[caption id="attachment_779" align="alignleft" width="183"] Brayden Alexander using his inflatable neckring from http://www.waterwaybabies.com during therapeutic bath time - his favorite time of day![/caption]
Happy Bathtub Party Day!!
To commemorate the day, go check out our previous post "Splish Splash" and an article from our website:
A few of the most simplest forms of therapy and healing can be done in the comfort of your own home, without the intrusion of health professionals and offering yet another opportunity to connect with your child.
“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.”
–Hippocrates, Greek Physician, Father of Medicine
Massage techniques will be discussed in other articles, however I will be outlining some extremely simple bath recipes for curing various ailments, relaxing tight muscles, and maximizing overall general health. The list of recipes is truly endless, so I hope that this will ignite your interest in to seeking out other combinations that work best for your needs.
First, I’d like to outline the ways to use your ingredients in the following bath recipes. Most of the ingredients listed can be easily purchased in your local grocery or health food store:
Oils: for all baths containing essential oils, you may use the essence alone or mix with a vegetable oil, or honey and cream which provides the additional benefits of nourishing the skin. I suggest mixing with a carrier to better disperse the oil throughout the bath and do not add the oils until the bath is full and your body has adjusted to the temperature. Pouring it in during fill-up will cause the oils to quickly, and wastefully, evaporate.
Bach Flower Remedies: Named for Dr. Edward Bach who discovered, researched and tested these about 70+ years ago; are natural preparations made from the healing essences of flowering plants and trees. Use just as you would the oils, alone with no carrier required.
Homeopathic Remedies oftentimes come in pellet form with directions attached.
Herbs, Spices, and Flowers: Many recipes call for steeping. In this method you will bring a pot (do not use aluminum; only ceramic, glass, or other metal containers to preserve the therapeutic value of the herb, spice, or flower) of water to a boil on the stove, gently put in the ingredients, and allow them to simmer for twenty minutes, without boiling again. Add steeped contents to the tub.
Colds & Flu
The following ingredients can be added, together, to a warm bath to help resolve ailments associated with colds & flu:
-5 drops eucalyptus oil (opens nasal passages)
-5 drops peppermint oil (to invigorate the body)
-5 drops lavender oil (stimulates white blood cells to combat infectious bacteria)
-2 tbsp Vitamin C crystals
-8 drops thyme oil, or fresh steeped (combats chest congestion & raises immune system)
-1 oz bottled ground ginger (pulls out mucous from your system)
Physical Shock relief: sprains, bruises, pain & aching muscles
-8 to 10 pellets of Arnica, which belongs to the sunflower family & can be found in herbal stores. It can also be taken internally to help with aches & pains. Soak anywhere from 10-30 minutes, with maximum results appearing well after the bath. If conditions persist, you can take up to 3 baths per day.
Joint Pain, Arthritis & Rheumatism symptoms
-3 drops of eucalyptus oil (anti-inflammatory)
-handful of comfrey leaves, used for over 2000 years to heal fractures and wounds
-2 handfuls of chaparral herb, helps the body protect itself by replacing cells after operation/injury
Steep the comfrey & chaparral leaves for 20 minutes and add to bath water along with eucalyptus. Soak for approximately 30 minutes.
-5 drops of peppermint oil, can also use 2 drops on a compress for the head out of a bath, for any headache
-5 drops of lavender oil, 2 drops for a compress, for neck tension and/or eye strain headaches
-5 drops of chamomile, 2 drops for a compress, for gastric or nervous tension headaches
-3 drops of eucalyptus, 1 drop for a compress, for sinus headaches
Use oil for suspected cause. A massage of the temples will help alleviate discomfort as well.
Get-Moving, kick-starting your energy flow
-20 drops Chestnut Bud Bach Flower Remedy
Tight Muscles & Discomfort, inflammation relief:
-5 drops eucalyptus oil
-1 cup your choice of salt (Himalayan, Epsom, etc.)
