet! I was in University studying English. One weekend, I dragged my friends to a Psychic Fair and I sat down with a man called, “Ravenhawk.” He told me that he saw me having my own radio show one day. Before he could finish his thought, I interrupted him, which ticks me off to this day, but those words have always stuck with me.

The following year, I took a speech course at University and it was by far my favourite class of my entire degree.

A few years later, I almost went to Broadcasting school, which I should have done in hindsight, but that didn’t work out.

I’ve also been a member of Toastmasters and may return soon.

So that’s basically my history with public speaking. I like to joke that I’m taking the extended milk run toward my dream.

I think Ravenhawk said the radio show won’t happen till my early 40’s and I wish he had said something like “have patience” and “don’t try to force it” because the timing won’t be right sooner.

Well, I’ve just turned 45 and things are coming together for me. The pieces of the puzzle are taking shape.

Suddenly my dream of speaking to an audience is within reach because a few months ago, out of the blue, I got an email with the subject line, “Speak up, the World is Listening!”

Those words struck me like a lightening bolt.

And now I’m ready to make my announcement.

This is brand new information and you are among the first to know.

I have a new radio show called, “Supernatural Spa” on VoiceAmerica starting in the autumn! I’m so excited, I can hardly contain myself!

I’m going to be talking about how spas are designed to stimulate the senses and elicit the relaxation response. I’m going to interview all kinds of holistic practitioners for tips on how to manage stress and lead a healthier life.

But wait, there’s more…

To get the ball rolling for my show and to introduce myself to more people, my executive producer and I have come up with a really fun and unique idea! I’ve combined my education and all of my life experience, work experience, talents, skills and interests and my entire heart and soul to create a Stress Relief VIP Spa Day!

You're invited to a stress relief VIP spa day.

The Stress Relief VIP Spa Day is a full day, intensive, one-to-one spa appointment and as the owner of Homespunspa Mobile Spa, I’ll bring the spa experience to you in five different sessions over the course of one day.

You can choose either the Face-to-Face VIP Spa Day or the Virtual VIP Spa Day.

But wait, there’s more!

And when you sign up for the Stress Relief VIP Spa Day in the next three days – this is where things get really special – as a bonus, you will be entered in a draw to win one of four guest spots and be interviewed by yours truly, Maria Koropecky, about your success story, on my show, on VoiceAmerica’s Health and Wellness Channel. I know! Isn’t that amazing!

Win a Guest Spot on my new show on VoiceAmerica

To find out more about me, Maria, and the Stress Relief VIP Spa Day, I’d love for you to watch my short video series on my YouTube channel, “Homespunspa.” The links are also at the top of the “VIP Spa Day” page on homespunspa.com.

To register right now for the Stress Relief VIP Spa Day and get the amazing chance to win a guest spot on my Radio Show, call me, text me, or email me and leave a message saying, “Yes, Maria, I’m interested in hearing more about your Stress Relief VIP Spa Day.

I will promptly return your call to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your interest in my story. I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life and I hope you join the conversation.

20 Things to Look for in a Great Holistic Practitioner

Posted by Maria on May 19, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Energy Healing, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
A holistic practioner's healing hands.

A holistic practioner's healing hands.

Are you interested in healing a health concern in your life? Would you like to work with a holistic practitioner? If yes, you may also be wondering, “How on earth am I going to find a qualified holistic practitioner” and “where do I start?”

First, decide on what kind of treatment modalities you’d feel comfortable with. If you’re not sure about needles or acupuncture, for example, maybe you might like to find an acupressure clinic instead.

Do an online search using the keywords “holistic practitioner” plus a modality like “acupressure” or “massage” plus “your city.” Also, ask your friends and co-workers for a referral — maybe they may know someone who does a good job.

Come up with a list of at least three names, (my brother told my mother to find three bids on her home renovations and I think that’s good advice when you’re thinking about hiring any professional services).

