A New Take on Taking a Bath

Even though there are some very good reasons for taking an indulgent bath, most people opt for a shower because they feel that it saves time and resources and is more hygienic than a bath.

It’s true that taking a shower is fast and convenient, especially when you have limited time to get ready for work in the morning or you need to quickly freshen up after a workout. Bathing does require you to plan ahead and set aside some time for the process — but the luxurious experience is so worth that minor investment.

The notion that bathing is less hygienic than a shower is due to the fact that we’ve pretty much forgotten how to take baths. It’s just as easy to scrub yourself clean in the bath as it is in the shower. A quick rinse of yourself and the tub afterwards is enough to take care of any lingering doubts about cleanliness.

For most people, showering does use less water and energy than a soak in a tub filled with hot water, so showers are usually a good investment in resource-management as well as time saving. But there are occasions when a leisurely soak in the tub is a much more healthy, effective and pleasurable option than frantically jumping in and out of the shower. Do yourself a favor and use your bathtub for those occasions when doing so will make you happier and healthier.

There are good reasons for taking a bath: to get clean, to partake in a bit of physically therapeutic body care and to simply relax and recharge emotionally—or even spiritually.

Cleansing Baths — you can get clean in a bath tub. In fact, an extended soak in the warm, soapy water will be more effective at dissolving away oil and dirt than a brief shower. A bath is better at softening and loosening dead skin for effective exfoliation because of the extended time your skin is in contact with the water. Bubble baths and bath soaps are more diluted and potentially less harsh in a bath than using concentrated washes and scrubs directly on the skin in the shower. Besides, bubbles are more fun to play in than wasting them down the drain in a shower.

Create a bubbly bath scrubber with unscented natural soap flakes (castile type), to which you can add cleansing and purifying essential oils, such as eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lavandin and sandalwood. Here's how:

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Peppermint

Clarity Cleansing Peppermint & Orange Bath Soap Bag

Ingredients:
1/4 cup dried peppermint leaf
1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
1/2 cup natural soap flakes (or simply grate a bar of castile soap)
24 drops peppermint essential oil
24 drops sweet orange essential oil
Small muslin drawstring bag

Directions: Combine herbs and soap flakes in large bowl. Sprinkle with oils and toss mixture until well-incorporated. Place 1/4 cup mixture in bag and use as a foaming, clarifying scrubber in hot bath.

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Therapeutic Soak—Baths are a good body care practice, easing sore or tired muscles if you’ve just had a hard workout or busy day doing house or garden work. Including natural actives such as oat flour, milk, honey, even rose petals, will enhance the skin care properties of your soak. And the addition of calming essential oils like chamomile, helichrysum, lavender, and sweet marjoram can heighten the soothing effects of your skin care actives. These ingredient combinations in a soaking application just aren’t possible in the shower. Here’s a recipe for a blend of fine, nourishing bath care ingredients:

Lavender

Soothing Therapy Lavender, Rose Milk & Oat Bath

Ingredients:
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup milk powder
1 cup sea salt
1 cup Epsom salt
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup dried lavender flowers
1 teaspoon lavender oil
1 teaspoon Aura Cacia Rose Otto or Rose Absolute Precious Essential oil

Directions: Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Sprinkle with oils and toss until well-incorporated. Use 1/4 cup per bath.
Tip: Sprinkle bath with rose petals for added luxury.

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Transcendent Immersion—An immersion can be used to help deal with stress and anxiety, as a kind of meditative relaxation, or even a spiritual recharge. A shower is typically too rushed and functional to yield any of these deeper, more intention-focused benefits. There’s nothing quite like an extended body-immersion in warm, aromatic water to melt away your cares and worries and put you in touch with inner calm. Bath additives including relaxing, spiritually connecting essential oils such as frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, jasmine, and neroli can help boost the quieting, centering effects of your immersion. And minerals such as sodium bicarbonate, sea salt and Epsom salt will make the water softer and create more buoyancy, thereby heightening the effect of weightlessness—almost as if you were floating in the ocean or a warm, womblike environment. Here’s a recipe for a meditative immersion bath:

Meditative Immersion Sandalwood & Frankincense Bath Oil

Ingredients:
1 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup sweet almond or apricot kernel oil
1/2 teaspoon Aura Cacia Frankincense Precious Essential oil
1/2 teaspoon Aura Cacia Sandalwood Precious Essential oil

Directions: Blend oils thoroughly. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons per bath, or smooth over damp skin after emerging from shower, then pat dry.

 

 
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ESSENTIAL OIL OF THE MONTH

Fresh Eucalyptus
A Great Wintertime Oil

Eucalyptus essential oilThe fresh, bracing aroma of eucalyptus opens and sharpens the senses, awakens the spirit, and clarifies the air. Eucalyptus is the perfect oil to have on hand for diffusion into stuffy indoor environments, especially important during the wintertime months.

The cineole/camphor-scented essential oil is steam distilled from the fresh leaves. For aromatherapy purposes it’s best to use the complete, natural, non-redistilled oil with its full complement of aromatic constituents. Aura Cacia sells the complete oil, which has a woody, fresh-foresty note in addition to the medicinally sharp cineole/camphor aroma typical of the oil.

Eucalyptus is appropriate in warming, muscle- and joint-penetrating massage applications. And a diffusion of the oil will purify the air and inspire deep, clear breathing.

Soothing Eucalyptus & Lavender Massage Oil:
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
4 drops lavender essential oil

Directions: Mix ingredients, and apply during massage.
Tip: Warm oil mixture for a few seconds in microwave or hot water bath for an especially soothing experience.

Air Cleansing Eucalyptus & Tangerine Diffusion
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons water
1 Aura Cacia Candle Lamp Diffuser
5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops tangerine essential oil

Directions: Add water to candle lamp. Add drops of oil to water. Light candle.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

National Moment of Chill Saturday, Dec. 22

Join us for the next National Moment of Chill at noon (wherever you are) on Saturday, December 22nd. Get details at the National Moment of Chill webpage.

San Francisco Yoga Conference, Jan. 18-20

LavenderAura Cacia is a Silver sponsor for the San Francisco Yoga Conference. We will be exhibiting in the marketplace January 18-20th that is free and open to the public. Charlynn Avery, Aromatherapist and Educator, will be teaching a free class, Connecting Mind-Body-Spirit With Essential Oils, on Sunday from 2:00-3:00. For more information visit www.yjevents.com.

 

 
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