This is going to be a quick one, but a good one! One of my best friends has been my good ol' bathtub for a while now. Before I got sick I had felt so-so about baths, always preferring showers, but my tune has changed in the last decade. Now I understand so much more about how these mini-spas work.
Just last week was International Bath Day (what?!), and though I often talk about the benefits of using baths to detoxify and help relieve symptoms, it goes way beyond that. Saunas are another great tool, but not everyone has access to one. A recent study shows very exciting and hopeful results around additional benefits of baths. It is particularly awesome news for those with sedentary lifestyles, which is a common rut to be stuck in when you have a chronic illness or some other health challenge. Something people with Lyme and other diseases can experience is exercise intolerance, which can not only be frustrating but also worrisome when you know how important fitness is for cardiovascular and overall health. If you find yourself in this situation, regular baths could be a great option. Definitely something to consider for those with high blood pressure and other health issues that are commonly made better with exercise! [READ MORE HERE: Passive heat therapy improves endothelial function, arterial stiffness and blood pressure in sedentary humans.]
I like to draw the water as warm as I can stand it, and soak for at least 20 minutes. For a super detox session I add any or all of the following: 1-2 cups of Epsom Salt, 1/4-1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1/2-1 cup of Bentonite Clay. I also add a few essential oils...my own cocktail that I tweak for my personal needs. You can take a cup of almond milk, add the oils, and shake to emulsify...then just dump it right in! Or, you can buy a pre-made herbal mixture (like the one in this picture). Swirl it all together and steep! If nothing else you should feel much more relaxed and ready to face life afterward!