5 Minutes to a Blissful Night’s Sleep
When I think of decadent self-care, my mind normally conjures up an image of a beautiful room with soft music, candlelight and a large porcelain tub brimming with a warm bubble bath. Don’t get me wrong, if I happened to stumble into a room like that as I was heading to bed, I’d be thrilled…but much more often I find myself flopping into bed after a quick tooth brushing. After running after kids all day, my wind down routine in the evening has to be quick and easy or it just won’t happen.
The Hot Towel Scrub
The Hot Towel Scrub is one of those rare experiences that every single person I know that’s tried it raves about. It’s one of my client favorites and I love sharing it because it’s quick, easy, effective and leaves you feeling tremendously relaxed and cared for. Right up my ally.
You only need 5 minutes, a sink, and a washcloth.
- Fill your bathroom sink with hot water– as hot as you can get it.
- If you want, a few drops of a calming essential oil can be added, but it’s not necessary.
- Wet and then wring out the wash cloth (it should be as hot as you can handle).
- While the towel is still hot and steamy, begin to scrub your skin gently.
- Do one section of your body at a time until you have covered all the parts— for example begin with your fingers, hands, and work your way up your arms to your shoulders, neck, face, down your chest, upper back, abdomen, lower back, buttocks, legs, feet and toes.
- Scrub until the skin becomes slightly pink and each part is warm.
- Reheat the towel often by dipping it in the sink as soon as it begins to cool.
- For an even deeper serenity, follow the scrub with a light coating of warm oil all over, like olive oil, sesame oil or coconut oil. Because I like just a light covering on my skin, I put some oil on the wrung-out washcloth and apply the oil that way.
Because our skin is our largest organ and houses so much of the nervous system, this is a tremendously calming technique.
There are so many benefits to doing this:
- Reduces muscle tension
- Deeply relaxes our nervous system
- Opens pores to release stored toxins
- Softens deposits of hard fat below the skin and prepares them for discharge
- Allows excess fat, mucus, cellulite and toxins to actively discharge rather than accumulate around deeper vital organs
- Relieves stress through meditative action of rubbing the skin
- Calms the mind
- Promotes circulation
- Activates the lymphatic system, especially when scrubbing underarms and groin
- Can be a sacred moment in your day- consider lighting a candle and using essential oils to enhance the mood
- Create a profound accepting relationship with the body, especially the parts not often shown care
Take the time to explore this simple technique and see if it works for you!
Do you have trouble falling to sleep? Why do you think that is? Do you have a wind-down routine before going to sleep? Does it prepare you for deep, restorative rest?
wow! i love the blog. as a part-time working mom, i need to remember to take time for myself and get a good nights sleep! it helps everyone in the long run.
one question… i am pregnant…are there any essential oils i should stay away from?
Great question (and congratulations on your pregnancy!). There are a few different schools of thought on how essential oils can be used safely- overall and in pregnancy. Most of aromatherapy in the United States stems from a British philosophy, which tends to be highly cautious of putting essential oils on the body- The French school of thought feels much more confident on using the oils liberally…So who do you listen to? Much depends on your comfort level and the guidance you receive from a health care practitioner that is well versed in herbs and essential oils.
During my pregnancy, I was comfortable using many essential oils and stayed away mainly from the highly invigorating ones (like peppermint or cinnamon) as well as ones that have strong estrogenic molecules like fennel. I primarily used ones that worked to calm and soothe like chamomile, lavendar, and ylang ylang…one that lift and refresh like citrus (orange, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit), and ones that balance like palmarosa and geranium–to name a few.
If you search on google you can find different safety lists for oils during pregnancy– I just wanted you to be aware of the different philosophies and why some experts will advise to avoid certains oils, and some will advise they are OK.
Hope that helped a bit– let me know if you have any other questions!
I tried this last night after a very long day and it was very refreshing! I do not have any essential oils, but just using the hot water was nice. I noticed that I fell asleep much quicker than usual and slept longer before waking up. I need all the help I can get with the sleeping! 🙂
@Becky: So glad you tried it! I have the same experience, whenever I do this my sleep is much more sound.
I did this for awhile w/ Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap – it was soooo lovely. But somehow I forgot about it & I read this on Friday night & I’ve done it twice since then (it’s Monday morning). THANK YOU for the reminder of what a body treat it is!!!
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I love this idea but as a black woman I was taken aback by the “Scrub until the skin becomes slightly pink and each part is warm.” I think I will just scrub until “each part is warm.” Just saying…
Very excellent point, Sharon- I certainly think I should re-word those instructions to accommodate all skin colors- thanks for pointing that out!!
Love this Lisa!!! Perfect for busy moms struggling to fit self care into their days.