3 Baths to Soak Away Your Stress

Bathtub Soak soaking Stress

The best essential oils for a blissful, tension-taming bath

Over the centuries, many cultures have turned to purifying baths to cleanse both body and spirit. Ritual bathing was an integral part of Roman, Greek, Middle Eastern, and Japanese societies, and people washed themselves before entering a temple or undertaking spiritual activities.

Things aren't so different today: Washing before prayer is common among most religions, Catholics dip their hands in holy water upon entering a church, and Native Americans take vapor baths to purify and pray. More secular people, too, link physical and moral cleansing, believing that we can "wash away" doubts, fears, and regrets and start over "clean," research finds.

The ancient physicians also spoke of bathing's healing properties, and many modern doctors agree. Hot baths initially raise heart rate and temperature, so to dispel the heat, you perspire—which lets your body rid itself of toxins. Then your blood vessels dilate and increase circulation, removing lactic acid from muscles, lowering blood pressure, and easing pain.

Ready to do some soaking? Here's my recipe for a detox bath: While running hot water into the tub, add 2 Tbs sea salt and 10 drops of an essential oil. Here are a few I like—choose whichever suits your needs.

Clary Sage
The wonderful floral aroma relaxes you, eases your tension, and lifts your spirits.

This lovely floral fragrance helps ground and center you—it's perfect for those days when you're feeling anxious or frazzled.

Its warm, woodsy scent has been used for centuries to calm and prepare the mind for meditation.

Check the water temperature for comfort, and then soak in the tub for 20 to 30 minutes.

Note: If you're pregnant or have heart problems, talk to your doctor before taking a detox bath. 


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