I am trying to talk on the phone while my four-year-old is tugging on my shirt screaming, “Mommy” over and over. There is a knock on my door. I trip over a cat and step on a toy before I can answer it. It’s the landlord, who apparently doesn’t know I will be late with the rent. Dinner is boiling over on the stove. I am late for work, homework is due, my car doesn’t start; “Calgon, take me away!” I scream. I remember hearing my mother shout these words so many times. Now I finally understand.
Life can be hectic as we juggle so many things at once in our attempt to be a superhero. We take care of everything and everyone, and often forget to take care of ourselves. Does this sound familiar? Well, then read on, because I want to share something with you.
I took Calgon’s famous words to heart and created what I call “The Goddess Bath.” The goddess bath brings bath time to a whole new level, making it sacred. It’s a time out to pamper yourself. Even Hippocrates said, “The way to health is to take an aromatic bath and scented massage everyday.”
First, pick a day or evening of the week that you can have the house to yourself for an hour or so. Turn the answering machine down and lock the door, to avoid interruptions. Begin by setting the mood in the bathroom. Items you will need:
- Aromatherapy/scented candles—lavender, rose, and geranium are nice scents for relaxation, while peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary are good for rejuvenation
- Music—new age, classical, or nature sounds are all soothing.
Place candles around the bathroom, making sure to avoid flammable items. Set up your music player and light your incense. You can light your candles and play your music to help you relax, or you may want to wait until you take your bath.
Next, prepare the bathing area. Take time to clean your tub, if it isn’t already. After the tub is clean, you will need the following items. Though they are not all mandatory, try to acquire a few of them for the real effect of the goddess bath: A bathtub tray is convenient for placing items on, or you may use the edge of your tub. An inflatable bath pillow is good for comfort; they can be found in the bath section of many stores. A good book and/or journal is important, as bath time can be a great time to read or write.
Fresh cut flowers because after all, you are a goddess. Flowers can be put in a vase near the tub, or you can cut the heads and petals and let them float in your bath. Your favorite slippers and robe for comfort and warmth after your bath. Beverage of choice because it is important to stay hydrated. A pitcher of mineral water with lemon, lime, and orange slices, herbal tea, or a health drink are all good choices. Stay away from alcohol while you are in the bath, as it will increase your body temperature and heart rate. Last but not least, gather your loofah, body scrub, and pumice stone, etc., and place them on your tray.
You are ready to prepare your goddess bath. There are several bath recipes, but here are some ingredients, their benefits, and a few recipes for you to experiment with:
- Milk and honey nourishes and softens the skin. Cleopatra was famous for her milk baths.
- Apple cider vinegar is good for oily skin.
- Epsom salts help relieve aching joints and muscles.
- Oatmeal can help dry, itchy skin.
- Kelp powder makes a detoxifying bath.
- Baking soda and sea salts cleanse, tone, and purify the body.
Essential oils and herbs are extremely beneficial and can be used to heal specific needs and ailments. For example, clogged skin can be treated with bergamot, lavender, or lemon, and dehydrated skin benefits from geranium and sandalwood. Chamomile, lavender, and parsley are good for dry skin, while peppermint, rosemary, and lemon are good for oily skin.
By this time, you may have some ideas on what ingredients you would like to try. If you are unsure, here are a few recipes:
Mature Skin—Mix four drops of neroli oil, four drops of lavender, two tablespoons of honey, and two tablespoons of avocado oil.
Insomnia—You need one-half ounce of dried basil, one-half ounce of dried sage, and ten drops of lavender oil.
Herbal bath salts—for all skin types, it consists of one-half cup of baking soda, one half cup of sea salts, and fifteen drops of essential oils of clary sage, marjoram, lavender, and/or sandalwood.
There are different methods to prepare your ingredients depending on what you will be using. If you are using essential oils, run your bath first and then add oils to the surface of the water. If you are using herbs, there are two ways to prepare them—(1) boil the herbs on the stove top, steep for ten minutes, strain and discard the herbs, and add the fluid to your bath, or (2) make an herbal bath bag by using the foot of an old nylon stocking, or an eight-inch by eight-inch square of muslin or cheesecloth. Place herbs in the center of the cloth and tie it from the faucet as you run your bath.
You are ready to start your goddess bath! The ideal temperature should be ninety-five to one hundred degrees Farenheit, matching the body’s temperature. Add your chosen recipe, light your candles, and start your music, if you haven’t already. Turn down the bathroom lights and get into your bath. Inhale the aromas, soak, enjoy, and know that you are treating yourself like the goddess you are!
Some of this info can be explored fully in the following books: Secrets of the Spa by Catherine Bardey, Aromatherapy Handbook by Erich Keller, The Healing Bath by Maribeth Riggs, and The Herbal Body Book by Stepahie Tourles.