How to Create a Nurturing Essential Oil Foot Bath
Creating a relaxing and refreshing footbath is a kind and thoughtful way to nurture and assist your body in the gentle art of healing.
You can do this any time of day: Easing into the evening to calm and prepare for a sweet night’s sleep, in the middle of the day to refresh and ground, or first thing in the morning to awaken and prepare for your day.
A Super Soak is a valuable addition to any self-care routine, no matter your challenge. Although, I do recommend consulting your primary care physician (who is fluent in essential oils) to make sure you’re not messing with your healing protocol if you're experiencing a medical condition. Essential oils are natural, yet they are also medicinal and potent.
Remember, while working with oils, Less Is More!
You need very little to feel the yummy benefits of the Power of the Plants!
For Lyme Warriors: A nice long soak can dramatically reduce detox side effects, also known as a Herxheimer Reaction. When we are “herxing”, it means we aren’t detoxing fast enough. Using Epsom and sea salts, along with baking soda, have been known to provide great relief. If you can only use one, Epsom is you pal.
You can also do a hand bath, rather than a foot soak, if you desire. And it will be just as lovely and relaxing. I promise!
Besides just feeling amazing, foot soaks can be helpful for:
Relieving mental and muscle tension
Reminding you to breathe (because it smells so delish!)
Calming and reducing tension and anxiety
Increasing overall health and wellness
(Could possibly make you forget about your Ex for a spell)
And they’re super easy to do!
Super Soothing Foot Soak
My Favorite Sleepy Time Recipe
“The Dreamer’s Ball”
2 Sweet Orange
1 Ylang Ylang
(be mindful if you have low blood pressure, as most sedating oils will lower your BP. I suggest using just one of these three, to be safe. Always consult your health expert. Another calming and balancing evening oil is Lavender. Just 2-5 drops will be Heavenly!)
My Favorite Refreshing Recipe
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
One drop each:
Add the drops with 1 tsp of carrier oil. I use coconut oil or the half&half for my morning coffee. Yum!
A little bit about my favorite oils:
Orange (Citrus Sinesis) is cheering and joyful! It’s centering, calming and dispels sadness and depression. Orange is a lovely slightly sedating oil that reduces anxiety and stress while promoting a gentle night’s sleep. Orange also aids with digestion, calming the stomach, and is very relaxing. A happy little oil, it’s like a little drop of sunshine!
Marjoram (Origanum Majorana) is wonderful for sleep and pain relief, as it works as a muscle relaxant, relieving aches and pains.
It is sedating, rejuvenating, warming, and lowers blood pressure (so please take note if you have low BP). It also reduces sex drive, sooo this may be an important piece to ponder. You can swap out for a drop of lavender instead. I love the sedating and relaxation effects just before bedtime.
Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata) is euphoric and calming, and very sensual. A beautiful oil that It’s truly inspires joy. It relaxes feelings of fear, eases anxiety, and is considered an anti-depressant, and often used for addressing shock or intense anger. Ylang Ylang (pronounced ih-lang ih-lang) is associated with the heart chakra, promoting loving kindness.
Peppermint (Mentha Piperita) is energizing! It is a balancing oil in that it cools you when you’re hot, and warms you when you’re cold. It’s perfect in a footbath when you need to wake up your mind while grounding your body. Peppermint, like orange, relaxes the stomach muscles and is wonderful for digestion. Plus it opens your sinuses and is excellent for mental fatigue and is a perfect wake-me-up. A diluted drop on your temples and back of your neck can ease headaches as well.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) is stimulating! Like peppermint, rosemary strengthens the mind and clears your head, and can be used to dispel headaches and lighten the brain fog. The liver and lymph system loves rosemary, as it is a wonderful decongestant. A very uplifting oil, it’s like bringing the outdoors inside.
(*Use caution with epilepsy and high blood pressure. Avoid in first trimester if pregnant. Avoid using for 30 minutes before/after taking homeopathic remedies, as it may act as an antidote).
Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia) is the Queen of Essential Oils! It’s balancing, calming, and cleanses and soothes the spirit. Lavender calms the mind for sleep, yet refreshes you when you’re feeling fatigued. It is essential for burns (I keep a bottle in my kitchen. My daughter calls me Martha Stewart’s Evil Twin), and can be used neat on the burn for quick relief and healing. A chakra balancer, it is also inspiring and brings happiness. Lavender is lovely and can easily be added to any blend, as it calms stress, and is very nurturing to the mind and soul.
Easy Super Soak Ingredients:
3-5 drops of Essential Oils, good quality
1 tsp of a Carrier oil (such as almond, sunflower, coconut, Vitamin E) or full fat milk/cream, to prevent any skin irritation.
¼ - ½ Sea salt (optional)
½ -1 cup Epsom salt (optional)
½ - 1 cup Baking soda (optional)
Soaking basin filled half way with warm/hot water (anything from a pasta pot, bamboo bowl or a tub from the dollar store. I prefer plastic free, but I want you to use what works for you)
Maybe some extra hot water nearby in a tea kettle for a little refill
The How To:
1. Set a towel on the floor where you will be setting up your delicious foot bath (to protect your floor as well as to dry your toes).
2. Fill your tub with the hot water and set on the towel. Get cozy. Add your salts first, make sure the temp is tolerable and feels good to you before you add the oils. Essential oils evaporate quickly, so I want you to enjoy the wonderful scent while you and your toes are relaxing!
3. Now slide in your feet and add the carrier oil and your essential oils. Use 2-5 drops, in any combination (i.e. 2 lavender, 1 orange), and using just one drop, or one essential oil is fine too.
4. Let those babies soak for at least 15-20 minutes, which is the amount of time it takes essential oils to enter into your bloodstream and get to work nurturing you!
