In this time of increased fear, anxiety and worry, and when we are all more isolated than in our usual lives, self care and healing is rising hugely and a great way to deal with the feelings that everyone, around the world, are feeling. Bathing has been used for thousands of years to give positivity in mental, spiritual and physical ways whilst more recently being scientifically proven to have huge benefits to the body and mind.
Icelandic Hot Springs and Japanese Onsen baths are some of the oldest forms of natural bathing in the world as well as Roman and Greek Baths. They were valued for their beneficial impacts on society and health and many are still in use today. The waters at the natural hot springs and public baths have been tested to contain different combinations of natural minerals depending on their location and sources such as sodium, iron, sulphur and hydrogen carbonate- all have unique natural health benefits to the skin and for inhaling and experiencing.
Although the health benefits of bathing are numerous we’ve put together some of our top benefits below.
- Elevate mood
Baths are ideal for creating a pure space of relaxation and calm that has been proven to elevate moods. All of the senses become engaged in this ancient ritual with the sound of the water combining with the warmth of the bath on the skin and the sight of the rising steam. A unique microenvironment is created of solitude and safety, which is ideal for taking 10 minutes out to perform an individual interpretation of meditation and mental self-care to help relieve anxiety and encourage a sense of calm. The steamy air will encourage deeper breathing to allow for better breathing rhythms to take deep breaths in and out and build mental focus and stillness.
- Better sleep
A hot bath can improve sleep quality by giving a calm environment and closure to the end of the day. By finishing off a long day in modern life, which comprises of looking at screens which give off blue light radiation (and therefore inhibits sleep) as well as the daily stresses of life, with a warm bath will signal to your brain that it needs to slow down and switch off ready for sleep. For ideal sleep conditions the human body needs to drop in temperature to signal that the various processes need to slow down so the room temperature during sleep has to be around 17 degrees for optimum sleep because at this temperature the body will produce more melatonin. When moving from the heat of a bath to a colder room the body will automatically produce more melatonin and therefore your sleep will improve.
- Relieve muscle pain
The heat of a hot bath will improve blood circulation and helps sore or tight muscles to relax and heal. Adding Epsom salts or bath salts with a high percentage of sodium and magnesium has been proven to help inflammation in your joints caused by arthritis or muscular diseases. We always recommend the Icelandic Bath Salts from Angan, they contain an amazing blend of Lavender, Geranium and wild harvested seaweed to provide essential vitamins and minerals as well as the healing bath salts themselves. Sodium has also been linked with boosting hydration in the top most layers of the skin to increase the appearance and texture of skin cells.
- Soothe irritated skin
Baths are perfect for giving the entire body and the surface of the skin a unified treatment to help heal and rejuvenate tired skin cells. Adding a few drops of essential oil or a formulated bath oil with natural active ingredients means the extract will be diluted all through the bath water and penetrate the skin as the heat causes the pores to open up. Using a combination of products can be extra beneficial to obtain a more prescribed effect unique to the individual to cater for specific skin conditions. Seaweed and natural carriers will leave the skin feeling softer and the appearance improved whilst certain essential oils like Tea Tree, Lavender and Bergamot are all known for their healing and anti-microbial benefits but essential oils should always be used with caution and at very diluted amounts to be safe. After a long soak dry the skin with a soft cotton towel thoroughly to allow the skin to breath as it dries before applying a cream based moisture that will offer protection and healing to any damaged areas of the skin. Our Regenerating Hand Balm is great for this due to the array of natural active extracts and ingredients that have been used specifically for leaving the skin glowing and hydrated.