Short, regular, massage applications of a protective lotion provide an experience of the body as well as a buffer to preserve the forces needed for growth and maintaining health. Touch brings awareness to the periphery and body parts in which pressure is applied. Developing whole body awareness is part of healthy child development. In adults it serves as a reminder of parts that may have dropped out of consciousness. The application process draws attention to the distinction between self and other. This awareness increases the opportunity to filter the many impressions that come towards us throughout the day. A well prepared lotion can act as an extra layer between the self and the world. The combination of application process and product can be very useful for hyper sensitive children by receiving extra protection, and for hypo sensitive children whose limbs extend beyond their boundary and into the space of others.
Lotion can be applied after bathing, before bed or before going out for the day. The gesture is to envelop the body with rhythm in harmony with the body’s rhythms.
Prepare the treatment space to be adequately warm and free of drafts. Hot water bottles on the feet or abdomen can be very soothing if it is at bedtime.
Dispense and warm the lotion in the hand before application. Rest the hand for a moment on the body where the stroke begins, move the hand using the whole palm leading with the finger tips until the hand arrives at the end of the body part. Lift off the hand and return to the starting place for the next stroke. The stroke has a beginning and an end on each body part rather than a continuous stroking across the body. This definition helps to create the rhythm and a sense of completeness with each stroke and the full treatment. Apply about three strokes on the inside and outside of the arms from the hands over the shoulder to the heart. The same up the legs and then down the front and back of the torso. Add lotion to the hands as needed to keep a decent coverage. It can be relaxing to finish with a foot massage and rest.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) indicated the use of peat and moss extracts as a protection from environmental influences and the stimulation of everyday life. Follow to the next page to read about Sphagnum Lotions.