Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Coffee Bath

I recently saw a photograph of a beauty treatment that is used in Japan. It's a special application designed to create beautiful skin and enhance overall health. The person receiving the treatment lies in a large pool of roasted coffee beans. Every part of the body is covered except the face. Apparently, some Japanese people believe that the skin can absorb nutrients from the coffee beans which are very beneficial. I have known for a long time that coffee beans contain a lot of antioxidants -- they are beans, after all. Being the coffee lover that I am, I am happy to see people enjoying coffee in almost any form. But I must say that this picture looks odd. There are three people with happy faces lying in a vast pool of dark brown beans while a woman stands on the beans and moves them around with a broom.

I am not planning to try it.

However, I did have my very own coffee bath yesterday. It was so restorative that I am planning to do it again. I might even do it every day for a month.

We had been packing and moving boxes for several days. Our garage was full of boxes. We rented a mid-sized truck and filled it to the brim with boxes. We put the boxes in a storage unit. This was a lot of work, tiring work. By the end, I was sweaty, sticky, dirty, sore, and exhausted. Next, my husband and oldest son put our piano in the truck and drove to his sister's house several hours away, leaving me with some quiet time.

The only thing I wanted was some hot water and soap. And some coffee.

I made a pot of rich, strong coffee and poured it into a thermos. I poured my soy milk into a little pitcher and heated it in the microwave. I put both of these on a tray with a pretty cup. I brought the tray upstairs to the bathroom. I filled the tub with hot water, a handful of baking soda, and a generous supply of bubble bath. I put on some classical music. I carried my coffee to the side of the tub and climbed in.

Heaven on earth.

There I soaked under a mountain of bubbles with my hair piled on top of my head and my coffee cup under my chin and my eyes closed. In my mind, I placed each of my annoyances and worries and responsibilities on the window sill beside me. I would not think about them while I was here. The trees outside swayed in the wind. A storm was blowing in. But it didn't matter. Right now, my world was just clean, hot water and bubbles and beautiful music and coffee.

When, sometime later, I climbed out of the tub, I was smiling.

My favorite bath products: I enjoy Village Naturals Bath Shoppe foaming milk bath, which retails for just over $3 at Walmart. It creates lots of bubbles that last and is gentler on my skin than many of the more expensive brands in boutique stores. I prefer "White Tea" in the summer months and "Lavender" in chilly weather. Since there is already perfume in the bubble bath, I use a plain, unscented soap like Ivory to scrub off the dirt. To create extra silky water, I add a handful of baking soda to the bath. For moisturizing afterwards, I like to use Skin So Soft Bath Oil by Avon or baby oil. I put the baby oil in a little plastic spray bottle that I found in the travel supplies section of the store. That lets me use a light spritz or two, which is just the right amount.

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