Bathing, no doubt, is not merely a ritual but it has multiple benefits also, as water has remedial and relaxing properties. When bathing is preceded by an essential oil massage, it has multifold salutary effects. In Hindu religion, bathing is a way to healthy and hygenic life. Even in Greek and Roman cultures, bathing was accorded a significantly important place. Bathing with essential oils can calm the agitated nerves, stimulate blood circulation, relax and deodorise the foul smelling body, uplift mood and remove the harmful foreign matters that cling to the body. There is a large list of essential oils out of which you can choose the most suitable oil(s) depending on your individual requirement and state of health.
Needless to remind that aromatic baths can help a lot in mitigating or even removing the conditions like stiffness of joints, pains and aches, fatigue, colds, headache, tone and condition the skin, relieve tension and anxiety and detoxify the body, remove foul odour and perspiration etc.
Essential Oils For Specific Problems of Health
Oils for Relaxation
Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Frankincense, Hyssop, Juniper, Lavender, Marjoram, Melissa, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose, Sage, Sandalwood, Ylang-Ylang.
Oils for Stimulation
Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Geranium, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon grass, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Thyme.
Oils for Rheumatism/Arthritis
Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme.
Oils for Eczema
Chamomile, Geranium, Hyssop, Juniper, Myrrh, Rosemary.
Oils for Dermatitis
Chamomile, Hyssop, Lavender.
Oils for Psoriasis
Bergamot, Chamomile, Lavender.
If you study the above list, you can easily make out that oils like Chamomile, Juniper, Rosemary, Lavender have been repeated quite often which implies that related disorders can be treated by using a specific oil for various applications and uses.
Use of Oils for the Bath
Essential oils make a bath both aromatic and therapeutic. They sink into the skin quickly and thoroughly apart from giving floral and herbal fragrances. If oil is added directly to the bath, it will float on the surface of bathing water, thus imparting the full aromatic benefits to you. To yield better and quicker results you can mix oil(s) in a base oil (like Apricot kernel, Sweet almond oil, Evening Primrose or Jujoba base oils) and then, disperse the blended oil through the water.
While choosing oils make sure that they do not counterbalance one another, rather they should complement and enhance the effect of other oils. Do not blend more than three essential oils at a time. Mix 5 drops of each type of oil to 15 ml. of skin-softening oil.
Temperature of a Running Bath
Time and temperature are important in a bath. Very hot water is harmful and damaging in some diseases even though it increases heart beat and allows the capillaries and blood vessels to expand. Pregnant ladies, persons having high blood pressure, dandruff, piles, varicose veins must avoid hot water due to the above given reasons. Spend around 15-20 minutes in bath. Add dilute oils to water when the bath tub/bucket is full, and never earlier, as these oils evaporate quickly.
Mark Evans suggests – “To calm yourself after a fraughtful day or to prepare yourself for a peaceful night’s sleep, turn your bathroom into a private sanctuary. Keep the light soft, if possible, or use an eye-mask or burn aromatic candles. Support your head with a bath pillow, close your eyes and inhale deeply. Concentrate on your breathing, empty your mind and let the oil soothe away your stresses and strains. After a 15-20 minute soak, get out slowly and wrap yourself in a large warm towel.”
In this contexl Mark Evans adds – “Stimulating Bath is the best for the morning to gel you started or to revive you before an evening out. Keep the water fairly cool and use an invigorating bath to rub down.
The Weekly Scalp Massage
For dry and sensitive skin : Massage 1 tsp warm sesame oil into scalp for 10 minutes. Wrap head in hot towel and leave on for five to ten minutes. Do once a week for sensitive skin and twice a week for dry skin or dandruff. The best time for this treatment is first thing in the morning or before going to bed. Massage increases circulation to the scalp. Therefore, do not do this massage right after a meal, when the blood supply is needed for proper digestion.
For oily skin : With head down, dry brush hair 50 times from roots to end to spread natural oils.
Body Baths For Glow
In many cultures throughout history, the bath has been, and is, an important ritual for purification of body and mind. In the Vedic tradition, we honour the temple statues with a “five nectar” bath of milk, honey, ghee, yoghurt and banana, which are the five perfect foods according to Ayurveda.
Baths are holy, that is, they purify us and make us whole. Indeed, there is nothing so rejuvenating to the spirit and relaxing to the body than a leisurely soak in the tub. Consequently, Ayurveda considers the bath to be a vital part of daily life. Of course, the pace of modern life leaves most people with barely enough time to take a quick shower once a day. Nevertheless, taking half an hour to yourself once a week for a cleansing and nourishing body bath is really the least you can do for your health and peace of mind. It is also one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your glow.