Since the beginning of time, bathing in water has been essential to health and peace of mind. As early as the third century, bathing emporiums quickly became the fashion. A hot bath is the original “hydrotherapy” (water treatment) and is still one the most accessible. In our busy, modern lives it’s easy to opt for a quick shower rather than investing time in having a long, soak in the bath.
For me therapeutic baths are a really beneficial tool for health and well-being. I am now making therapeutic baths part of my weekly routine.
Taking a bath is a natural way to induce sleep. Relaxing in a warm bath slowly increases your body’s temperature. When you get out and it returns to a cooler state, your brain releases melatonin, triggering bedtime.
The most relaxing baths are not piping hot. If you are bathing for sedation or specifically to help you sleep, keep the temperature at a warm, comfortable temperature.
Using candlelight during a bath helps to provide stillness and solitude. I think it creates a more relaxing, peaceful atmosphere. You can more easily turn off the world.
The calming effect of candlelight can be a simple tool to help reduce stress and change the focus of your awareness. Benefit from the tranquil and restorative light of candles by using candle light.
For me adding essential oils is a key element to having a therapeutic bath. Using essential oils in your bath is an easy ways to utilise aromatherapy. The relaxing properties of warm water compliment the effects of the essential oils. Using essential oils in a bath allows the body to benefit from the oils via skin absorption and inhalation. Using essential oils in the bath is an very effective way of influencing mood. Aromatic baths can provide relief from stress and anxiety, while assisting with muscle aches, stiffness and pains.
Add oils to the bathwater just before you get in. Otherwise the oils will evaporate before you have a chance to enjoy them or benefit from absorption via the lungs and nose.
Do take care when using oils in the bath as some can sting. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, aniseed, camphor, clove, eucalyptus, ginger, juniper, black pepper, peppermint, sage, savory, spearmint, and thyme should be used in very small dosages. Lavender is a real favourite of mine. Be sure to read research and use the safety information for the essential oils you choose to use.
In my previous post Healing from the Dead Sea I explored the benefits of using dead sea salt in baths. Adding dead sea salt is also a must add ingredient for my therapeutic baths.
I recently met someone who believed that salt baths were an effective way of releasing negative energy from the body and that burning candles then removed the negative energy from the environment. I’m sure some scientists would dispute this idea but I would like it to be true.
You sweat under water. In a bath, often without realising, you can really lose a quite a lot of fluid. Sweating stimulates the normal elimination of waste products. Believe it or not, people usually sweat much more in a bath than they ever do when exercising. A good reason for having a quick rinse in the shower after your bath!
But sweating a lot in a bath also means that you must drink water. If you don’t hydrate, a bath can become stressful for the body. A headache is the most common consequence, which would cancel out the benefits from having a bath. You must replace lost fluids to feel good after a bath. Ensure you keep yourself hydrated before and after the bath.