5. Swish and inhale the scent, relax your shoulders, close your eyes, breathe deep some more, and just let go. Imagine you are healing your body in the most gentle and delicious way. You can watch something soothing on TV, or read something calming. The key is to heal and calm your mind and soul. Your body will thank you!
6. When you’re complete, dry and massage your feet with lotion and a drop of your favorite essential oil. Put on socks if you like, which will prevent you from slipping (!) and will soak up the oils in your skin.
7. After your mini massage, close your eyes, take in a deep breathe while saying a healing affirmation, then exhale, letting go and relaxing.
8. Use your own positive affirmation, or some by Louise Hay: “I am healing on all levels”, “I listen carefully to my body’s messages”, “I let go of the need for this condition in my life”, “I love and accept myself exactly as I am”
Follow along the same instructions, but perhaps you might not want to place the basin on the floor.
I never suggest ingesting essential oils internally. They can be very dangerous and damaging, despite the current trend lately to do so. If you have been advised to take these oils internally, make sure you are consulting with an expert, such as a licensed physician or knowledegable / certified expert in the field. IF you do ingest, drink a glass of full fat milk or eat full fat ice cream or down a gulp of olive oil to spare your stomach and liver from any damage. (end of rant…).
Some essential oils can cause irritation, such as peppermint, lemongrass, lemon, orange, lime, rosemary, thyme; to be safe, I always add a tsp-Tbl of a carrier oil (almond, sunflower, coconut, etc.) or full fat milk/cream. This will prevent any ‘sting’ from the stronger type of essential oils. Add this to the water before you add your feet or hands. If any irritation occurs, rub oil or lotion on the spot to pull it off your skin. Regardless of which aromas you choose for your soak, a little extra carrier oil in the water is moisturizing and comforting.
Helpful Hints and Reminders:
No need to add more oils as the scent appears to dissipate. Even if you can't smell them, they are still working!
Important Rule regarding the oils: less is more. They are extremely healing and potent. More can cause a healing crisis and detox reaction. Less is Best!
Take this time to do something nurturing; read inspiring and yummy books, practice affirmations, journal, watch your favorite (non stressful) TV show. You get the idea. The bottom line: don't do anything that causes any type of anxiety. If answering emails freaks you out, then don’t do it! If emailing a friend is nurturing, then do it.
While massaging feet, make sure to get all the pressure points, and remember gentle is key
What’s the point of all the salts?
Ok, here’s the skinny…..
Epsom Salts relieve muscle aches, pains, cramping, and joint inflammation. They boost magnesium level, eliminate toxins, increase circulation and reduce stress.
Sea Salts (regular,Himalayan or Celtic) improve circulation, are grounding, purifying, and cleanse negative energy; think of it as taking off a dirty jacket at the end of the day. Sea salt wipes you clean so you can breathe again.
Baking Soda also is refreshing as well as detoxifying, purifying and cleansing. Because of its high alkalinity, baking soda can also help with candida and give you super soft feet!
*All Essential oil information is from my studies with Elizabeth Jones, founder of the College of Botanical Healing Arts, as well as my certification through Twin Lakes College of the Healing Arts, both in sunny Santa Cruz, California.
*All of my suggestions on this site, or in sessions, are recommendations and not prescriptions. I have no intention to diagnose, treat or cure. Im simply here to offer suggestions for overall well-being. Always consult your physician/healer/specialist to know what’s best for your healing body!
Dr. Jernigan’s Mustard Foot Bath
I want to share this with you, as I’ve found it a life saver! I use Dr. David A. Jernigan’s footbath when I’m herxing or I feel a flare coming on. I will do this daily until I feel relief, sometimes twice a day. You can also combine it with the Super Self-Care Soak, such as one in the morning and the other in the evening. If you’re flaring up and feeling housebound, may as well spend your day healing your body in the most delicious way. Put on a good movie or some nurturing music and heal away!
You can find this recipe in his book "Beating Lyme Disease".
I am going to give you his full recipe and instructions, as well as my own variations in parenthesis
-1 Tbsp. Dry Mustard Seed powder
-1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper powder. Ideally use 90,000 heat units. (I buy cayenne in bulk at my local health food store. I recommend googling heat units to find the right one for you.)
-1/2 tsp. dry Ginger powder
-1/2 tsp. dry Rosemary powder (I’ve yet to find a local source for this, so I use 1 drop essential oil of Rosemary).
“This foot soak is used as relief from general aches and pains, toxic headaches, and overall toxic conditions. It also seems to increase blood and lymph circulation, as well as the overall
sense of wellbeing. To get further results out of your mustard bath, you may either soak your hands only, or soak the hands immediately after completing the footbath using the same water.
Sit in a comfortable chair and soak your feet for 20-30 minutes in this mixture. If following up with a mustard hand soak, rinse off and dry your feet then place the hands in the foot bath water for another 20-30 minutes. You may do this 2-3 times per day if desired, for weeks to months, and definitely in periods of intense toxicity and pain….This is NOT recommended for use in a full body bath, due to the cayenne pepper in places you definitely don’t want it!”
Ok, me again! So, I sometimes can only handle the soak for 15-20 minutes, as the cayenne will get a little spicy, depending on my body at the moment. Which is precisely why Dr. Jernigan recommends you do NOT use this in a full body bath. Yikes! You do what’s best for you. Remember, YOU are in charge of your healing, your body, your challenge. If it doesn’t feel right, stop
This is Self-Care. Be good to yourself. You can even soak your hands at the same time (if you're limber :) or right after you’ve completed your foot bath.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your Super Soothing Self-Care Soak! If you have any questions or concerns, you know where to find me: www.coachsueseely.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a voicemail 831-316-5193.
“Nourishing myself is a joyful experience, and I am worth the time spent on my healing.”
~ Louise Hay