General Healing Bath
Salt Water Therapy (SWAT) is the combination of sea salts and water. Some uses include hydrotherapy baths for recovery from joint and muscle injuries and pain; psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions; body detoxification; and simple relaxation. Minerals such as magnesium and potassium are drawn from the warm sea salt bath into the body, while toxins are actively drawn out for elimination. Mineral rich Sea Salts are recommended for SWATs, as opposed to rock salt or common salt (sodium chloride), which are depleted of nourishing minerals. Therapeutic effects of salt from the Dead Sea have been renowned and praised for centuries. It is unique in comparison to other sea salts because of its high concentration of salt (27% as opposed to 3% in normal sea water), and the composition of the brine is also unique. The balance of the dead sea salts are magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride, and bromides; all important in the therapeutic process:
-Sodium is important for lymphatic fluid balance.
-Magnesium combats stress and fluid retention, slows skin aging, and calms the nervous system.
-Potassium energizes the body, balances skin moisture, and is a crucial mineral to replenish after intense exercise.
-Calcium prevents water retention, and increases circulation while strengthening bones and nails.
-Bromides help ease muscle stiffness and relax them.
My personal preference for use in salt baths are Himalayan Sea Salts, which are considered the most pure and cleanest salts on the planet. We also utilize these particular sea salt benefits through utilization in cooking and air purification in the form of lamps. These salts hold a whole host of benefits, primarily via the existence of 5 beneficial minerals found in these beautifully colored salts (Meditate This, 2010):
-Calcium is crucial for the formation of strong bones and teeth, and the benefits are particularly marked in women and children. As we get older, our bones become brittle, as do our nails and our hair. Calcium helps us build bone strength and mass, warding off common conditions such as osteoporosis, the weakening of the skeletal system. Bones and ligaments become stronger and less prone to fractures and sprains that often occur when our calcium levels decrease.
-Magnesium is essential to the healthy functioning of all living cells and is the 11th most abundant element in the human body. Magnesium has been used in anesthetics, sports medicine for relief of tired muscles, and antacids for the soothing of the stomach.
-Potassium is crucial to heart function and has been used to treat hypertension and heart conditions. During physical activity, our body utilizes and then loses large amounts of potassium, which must be replenished to avoid soreness and tightness in the muscles. Potassium is found in foods such as bananas, broccoli, and many other fruits and vegetables. It is a powerful diuretic as well.
-Copper and Iron both aide in the formation of red blood cells, and support the nervous system, improve immune system response, and promote healthy bone structure and blood vessel function.
Epsom Salt, a wonderful alternative to higher priced sea salts, contains magnesium sulfate which helps alleviate pain from muscle aches, sprains, and bruises (Irish, 2011).
Simply add 1 – 2 cups of your choice Sea Salt or Epsom Salt to your bathtub. Optionally, add a few drops of an essential oil (highly concentrated distilled plant extracts) such as Lavender for additional relaxing aromatherapy benefits. Fill the tub with LUKEWARM water to dissolve the salts. It is recommended to use lukewarm water, or water that is about 2 degrees warmer than body temperature. Hot bath water will cause the skin to eliminate rather than absorb (think Heat=Perspiration), thereby inhibiting the absorption of therapeutic minerals from the bath water. Soak for 20 – 30 minutes, pat dry, and wrap up in something warm (Irish, 2011).
-1/2 lb freeze-dried seaweed, for in the bath and to create a face mask if desired
-10 drops of your favorite essential oil
Emotional Soothing Baths
Sleep Like a Baby Bath, for the end of exceptionally stressful days:
-handful of chamomile flowers, steeped, inhaling the steam of possible. Pour liquid, after straining flower remnants, in to your bath. Massaging the big toe will help expel the body’s negativities and relax the whole self.
Insomnia & Tension Relief: 5 drops of marjoram oil with 10 drops of lavender oil, soak for 20 mins
Quartz Body Healing:
-1 or more cleansed quartz crystals. To cleanse, soak in salt water for a minimum of 15 minutes
Irish, Lisa (2011). Salt Water Therapy: An Ancient and Pocket Friendly Path to Tranquility and Well-Being. Retrieved from: http://dfsmag.com/salt-water-therapy-an-ancient-and-pocket-friendly-path-to-tranquility-and-well-being/.
Meditate This (2010). The Multiple Benefits of a Himalayan Salt Bath. Retrieved from: http://meditate-this.blogspot.com/2010/12/multiple-benefits-of-himalayan-salt.html.
Muryn, Mary (1995). Water Magic: Healing Bath Recipes for the Body, Spirit, and Soul. New York: Fireside.