Taking a shower or bath is part and parcel of everyday life, personal hygiene being high on most people’s list of things to do within the daily routine. Considering this is something we partake in pretty much on a daily basis then why not use it to boost our health at the same time?
How, I hear you cry? Well, it is proven that a shower can invigorate us, get the blood flowing and pumping, and help prepare us for the day ahead. Whereas a hot, soapy bath can soothe our aching bones, and serve to relax us after a long day. These in themselves are good reasons to cleanse the body, however there are natural additions we can make to our routine that can aid us in different ways depending on our needs.
For colds or sinus problems
1. Invigorate yourself and clear the sinuses by hanging a fresh cluster of eucalyptus branches and leaves from the attachment at the head of your shower or adding a few drops of essential oil, as the steam reacts with the foliage or oil it will release the powerful aromas into the room allowing you to breathe it in and reap the health benefits. Eucalyptus is a natural anti-inflammatory which can help dislodge mucus build up, and relieve other cold symptoms as well as help to relieve stress.
2. If it’s bath time and you’re feeling congested try slicing up a head of fresh ginger and dropping into your water, allow the heat to penetrate and steep the ginger before you take the plunge. You may feel some extra heat due to the presence of the root which will help to relieve a cold and congestion as well as soothing sore muscles.
For stress relief and relaxation
Whether you prefer the shower or bath, adding a good handful of freshly picked or dried lavender, or a few drops of the essential oil, will help to reduce stress, inflammation and muscle aches. Lavender has a mountainous amount of positive properties for our health, it is a natural relaxant and so using it as a part of your bedtime routine will aid in providing you with more restful sleep. If adding to the bath, combining with Epsom salts will help to evenly spread the oil throughout the water.
For sore muscles and relaxation
And while we are on the topic, let’s stick with the Epsom salts. These mineral rich granules are not exactly salt, they are naturally made up of magnesium and sulphate. This combination helps us to absorb magnesium into the body, a difficult thing to extract from even the most nutrient-dense diets, but necessary for our health. The ‘salts’ can also help to ease pain, sore muscles, and inflammation. Add one or two scoops (cups) to a hot bath, you can also add half a cup of your favourite oil such as olive oil or coconut oil to promote moisture for the skin.
Dry skin irritation, rashes, sunburn
This one is only for your bath and may sound a little odd, but adding a big scoop of oats to your water releases properties that will help if you suffer from dry skin, will provide soothing relief from rashes, sunburn, and other everyday skin irritation due to its healthy fat content. It won’t be like bathing in porridge, don’t worry, and you will notice the silky soft feeling your skin will have afterwards.
If you don’t love the idea of bathing in oats then another fantastic natural source for skincare is our beloved coconut oil. Is there anything you can’t add it to? A very handy encourager of soft skin which also offers antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal benefits, coconut oil is rich in saturated fats, is a natural source of vitamin E and a powerful antioxidant. If you want to use it in the shower simply combine equal amounts of coconut oil and granulated sugar to make the perfect exfoliating, moisturising body scrub from your very own kitchen cupboard!
*if adding essential oils to your shower routine, a wash cloth or cotton-wool pads make great “carriers” for the oil. Place the drops (check the recommended quantity) onto the pad or cloth and lay it on the floor of your shower. Don’t let the water fall directly onto it as it will vaporise too quickly; place it close to, but not under, the falling water for best results.
Online distance learning diploma courses in Aromatherapy
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we offer an Aromatherapy course that is open to both ‘practicing therapists’ and individuals who have an interest to learn this skill. This in-depth course will lead you step-by-step through the treatment sequence and teach you everything you need to know in order to become a professional Aromatherapist. (No previous knowledge is required, we train our students from beginner to therapist level.)