Few activities are as soothing and as relaxing as taking a warm bath; soaking seems to ease not only sore muscles but emotional tension, as well. If you are suffering from congestion such as with hay fever or colds, bathing can offer the extra advantage of encouraging your body to sweat the toxins out. Adding essential oils can truly turn the experience into a healing bath. Baths give the oils a double route into the body through scent diffused in the steam and through the skin. Warmed by the bath water, the skin is more permeable to the oils, which can then enter the bloodstream in a faster manner, releasing their therapeutic effects. A thyme oil bath, for instance, works to strengthen the weakened resistance of your body; using eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils will loosen the chest and dry up nasal mucus to help relieve the congestion. Baths containing essential oils also provide an added benefit when mixed with a small amount of a carrier oil, such as almond or olive oil. This will help to moisturize, condition and soften your skin.
Remember that oil will float on water so mix even the carrier oil in a small amount of sea or Epsom's salt and then mixing in the bath water will ensure that they don't evaporate or only lie on the top of the water.
A few simple rules to remember about soaking in a bath;
1. Never take a bath on a full stomach; it can irritate the digestive system.
2. Try not to soak for longer than 20 minutes, any longer and the skin becomes over worked and dried out.
Combining a bath with essential oils can both soothe the spirit and heal the body. The medicinal effects of your bath will vary according to the essential oil chosen. The essential oil of tea tree is antiseptic, rosemary is an expectorant, and thyme will strengthen the immune system.
To maximize the effects of the bath, dry-brush your skin with a natural fiber brush before bathing to open up the pores and remove dead skin. Massage your skin with gentle and circular motions while you are in the bath to help bring blood to the surface. In addition, a massage helps to tone the muscles and energize the body.