Ocean Lavender Treatment, Sensual Splash, Comfrey Comfort, Fennel Marshmallow Lotion, Skin Soothe Balm, Sandalwood Body Powder.
Our hands are often the most abused, and our feet the most neglected, parts of our body. This is ironic as much of our identity is bound up in how we use our hands, and since everything from the simplest daily routine to the most specialized professional activity can involve their use. An individual’s uniqueness is even embossed on the hands, in the form of their fingerprints and the lines on their palms. Yet many of us take our hands for granted as we go about our daily business, whether it involves slicing onions, digging trenches, typing at a word processor, painting on a canvas or changing diapers. The activities that involve the hands can lead to anything from dryness and chapping to cramping and swelling. My own hands often feel tired, achy and dried out from garden work, harvesting wild plants and making formulas, on top of the daily round of cooking and washing dishes. The first part of this chapter covers preparations and techniques that can help prevent and alleviate some of the common problems that affect our busy hands. These include soaks, oils, salves and moisturizers, preparations for cuticle care and special formulas to help heal minor cuts and wounds.
The feet, like the hands, are complex structures consisting internally of a series of small bones swathed in a highly complex network of muscles and nerves. To think that such relatively small structures bear the full weight of a body, often for many hours each day! Most people’s feet literally take a pounding during the course of a typical day, and the effects are often exacerbated by the shoes they wear. The second part of this chapter offers an array of soaks, oils, creams, balms and powders to help rejuvenate tired feet and treat such conditions as cracked heels and athlete’s foot.
A Word About Massage
One of the most therapeutic and rejuvenating methods for treating tired, cramped or swollen hands or feet is a simple massage. You might want to begin with a