When cooler temperatures reign and darker days dominate the landscape, a hot bath is the perfect remedy to help you stay warm, relaxed, and balanced during the hectic holiday season. As an act of self-care, soaking in a hot bath can do many beneficial things such as cleansing negative energy, improving your immunity, reducing muscle aches, helping you sleep, and improving your mood while opening your pores and softening your skin. You can emphasize specific benefits depending on what you put in the steaming water and the intention behind your soak. Here are a few suggestions – complete with mantras you can repeat as you slip into the relaxing waters. May you find the perfect bath ritual this winter!
Studies show that soaking for 20 to 30 minutes in a warm bath raises your core body temperature, which increases your white blood cell production, strengthening your body's ability to fight off bacteria and infections. This is also why your body often becomes feverish when you’re sick. So as cold and flu season emerges, try adding Eucalyptus leaves or dried Rosemary to your hot bath, both of which are antibacterial as well as high in a compound called cineole, which is antimicrobial and has been shown to reduce inflammation, particularly in your respiratory pathways, allowing you to take those much-needed cleansing deep breaths.
Immunity Soak Mantra: I am well. I am strong. I am aligned with my inner health warrior. I can heal and protect my vitality. These waters restore me, cleanse me of illness, and keep me safe from harm. So mote it be.
Opting for a bath over a shower can reduce tension, irritability, and even anxiety and depression according to the latest research, which helps ease the stress the holiday season often creates from running multiple errands, too many office parties, family gatherings and greater expenses. Infuse your bath with Epsom Salts which are high in magnesium, a mineral that is used in greater quantities by your body when it’s experiencing stress. Magnesium helps lower stress hormones like cortisol, promoting restful sleep and helping you unwind. Include some aromatic, mood elevating dried jasmine flowers, or try ylang ylang essential oil and a drop or two of bergamot – you’ll be feeling brighter in no time.
Mood Boosting Soak Mantra: I am content. I am whole. I let love in, radiating it all around me. These waters cleanse my dark thoughts and fears, filling me with light, love, and laugher. So mote it be.
Undressing and slipping into a hot bathing is already a very sensuous experience – why not heighten the pleasure it produces by lighting candles and filling your tub with aphrodisiacs like rose petals, damiana leaves, or sandalwood and patchouli essential oils? Sandalwood elevates the pulse and patchouli prompts the production of sex hormones while damiana stimulates the sexual organs. Compliment the experience by playing some of your favorite romantic songs in the background and you’ll be in the mood for love.
Sensual Soak Mantra: I ignite my own desires with love and tenderness. Passion unfolds within me, cleansing me of shame or doubt, filling me with yearning and euphoria. These waters hold me, caress me, and help send me to cosmic bliss. So mote it be.
Turn your bathtub into a spa experience by incorporating skin friendly ingredients like clay, cream, or apple cider vinegar into your bathing experience. Bentonite clay will detoxify and shrink your pores, while heavy cream or milk contains lactic acid which will gently exfoliate. Apple cider vinegar may have a sharp aroma, but its low pH can help balance your own skin’s pH, helping to ease issues like sunburn, eczema, or dandruff. If your skin is feeling dry, consider honey or skin friendly oils like sweet almond or jojoba, which will moisturize and soften your skin as you relax. Add lavender essential oil to reduce inflammation or clary sage to control acne and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Radiant Skin Soak Mantra: My skin is a temple and I adorn it with oils and flowers, embracing it with love and respect. These waters cleanse my pores, softening and soothing my body so it may be healthy and radiant. So mote it be.
A hot bath is perhaps most famous for easing sore muscles – the heat increases circulation, encouraging the flushing of lactic acid, which when it builds up in the muscles after physical activity, can cause pain and discomfort. Add epsom salts, and the magnesium present in the salts which helps boost your mood will also promote nerve repair, reduce inflammation, quiet muscle spasms, and allow you to recover quicker from a tough workout or a long day raking leaves. Enhance your bathing experience by adding Movin and Groovin Circulatory Bath Salts which contain muscle relaxing epsom salts plus herbs which increase circulation including dried Ginkgo, Rosemary, and Peppermint leaves. Menthol crystals boost the circulatory power of this bath salt mix while lemon, grapefruit and eucalyptus essential oils fill your bathroom with invigorating aromas that will perk you up and get your body back in shape.
Muscle Ease Soak Mantra: I relax my muscles while thanking them for their hard work and support. These waters cleanse my body of toxins so that I may be strong and supple yet again. So mote it be.
Let these bath rituals remind you of what is truly important this time of year – a strong immune system, healthy mood, balanced sexual drive, radiant skin, and a supple, well-nourished body. Remember to always perform a patch skin test first with any essential oils, vinegars, or clays to make sure you don’t have any adverse reactions before adding them to your soak. Otherwise, enjoy the luxury that is bathing and may you emerge afterwards a brighter, cleaner, healthier you!