Once you have your list, take the time to review their websites and then call them to see if you can set up a consultation appointment to meet them — preferably in person — to see what they’re all about.

Consultation Appointment

Once you meet a prospective holistic practitioner face to face and before making your actual appointments, look for the following qualities:

  1. Interpersonal skills: Do they make you feel comfortable? Do they establish a good connection with you? Do you like them enough to spend time with them?
  2. Communication skills: Are they explaining their work in a way that makes sense? Are they actively listening to what you have to say?
  3. Professional: Are they presenting themselves in a professional manner? Do they take pride in their appearance?
  4. Caring Personality: Do they have a friendly, calm, patient and caring nature?
  5. Practice Self-Care: Are they walking their talk, practicing what they preach and taking good care of themselves?
  6. Empathetic and Compassionate: Can you tell if they have an understanding of what it’s like to be in your shoes?
  7. “Magic Touch:” Do they have the “Magic Touch” and intuitively know your needs and how much pressure to apply during treatments?
  8. Knowledgeable: Are they knowledgeable in their field of practice?
  9. Self Confidence: Are they assertive enough? Are they good at solving problems and making decisions?
  10. Physical Stamina: Do they have the energy and stamina needed to keep up with the demands of their profession?
  11. Flexibility: Do they have the physical dexterity to do their treatment techniques properly and are they are willing to be flexible to accommodate your needs?
  12. Trustworthy: Do they come across as honest, trustworthy, respectful, and reliable?
  13. Like their work: Do they enjoy what they do and do they genuinely smile often?

Hopefully, you’ll have a check mark next to all of the above. Feel free to add you’re your own preferences to this list as well. You’ll also want to keep your eye out for any of the following red flags:

Red Flags

  1. Distracted by drama: Are they focusing on you, the client, or are they busy with something else?
  2. Closed Communication: Is it hard to reach them by phone or email? Are they dismissive or rude?
  3. Burnout: Are they showing signs of fatigue, depression, stress and burn out?
  4. Frazzled: Are they unkempt? Are they organized? Are they running late?
  5. Arrogance & Snobbiness: Is their nose in the air? Is their ego in the way?
  6. Judginess: Do they make you feel bad about yourself by judging your appearance, age, state of health, lifestyle choices, marital status, etc?
  7. Gut Instinct: Do you have a bad feeling when you’re talking to them?

If the consultation goes well, go ahead and book your appointment. But if any of these red flags show up, then find someone else.

Taking the time to arrange a consultation appointment and meeting a prospective holistic practitioner in person is a great way to see if you click before you make any long-term commitments.

If you’d like to meet me for a complimentary, no-obligation, 30-minute face to face consultation appointment to discover which facials and spa treatments would be best for your specific needs, please call or email me. I’d be happy to meet you in your home or chat with you on Skype at your convenience.

I hope you find a great holistic practitioner!

Nothing Beats Beets!

Posted by Maria on January 13, 2014 under Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Dating, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Ingredients, Nutrition, Recipes, Self-Care, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Many years ago, I invited a guy over to my apartment for dinner and asked him if there was any food he didn’t like. He said, “I don’t know…beets?” I said, “OK, I won’t serve beets,” (not that I would have anyway that night) but now that I’m reminiscing about my younger years, I can’t help but think this guy is missing out on a really yummy root vegetable. And because I love it so much, I’m going to expand on my earlier post, “Nothing beats borscht” and talk about beets again! In my opinion, nothing beats beets!

Right now, I’m writing a book called “Supernatural Spa Ingredients” and here’s what I know about beets:

BEETS & BEET ROOT POWDER (Beta vulgaris): Beets are highly nutritious and detoxifying. Beet juice can be rinsed through hair to achieve brilliant red results and beet powder makes soap turn rosy.

Home spa recipes: hair colour rinses, soaps, lip balms, blush, eyeshadow.

Role in cosmetic formulation: antioxidant, binding, cosmetic colourant, hair conditioning, hair dying, skin conditioning, skin protecting.

