Written by LISA FINN Most of us run on two speeds: fast and full blast. Today’s women—and men—are busier now more than ever. Flexible schedules and the Internet allow us to pack in all our dreams and goals in a 24-hour period. And when we get overwhelmed and need some help, there are various organizational apps which we can tap and swipe to help keep the crazy going. That is exactly why, when the day draws to a close, most of us could use some rejuvenation. Back in ancient times, the Romans would come in droves to public bath houses to get clean, hit each other up for the week’s gossip and retreat into a relaxing neck massage. They were the creators of what we now know as the euphoric spa experience that restores the soul as much as the body. But with today’s therapeutic products readily available and homemade detoxification remedies we can quickly whip together, it’s easy to treat yourself to a bit of bath therapy even when you can’t indulge in one of those glorious spa days. Jan Tucker, owner of the online store White Lotus Living, recommends mixing aromatherapy and essential oils for bath pleasure. She warns, however, that not all products suffice. “Oils used for true therapeutic purposes should be of the highest quality and cold-pressed rather than chemically extracted. There should never be any unwanted chemicals or artificial fragrance on the product label.” So shoo the kids away and ignite some candles. Make it a point to submerge yourself in a relaxing, rejuvenating holistic bathing ritual that is earth-derived . . . and heaven sent.
Prepare a sensual soak
Fill the tub about halfway before adding essential oils and bath potions. The temperature can range anywhere from 92° to 110° depending on how much steam you want. Steam offers a moist heal and is beneficial for soothing nasal passages, easing muscle tension and reducing cramps.
Soak no longer than 20 minutes and give the bath a burst of cold water at the end, while draining the tub, for the proper cool down. Be careful getting out of the tub as steam can lighten your senses. Slip on a robe and head straight for bed. Ahhhhhh.
Rejuvenate and relax
Whirl away the day’s anxiety with stress-melting scents such as eucalyptus and Bulgarian rose otto oil. To stimulate sluggish skin, mix equal parts olive oil, honey and sugar and then rub it on your body from head to toe before stepping in the tub. The act of physically washing your skin not only sloughs away the dead skin cells, but helps you mentally transform.
Decompress the mind and draw out the body’s toxins with a special detox bath. The warm water by itself encourages mild sweating, which starts the detoxification process through the skin, kidneys, lungs, colon and liver. When allergies act up or you’re feeling flu-ish, create an oxygen detox bath with 2 cups hydrogen peroxide and 1 tablespoon dried ginger powder. If you’re looking to help heal your skin and draw out impurities, add about 8 drops of jojoba oil.
Refresh and repair
Kelly Teegarden, owner of Newbury Park-based Kelly Teegarden Organics, says essential oils such as rose, Roman chamomile and French lavender not only smell incredible, but help soothe eczema and other skin issues. She recommends adding oils to a “carrier,” such as coconut oil, to make your skin super soft.
Sore muscles, arthritis and tension headaches call for Epsom salts. This pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate helps nerve function and reduces inflammation. Rosemary oil also has anti-inflammatory properties ideal for muscle pain. If you’re having trouble unwinding, add frankincense or lavender to induce a sleepy state. Add whatever accessories you need to make your bath time ritual radically revitalizing. Rest your head on a scented pillow (add some drops of bergamot if you’re feeling down), cover your eyes with a silk mask, wrap your hair in a warm towel or apply a facial mask such as Kelly Teegarden Organics’ Rejuvenate Hydration Masque. This is your time. Set aside the technology and take to tranquility.