The elders are often overlooked in our youth-oriented culture, both in terms of the wisdom we could derive from their experience, and in terms of their special physical, emotional and spiritual needs. In the area of body care, elders generally require gentle cleansing combined with rich nourishing and moisturizing treatments. Besides relaxing and rejuvenating the skin, it is equally important to relax and rejuvenate the spirit. While many of the formulas offered throughout this blog can be used by plder fo1s, following are an assortment of pleasurable and effective formulas and treatments created specifically with more mature individuals in mind. Younger fo1s might consider offering relatives and friends one of the following treatments a wonderful gift that is sure to be appreciated.
Soaks offer a pleasant and relaxing way to rejuvenate tired, swollen, painful or arthritic hands, conditions often experienced by older people. As we age, our fingernails tend to become drier and more prone to fungal and bacterial growth. These conditions can be addressed easily and pleasurably with soaks. Soaks are especially well suited for elders because they are easy and noninvasive treatments, requiring only that one remain seated for at least 10 minutes. Soaks are especially good for people with poor peripheral circulation, a common problem as we age. Soaks also offer the benefit of affecting the whole body, promoting relaxation and a general sense of well-being. You may refer to the In Your Hands/On Your Feet chapter for hand-soak suggestions, or try some of the following special treatments.
A Gift to Aging Parents, Grandparents and Friends
Remember how much you liked having your elders read to you when you were a child? Consider returning the favor now to the generation who raised you. Set your loved one up with one of the hand soaks offered here, then read a short story or some poetry out loud while he or she relaxes into the treatment. You might even want to read an entire novel in installments. You will both look forward to the relaxation and the time shared over this experience.
Basic Hand-Soak Technique. Choose a bowl that both your hands fit into comfortably. Fill it with water or herbal infusion, as hot as you can comfortably tolerate. Keep your hands in the water for at least 10 minutes.