Beyond aroma, E.O.’s have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, skin rejuvenating and repairing qualities, and are the original apothecary where many of today’s modern medicines were first derived. I like to think of using these oils akin to taking a vitamin everyday. In Ayruvedic medicine a daily self massage called abhyanga not only applies conditioning oils to the skin in a matter of minutes, but therapeutic touch which turns on your body’s healing mechanism of detoxification, increased circulation, increased immune function, and relaxation. All of this self-care is more fun than swallowing a pill.
And for those that refute a bath, another piece of science. Over the years I have learned there are two camps of people: bathers and those that think taking a bath is disgusting and would rather shower away their filth as opposed to sit in it. This next bit is for the shower lover in you. Taking a shower affects body chemistry by changing the electrical charge of your body’s ions, increasing the “feel good” negative ions. By increasing the negative ions we can lower the number of positive, serotonin producing ions. Apparently, emotional stress produces serotonin, which according to Dr. Irving Oyle, is the “ultimate downer”.
In this report, Role of Ions in Body Chemistry there is an analogous connection between rainfall and taking a shower.
“..a shower will re-ionise and has a tonic effect on the body, just like rainwater which clears the air.”
I think most people can attest to feeling better after showering or standing under a waterfall or walking in the rain; the thrill of getting splattered on is enough but now you really know why. Moving water creates negative (positive for us) ions. Good thing I splash around in the tub and take an occasional shower.
Next time: Hot Springs, Onsen, and The Cold Plunge.