Our body is truly amazing. It’s this almost perfect-made machine that can surprise us with how it functions and with how it reacts to the world around us.
But, not unlike every other machine, our body needs proper maintenance.
It is a good thing that to keep our gears turning smoothly we don’t usually need too much. In fact, using our own set of tools is more often than not the optimal solution.
Our body communicates with us at every moment. It tells us if we are tired if we are hungry, if we like or dislike something. And it does it mostly by using our own senses, alerting us of it’s needs.
So why not use these same senses to practice that much needed and appreciated maintenance?
The sense of smell, for example, is not always related to fixing the body. But we may be misjudging its potential.
A smell can transport us to a different time, to a different place. Even thinking about a certain smell, like fresh-cut grass, for example, can stir emotions and have an impact on our stress levels, for instance.
So how can we harness that healing power and use it ourselves?
Something that is probably not unfamiliar to most of us is the term ‘aromatherapy’. It is the use of natural oils extracted from plants – what is referred to as ‘essential oils’ – and their beneficial properties.
Essential oils can be used in many of ways:
You can use them as perfumes, mix a few drops of water and spray around the house, use them in the shower or bathtub…
But one of the most effective – and enjoyable – ways to use essential oils is probably in some sauna action.
Mixing a few drops of certain essential oils with water and applying the mixture on the sauna heat source will create a more welcoming atmosphere, as well as helping your body relax and infusing yourself in a toxin-expeller myst.
In the 1990’s book “The Fragrant Pharmacy: A Home and Health Care Guide to Aromatherapy and Essential Oils”, by Valerie Ann Worwood, is stated that some essential oils are “excellent cleansers and detoxifiers”, as they “enter the body with inhalation and exit by perspiration”.
The author goes on to say that the best sauna oils are eucalyptus, tea tree or pine essential oils.
As with everything, there are the right essential oils for every type of use or goal you are trying to achieve.
If you try to use some other essential oils in your sauna mixture you might find that despite smelling good you probably won’t be benefitting from the oil’s healing properties.
For instance, the tea tree essential oil has very powerful antiseptic properties. In the book, the author says that it is “thought to be one hundred times more powerful than carbolic acid – and yet it is non-poisonous to humans”.
This essential oil has been used by the Aborigines population of Australia for centuries, which incentivized a whole lot of international interest and studies around the tea tree.
The book goes on to describe this specific essential oil as having “impressive anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties”, which make it very useful and desirable for us, as it can treat various unwanted conditions.
Tea tree essential oil when used in a sauna as its vapor can help treat for all sorts of infections, skin conditions such as acne and even sunburn – of course for that last one it would not be recommendable to be in a sauna. Hot!
And for every different essential oil that’s used, there are other different benefits.
Using the eucalyptus essential oil, it’s possible to treat fevers, throat aches, muscle pain and even some skin wounds. It can also be used to alleviate the congestion of the lungs and sinusitis.
But it goes beyond physical healing:
The eucalyptus essential oil stimulates our brain waves and acts as a countermeasure to mental and physical fatigue.
Some specialists even recommend taking a bottle of eucalyptus essential oil with you on long road trips, and that you keep the essential oil in your room or study.
Try using those tips next time you get in a sauna and appreciate the natural healing!