Ultimate Relaxation: DIY Bubble Bath Hacks

Due to our busy and hectic lifestyles, it is inevitable that we experience episodes of stress. Nearly every organ system is affected by acute and chronic levels of stress, which can lead to a cascade of negative health consequences. The American Psychological Association explains that both acute and chronic stress have effects on the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, reproductive and nervous systems. Exposure to stress can lead to a host of unwanted medical conditions, such as tension headaches and migraines, difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, elevated stress hormone release, diabetes and gastrointestinal complications.

In response to stressful episodes, the autonomic nervous system triggers the body to experience a “fight or flight” response. In turn, the body produces high levels of adrenaline and cortisol, which cause an elevation in heart rate and respiration, glucose production and leads to blood vessel dilation. Prolonged exposure to stress, causes the nervous system to be continually activated, which can lead to other health problems.

Relaxation has many powerful benefits on the mind and body including relief of stress and anxiety, mood enhancement, lowered blood pressure, pain reduction and improvement in immune and cardiovascular system function.

Giving your mind and body a much needed break and time to recover is vital to your overall health and what better way to do it than in a relaxing bubble bath! Try some of these relaxing recipes from Picklee the next time you head to the bathroom for a long soak.

  1. Epsom Salt Bath: Looking to relieve aches and pains? Try adding a 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to your running bath water alone or with olive oil, milk or baking soda.
  2. Lavender Bath: Adding lavender to a bath can help the body relieve stress, tension, inflammation and stiffness. If you have dried lavender, fill a teabag and add it to your bath. No dried lavender? No problem- simply add a few drops of lavender essential oil instead.
  3. Ginger Bath: Adding a tablespoon of fresh or chopped ginger to your bath can aid in relieving sore muscles, promote elimination of toxins and relieve symptoms of a cold, flu or congestion.
  4. Cinnamon Bath: Stress can often times leave you in a low mood but adding cinnamon to your bath may leave you feeling more invigorated. Add 3–4 cinnamon sticks or 1/4 cup of ground cinnamon into a running bath and relax.

References:

  1. Stress effects on the body. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx Accessed January 7, 2016
  2. 12 Surprising Things to Add to Your Bath. http://www.picklee.com/2014/02/03/12-surprising-things-to-add-to-your-bath-diy-bath-recipes/ Accessed January 7, 2016
  3. Rest, Relaxation and Exercise. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/rest-relaxation-and-exercise#6 Accessed January 7, 2016