Hair: Infuse into a hair rinse as a colouring agent.

Soap: Add to soap recipes.

Make-up: Add to lip balms and makeup for colour.

Food: Blend in a smoothie for iron and antioxidants. Eat for nutrition.

Balances: Vata dosha, Infinity/Air Elemental Natures, Root Chakra.

Region: North America, Central America, Europe, North Africa.

Find: Grocery store, health food store, garden.

Caution: May stain.

And here’s a home spa recipe for Rosy Guest Soaps that I’ve taken from my first book, “How to Throw a Home Spa Pajama Party the Homespunspa Way.”

Rosy Guest Soaps

I like to use plastic molds in the shape of sheep for these little beauties but you can use whatever you have on hand and your soap will turn out just as sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup glycerin (melt & pour) – A by-product of soap-making which is used as a soap base foundation in quick, easy, and re-batched soap recipes.
  • 1/4 cup cocoa butter – Used in skincare for its moisturizing and cleansing properties.
  • 1/4 cup beeswax – Can be used in many applications around the spa but is most often used for its comforting scent and to thicken cosmetics.
  • 1 TB evening primrose oil – Use externally to help skin.
  • 1/2 tsp vitamin E – Prevents scar tissue and may reduce anxiety. Also acts as a preservative.
  • 1/4 tsp beet root powder – Highly nutritious and detoxifying and makes soap turn rosy.
  • 10 drops rosewood essential oil – Calming, head-clearing and relaxing. Often included in romance-eliciting fragrances.

Method: In a double boiler, (I use a metal bowl resting on a pot with one inch of water on the stovetop), gently and slowly melt the “melt & pour” soap base, cocoa butter, and beeswax over low heat and add the evening primrose oil. Keep the pot covered to conserve moisture and try not to stir the ingredients too much because that will add bubbles to your finished product. Once the solid ingredients have turned to liquid, remove from heat and take out a spoonful of the soap and pour it in a Pyrex container. To the spoonful of soap, add the vitamin E and beet powder and mix until well blended. The powder will want to clump, so gently break it up. Pour the rosy liquid back into the rest of the soap and whisk in. By now the liquid soap should be cool enough for the essential oils, so add 10 drops of rosewood essential oil at this time. Mix gently. Have your molds lined up on your counter. You can find plastic molds at craft and candy-making stores in all kinds of shapes and dimensions. I like to use sheep and/or hearts about the size of a box of matches. Pour the liquid soap into the molds. The cocoa butter may separate out a bit but that just creates a pleasant double-decker, marbled effect. Once the soap has hardened, unmold the shapes.

Manner: Wash your hands with the soap and rinse.

Storage / Shelf Life: Unless you plan to use the soap right away, wrap the soaps in plastic to keep the moisture in. Will keep for at least 6 months.

As you can see, beets are lovely and can be added to any spa, wellness and nutrition program. If you’d like to learn more home spa recipes or keep up to date on the progress of my book or to find out about upcoming, “Make Your Own Cosmetics Workshops,” please sign up for my mailing list at the top right corner of this blog to keep in touch. Thanks.

Preparing Your Body & Mind For A Better Night’s Sleep

Posted by Maria on August 28, 2012 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Guest Bloggers, Ingredients, Meditation, Nutrition, Self-Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Geraldine O’Keefe, Guest Blogger

Like the 71 million Americans who suffer from various sleep issues like insomnia, hot flashes, nervousness, and anxiety, I have found myself wide awake in the middle of the night on many occasions.

Here are some tips that have worked for me and may help you get a better peaceful and sound night’s sleep.

