The bathtub sits quietly in our dwelling, a humble apparatus neglected by many, waiting patiently for the yearly bath heralding forth its triumphant return to relevance. But this unsung domestic hero can and is being used by many to stimulate circulation, calm muscle cramps, relieve joint stiffness, diminish back pain, promote proper detoxification within the body (through the skin) and bring a calm and peace which is absent amid the hectic tumult which envelops and encircles our lives. Abandon your preconceptions of what you thought a bath was and expand your boundaries on what it can be: a powerful ally in your path towards wellness!
The Bath and Beyond
Sure, in years past you may have taken the effervescent plunge into a bubble bath with the hot pink froth and olfactory-punishing, mad-scientist-concocted fragrances. Perhaps you’ve even tried a packaged amalgam of various salts and essential oils. The latter is closer to the essence, and both provide some relaxing elements. But once or twice a year isn’t doing your body justice and a scoop of salt in an enormous tub is merely scratching the surface. Here’s what we have in mind for you-some fun combinations to add a little zest to your bath:
- Epsom Salts or Bath Salts like Celtic or Himalayan Sea Salt – wonderful for drawing toxins out of the body and establishing proper pH-Epsom salts can even raise magnesium levels in the body! Use 1 to 2 cups per bath-the more you use, the more powerful the effect.
- Baking soda – Soothes the skin, alkalizes the body and is a natural antifungal. Use 1/2 to 2 cups per bath (a great adjunct to Epsom salts).
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Neutralizes body pH and invigorates and softens the skin (note: be cautious when combining baking soda and apple cider vinegar-you may wish to do one or the other). Use is 1 cup per bath.
- Essential Oils – Lavender is excellent in a bath, typically 10 to 20 drops will do the trick. Consider adding other relaxing essential oils, such as: basil, bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, juniper, marjoram, neroli, rose and rosewood, sandalwood, sage and ylang ylang. Typical use is 10 to 20 drops, but depends on the intensity of the essential oil.
- Clays such as bentonite or monmoillonite – A powerful drawing agent, pulling toxic elements out of your body like a magnet. Clay can also do wonders on draining and circulating lymph in the body. Use 2 cups per bath as an occasional treat.
A Recipe for the Perfect Bath
Here’s the scenario. You make it home from a long, arduous day at the office, muscles aching, neck and shoulders unbearably tight and it is way too late to call your chiropractor for an adjustment. What do you do?? Do a little alchemical magic and pull together the following from your cabinet!
- 2 cups Epsom Salts
- 1 to 2 cups Baking Soda
- 10 to 20 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or your preferred essential oil of choice)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil for dry skin (optional)
Begin by turning the water on, setting it for a temperature as hot as you are able to tolerate (heat dissipates quickly, so it is often better to set the bath too hot rather than too cool). Add the Epsom or bath salts, baking soda, essential oil and olive oil, making sure to stir so that the salts and baking soda dissolve completely. Fill the tub to the desired depth and dip a toe into the water. If the water is too hot, simply add some cold water to balance the temperature to your preferred setting. Submerge your body into the tub and enjoy a good soak for as long as you desire (but no shorter than 15 minutes for optimal results).
NOTE: Make sure to drink plenty of water prior to your bath and after your bath. The bath tends to draw out from the body and can be dehydrating otherwise. For bonus points, buy a filter for your shower and run the water for your bath through the filter (to filter out chlorine and other unsavory elements). If this is not an option, add 1/2 a cup of clay to your bath to help keep the exposure to a minimum.
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