Bringing Balneotherapy to your Bathroom
No time for a day at the spa yet in need of a little pampering?
Balneotherapy is the practice of using water rich in minerals to soothe and heal and dates back to the ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman times.
Throughout history, bathing in natural spring water has been highly valued for its curative properties, due to the beneficial health effects of the water and its high mineral content.
Recent research has shown that balneotherapy significantly improves conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, rheumatoid conditions and chronic low back pain.
Balneotherapy acts in two ways, through the effect of heat on muscles, joints and skin, and through the absorption of minerals and other substances through the skin.
Healing with mineral salts and aromatherapy
Recreate the healing mineral waters of the ancient spas by using either Epsom salt or Dead Sea salt combined with baking soda in your bath. Both Epsom salt and Dead Sea salt are high in magnesium and sulphur.
Magnesium is effective in relieving aching muscles, while sulphur is beneficial for aiding skin conditions such as dermatitis.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) will help your body to absorb the magnesium and will also help to eliminate the chlorine from the water.
Adding a few essential oils, selected according to their therapeutic properties, will further enhance the healing effects of your bath.
If you have heart problems, high blood pressure or diabetes, or if you’re not sure whether an Epsom salt or Dead Sea salt bath is safe for you, consult your doctor first.
The Healing Bath Salt Recipe below is one which is easy to prepare and is one of my favourites for soothing tired, aching muscles and escaping the stresses of daily life. However, feel free to experiment and use different essential oils according to your needs.
Healing Bath Salt Recipe:
3/4 cup Epsom salt (or Dead Sea salt)
1/4 cup baking soda
8 drops rosemary essential oil (for relief of muscle pain)
7 drops juniper essential oil (for relief of muscle and joint pain)
5 drops lavender essential oil (for relaxation and relief of pain and muscle tension)
1 cup dried milk powder (optional – effective for very dry skin)
Place the baking soda in a bowl and add the essential oils. Add the Epsom salts and milk powder (if using) and mix well. Add directly to the bath, when ready.
7 Steps to Create your Healing Bath Ritual
- Run the bath at a temperature that is right for you, warm enough for stress relief but not too hot to make sure you don’t overheat
- Add the Healing Bath Salts as prepared according to the recipe outlined above
- Place and light some tea light candles around the edge of the bath
- Add some fresh flowers to the room, or add rose petals to the bath
- Turn on some soft, relaxing music
- Enjoy a glass of iced green tea, freshly squeezed juice or cool mineral water while you soak in the healing, mineral-rich water
- Most importantly, relax!