By Lyndsey DePalma
Founder and President
House of Steep
Photos by Anna Gibbs Photography
Looking for new and unique ways to connect?
You aren’t alone. Modern couples have limited time for relaxing together, given their penchant for success in most areas of their lives.
Here are some easy, effective ways to maintain an organic connection.
1. Bond over a cuppa tea.
Having a ritual where you set aside a few hours to share your dreams for the partnership (and not just your goals for the day) can strengthen the relationship, and rejuvenate your cells, too.
Looking for a good brew to raise a toast over? The ingredients below are chock full of known aphrodisiacs, to carry your spiritual connecting into the physical realm. Use them to concoct your own brew, or try our February blend, which is brewed for love.
- Damiana, which is notorious for being a powerful sexual stimulant. While it cannot create sex drive, it is said to focus sexual energy. Its use dates back to Mayan civilization, when it was known for its positive toning effect on sexual organs. Drink two to three cups (1 tsp. of herbs per cup of tea) per day for enhanced, ahem, energy.
- Ginger and cinnamon, which produce heat and circulation to the lower abdominal and pelvic region, are also known to stimulate moisture, not just in the nether regions.
- Ginkgo, which is a reliable peripheral vasodilator (read: erectile dysfunction remedy). It also increases blood circulation and flow to the brain (helping counter negative effects of antidepressants) and to the penile arteries, and it improves the nitric oxide pathways (essential in the erection process). Guys: Drink at least 1 cup of ginkgo-infused tea every day to increase your odds for success.
- Ginseng, which not only promotes stamina and endurance, it supports hormonal balance and nourishes the kidneys. Chinese medicine holds that kidney health is critical to overall sexual health because the kidneys support the entire organ relationship within the body. Add ginseng root to your tea and steep for 10 minutes up to twice daily. Most ginseng varieties are safe, but do follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Kava kava, which is a mood elevator and muscle tension reliever, creates an environment much more conducive to romance. Plus, add a half tsp. of kava root to your daily tea; however, like ginseng, avoid prolonged consumption (use no longer than three weeks of consistent exposure).
Don’t have all these herbs at the ready? Order the monthly blend, Steep herbal tisanes for 5-10 minutes, and enjoy their natural benefits!
2. Treat yourself to a deliciously hot foot soak.
This age-old relaxation routine has been a popular ritual for centuries in many cultures.
To enjoy the pleasure and health benefits, draw a hot bath (between 95-105 degrees), add some Epsom salts and herbs, and join your partner on the edge of the basin for a bonding experience that’s relaxing and rejuvenating.
Our signature herb soak salt blend Lovely is made exclusively for House of Steep and is loaded with rose and ylang ylang, known aphrodisiacs. Foot steeping instructions are available on the package.
3. Indulge in the gift of total body relaxation.
If you haven’t experienced the joy of reflexology, you don’t know what you are missing. This massaging of the feet is a targeted treatment that has been used for centuries to increase circulation to the entire body. It is fabulous for your overall health because the rubbing and kneading of your feet and hands systematically presses on reflexes that correlate to different organs in your body.
How, and why does it work? Toxins are always present in the body (from muscular activity, processed foods and … stress (ahem, you power duos!), and coupled with the physical effects of stress (muscles remaining taught, and circulation to nerves remaining restricted and compromising their function), total body relaxation and stimulation is a pleasant antidote.
Because all of the body’s organs and systems are worked in a reflexology session, the results can be both rejuvenating and uplifting. What better gift can you give your power partner?
If you want to keep the fun at home, give each other a foot massage using our Lovely aromatic bath salts.
You are sure to touch on some of the reflexes. By giving reciprocal massages, you’ll also be building your sharing dynamic. Or book a back-to-back reflexology session for each other. (At House of Steep, we just need 24 hours advance notice.)
Note: These seeds of wisdom cannot take the place of medical advice and results are not guaranteed on all individuals.
Special offer: DC-based readers of Be Inkandescent magazine receive 10 percent off their in-house foot soak! Call ahead to set up your appointment: www.HouseofSteep.com.
Special thanks to our models: Carolina and Santiago Garcia. Cick here to learn more about Carolina’s business, LeoNora Bakery.
About Lyndsey DePalma and the House of Steep
Lyndsey DePalma is the founder of the new Arlington, VA, tea house and reflexology studio, House of Steep, where visitors discover the treasure that is tea and the power of reflexology to heal and harmonize.
Before coming up with the concept for House of Steep, DePalma yearned to find a place to relax, and just be, for a while each day. Not satisfied with any of the existing answers and armed with some entrepreneurial hard-wiring and a respect for natural healing, DePalma left her corporate career in human resources to bridge the gap.
Since October of 2010, House of Steep has been taking up residence in DePalma’s heart and will become the ultimate destination for busy corporate citizens, casual connections, bridal parties, street shoppers, believers in alternative healing, moms and grandmoms, yogis and yoginis, consultants, crafters, lovers, and the rest of us.
For more information, visit www.houseofsteep.com.