Try incorporating these tips in to your bedtime routine:

  • Pamper yourself and power down at least 30 minutes before bed. When your core temperature rises then falls (as it naturally does at night), it signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. Help the process by taking a relaxing soak before bed and add some pure, organic lavender essential oil and/or some Himalayan salts to your bathwater.
  • Drink Escape to Sleep tonic, preferably on an empty stomach. It can help your body feel what it’s like to sleep naturally and soundly.
  • Try not to eat past 7 p.m. and avoid caffeine.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable. If you wake up and you are achy and sore, consider a new pillow and/or mattress.
  • Lower the room temperature at night. Optimal range is 60-68 F.
  • Sleep in a pitch-dark room. It will help you get back to your natural rhythm.
  • Incorporate Lucid Dreaming: The object of lucid dreaming is to become conscious of being in the dream state.  Keep a dream journal; write down what you remember.

Learn Yoga Techniques such as Pranayama (breath control), Yoga Nidra, and Meditation:

These calming techniques can help assure that you get the 8 hours of sleep to function at your best.

  • Try Pranayama which is the art of restraining and controlling the breath.
  • Also try Yoga Nidra, aka yogic sleep. Yoga Nidra is a highly powerful ancient meditation that originated in the Tantras. It’s a scientific way to eliminate the root causes of all negativities.
  • And Practice Meditation. Meditation will train your mind to induce consciousness.

Our minds can be like a ship at sea without a sail.  Practicing yoga nidra, and/or pranayama can help you observe and control your mind which will help to bring you into a deep, restorative and healing sleep. If you realize your thoughts are stressing about something in the future or in the past, gently bring them back into the moment. BE HERE NOW and don’t let those racing, “monkey mind” thoughts keep you awake at night. I always remember a monk that said, “when you eat, eat; when you walk, walk; when you talk, talk, and of course, when you sleep, sleep.

Be kind to yourself, yoga takes practice. Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind and a regular practice can help assure your restorative sleep.

There are seven levels of consciousness. Most people are operating in the first three: waking, sleeping and dreaming. As you begin to become more conscious of your thoughts in the three states, you will begin to understand and enjoy life more.  Sweet dreams, may they all come true.

Sleep Well, Live Longer!

Geraldine is an herbalist, lifetime yogi, and vegetarian who has had experience with insomnia. She decided to create an herbal sleep-aid and ultimately, her dream product, Escape to Sleep™, was born.

You can find Geraldine online @:

It’s Footbath Friday

Posted by Maria on February 10, 2012 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Books, Magazines, Music, Esthetics School, Feet, Fitness, Home spa, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Self-Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | 5 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Have you ever had a job that wasn’t working out and you knew your days were numbered? I’ve been in that situation many, many times and the last time was back in 2009 when I was working for the provincial government. It was a good job in some respects but it was a hostile work environment also. I won’t go into the why’s and the who’s but I’d often come home quite upset and would waste my evenings and weekends rehashing the drama of the week in my mind. It’s one thing to think about work while you’re at work. It’s another thing to bring it home with you and think about it while you’re not working and not getting paid for it. Am I right?

Because of all of the unpleasantness in the office, I was trying to figure out a way to leave my job gracefully. I kept on going online to check out some schools and courses to upgrade my skills to help me launch a new career. It was my way of escaping reality ever so briefly. I knew there was something more for me but I didn’t know what that was. I had my eye on a massage school that I almost applied to many years before and kept on going back to the website on my lunch hours.

Then on one inspired weekend in August, I got an idea. Why not look at the textbooks of the programs I was interested in to see which subjects appealed to me most? Textbooks are notoriously boring — *hello insomniacs :) — and if you can read one subject with enthusiasm and pour over the pages as if they were the Legend of the Holy Grail, you know you’re on the right track. So I went to the University bookstore just as classes were starting for the year and found my section: HEALTH.

Spa Bodywork A Guide for Massage Therapist by Anne Williams.Among the dozen or so titles on the shelves, one book in particular jumped into my hands: Spa Bodywork A Guide for Message Therapists by Anne Williams. I loved the green clay masque on the woman’s back on the cover and thought, “I want to know how to do that!” I quickly flipped through the pages and decided to buy the book on the spot even though I wasn’t enrolled in any school. (I still feel a little bit guilty for buying a textbook from another student and I hope there were enough copies for everyone who needed one).

