Monday, July 12, 2010

Beautiful Blogging ~ The Beauty of the Bath

Do you think of bathing only in terms of cleansing? If so, you may be missing out on the potential benefits of bathing? Did you know that bathing has been around since 2000 B.C.? The ancient Romans, for example, used bathing as an important part of their daily ritual. They understood the therapeutic advantages of water and they created elaborate bathing rituals including the use of scented oils. Unfortunately, when the Roman Empire was overthrown in the 5th century, the tribes who conquered Rome found their obsession with cleanliness impertinent. Moreover, the church expressed disapproval of this indulgence, thus these rituals disappeared.

The 18th century saw a revival of bathing when once again the therapeutic effects of water came to light. Spas were established in Europe and the U.S. For those seeking water therapy. Also, the discovery that germs spread disease altered attitudes towards bathing. While initially seen as indulgent, rooms established solely for cleansing gained popularity and by the end of the 19th century, owning a bathroom was viewed as a status symbol.

Bathing today need not be boring nor for the sole purpose of cleaning our bodies. It should be a time to care for your body, mentally and physically! Creating your own additives can help aid some common problems. Please seek medical advice before using any of these suggestions. Some essential oils can interfere if you're pregnant or suffering from any medical problems.

~Use cleansing baths to your advantage by detoxifying too which can aid in reviving your system. Steep your herbs in hot water for 15 – 20 minutes, strain and add the liquid to your bath. Tie the herbs in a cheesecloth and attach to the faucet while you are running your water. Some examples of what to add: 2 cups of apple cider which has an energizing and cleansing effect; nutmeg or lavender which promotes perspiration and can aid in expelling toxins from your body. The added scent of the items provides a bonus!

~Moisturizing baths are important because of course bathing in hot water can be drying to your skin. I suggest using natural oils which can be found at your local supermarket or health food store. Remember to use no more that 2 teaspoons, otherwise your skin will become too greasy. For dry skin try avocado or Castor oil; for oily skin try lighter oils such as calendula or safflower; for normal skin choose almond, jojoba or apricot oil. Sea salts can also be very moisturizing and nurturing as they are high in minerals which are easily absorbed into the skin. The salts are said to ease problems such as psoriasis and eczema but they surely ease or aches and pains and leave the skin super soft! Please use caution as oils or salts may make the tub slippery.
~Relaxing Baths ~ ah there's nothing like a nice hot bath, is there? Try adding some natural products to enhance this relaxation or promote sleep! Adding camomile or lavender leaves to your bath adds therapeutic benefits as it is absorb through your skin, But breathing in the calming scents can be beneficial as well. Also, don't forget about the therapeutic qualities of essential oils too. Try adding 5 drops each of neroli, lavender, and lemon to calm and soothe!

( This photo is linked to Nourish your Spirit and has some cool lavender recipes. Click the picture to visit).
~Decongestant baths can be so helpful when you're down with the flu or a cold. Add some peppermint leaves to your bath to help stimulate and clear mucus from your nose and sinuses. Sage is a great additive when you suffer from muscle aches and pains (AVOID this if you are pregnant).

There are so many options today to enhance the quality of our bath. Take the time to enjoy your bath and reap the benefits of water therapy. You might even add to the experience by lighting scented candles or by bringing a good book and just soak in the tub for a few minutes.

OXOXOX,
Jacalyn

P.S. Please click on any picture and you'll visit the site where I obtained them.
Source: Bathing for Health, Beauty, & Relaxation Gizowska, Eva 1998

8 comments:

Bella said...

There's nothing quite like a good soak in the tub with just the right herb for what ails you. I'm a big lover of lavender, particularly if I've spent too much time in the sun. And an oatmeal bath is always soothing. I love the pink flowers in your post below, too. :)

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

How cool!! Thanks so much for the information. I typically take showers - quick, get in and get out, showers - I'm going to have to put some of these ideas into practice!! They sound lovely!

A Hopeful Heart said...

I think most of us don't really use the bathtub much simply because of the fast pace at which we live. Taking a bath is alot like drinking a cup of tea....it takes time. You need to slow down to enjoy those kinds of things...and, sadly, slow down is not a phrase much cared for in today's society.

I'm speaking for myself...not just pointing fingers. I shower every morning, but it seems that I only take four or five baths a year, usually if my back is bothering me.

My grandmother, on the other hand, took a bath EVERY night before bed. She always said it relaxed her and helped her to sleep better.

Anyhow, thank you for sharing these tips.

Blessings,
Patti

A Write Life said...

Great information. I really love your blog. Some feedback, I tried your tricks for eyes and my husband made a comment - your makeup looks good today. Wow, really? Thanks!!!!!!

Nancy said...

I love a nice hot bath, especially with the lights low and candles lit. This was a great, informative post. I had never heard of trying sage in the bath for aches but think I will! You've got me thinking I may stop in the health food store that's on the way to my shop and pick up some of the oils to.

Thanks for sharing all this info!

Nancy

The Knitwit Knitter said...

Interesting post today!!

A 2 Z said...

Hi,

Thanks for the lovely comment! I love baths and never take showers. I'm going to have a closer look at all these fascinating products.

Anne-marie

Shelia said...

Hi and it's so nice to meet you! I love to soak in the tub and love a wonderful bath salts and smell good bubbly to dream away my cares!
Thank you so much for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

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