We all know the major reason to take a bath is to get clean, right? But if all you do is jump in the bath to get clean and then get out again, you could just take a shower instead. A bath can be so much more than just a way to get the dirt off. Bathing, if done correctly, can be a form of therapy – physical, emotional and even spiritual. Listed below are some ways you can take your bath experience to the next level.
“I think best in a hot bath, with my head tilted back and my feet up high.” - Elizabeth Jane Howard, Mr. Wrong
Adding to the bath
Epsom salts: It has been widely reported that most people nowadays are magnesium deficient. Magnesium is a mineral that is required for a body to function properly. Magnesium helps keep bones healthy, provides us with restful sleep, helps balance hormones, assists in muscle development, eliminates toxins and is vital to great cardiovascular health. Epsom salts are extremely high in magnesium and by adding them to your bathwater you are also soaking in the benefits of increased magnesium levels.
Essential Oils: Mix some of your favorite scents with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, olive oil or jojoba oil and create an aromatherapy bath. You will give yourself beautiful skin that also helps to refresh you spiritually and emotionally. Use about 7 drops of essential oils to a teaspoon or more of the carrier oil for the best results. Some of the best essential oils for a bath include: lavender oil, bergamot, chamomile, neroli, rose, jasmine and ylang ylang. Lavender is known to be very soothing, while jasmine and ylang ylang are known as an aphrodisiac.
Milk and Honey: Go Cleopatra and mix in ½ cup of whole milk with ½ cup honey to your bathwater. Milk has lactic acid, which is a mild exfoliator, but the fat will also help re-moisturize the skin. Honey is also very moisturizing and helps to soften skin and clean pores.
**Helpful hint: You can mix your essential oils into your Epsom salt bath for a double-dose of great!
How to bathe
Give yourself a pressure point massage: Get a tennis ball or two and trap the ball between your back and the bathtub. You can apply at any point along your back, from the very bottom to the neck region. You want target muscles that are tight or “knotty” and just move around on the ball enough to apply light pressure that will work out the stress points.
Stretch while you’re bathing. Your muscles are already warm from the bathwater. Take advantage of the situation and spend a few minutes stretching your major muscle groups. Take the stretches slow and easy. You will emerge from the bath relaxed and loose.
Create your environment: Make your bathroom a spa area. Add some lighted candles, reduce the overhead lights and play some soft, soothing music. Don’t forget to have someone watch the kids so you are not disturbed during this time.
**Helpful hint: Your bathwater should be comfortable for you, but remember that the maximum recommended bathwater temperature is 106 degrees, unless you are pregnant, in which case it drops to 99 degrees.