As it turned out, I got layed off from the government job a few short weeks later. But I didn’t end up going to massage school; I went to esthetics school instead. Funny how things work out. But my Spa Bodywork textbook still gets to live on the top shelf and I still give it credit for helping me turn the page and start a new chapter in my life.

Anyway, back to my old job that wasn’t a good fit for me. At that time, I wasn’t in the habit of doing any nurturing or pampering home spa treatments on myself even though I knew a thing or two about the subject. I wish I had been more kind to myself during that stressful time and that’s why I’m writing this post called, “It’s Footbath Friday.”

I’d like to encourage all of the people out there who are working hard at their jobs — especially if they’re not living the dream — to soak their weary feet in a footbath every Friday night. Start tonight. Pour yourself a glass of wine or make yourself a pot of tea and pop some popcorn. Then dip your feet in a lovely, warm and aromatic foot bath and you’ll be well on your way to a better mood. Footbaths are a perfect way to release the negativity from the past week. And then you won’t drag all of that B.S. into your weekend and you’ll be able to start work on the following Monday on a better foot, so to speak. Just relax and pour that tension down the drain and forget about it. Start the weekend fresh.

These days, I’m writing my own ebook and I plan on publishing it in a few months. For my research, I read the chapter on Ayurveda (a subject I became familiar with in esthetics school) in the Spa Bodywork textbook and I found some useful recipes for footbaths that were inspired by the Ayurvedic tradition that I’d like to pass on to you.

Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old, traditional medicine system and philosophy from India that offers keys for creating harmony and balance in life. Many Western spas have adopted elements of Ayurveda into their spa treatments because of the focus on positive life choices, relaxation, exercise, detoxification and spirituality. In a nutshell, Ayurveda is based on the belief that everything in the universe is composed of 5 elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. Specific combinations of the 5 elements form the 3 doshas which are: vata, pitta and kapha. Each individual is made up of a combination of all 5 elements and all 3 doshas and that formula or recipe, for lack of better words, will show up in their body type, mental and emotional disposition, and personality.

You can find out which dosha you favour the most by answering the questions on my Ayurvedic Questionnaire page on my website or Googling Ayurvedic quiz. I recommend Dr. Deepak Chopra’s website and Dosha Quiz for a quick response. Then you’ll know which footbath recipe below will be the most balancing and beneficial for you. Recognizing when you are out of balance and making choices to correct the imbalances will keep you healthy and will keep stress and disease at bay.

Vata Foot Bath (Spa Bodywork page 217) (Infinity and Air elements)

“(Using herbs recognizable to Western therapists). Fill a muslin bag with ½ cup of mixed herbs that include ground ginger, sandalwood, eucalyptus leaf, calamus [a.k.a myrtle grass or sweet grass] and basil. Cover this bag with boiling water and allow it to steep for 20 minutes while it cools. Add cool or hot water as needed to adjust the temperature for the foot soak.”

Pitta Foot Bath (Spa Bodywork page 218) (Fire element)

“Fill a muslin bag with ½ cup of mixed herbs that include chamomile flowers, lavender flowers, peppermint and lemongrass. Cover this bag with boiling water and allow it to steep for 20 minutes while it cools. Add cool or hot water as needed to adjust the temperature for the foot soak.”

Kapha Foot Bath (Spa Bodywork page 220) (Water and Earth elements)

“Fill a muslin bag with ½ cup of mixed herbs that include basil, ground ginger, eucalyptus leaf, and common sage leaf. Cover this bag with boiling water and allow it to steep for 20 minutes while it cools. Add cool or hot water as needed to adjust the temperature for the foot soak.”

Thank you Anne Williams for sharing your wisdom in your Spa Bodywork A Guide for Message Therapists textbook and for inspiring me to follow my bliss. I hope this blog post inspires people to enjoy a Friday night foot bath and to change their circumstances if they don’t match the dream.

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