There was a period of my life when I was traveling on a weekly basis and/or moving a few times a year. During this time it was near impossible to find supplies I needed and was familiar with during my trips and bringing everything I ‘needed’ along was not really an efficient use of my suitcase or moving box space. I discovered it is hard to pack a New York cheesecake when you are going to Egypt. And even if I had been successful it would have been gone in about a day.
It was during this time I became an enthusiastic fan for what I started calling “Portable Rejuvenation”. I learned about many natural therapies and then went on to study them as a professional. I was amazed to discover how many portable ways of making myself and my family “feel better” there were! Here is a list of my favorites. The best part? Many of them are free!
Reflexology: Reflexology is a traditional therapy that has been used since the time of the Ancient Egyptians to heal the body. Ancient cultures used it to relieve everything from the common cold to asthma and cramps.
Tonal Therapy: Different notes have been shown to have a soothing effect on different parts of the body. However, even if you are not an expert in tonal therapy you can enjoy similar (and often the same) benefits by simply singing your favorite songs out loud and allowing the tones to vibrate in your body and abdomen (don’t sing in your mouth – be sure to use proper singing technique and your entire body).
Feldenkrais Therapy and Stretching: With all the sitting, traveling, walking, lifting and resting we do in today’s world we often forget the simple benefits of stretching. Studies show that a few minutes of stretching a few times a day can make a difference in circulation, strength, endurance and over-all feeling of well-being and balance. When using specific stretches a person can even release stress in various parts of the body which can have a whole-body pain-relieving effect.
Water: When my family complains of feeling badly I always tell them “drink a large glass of water and see me in ten minutes”. I rarely see them back. It is amazing how the beginning stages of dehydration can cause so many little aches, pains and discomforts, but we don’t recognize that we are thirsty – all we recognize is that we are not feeling well.
Aromatherapy: This is the only therapy that has a cost on this list. However, the cost is minimal. Aromatherapy has been used historically to help with everything from infections to chronic conditions. In ancient Persia this meant going through the long process of distilling plants and visiting the local clinic to soak in a spa infused with these plants. However, modern technology has made aromatherapy a nice portable solution for every-day use. I usually travel with one bottle of Tea Tree which I use for disinfecting cuts, soothing stomach pain, deterring parasites and many other uses. I sometimes also travel with Lavender which I use for stress and to help my family sleep.
Head-Heart or Hands: One thing studying Waldorf education taught me was the balance between head-heart and hands. This is the balance teachers try to keep in their Waldorf classrooms but what a lot of people don’t realize is that this is also the balance we need to keep in our daily lives. Have you ever noticed how imbalanced and perhaps even slightly ill or tired you feel if you spend too much time doing just one of these items? If you spend 12-hours straight on the computer or reading (head), doing physical labor like cleaning, remodeling the house, gardening work (hands), or focusing on spiritual thoughts , giving or serving (heart) then you will most likely feel exhausted at the end of the day. However, if you split your day to balance the three you will actually feel better at the end of the day. So, if I am feeling run-down in the middle of the day I take a look at which of these parts of myself I am neglecting. Once I give that part some attention again my day perks up almost instantly.