The Romans bathed, socialized and did serious business in their communal bath houses; Japanese culture still reveres public bath houses and the hot spring bathing culture. Enjoying a warm, scented bath is one of life’s simple pleasures but did you know there are some unexpected health benefits too?
Improve heart function
Although it’s important not to have the water too hot, a warm bath will make your heart beat faster, giving it a mini workout. Have you ever felt the pressure exerted on your lungs when you’re immersed in water past your chest? Again, your body is forced to work harder and this includes your lung capacity and oxygen intake. With a raised heartrate, your body will take in more oxygen. Oxygenated blood = happy, healthy body.
Steam your way out of a cold
Using a decongestant essential oil such as peppermint, tea tree, rosemary or eucalyptus will add an extra element to your downtime and help clear blocked sinuses. Add a few drops to the running water and breathe in the vapors through your nose if you can.
Calm your brain and nervous system
We know that hydrotherapy can help people who suffer from joint issues as the temperature and pressure of the water gently relieves pain and discomfort. The very act of being submerged in water, though, even without hydrotherapy jets and exercises, can have a calming effect on our nervous system, reducing the levels of stress and anxiety in the body and improving your mood. If you have a joint that is stiff or sore, stretching it whilst in the water is a low impact way of giving it a bit of workout.
There are so many ways you can add an extra dimension to your bath: oil to nourish and nurture dry skin; Epsom salts to detoxify and soothe aching joints and muscles; a handful of oats to calm eczema and irritated skin; magnesium salts to promote good sleep, speed up skin healing and help tackle inflammation.
Too hot or too cold? A bath is the answer.
If you’re cold, one of the quickest ways to warm up is to take a bath. Similarly, if you’ve overheated and are hot and frazzled, a cool bath will lower your core temperature to optimum levels.
Anything that raises our serotonin levels makes us more happy and content and for many of us, the simple act of some restorative quiet time and a scented bath is enough to lift our spirits. Happy bathing!