A Benevolent Bath
Allow an hour for the whole process of taking a delicious treat of a bath from beginning to end. Make sure you have everything you need – towel, loofa or hemp glove, and another towel to use as a headrest. Add essential oils to the water as the bath is filling, using about ten to fifteen drops total of either a single essence or of a mixture for a large bath. Each essence has a different effect on the mind and body (see below). When you get into the bath, gently scrub yourself all over with a hemp glove or a loofa. Then just relax and soak for a few minutes, letting the heat penetrate your muscles. Keep a cool cloth nearby to smooth over your face when needed.
Let the essential oils work their wonders while you carry out a relaxing and waste-eliminating self-massage. Water is the perfect medium for self-massage. The heat (remember not to have your bath too hot and stimulating) of the water works silent wonders, and it supports your body so that you have easy access to feet, legs, arms and torso while still remaining relaxed.
When your bath is finished, lie down for ten minutes with an eye mask or a piece of dark fabric across your eyes and keep warm.
the massage message
Self-massage is nothing more than stroking, kneading, pushing and pressing your skin and muscles. Start with your feet. Grasp one foot between thumb and fingers and press in between the tendons, gently at first, then harder and harder, moving from the toes up towards the ankle. Then, using your fingertips and knuckles, go over the soles of your feet. Wherever you find a sore spot, work harder until you feel the discomfort melt beneath your hand. Now do your heel, grasping it between thumb and fingers and working around the area of the Achilles tendon. This is also a good time to make circles with your foot to loosen the ankle joint. Repeat this with the other foot, and then go on to your legs.
Lift each leg in turn and deeply stroke the flesh on the back, from the ankle up to the knee. Then go back to the ankle again and repeat the same motions on the side and front of the calf. Keep working and, as you massage a little deeper with each stroke, you will gradually find that any tautness softens. Now go over your thighs with the same movement, and afterwards knead and squeeze around the knee area wherever there are trouble spots, just as you did on the feet. Now knead each thigh and hip. Then go on to your arms.
Knead and squeeze every spot you can reach on your shoulders and neck, looking for sore spots and focusing on the areas between joints and muscles. Pay particular attention to the tops of shoulders, where most of us lock away our tension. Grasp this area in your thumb and fingers and insistently ease away any hardness you find there. Finally, go over your ribs, doing each side with its opposite hand.
As part of the benevolent bath, choose essential oils not so much for what they can do for your skin as what they can do to expand your consciousness and lift your spirit. Whatever your mental state may be, it has an enchanting antidote from the world of flowers:
Negative State Essential Oil Remedy
- anger: ylang ylang, rose, chamomile
- resentment: rose
- sadness: hyssop, marjoram, sandalwood
- mental fatigue: basil, peppermint, cypress, patchouli
- worry: lavender
- feeling jaded: neroli, melissa, camphor
- feelings of weakness: chamomile, jasmine, melissa
- irritability: frankincense, marjoram, lavender, chamomile
- physical exhaustion: jasmine, rosemary, juniper, patchouli
- anxiety: sage, juniper, basil, jasmine