Here’s how I do bath therapy.

This morning I felt the need to nurture myself after a bit of a rough week wondering about my status with a place that provides a good chunk of my income and also having some lower abdominal pains that I believe were due to the adjustments my body is making as I realign my pelvis.

(See previous posts about my SI belt, pelvic tilt, and self-treatment program if interested.)

These were just little bumps in the road. We all experience them. But often we don’t know they’re not the beginning of major stressors until some progress or good news occurs. I don’t believe in worrying about things beyond my control. I like to place my attention on what I can do, and do it. But I’ve been a bit unsettled, experiencing uncertainty.

Both of those concerns are currently resolving favorably. I more than recovered the lost income with private clients, and doing Kegels has helped me recover from the pains.

This need to nurture was pure self-compassion. So instead of going out to participate in ecstatic dance with my friends, I stayed home this morning and took a nice long bath.

Specifically it was an Epsom salt bath. I added two cups of Epsom salt to water hot enough that I needed to get in slowly. I added 20 drops of lavender essential oil for the fragrance and relaxing effect.

Once I got in, I set my timer for 12 minutes, the minimum time to soak for best absorption of magnesium in the Epsom salt, from my previous research. Magnesium is fantastic for calming the nervous system.

After I got in, I noticed my bath brush hanging on its hook. I use it for dry-brushing my skin before bathing. Darn, I’d forgotten to dry-brush and now I was wet.

So made do, putting on my scrubby bath gloves and giving myself a good therapeutic scrubbing.

Dry or wet, therapeutic scrubbing does a couple of wonderful things: it exfoliates the skin and it stimulates the flow of lymph, which strengthens our immune system and helps our bodies detoxify.

You start with the feet and move up the body, making one-way strokes. On the torso, you can stroke toward the midline. I spent some time gently massaging my abdomen, loving it and allowing the areas that had been painful to fully relax.

If you’ve ever seen a map of the lymphatic system, you’ll see there are concentrations of lymph nodes behind the knees, in the groin area, throughout the abdomen, at the armpits, across the chest, on the sides of the neck, and on the clavicles. These places particular benefit from repeated strokes, always one-way toward the midline and heart.

Including a shampoo and good scrub of my feet and other bacteria-laden areas with Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, I finished long after the timer went off. The water was barely warm when I finally got out.

When could you use a bath like this? What do you add to make a bath even more therapeutic?

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