How easy it is to get wrapped up in the flow of the world around you, forgetting to take time to heal, nourish, and refresh. My posts have been sparse of late as I navigate the challenges of a complex injury affecting my right arm, most likely from the extremely demanding and repetitive nature of my job. So, thanks for bearing with me for a short post.
When was the last time you took a bath? If you can’t remember, it has been too long! From the classic bubble bath (Ducky or other bath toys encouraged) to a detoxifying salt and mineral soak, to a relaxing herbal blend, to a soothing oatmeal and milk bath there are so many lovely options. You don’t even need to take a long soak- 15 minutes is a fine start. Bring a book, or heck thanks to the laptop watch a favorite movie or show- whatever makes you happy. No bathtub? A footbath in a dish tub is remarkably restorative if you spend all day on your feet! Also, if you feel a migraine coming on try soaking your feet in a hot bath (add some rosemary and peppermint essential oils if you have them) with an ice pack on your head- you might be able to keep it at bay.
Our skin is our largest organ and thanks to our pores is immensely helpful with detoxification and elimination. In a hot bath, all those pores open and can take in whatever lovely brew you have created- a great reason to avoid that bubble bath filled with words you can’t pronounce that smells like bubble gum, as much as it may bring happy memories of childhood. A hot bath is beneficial to healthy circulation by dilating your blood vessels and increasing blood flow- especially helpful during those long New England winters when your feet just never feel warm (Eat more ginger and cayenne!).
- Epsom or Sea Salt Bath- You know how much I love magnesium and trace minerals and epsom and sea salts are full of them- relaxing your muscles, and providing nutrients to cells and body systems, and thanks to reverse osmosis aiding your body in toxin removal. Soak at least 40 minutes in a hot bath with 1 cup salt for optimal benefit, but anything is better than nothing! Add a little ginger or cayenne to warm, some lavender essential oil to relax, or eucalyptus if you are congested, sick, or just need to wake up. Adding baking soda increases mineral content and also creates a really alkaline environment, great for re-balancing pH (most of us are too acidic thanks to sugar, processed foods, coffee, and more)
- Milk bath- Cleopatra is rumored to have loved her milk baths and they are great for you skin- milk is rich in lactic acid (a beta hydroxy) which naturally exfoliates your skin. It is also rich in vitamin A and enriched with vitamin D, both crucial for healthy skin. Use full fat organic milk, goat’s milk if you can find it is closest in pH to our skin. Coconut milk is also a great choice if you want to stay away from cow’s dairy, or even almond milk. Powdered milk is fine, too. Add 1+ gallon to the bath for full benefit. Still cheaper than a visit to the spa!
- Herbal Bath- Either take some cheesecloth or a handkerchief and collect your favorites- calendula and lavender are my go-tos or toss in 6 or more of your favorite herbal tea bags. Tie your herbal bundle onto the faucet while you run the tub- when you take it off use it like a washcloth in the tub. You will take in the nutrients and benefits of whatever you add. Bonus points for drinking a cup of tea while you soak! A couple of blends to try courtesy of Rosemary Gladstar:
- To relax: 2 parts chamomile, 2 parts lavender, 2 part roses, 2 part comfrey leaf
- For stimulation: 3 parts peppermint, 2 parts calendula, 1 part bay leaf or eucalyptus, 1 part rosemary, 1 part sage
Now, my book, some uplifting happy music (The wonderful sundress folk rock of my dear friend Sarah Blacker), and my bath tub are calling my name!