We love to feel good. We love to treat our body good. Can I get an amen ladies?!
Here are my seven favorite body skin energizing techniques that I use weekly and some on a daily basis.
1. Self-Myofascial Release (SMR)
SMR is a self massage technique to relieve tension — trigger points — within the body. Using a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or any massage stick or tool, apply pressure on the trigger point — where your muscle feels tense — and hold for 30 seconds or longer. This timed pressure sends a signal to your Golgi tendon organs which senses change in muscle tension. Regular use of SMR techniques improve muscle length tension, blood-flow, and relieves muscle pain.
I do my SMR work as a warm-up to physical activity, as a standalone exercise routine to relieve my body of tension, and as a night-time therapy to help me relax and get a good night sleep.
I use to get traditional massages often, especially when I suffered chronic back pain, but for the last five years, since my back pain has decreased substantially, I get them less. I do give myself daily massages after my shower. I knead my muscles and rub the oil onto my skin, working out any tension I may have as I say gratitude to my body. (I say things like, thank you for being so strong, so healthy, and so forth…) The act is so much more than just “rubbing lotion on yourself” that I definitely consider it a massage and a self-love body treatment.
When I massage myself, I alternate between using almond oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. I work the oil onto my slightly damp skin until it’s absorbed. When I have muscle aches from a hard workout or kung fu class, I will mix a tablespoon of magnesium lotion with either almond oil or olive oil and rub the mixture on the body parts that feel really tense to help relieve any pain. (Do not put the magnesium lotion mix on your face because it will dry it out. I accidentally did this on a night out and it was not a good look. Even my mother said something. Oy vey!) Massages from yourself or from others are a great way to decrease stress, lower heart rate, increase blood flow, and improve skin texture.
3. Dry Brushing
Using a natural brush, brush your skin with upward moving motion — brushing towards your heart — to improve lymphatic system (part of the immune system), blood-flow, and skin texture. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells and promotes a healthy skin cycle. The more you dry brush, the faster new skin is revealed making your skin look vibrant. I don’t dry-brush a lot, probably 2-3x a month. It’s because I already exfoliate my skin everyday so I don’t feel it’s necessary. But, I like to do it as a treat.
To avoid skin irritation, it’s very important that you never share your dry-brush with anyone. (I’ve seen what happens when people do and it’s bad news.) Also, wash and dry your dry-brush properly after every use by hanging it upside down or with bristles faced down so that mold or mildew don’t develop. Keep your dry brush in a dry place when not in use.
4. Hot & Cold Shower
Take a hot shower and then right before you finish, make the water super cold and rinse yourself off. Think of this hot and cold shower technique as like you jumping into a hot spring and then straight into a cold spring. Your skin is enlivened, your mood lifts, and you feel absolutely energized.
I love this technique! Rinsing yourself off with really cold water is spiritual to me. (It’s one of the techniques I talk about in my first book, “How to Be Happy 99% of the Time.”) During this time, you become absolutely aware of your surroundings. You feel the water on your skin, you hear the sounds of the water, and you’re so present that hardly any thoughts come to your head. Additionally, I like to do a “thank you” chant as I’m braving the cold. (So that’s me just saying “thank you, thank you, thank you” as I’m doing my this-water-is-cold-as-heck shower dance.) This may sound strange until you try it and then you’ll get addicted like me!
5. Joint Mobility Routine
As you age, joint mobility may decrease. Get that nutritious synovial fluid flowing to lubricate your joints, bring blood, oxygen, and nutrients, and remove waste. Below is a video of my simple joint mobility routine that I do in the morning, I may also use it as a warm-up to physical activity, and a “break” activity during my daily walks.
6. Body Clapping
Body clapping is exactly how it sounds. You give your body physical claps or slaps. (Also, demonstrated on the video.)
Body clapping can be done anywhere. I do it in nature, at the gym, and even in the shower. This body energizing technique improves skin look, blood flow, and Chi energy.
When you find yourself in nature — among trees especially — you can do this body clapping technique. Stand in front of a tree and begin clapping your various body parts. Why do this in front of a tree if you can? Because trees not only clear the air of pollution, but they also clear your energy field. So as you do this body clapping technique — revitalizing your skin and improving your blood flow — the tree is also clearing your energy and improving your personal frequency. (Think resonance and entrainment!)
I do this technique at the gym, especially if I need to increase my energy because I’m about to teach class or take a class. I may do this technique in the shower to help invigorate my body.
7. Bear Walk
One of the best things I’ve learned from Tai Chi was the “bear walk.” Now don’t quote me that it’s called “bear walk,” it’s been over 15 years since I learned it. I’ve taught it as the “bear walk” to almost every client and relative I have and so I’m sticking with my story. (I’ve started taking Tai Chi again and they haven’t talked about this “bear walk” so I’m suspicious. Anyway, I demo it in the video below.)
Standing with your feet naturally apart, begin swinging your arms, creating a loose figure 8 or ribbon bow like shape and your legs swinging with natural rhythm with your arms. Right arm and right leg move together, then the left side. This simple movement increases blood flow and improves Chi energy. I do it when I’m waiting in line, watching online lectures, basically, anywhere that I have to be stationary but I have the urge to move.
But that’s not all! I have three more ways of energizing my body. They’re not really techniques, but more like good lifestyle choices 😉
8. Earthing or Grounding
“Earthing” or “grounding” is walking barefoot (or sitting / laying down) on grass, sand, dirt, and even wet cement to absorb electrons from the Earth. This is a great way to improve health and vibrancy. Most people, due to modern living conditions — shoes, houses, buildings, and anything that separates you from touching the Earth — are in what’s called a “positive charge” state making them electron deficient. When you are electron deficient you are susceptible to inflammation and disease. Put your bare-feet on dirt a few times a week and easily fix this problem.
The more distance there is between you and the Earth, the greater the charge on your body. In fact, this has been precisely calculated. For every meter you are above the ground, 300 volts of charge will build up in your body. (See The Feynman Lectures on Physics)
Besides being good for your body, “earthing” makes you feel good. Plain and simple — the better you feel, the more energy you have. I try to ground everyday when I walk with my dogs wearing my earthing sandals. If I have more time, I ‘ll sit on the grass for a few minutes and of course, our family loves to go to the beach every weekend so we get our grounding and family time all in one!
9. Get 8+ Hours of Sleep a Day
There is nothing that can replace the energizing effects of a goodnight sleep. Sleep is the natural way your body resets to its balanced state. During sleep is the best time for your body to build and repair cells and tissues because it doesn’t need to use its energy on things such as physical or mental activity.
We’ve all seen and experienced the immediate effects of poor sleep. Our energy is depleted and our skin looks haggard. Chronic lack of sleep can cause irregular heartbeat, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and a host of other illnesses.
Everyone’s sleep needs will vary. Listen to your body. How does it run on 4,5,6,7, and 8 hours of sleep? Are you suffering from any health issues due to lack of sleep? Personally, I need 8-9 hours of sleep daily to be my best. After 40+ years, I know this about me and so I try to adhere to my body’s needs.
10. Eat Healthy
This is when you say — duh! But, it still needs to be said. You have to eat right to have great skin, vibrant energy, and overall good health. There’s no getting around it. Be good to your body and eat foods that make you feel amazing.
I hope you like my body energizing techniques! It was fun sharing them with you. 😉
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