Many cultures throughout the ages have obsessed on the practice for general hygiene, socializing, and healing. People today flock to pools and spas as the benefits are numerous, including the occasion to rest our bodies and minds. Baths are just good for you, make the time to refresh and renew, and you'll be glad you did. You do not have to travel to some fancy spa to treat yourself, you can enjoy all the benefits from home, and you definitely should, regularly.
There are many options when it comes to your bath recipe and ritual. Salts or oils being the most common prime ingredient. A good salty mineral bath can do a body good, it's a fine way to replenish trace minerals, and detoxify. Detoxifying is important in this day and age, as we are immersed in an environment full of toxicity, and our diets have become woefully short on minerals. If you are not as keen on the detoxing, a good bath oil can turn a bath into a blissfully quenching, nourishing and hydrating experience. A regular bath, loaded with the right ingredients can quench our skin and nerves, rejuvenate both our bodies and our minds. Once you experience the overall effect of a proper nourishing bath, you will want to do it regularly, because it just feels good. It's a healthy practice to incorporate into your routine.
So choosing your ingredients. The recipes are nearly endless, but there are a few tried and true, and you don't have to purchase expensive ingredients every time. Even a hot soak in plain water has benefits, and it's up to you how much you want to improve on that experience, and you can improvise and experiment. Adding baking soda to the water first will neutralize the chlorine, which you definitely want to do first. Just a little will do that, but add more for added skin softening. Generally 1-3 cups of each, salt and soda, more or less, there is no exact science here, but if you are new to soaking in this solution, start at the low end, just to be sure you haven't any sensitivities. Essential oils can be used to great advantage as well, and generally safe, but proceed carefully until you are confident you have no sensitivities or allergies. Bath bombs most commonly have baking soda and essential oils. Sometimes it's just a matter of tastes, some people enjoy fragrance, others do not. Some like it steamy hot, others prefer luke warm. It's your bath, so own it, personalize it and make it something you will enjoy. The hotter the water the more therapeutic it will be, so if that's what your aiming for, go for just below scalding. You want your pores to open and the heat to penetrate your muscles. If you are simply going for an aromatic, skin conditioning soak, you can ease up on the heat. The water will cool down as you soak anyway.
You can't go wrong with a good old fashioned, hot, salty mineral bath. Find a salt that is mineral rich, and you'll enjoy numerous benefits. Ancient sea salts are rich in minerals of course and epsom salts, an inexpensive alternative, full of magnesium, which we could all use more of these days. It's an essential mineral responsible for regulating many of our vital bodily functions. Magnesium is a powerful relaxant too, a must-have in the bath. You can find magnesium chloride flakes for exactly this purpose, and you can saturate your bath with just a small amount. Magnesium can feel a little itchy and tingly though, so go light on it until you know how much is comfortable for you.
Good article here on the Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths
Kuumba Made has a couple different bath salts to choose from. One, a custom blend of Himalayan Pink and Dead Sea Salt which is loaded with vital minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, bromide, chloride, iron, copper, and zinc. It is available with a touch of fragrance added or unscented.
If you really want to indulge, there is also the option of the Desert Sands Bath Salt, the ultimate, high-octane blend for saturating yourself with minerals along with added botanical elements from the high desert. Contains Chaparral, Desert Sage, White Ceremonial Sage, and Desert Lavender which is a superb blend for both cleansing, reducing inflammation, and relieving tension. Ideal healing herbs for your skin and your spirit. Transformative!
You can use a little, or go for the full detox and toss the whole container in. Now that is a rich bath. How much salt you use is again up to you. A little will provide a skin softening, refreshing, and mildly muscle relaxing experience. the more you use, the more of a detox effect you will get. If that's what your going for, use a generous amount, but again be mindful to drink plenty of water. You always want a large cup of icy water with you in the bath, always. Also convenient for cooling off the forehead when the sweating starts.
