Have you ever been captivated by the sight of a bride who not only looked gorgeous but glowed with an inner beauty as well? It’s a special radiance that’s got nothing to do with a fake tan, makeup tricks or cosmetic procedures (although there’s nothing wrong with those). It’s all about wellness – a natural, holistic approach to health which looks after what’s on the inside as well as the outside.
When you’re organising a huge life event such as your wedding, taking good care of yourself is important. You need to be in shape emotionally, mentally and physically so that you feel calm yet energetic enough to handle all the preparations, and relaxed yet full of vitality on the day itself. Holistic health pays dividends in other ways too – your skin, hair, nails and body are in top condition, you sleep better, and you shine with inner as well as outer beauty on your wedding day.
Just as there are many different ways to get married, there are all kinds of options when it comes to attaining wellness. Thanks to the surge of interest in all things clean and green – not only for the sake of the environment but for our bodies as well – many natural therapies and treatments once seen as ‘alternative’ are now universally accepted and widely available. For brides to be, there are plenty of day spas and beauty salons using natural or organic skin and body products, and offering a range of holistic treatments and alternative therapies. These places promise a pampering experience that takes care of the mind as well as the body and can include everything from hydro baths and acupuncture to facials, body wraps and massage. If your budget doesn’t allow for a package of pre-wedding treatments, simply sign up for six monthly facials to ensure your skin is as clean and healthy as possible. Put a little extra aside so you can have a couple of massages during the final weeks before the big day. Massage is useful to soothe tight muscles, reduce stress, give your immune system a boost and improve skin tone and digestion. Ask for an aromatherapy massage, which uses the healing properties of essential oils to nourish the skin, pamper the body, soothe the soul and restore the spirit. Essential oils boost your sense of inner wellbeing by stimulating responses of pleasure and relaxation in the brain.
Now is the time to pamper (the natural way!)
Herne Bay Well Being is an Auckland clinic with a holistic and eco-friendly focus. It doesn't use chemical peels, lasers, needles or invasive machines to help clients achieve wellness. The emphasis is on attaining optimum health by using a variety of treatments and techniques alongside an innovative organic skincare range which combines the best of science and nature. The clinic’s products are based on the principles of Ayurveda, an ancient system of wellness therapy which aims to balance the individual mentally as well as physically. Ayurvedic treatments are based on an analysis of your body type – Vata, Kapha or Pitta – and a healthy living philosophy which encompasses exercise, lifestyle, diet and mental wellbeing. Ayurvedic beauty products are free from artificial colours, perfumes, additives and preservatives and are especially useful for treating skin problems such as pimples, blackheads, dryness or an oily complexion. The Shree Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Centre in Auckland’s Mt Eden offers a full range of services, including detox treatments, massage using medicated oils, beauty treatments and the centre’s own range of Ayurvedic skincare products. If you’re feeling anxious and worn out before the wedding, a Shirodhara treatment, where oil is poured in a continuous stream on the forehead, will soothe and invigorate you.
Make a date with exercise
As well as treatments, be sure to include exercise in your wellness routine. Book exercise into your diary and treat it as an appointment you have to keep. Brisk walking for 30 minutes three times a week, plus weights or other resistance training at least twice a week will tone your body, help manage stress and keep you healthy. Add a weekly yoga class to strengthen your body and help you stay calm and flexible. You’ll need about a dozen sessions before the wedding to feel the benefits on the day. Meditation is another useful stress management tool. A meditative state is the natural outcome of yoga, and the spiritual benefits of meditation can include supreme bliss or enlightenment. It also improves body lustre and circulation by increasing blood flow to parts of the body. If you’re a beginner, join a class or download a guided meditation off the internet. Or do this simple exercise – close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath, breathing into your belly and inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Breathe slowly, remaining focused on your breathing, for at least five minutes. If thoughts arise, note them and then let them go. Gradually build up to meditating for 15 minutes every day – you need to do it regularly for best results.
You are what you eat
Healthy eating is another important aspect of wellness for the bride to be. What we eat is reflected in our health and appearance. Eating small, balanced meals as often as every three hours keeps your metabolism functioning healthily and your energy levels up. Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season and enjoy at least five serves (one cup) each day. Drink between one to two litres of water a day. Have at least two alcohol-free days every week and keep your coffee consumption down to a cup a day. Make wellness a priority now and you’ll be rewarded not only on your wedding day, but also in the years to come.