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Simple and Effective Stress Soothers

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Dry Brush Your Body

Purchase a natural-bristle brush or loofah from the drugstore or a discount store. Some are designed for dry-brushing the skin. The brush shouldn't be too stiff or too soft. With long strokes, dry brush your body. Start at your feet and work up your legs to your torso. Brush your tummy and buttocks. Then brush your arms, starting with your hands and working up to your shoulders. If you have a long-handled brush, brush your back. Finish up with brushing your chest and neck.

You will love this. It is so invigorating. It seems to make your body feel alive and refreshed. It can lift your mood. Dry brush your body before you shower in the morning or at any time of day when you feel a need to de-stress.

Although we recommend dry brushing your body for its mood-elevating effects, it also has some terrific health benefits. When you dry brush the body, you're assisting the lymph system in removing toxins. After a couple of weeks, you might notice that your skin is smoother and that even slight imperfections are gone. People who have done this for years report having skin like a baby.

Brush Your Hair

Doesn't brushing your hair sound almost too simple? Don't let its simplicity fool you. Clients rave about its effectiveness. The best hairbrush for this technique is very inexpensive. Purchase the kind that has rough plastic bristles. The brushes with the fancy rounded tips don't work well. We purchase ours at the discount chains.

To brush your hair, bend over from the waist and brush so that you can feel the bristles on your scalp. Brush enthusiastically for a minute or so and then stand up. Your scalp will tingle and will feel as though you are massaging your brain chemicals directly. We doubt this actually happens, but it sure feels that way. It's also great for your hair and scalp.

Just imagine, in just a couple of minutes of brushing, you could brush away the stress-induced urge to eat.

The Back Roller Rolls Away Your Stress

The back roller is wooden and looks like a rolling pin with waves in it. The waves correspond to your spine and to the erector muscles on either side of your spine.

Lie face up with your spine in the middle dip of the roller. Beginning just below the neck, slowly move the roller from one vertebra to the next going down the spine. At each vertebra, breathe about 10 breaths and let your erector muscles on either side of the spine relax. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to move all the way down the spine. By this time, you'll be blissfully and totally relaxed. The urge to eat will have evaporated. When you stand up, your posture will be better, you'll look taller, and you'll be relaxed. Count on it.

Carry the back roller with you when you travel. It soothes the aches and pains caused by sitting on airplanes. Some aficionados claim it keeps their backs in alignment. Others applaud how it stimulates acupressure points for all the major organs and glands of the body on its path down the spine. Others rave that it drains the lymph nodes on either side of the spine. Some claim it soothes their aching backs.

You can purchase a back roller at health-food stores and specialty stores that carry products for back care. It's inexpensive and lasts a lifetime.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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