The ancient Chinese practice of reflexology, is a manual therapy focusing on the feet, and hands.
For 3,000 years. Chinese practitioners have used reflexology to re-balance Qi (the life force flowing through energy channels) to treat a number of conditions.
Reflexology is based on the Chinese principle that certain areas on the soles of your feet or hands – known as reflex zones – containing millions of nerve endings, correspond to other parts of the body.
By applying pressure to certain points in the hands and feet it stimulates organs, nerve endings and energy pathways to promote health.
The Chinese believe that reflexology stimulates the body into healing itself by improving circulation, reducing stress, pain and restoring a natural balance.
I tried foot reflexology in my new Around The World Beauty Adventure in Chinatown . As ticklish as Iam I did not burst into laughter instead I was incredibly relaxed. The therapist added pressure to certain points and focused on my level of comfort. You never think about the feet and how much they need a little loving too. He started by cleaning them with a warm/wet towel and then applied aloe vera lotion. He started at my ankles and worked his way to my toes. Using both hands he created circular motions and would stop at certain pressure points adding a little bit more of a push on his fingers.
Reflexology helps with
If you havent already make sure to watch ATWBeauty Adventure in Chinatown.
Ecuador is one of the biggest exporters of roses and coconuts so it’s no surprise that I learned about the magic of rose water and the power of coconut oil as natural moisturizers for oily and dry skin while I was there.
For oily skin, rose/glycerin lotion is a great moisturizer because it soothes irritated skin and is great for acne. The rose water will help dry the acne while the glycerin will help lock in moisture without clogging pores. You can find rose water almost everywhere in Ecuador, however you have to make sure you don’t use anything with fragrance. You can also make your own lotion by boiling ½ cup of rose petals, draining and mixing it with ¼ glycerin.
For dry skin, try coconut oil. It’s been an ancient practice in many parts of the world including Asia and South America. It is full of vitamins, antioxidants and the list goes on. It’s just amazing for the skin.
Look for extra virgin coconut oil that has not been bleached, refined or deodorized and always go for organic.
Use it by applying a dime sized amount on to your fingers and apply like a regular moisturizer. A little goes a long way. Let it soak into the skin before applying makeup and you’re ready to go. A spoonful is enough for your whole body so keep that in mind when applying.
On my recent trip to South America I discovered the locals way to beauty. Inspired by their sacred land they turn to nature for all their beauty needs.
In Banos, Ecuador I booked an appointment at the El Refugio Spa which offers the “bano de barro” (mud bath). The 40-minute therapy works by applying medicinal clay from the Amazon in a circular motion all over the body.
Volcanic Mud also known as medicinal clay has been used for thousand of years:
improves the appearance of skin texture
prevents wrinkles, stretch marks, age spots and dryness
natural exfoliator that clears the skin of acne problems & rosacea
nourishing to the body
The clay is created when volcanic ash is mixed with water. It contains a combination of minerals that include sodium, magnesium, and potassium.Mud has been used for thousand of years in civilizations that surround active volcanoes throughout Central and South America.
Light brown in color, I couldn’t wait to apply the mud to my body. There I was, covered in mud from head to toe taking selfies for the perfect Facebook shot. The most awkward part was the drying process, which comprised of me dancing to Zumba videos in front of my attendant. I’m not a shy woman, but a half-naked mud dance was a little out of my comfort zone. I did enjoy a good laugh when the attendant started laughing and dancing along with me. It was a great experience and a must when traveling to Ecuador.
Written by Stephanie Flor Edited by Karen Mowls Photos by Stephanie Flor