Salt isn't the only option for your bath of course. Vinegar can be very beneficial for the skin and has it's own healing properties. It also is reportedly great as a hair tonic. Often we just need to look in our kitchen for health and beauty aids. Sometimes, an herbal boost can be enjoyed with just a couple of herbal tea bags, chamomile is nice in the bath, as is rosemary or green tea. Depending on the effect your going for, any herbal tea can be used. Hydrogen peroxide in the bath is one thing that many say is a great deep cleansing experience, but also something you want to be careful with. Definitely go easy with that, and if you do try it, find some of the food grade kind. Most of the hydrogen peroxide on store shelves these days contain stabilizers, something you don't want to be soaking in. This bath ingredient is not advised at all if you have any underlying heart conditions or skin sensitivities. It may mix with salt ok, but you shouldn't be mixing it with anything else. Be aware while you are soaking, of your body, and certainly get out of the water if you are uncomfortable in any way. That goes for any kind of bath.
When it comes to bath oils, there are so many that can be a fine contribution to a bath. Oils on their own or with some added herbs is majorly moisturizing, and generally just a small amount is needed. The Botanically Infused Coconut Oils are perfect for this, with a lovely selection of infusions to choose from, and just a spoonful or two will suffice. It's such a wonderfully clean oil with so much goodness, and they are lightly fragrant without having any fragrance added to them. Only organic and wild harvested ingredients are contained, it's pure nutritious skin food. Alternatively are the Kuumba Made Bath & Body Oils, a capful or two will transform your bath water and provide exceptional conditioning to your skin, and your hair if you like. They too use certified organic oils, but have a touch of fragrance added. Either one of these clean oils are excellent in the bath, and they can do wonders for your hair as well. Might as well get a hair oil treatment in while you relax in the bath, it's the perfect time.
If all is well, and you are comfortable, the ideal amount of time in the bath in is 40 minutes, it takes 20 for the pores to open and release toxins and another twenty to absorb the nutritious minerals. By that time the water will cool off and you'll be ready to emerge. It's also the perfect amount of time to just simply relax. Less than an hour, but more than a half. Chill out while you deep clean. Don't bring your phone. Indulge in some mindless activity while you're there. Meditate in silence with the lights dimmed. Maybe a little candlelight for atmosphere and some soft music. Flower petals if you've got them. If you have trouble doing nothing, no problem. Grab an old catalog or other reading material that will not be a great loss if it falls in the water, and just look at the pictures. Read if you like, but keep it light. You're there to give your body and your mind a break. Downtime, we all need some. Maybe prop the iPad on the vanity (far away from any water) and watch a nature documentary. To each their own, whatever makes you feel calm and restful. Take those 40 minutes to allow all tension to melt away, all thoughts to float by like leaves in the wind. Just be. Of course you want to be very relaxed, but if you find yourself getting drowsy, either get out or take a splash of cold water in your face, or both. Nodding off and choking on water is definitely going to spoil the experience, so don't.
A gentle, brief, final rinse off after your bath with some cooler water will wash away any residue and tighten up pores. After a hot salty mineral soak, apply a clean organic oil, better than a lotion which usually contain emulsifiers and preservatives. Massage yourself a bit as you apply a wholesome nutritious oil to your squeaky clean and nourished skin. You will see it absorbs quickly, and your freshly hydrated skin will retain the moisture, leaving your body soft and supple from head to toe. Your mind should also be refreshed and calmed. Remember to drink a big tall glass of cool water as you ease yourself gently back into the real world. You'll be new and improved!
Make it a regular thing. Make it a weekly ritual if you can, and you will find your skin and muscles nourished, and your mind, much happier, refreshed, and more balanced overall. We all need and deserve a little time, and a little pampering, and the bathtub provides the perfect private little escape place, use it. Aside from the mineral nourishment, just the immersion in water is so good for us. Water is such an incredible element which we are intimately tied to, and it is healthy to simply have that contact. Like "grounding", getting bare feet on the earth, this is another way to touch base with nature directly, which we all need to do more of. Take the time.