“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” Sylvia Plath
Nobody is sure where this holiday came from, possibly from the greeting card industry, but that doesn’t mean I won’t celebrate it.
Today, take a long bath! Baths go back thousands of years. Bathing in public facilities was a way of life in Ancient Rome. You might take a dip in the calidarium (hot tub), or meditate in the laconicum (sauna) and finish with a swim in the frigidarium (cold pool). Business was conducted in the baths, complete with easting and drinking. Some public bathhouses could hold as many as 6,000 people at one time. But, this was for a short period of time, as diseases spread by water. AND, early viaducts were made of lead, so they were also toxic.
At one point in Europe, many believes that dirt protected you from germs – so people didn’t bathe and perfumes caught on to mask odor.
But, thankfully by the early 1800’s, water regained acceptance and was equated with health. In fact, healing therapies were used, epsom salts and minerals became an approach to health. Spas appeared all over Europe.
“Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.” Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
Did you know until the late 1940s, the average American only bathed once a week. Today, a daily shower is pretty much the way to go. But, I think everyone should indulge themselves in a long soak occasionally. So, get your favorite bubble bath product (or make your own), pick out some soothing music, light some candles and relax. Or do what I do, READ. In fact, I start each and every day with a bath and a book. I read so much in the bath, I treated myself to crayons made for the bath (for kids actually) and write words I want to look up at a later date on the wall! Here is an example – I could make a picture come out – but right now – my tub wall says “Feelings are Magnetic” and the word TAMJAM to look up later (it is a Croatian word for incense).
What are some of the advantage of a hot bath?
- Improve Sleep – bathing before sleep raises the body temperature. So, when you are out of the bath, the body cools. This lets you body know it is time to rest. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the water.
- Lessen pain – a warm, not too hot bath relaxes the muscles. There is evidence that adding some Dead Sea salt can help with arthritis.
- Helps dry skin – Oatmeal is a great skin softener – it coats the skin and locks in the moisture. Use colloidal oatmeal, it won’t sink to the bottom as much.
- Lessen stress – probably the best known side effect of a warm bath
Making your own bubble bath is easy, and it ensures there are no extra chemicals. Mix together 1/2 cup of mild hand soap or baby shampoo, 1 TBS honey or sugar, 1 egg white, and if you have dry skin add some almond oil. Put in a few drops of your essential oil choice, and add it with the running water, and you are good to go!
Bravo! I’ll happily raise my glass to that!