With our busy schedules of rushing to get to work, to get the kids ready for school or bed, to get breakfast or dinner on the table, or to make it to that 6 A.M. yoga class with a few minutes to spare, it is no surprise that our morning and night routines often feel rushed. This is especially true of showering, which is often seen solely as a means to get clean (and much less often an enjoyable experience). That is not to say that even a rushed shower is not enjoyable, as it is often the highlight of a busy, long or sweaty day. However, even with minimal time to get yourself clean, you can still spruce up your shower experience even more with the use of essential oils. And while your morning or evening routine may still be hectic, an aromatherapy shower will leave you more relaxed and at peace to deal with the stressors of the day.
By now, most people know, at least in part, the miraculous health and spiritual benefits of essential oils. But, the use of essential oils in the shower is often overlooked, even by those of us that use essential oils in nearly every aspect of our day-to-day lives. Essential oils are very often used in a bath, as an aromatic hot bath can aid in the detoxification of your body. However, while we do not always have a half an hour or more to spare for a relaxing bath, most people usually make time for a shower. Not creating that same aromatic experience in the shower that you would in a bath is a missed opportunity to heal your body, mind and spirit.
Step One: Choose your oil(s)
The choice of the correct oil will depend first and foremost on the needs of your mind, body and spirit, and second on whether you are taking your shower in the morning or evening. If you are taking a shower in the morning, it is very possible that you may need an extra energy boost other than your morning coffee. The most popular essential oils to boost energy levels are Spearmint Essential Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil and Eucalyptus Essential Oil. Spearmint, despite its milder mint scent in comparison to other mint essential oils, will help refresh your brain and make you more alert. Rosemary has a very distinct and strong scent that will heighten alertness. Lastly, Eucalyptus is known specifically for its invigorating and stimulating effects.
Also, if you are looking to head into the day with an improved mood, try a citrus oil, such as Orange Essential Oil, Lime Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil or Grapefruit Essential Oil. The oils are known to energize, improve mood and combat depression.
For those of you who shower in the evening, you may need something to help you wind down from a busy day. The use of an essential oil in an evening shower can help to relax the mind, reduce stress and combat insomnia. The most popular essential oils with relaxing effects are Lavender Essential Oil and Patchouli Essential Oil. Lavender, with its calming and soothing properties, is commonly used to relax the mind and body and eliminate nervous tension. Patchouli’s sweet scent is associated with bringing emotional stability and peace and calming.
Step Two: How to Use
There are multiple methods that you can employ to turn your shower into an aromatherapy experience. The most common way to incorporate essential oils into a shower is the shower wall application. First, lightly wet your shower walls with cold water. Next, either flick, spritz with a spray bottle or drop with a medicine dropper, essential oils onto your shower walls. Before stepping into the shower, turn the shower head on its hottest temperature to build up steam. (And then remember to lower it prior to stepping in it that temperature is too hot for you!). When you step into your shower, the steam mixed with the essential oil will begin the positive effects of your chosen oil on your mind and body. Remember to rinse any excess oils off of your shower walls after.
Another technique to incorporate essential oils into the shower is the infusion technique. Using a washcloth, loofah, cotton ball or other material, drop between 10 and 20 drops of your chosen essential oil onto the carrier material. Place that material on the shower floor where falling water would not be a direct hit, put would gently graze it (such as between where you stand and the drain). Again, turn the shower as hot as possible to build up steam. Once there is enough steam, turn the shower to your desired temperature and enjoy. Note that you do not want to put the oils directly onto the shower floor because they will quickly run down the drain without providing an aromatic benefit, and may also make the floor quite slippery.
Lastly, a third technique used to turn your shower into a spa day is personal massage technique. In this method, you shower as you normally would. Once done, turn the water off and gently and slowly massage your chosen oil into your skin. Place the oil around your body, one drop at a time, paying close attention to your feet, hands, underarms and other trigger points. Breathe in deeply for several minutes. Once your massage is completed, turn the water off to rinse excess oil off your skin. Before trying this technique, be sure that your skin does not have an adverse reaction to the oil as many can be volatile. You may want to use a carrier oil such as jojoba oil.
Step Three: Enjoy the Aromatic Benefits
Now that you have enjoyed your aromatic shower experience with the help of your favorite essential oils, you are ready to take on the day, or catch some zzz’s, with a new perspective and state of mind.