Foot Work ~ Essential Oils

The foot is a marvel of human physiology containing numerous bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles, as well as unique cushioning and supportive tissue that absorb impact, lessening the shock to the rest of the body. Our feet support us and allow us to stand, walk and run. Our feet connect us with the earth and the environment.

If our feet are healthy and feel good, the whole body seems to benefit. But we’re pretty hard on our feet; they’re weakened when we spend a lot of time sitting, and when we’re active it’s often on hard, unyielding surfaces. Through it all, our tortured tootsies are usually immobilized in constricting footwear. Even the highest-priced, most ergonomic and “protective” footwear won’t allow our feet to move and strengthen naturally in response to physical activity or the various surfaces we’re on.

Make it a point to regularly shed your shoes, and try these easy exercises for promoting fantastic-feeling feet:

  1. Foot stretches I: Sitting in a chair, extend your legs and try to point your toes backward towards your nose, hold for a few seconds, then point your toes forward and down as far as possible. Repeat.
  2. Foot stretches II: Sitting in a chair, extend your legs and turn your feet inwards, trying to get your soles to face one another. Then turn your feet outwards, trying to get the tops of your feet to face one another.
  3. Toe stretches: Extend your legs and wriggle your toes as if you are trying to play a piano. Strive to move each toe independently.
  4. Tip toes: Standing flat footed, raise yourself up on your toes and hold for a few seconds. Lower and repeat.

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Essential oils help provide a relaxing and luxuriating experience that comforts your feet. They are an ideal addition to the following easy foot-care treatments.

Peppermint

Soothing & Softening Foot Soak

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons Epsom salt
2 tablespoons sodium bicarbonate
6 drops peppermint essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops chamomile essential oil
1 gallon of very warm water

Directions: Sprinkle dry ingredients with oils and mix well. Dissolve into a basin of water and soak feet until water is cool.

For additional soothing effect, steep lavender or chamomile flowers in the hot water. To reenergize your feet, follow up with a foot scrub.

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Eucalyptus

Energizing & Renewing Foot Scrub

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sweet almond or apricot kernel oil
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground coffee beans
6 drops sweet orange essential oil
6 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Scoop out a bit of the mixture at a time and scrub feet, working in a circular motion and concentrating on the soles and heels. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry. A foot massage is an ideal follow-up to this scrub.

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Lavender

Purifying & Protecting Foot Massage

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small pitcher or measuring cup and mix well. Apply to feet during massage, concentrating on soles, nail beds and toes.

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Make it a point to set aside one day a week to treat your feet. Your whole body will thank you!

ESSENTIAL OIL OF THE MONTH

Lavender

Sweet Orange essential oilLavender is usually thought of in terms of its calming and relaxing aromatherapy benefits, but that’s a bit of a disservice to its broader potential, including its use in skin care.

Neither drying nor oily, lavender has a remarkable toning and balancing effect on the complexion — whether dry, oily, youthful or aged. And it’s very gentle. Try introducing these easy lavender-based skincare recipes into your beauty routine:

Lavender and Rosehip Oil Facial Serum:
Ingredients:
1 ounce bottle organic rosehip oil
6 drops lavender essential oil

Directions: Add lavender oil to rosehip oil bottle and shake well. Smooth onto face and neck, and dab around eye area after cleansing.

Lavender and Grapeseed Oil Moisture-Balancing Facial Mist:
Ingredients:
4 ounces bottled or distilled water
½ teaspoon grapeseed oil
24 drops lavender essential oil
4-ounce mist bottle or atomizer

Directions: Place ingredients in a mist bottle and shake vigorously. Close eyes and lightly mist face and neck for a refreshing moisturizer.

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