As you all know, I’m still working full-time (well, more than that frankly) and I’ve been a bit cranky lately pining about my dreams of homesteading which is so polar opposite to my current situation. I probably don’t make it any easier on myself when I spend all my downtime researching craft/hobby ideas, how to make more home-cooked meals, how to simplify life and expenses, etc…It just makes the waiting all that more unbearable.
However, it’s sometimes the little joys, the simple pleasures that help you to refocus upon goals and reset your mind/body/soul. One cherished event this week was taking a hot aromatherapeutic healing bath. I love taking baths; it seems so refreshing, relaxing, indulgent…but as much as I love them, I don’t seem to take them that often. It’s time I change that!
But I don’t just soak in hot water, nor do I immerse myself in toxic bubbles. Instead I opt for an aromatherapeutic healing bath using items that can usually be found in my pantry. Here are some tips to make your next bath a truly healing event:
- Oils: pour oil into the tub while the water is being drawn (I like jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, almond oil, but you can easily use olive oil from your pantry – really good for the skin – or even a mild canola oil); you skin will drink it in and will remain oh-so-soft, especially if you jump into cotton Pjs and go off to bed giving it time to really soak in and moisturize your skin
- Non-fat milk and/or Oatmeal: these items are great in a bath especially if your skin is sensitive, dry, irritated (you can put directly into bath or put into a clean sock and hang below the faucet so the warm water can run through the sock thus infusing your bath)
- Tea bags: Herbal tea bags can also be a great addition to your bath; for example, chamomile tea is great for relaxing, calendula tea is great for healing irritated skin, peppermint tea, citrus teas or green tea is good for morning baths if you are looking to get invigorated (if this is the case, better to use tepid rather than hot water which can induce sleepiness)
- Honey: you might be thinking “sticky” but honey is actually very soothing and healing to the skin and will liquify in a hot bath; a tablespoon will do the job and will leave your skin supple rather than sticky
- Dried herbs: are great in a bath, especially, my favorite: lavender buds; use the sock method above or a drawstring mesh bag (which often is used to giftwrap small items, so hold onto those); doing so will prevent you from emerging from your bath looking like swampthing! Rosemary is another common pantry herb that is great to put in a bath when you feel under the weather, have a headache or have irritated skin; you can also grab some rose petals from your garden and toss in as well
- Salt: Epsom, Sea and Dead Sea salts are excellent additions to a bath for a variety of reasons: Epsom salts contain a high amount of magnesium and are especially useful in soothing sore/tired muscles; Sea Salts are rich in minerals and used to draw toxins from the body (other, more expensive salts are Dead Sea and Pink Bolivian/Himalayan salts which are reputed to have even greater healing effects, however not likely to be sitting in your pantry); you can even use regular, non-iodized table salt for its mineral source and soothing results)
- Essential Oils: we’re talking pure, therapeutic grade essential oils, not fragrances; the aromatherapeutic effects and thus healing impact can be great with these. There are so many options to choose from, too many to list here, so check out one of my favorite books: “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood or for quick reference, go to www.aromaweb.com(just remember to add a couple drops of oil after your bath has been drawn to make the scent last longer)
While my bath is being drawn, I like to make a simple body scrub which not only exfoliates the skin, but allows you to add natural scents which further creates a healing experience. Here’s how I make my simple sugar scrub (sugar is much gentler on the skin than salt)
- 1 c. brown sugar (in the cooler months) or white sugar (in the warmer months)
- 1/2 c. oil (use whatever you have on hand, however, olive oil should only be used for no more than half this amount as it tends to lend a strong scent which can conflict with any scents you add
- herbs/spices/essential oils to desired scent – for this recent bath during a cold spell, I sprinkled in pumpkin pie spice, additional cinnamon and vanilla extract to make an autumn scented scrub)
Voila, consider yourself indulged. It’s such a simple thing, but there’s something about taking an aromatherapeutic healing bath that helps me to “reset” my brain and emotions.
Let me know of your favorite all-natural tips for the bath!