Bathing: DIY Stress Relief

I have never taken a bath in my current apartment. Though I've lived here for over a year and though the bathroom was completely renovated (tub included) I have not yet made the time to fill the tub and take a break.

But my time is coming. A recent suggestion from the Atlanta School of Massage has inspired me to give my tub a thorough scrub down in preparation for what I expect to be a blissful hour of soaking.

The Atlanta School has numerous suggestions for relieving aches and pains between massage visits and water therapy is at the top of the list. Bathing can decrease stress, improve circulation and tone skin and muscles. Creating the ultimate bath is simple; finding the time for yourself is the challenging part.

An easy stress-relieving bath requires the following ingredients:

- 2 cups Dead Sea salt, regular Sea Salt or Epsom salt, or a blend of two or three of these salts.

- 8-15 drops of essential oils (Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage and Lavender are reliable stress fighters)

- a tub full of warm water

Place the salt mixture into a bowl. Add 1 Tbs. carrier oil (vegetable oil is fine) and 8-15 drops of your chosen essential oils. Mix very well with a fork. Add the mixture to a pretty jar or container that has a tight fitting lid. After a day, you may wish to mix well again to ensure that the oils have blended very well. After you have drawn your bathwater, add about 1/4 cup (about 2 ounces) of the bath salt to your bath water.

Mix well to ensure that the salt has dispersed well in the tub and hop on in. It's best to add the bath salts just before getting in the bath instead of while the water is running so that the essential oils don't evaporate before you get in. Using this bath salt blend is safer than adding pure essential oils directly to the bath water and adds minerals and other beneficial properties of the salts.

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