You probably take a bath everyday without giving it much deliberation. But did you know that those few moments you spend by yourself in the company of water can transform you in unimaginable ways? A “ritual bath” has been a part of my life for many years and it has helped me out of many emotional problems. It is the reason I am able to stay positive through challenging situations and be more giving in my relationships. The process has helped me grow and improve as a person and I believe it is now time to share this secret tool with you wonderful readers.
From a subtle standpoint, a bath can have two connotations – it may signify “cleansing” or denote inner transformation. Immersing the body in water is also believed to calm the mind and inspire spiritual awakening. However, a “ritual bath” need not have any religious or spiritual significance. It is just a personal experience and you may even think of it as a spa therapy.
I have been practicing the technique of positive reinforcement and visualization and have enjoyed incredible benefits from it. It is easy and anyone can do it! All you have to do is imagine yourself in a desirable situation – maybe you would like a better job, or score good marks in a test, be fit and healthy, or have a fulfilling romantic relationship. Just visualize all this happening and allow yourself to soak in the positive emotions that come through.
One way to amplify the effectiveness of this technique is to use essential oils in your ritual bath. Next to massage, bath is the most effective way to enjoy the multiple benefits of essential oils because it allows for oils to be inhaled with the steam and absorbed through the skin by osmosis.
The scent molecules make their way from the nasal epithelium to the limbic system, which is responsible for our emotional and physical responses. The key to this technique is to “train” the limbic system to release happy and positive feelings in response to a particular olfactory stimuli. For example, when you imagine romantic thoughts while inhaling a specific scent a few times, you will begin to feel romantic every time you inhale that scent because your mind now “associates” that scent with romance. This connection will be strengthened every time you consciously relive those feelings while inhaling the scent.
This kind of positive visualization empowers you to take control over your emotions and makes it easy for you to switch over to a positive frame of mind whenever you feel depressed, dejected or doubtful.
Preparing for a bath
A ritual bath is not something you can rush through in a hurry because you need to savor each and every moment and give yourself enough time for emotional transformation. Choose a quiet time when no one is likely to disturb you. Remember, that a ritual bath is less “bath” and more “ritual”, so do all the physical cleaning before you start. Dim the lights and light some candles to create a relaxing environment.
Fill the bath with warm water and add the following ingredients:
1 cup of sea salt mixed with 10 drops of the chosen essential oils
1/2 cup of baking soda
the juice of a fresh lime
2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar
These ingredients will balance your energy and help in releasing toxins. They will also ensure that the oils dissolve properly in the bath water.
Performing the ritual bath
Immerse yourself in the water and consciously try to appreciate things around you. How does the water feel? Is it warm and comforting? Are the dim lights calming your senses? Are you enjoying the fragrance of the oils?
Once you have eased into the mood, close your eyes and start the process of visualization. During this time, let only positive thoughts enter your mind. Picture yourself the way you want to be – successful, confident, popular, active…
If any of the day’s worries come back to bother you, visualize them going down the drain. Stay immersed in the water for a good 15-20 minutes and even after you get out, wrap yourself in a thick towel or robe and allow yourself some private quiet time, i.e., don’t go rushing back into your routine.
Which essential oils to use?
Now that you know the technique, let’s see which oils are likely to work best for you. Your choice of oil will depend upon your “intent”. i.e., how you want to feel. Do you want to feel motivated? Do you want to calm down? Do you want to feel content?
Please note that nobody can “prescribe” an essential oil for you – this is going to be a personal journey and you will know which oils you connect with the most. Here are some suggestions from Valerie Ann Worwoods book The Fragrant Heavens:
Bay Laurel: Helps us leave the past behind and look towards the future with optimism.
Cypress: Assists in coping with grief and helps us detach ourselves from earthly trappings.
Frankincense: Keeps the heart pure and encourages us to be more forgiving.
Geranium: Empowers us to make the most of opportunities and learn from failures.
Helichrysum: Prepares us for our goals by making us focused, persistent and determined.
Jasmine: Induces feelings of passion, love and intimacy.
Lemon: Helps in mental clarity and purifies the being.
Ylang Ylang: Boosts self-esteem and self-love. Helps us accept ourselves for who we are.
I hope this technique works as well for you as it has for me. It takes only a few minutes of your day, but the effects are long-lasting and profound. Do try it and write in to share your experiences.
© Cristina Proaño-Carrión AROMANDINA 2014 – Aromatherapy blog – All rights reserved This information on this blog is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this blog may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.