After a long day, why not unwind and rejuvenate in your own tranquil refuge? Its easy to do and the payoff is immeasurable. Between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. at least three times a week, I retreat to my personal sanctum sanitarium. My husband knows that unless its an emergency, I am to be left alone, undisturbed. Truthfully, this practice took some training, but now he has come to appreciate the relaxed woman who emerges after her spa session and he gladly leaves me in peace.
To create a spa atmosphere, stock up on the following soothing essentials:
Plenty of candles, preferably votive or natural beeswax
Bath oil (you can make your own with olive oil and scent) add a drop of all-natural dish liquid for bubbles
Natural botanic shampoo
Your favorite relaxing music
Bottle of spring water
Thick un-dyed cotton towels
Cozy cotton bathrobe
Set the stage
Turn on the music with the volume at low. Light several small candles and place them strategically so that their reflection flickers on the water.
With the intent to relax and unwind, bathing is a grand sensual experience and you can simply drizzle in one or two teaspoons of your favorite fragrant oil for an overall aromatic experience, or you can choose one of these specific bathing experiences:
MUSCLE RELAXING BATH
Mix together one-third cup of baking soda, one-fourth cup of citric acid crystals or powder (available in health food stores or the vitamin section of your pharmacy), and one tablespoon of cornstarch. Place in a tight-fitting dry glass jar. (This should yield about ten tubfuls.) Fill your bath with warm water, and sprinkle two tablespoons into the water. Enjoy the invigorating fizz and bubble for twenty minutes. While you soak, try some progressive relaxation. Begin by letting your feet float on the surface of the bathwater. To do this, your feet must be completely relaxed. Feel that relaxation slowly migrate up your body to your head.DETOXING AROMATHERAPY BATHCut the leg from a clean pair of panty hose; fill with one tablespoon each of dried chamomile and rosemary and four drops of lavender oil. Knot open one end to form a sachet; then tie it under the faucet so that the water runs through it. Fill the tub with warm water; soak for thirty minutes, sipping from your bottle of spring water. The herbs have a calming effect, while the water temperature raises body heat and eliminates impurities.SUPER STRESS-BUSTING BATHBrew one up of chamomile tea, and let cool. Add five drops of marjoram oil and ten drops of lavender oil. Add to the bath. While youre soaking, practice some deep breathing: inhale and exhale slowing, focusing on each breath.
Regardless of the bath treatment you choose, before adding these mixtures to the bath, apply to a small area of skin to test for sensitivity. Always enter the tub slowly, even gracefully, trying hard not to disturb the water. You might want to prop your head up with a pillow or just lie back; let the world float into oblivion.When youre ready to get out of the tub, wait a few more minutes for some serious sloughing with the loofah. You want to remove dead skin cells and leave your skin porous and fresh. There are lots of ways to slough. But I recommend using either a natural sea sponge, which has a soothing, slightly abrasive texture, a natural fiber mitt, or a soft, natural fiber bath brush all of which exfoliate gently.When youre through, leave the tub as gracefully as you entered. Wrap yourself in a big towel. Now youre relaxed and at peace. AhhhhhhAbout the author: Robin Westen writes about health for national magazines.See what others have to say about this story or leave a comment of your own.