As relaxing and enjoyable as going to the spa is, making time to get there can be an impossible task. Shower aromatherapy gives you the chance to turn your bathroom into your own personal spa. This method will give you many of the same effects as a spa (minus the massages) right in your home.
It goes well beyond just relaxing though. From helping allergy sufferers to breathe a little easier to make the area smell wonderfully calming, shower aromatherapy is a great alternative to a trip to the spa.
Turn your shower into something a bit more enjoyable when you don’t have time to soak in a tub. Or turn your bath into an experience that leaves you feeling much better at the end of a long day.
Beautiful Benefits of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is simply the use of different natural smells to inspire different emotions or sensations. It's entirely holistic and makes use of both plants and plant extracts to improve your well-being. Unlike many other types of therapy, aromatherapy actually straddles both the world of science and art.
The most obvious benefit of aromatherapy is that it can help you to relax. Eucalyptus is the most well-known plant to inspire relaxation in a person. However, the plant that you choose can provide a very different type of relief, depending on what your needs are.
One of the reasons that aromatherapy has become more popular in the medical community is because it can help with a wide range of health issues:
- Allergy and airway relief
- Digestion improver
- Headache reducer
- Immunity booster
- Joint soother
- Pain management
- Sleep improvement
- Stress relief
Aromatherapy is also used to help reduce the pains of pregnancy and labor, as well as to help counter some of the side effects of chemotherapy.
It is likely that aromatherapy will continue to be recommended for a wide range of needs for years to come. While it does not heal any problems, it is an entirely natural product. More research is needed though to determine its use for other potential problems.
Your Options for Bathroom & Shower Aromatherapy
One way of getting your aromatherapy fill is doing it in the shower or bath. It's kind of the perfect environment for aromatherapy, as the warm water vapor helps to open your airways and better receive all of the benefits of the aromatherapy treatment.
With so many benefits, having your own aromatherapy setup at home can give you all of the necessary tools to get relief from aches, pains, stress, and allergies. And you have several options, both for the shower and for the tub.
Most of us don’t have time for a long bath. Fortunately, you have a lot of options for getting the benefits of aromatherapy in the shower:
1. Shower Aromatherapy from Plants (Fresh and Dry)
Adding fresh plants is one of the lesser used aromatherapy options, but it is one of the more elegant. It helps to brighten up your shower while also improving your air quality.
Plants add color and beauty that is unique in bathrooms without being intrusive. The right plants can even be healthy (with little attention) in the bathroom.
Plants can help reduce bacteria and absorb moisture in the bathroom. Considering how much water is in your bathroom, this is an absolute boon to reducing mold and mildew while making the room look a bit nicer.
One of the most popular aromatherapy plants is Eucalyptus. You can have the plant in the shower, or you can keep it near the shower. The mist and moisture from the shower are more than enough to activate the effects of the plant, which then can help with respiratory problems, including reducing congestion.
One of the reasons that Eucalyptus plants are popular is that they are easy to tend.
If you prefer something more flowery, you can add one of several bouquets made especially for the bathroom. These include lavender, lemongrass, mint, and rosemary. All of these have strong scents that are known for helping to reduce stress. You can even make the bouquets yourself so that they are the right size for your bathroom.
For aromatherapy, the plants are usually hung from the shower head when you need their intended effects. All you have to do is wrap twine or string around the stems, then tie the bouquet to the showerhead or shower arm. This will ensure that the water runs over the flowers, activating the aromas.
2. Make Shower Steamers with Essential Oil (Or buy them online)
Shower steamers are kind of like bath bombs but they are way more concentrated. They are small discs made up of mostly baking soda and essential oils that you place on the shower floor to slowly release the aroma from the oils. Oh, and they are super simple to make at home.
Learn How to Make it with the Amazing Tracey at Don't Mess with Mama
Want To Just Buy Them Pre-Made? Try out this assortment of shower steamers made in the USA by Crafts and the City.
This is by far the most potent option for shower aromatherapy, so knowing how to properly use them is a must.
You want to place one steamer in the corner of your tub or shower away from direct contact with the water spray. While you want to get the steamer slightly wet, you don't want it to get soaked as you only need to release a very small amount to get the full effect of the essential oil's vapor.
