Finding the silver lining
Well, it appears that a grey, soaking weekend in Sydney is not the ideal time to try and book a spot in your favourite spa. Or, I guess, it's the very best – so you've got to beat every other girl in town to the punch. And this is a really speedy city.
Having left it a touch too last-second to sneak into any of my usual haunts, my suffering lower back was left literally aching for a massage on Saturday. So, being a silver lining kind of girl, I took it as a sign to skill up in the DIY department…
As luck would have it, I just received a copy of Jane Scrivner's Detox Yourself last week (the UK's utmost authority on the subject is visiting later this month and I'm prepping before we meet) and it's got a handy how-to section on the tactile arts.
After reminding me that system-boosting self-massage is so much more than self-indulgent – it's officially toning and a passive (my favourite kind!) workout for the whole bod, Jane assured me that even "made-up strokes will be perfectly acceptable and effective", so long as I stuck to a few guidelines.
Which are really very simple - always work toward your heart, using the flats of your hands or bunched fingertips, and begin with warm muscles as you might have to pull off some awkward twists and turns. Easy.
So shutting the doors against the deluge and flipping on a stress-dissolving CD, I mixed my own massage oil (10 mils of sweet almond oil blended with three drops each of peppermint and ginger. Simple Sorbolene cream would do in a pinch, just not with essential oil as its barrier function inhibits aromatherapeutic absorption) and got started…
All you need to do, Jane instructs, is stand feet shoulder-width apart, warm your hands with oil and place them on your hips, thumbs to the front and fingers on your back. Then, applying firm, but not bruising, pressure, work your thumbs in deep, firm circles all along your lumbar area and spine. To do your belly too, stroke with your flat palms moving in circles (left hand clockwise, right hand anti-clockwise).
It was a cinch – and so much more tension-diffusing than I thought I could DIY. I'm not ready to register my hands for millions quite yet, mind – but it's good to know I can count on myself on a rainy day.
See? Silver lining…