As the essential oils release into the tub or shower, their scent will start to rise with the help of some warm water vapor and create the perfect environment for aromatherapy. We highly recommend eucalyptus, lavender or sweet orange.
Tip: It helps to have a hand held shower head so you can run a little bit of water over it at first but then keep it out of direct water contact.
3. Get an Oil Diffuser for your Bathroom
The first two options may create a little bit too much work. So for those who want an easier "plug and play" option, here ya go. And, come on, who doesn't have an oil diffuser? Last time I checked, I had one in each room!
But seriously, this is by far the easiest option as it doesn't require harvesting any fresh plants or making your own shower steamers. (Well, you could buy the steamers pre-made.)
To get the most out of shower aromatherapy using an oil diffuser, I'd recommend running the diffuser at least 5-10 minutes before starting your shower. That doesn't mean that you need to actually run your shower for 5-10 minutes, as that would be a complete waste of water, rather just the diffuser to get the aromas percolating through the air in the bathroom.
How many drops of essential oils should you add to your diffuser?
The standard amount is about 3-5 drops of essential oil per 100ml of water. (100ml = .42 cups) But really it depends on how big your bathroom is and how strong you want the vapors to be. We always recommend starting out small and adding more if you want some extra aroma.
We use this NOW Essential Oils Oil Diffuser
Benefits of the Different Types of Essential Oils
If you don’t want to add plants to your home, here is what you need to know about the different types of extracts and their effects.
Make sure you buy organic oils from a reputable brand. Also, stay away from any of those aromatherapy shower heads, as they typically use artificial scents which are harmful to your health.
My preferred brands, which I have personally used for years, are Plant Therapy and Mountain Rose Herbs. The following are the most popular oils and their primary uses:
- Bergamot – anxiety, depression, skin infections (eczema and psoriasis), stress; digestive stimulant
- Cedarwood – anxiety, and stress; digestive stimulant; helps alleviate respiratory and skin problems
- Chamomile – antibiotic, antidepressant, antiseptic, mood enhancer; inflammation; acne elimination
- Eucalyptus – antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, diuretic, odor, stimulant; helps relieve migraines and fevers; aches and pains in muscles; respiratory aid
- Jasmine – depression; ease childbirth pains; respiratory aid (works as a vaporizer in the shower or with other oils), increases libido
- Lavender – antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic, stress, sedative
- Lemon – a favorite that does nearly everything; immunity booster, digestive aid, irritated skin relief; relieves headaches; enhances mood – Do not use if you will be spending time in the sun
- Marjoram – anxiety, depression, fatigue, stress; helps alleviate respiratory and circulatory problems, such as allergies
- Patchouli – cooling agent and irritation/redness alleviation; mood enhancer, particularly focus; digestive aid; congestion alleviation
- Rose – anxiety, and depression; aids in circulation and relieves some asthma symptoms; digestive aid
- Rosemary – mental stimulant and memory enhancer; antidepressant; soothes aching, muscle cramps, headaches; digestive aid and skin aid
- Sandalwood – anti-inflammatory, alleviates pain and tension; often used in yoga classes
- Tea Tree – immune booster and infection relief; heals skin deep wounds (burns, cuts), rashes/infections (Athlete's foot and dandruff) and insect repellent; respiratory aid and muscle soother
- Ylang-ylang – best known for a calming effect; soothes headaches; helps lower blood pressure; reduces nausea
Do not apply any of these oils to your skin. They should be made into to a shower steamer or added to your oil diffuser, as many of these oils can irritate your skin. Make sure to research the ones that interest you as some should be avoided if you are pregnant or if you have allergies to particular grasses or plants (such as Ragweed).
Aromatherapy offers a number of benefits that are entirely natural. You can either use plant extract oils or the actual plants themselves to get the health benefits and amazing smells from particular plants.
Whether you want something to help in relieving your aching legs after being on your feet all day, something to calm you down, or something to clear your sinuses, aromatherapy can help without having to take medication. All while making your bathroom smell absolutely wonderful!
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