Wednesday, 28 January 2009
If you mention the word “bathing” nowadays, we tend to think of soaking in our bathtub, alone. We think of bathing as a way to cleanse our bodies and take some nice, quiet time for ourselves.
Imagine, instead of meeting friends for dinner, you meet them all at the local bathhouse. Yes, that’s right – you disrobe, step into a large pool of water filled with other people, and socialize. Sounds weird, right? Well, thousands of years ago, the Greeks and Romans built huge “bath emporiums” – fancy, public bathhouses that served as a meeting place for the elite. It was believed that by simply walking through the doors to enter the space, one could be healed. As many as 6,000 bathers would congregate here at once to relax, socialize, and even conduct important business meetings. Bathhouses were not open to the general public, however; they were often restrictive and allowed visitors in based upon gender, religion or class.
Some of these impressive bathhouses were so large, they contained art galleries, prayer rooms, and meditation areas. There were numerous smaller, private rooms for more intimate meetings. The bathhouses hosted live entertainment, festivals, dinners, and often housed gym facilities. Soldiers wounded in battle would often visit the bathhouses, which sometimes employed healers and doctors to tend to patients. As many as seven healers would tend to one lucky patient, and would offer various treatments including herbs, gemstones, and color therapy.
There were servants who would pamper the most elite visitors with massages, fancy meals and assistance with errands.
The Greeks and Romans each had a unique approach to bathing. The Greeks appreciated the hygienic benefits of bathing, and saw it as something one did before important meetings and after a hard day’s work. Their bathhouses, while beautiful and impressive, did not compare to the magnificence of the Roman baths. Roman bathhouses were grand structures with ornate details. They were the first to use colored plaster in the baths as a healing technique.
The Greeks and Romans weren’t alone in their love of bathing – the Turks are famous for their Turkish Baths, beautiful bathhouses with fixtures made of solid silver, gold, and brass, finely woven tapestries and carpeting, and impressive columns and pillars.
The Japanese, with their fixation on cleanliness and love of bathing, also enjoyed large, stately bathhouses. However, sexual promiscuity and public sexual relations became such an issue that laws were passed, separating the men and women with changes in architecture and layout – boys on one side, girls on the other. Public bathhouses are still immensely popular in Japan today.
Much later, in the mid 1800’s, England opened its first public bath, in Liverpool. 60 years later, most towns in England had at least one public bathhouse.
Stay tuned to find out more about the fall of public bathhouses, and how we got from soaking with drinks in our hands in large, palatial buildings to bathing in private bathrooms with the door closed behind us.
Saturday, 24 January 2009
What if someone told you that a simple bath could relieve common skin disorders, alleviate painful aches and swelling, reduce stress, cure insomnia, and make you look and feel younger?
You’d probably take baths more often, right?
A plain bath is sure to feel good no matter what, but the magic ingredient that delivers all of these benefits is dead sea salts
. Harvested from the mineral-rich southern end of the Dead Sea
, dead sea salts
provide proven theraputic effects and benefits.
The most obvious benefit to taking a long, luxurious bath is stress reduction. We all know how good it feels to emerge from a steaming, warm bath at the end of a hard day – you feel flushed, rested, and clean. Our sea salts
– either added to your bath or applied with a mud pack – increase your circulation and reduce the level of toxins in your body, freeing your cells from the by-products often caused by stress. So a bath with dead sea salts
is a bit of a double whammy – relaxing you from the inside out!
Many of us suffer from insomnia – a whopping 25% of Americans can’t seem to fall asleep! Insomnia is more than an annoyance, it makes us more susceptible to colds, flus, and more serious conditions – not to mention irritability. The stress-relieving properties of dead sea salts
mentioned above also apply to insomnia, relaxing you and making it easy to enjoy good quality sleep.
As if all these benefits weren’t enough, dead sea salts
do wonders for your skin. Adding dead sea salts
to your daily bath has been proven to diminish the effects of aging by softening the skin and increasing your skin’s defense against environmental elements and chemicals. Wrinkles will be less noticeable, your skin will be soft and supple, and a natural glow will be restored. All of these benefits, combined with a lower stress level, lead to a more youthful appearance.
All of us have had to contend with rashes, sores, hives, itching, and other skin problems. Dead sea salts
contain large amounts of magnesium and bromide, which cleanse and disinfect your skin, making you less susceptible to skin-related allergies.
Even arthritis and back pain can be relieved with the help of this amazing addition to your bath – the minerals in dead sea salts
help your body defend against swelling and join pain by acting as a muscle relaxant and detoxifying agent.
When you purchase dead sea salts
from The San Francisco Bath Company
, you are buying salts of the highest quality. Unlike salts sold elsewhere, ours are unprocessed and raw. If you purchase salts that have been washed or processed, many of the key minerals have been removed – and so have the benefits mentioned above!
So skip the shower for a week and take a bath with our dead sea salts
. See how you feel! You’ll be surprised.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Although self-help measures won't cure psoriasis, they may help improve the appearance and feel of damaged skin. These measures may benefit you:
- Take daily baths. Bathing daily helps remove scales and calm inflamed skin. Add bath oil, oiled oatmeal, Epsom salts or Dead Sea Salts to the water and soak for at least 15 minutes. Avoid hot water and harsh soaps, which can make your symptoms worse. Instead, use lukewarm water and mild soaps that have added oils and fats.
- Use moisturizer. Blot your skin after bathing, then immediately apply a heavy, ointment-based moisturizer while your skin is still moist. For very dry skin, oils may be preferable — they have more staying power than creams or lotions do and are more effective at preventing water from evaporating from your skin. During cold, dry weather, you may need to apply a moisturizer several times a day.
- Cover the affected areas overnight. To help improve redness and scaling, apply an ointment-based moisturizer to your skin and wrap with plastic wrap overnight. In the morning, remove the covering and wash away the scales with a bath or a shower.
- Expose your skin to small amounts of sunlight. A controlled amount of sunlight can significantly improve lesions, but too much sun can trigger or worsen outbreaks and increase the risk of skin cancer. If you sunbathe, it's best to try short sessions three or more times a week. Keep a record of when and how long you're in the sun to help avoid overexposure. And be sure to protect healthy skin with a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF, paying careful attention to your ears, hands and face. Before beginning any sunbathing program, ask your doctor about the best way to use natural sunlight to treat your skin.
- Apply cortisone. Apply an over-the-counter cortisone cream 0.5 percent or 1 percent, for a few weeks when your symptoms are especially bad.
- Avoid psoriasis triggers, if possible. Find out what triggers, if any, worsen your psoriasis and take steps to prevent or avoid them. Infections, injuries to your skin, stress, smoking and intense sun exposure can all worsen psoriasis.
- Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption may decrease the effectiveness of some psoriasis treatments.
From Mayo Clinic - reference Psoriasis
Sunday, 18 January 2009
If you are feeling a little anxious from the hustle and bustle of modern life try treating yourself to to a bath to relieve anxiety. One of the best ways to do this is to put everything aside and make a concious effort to focus on taking care of yourself first. Set the tone by turning off any exterior noise like televsions and letting family members know that you need some quiet private time. Draw a nice bath of warm/hot water, light some candles, turn off the lights and immerse your self into the tub. Try lavender bath salts
for the soothing effects or maybe even a herbal bath
. While bathing try scooping up some water into a jug and slowly pouring it over your head. As you feel the water trickling down your face imagine any stress and anxiety just drifting away. Soak in the water for 20 - 30 minutes to ensure that you are givnig yourself enough time in the bath to relieve your anxieties.
Sunday, 11 January 2009
The Dead Sea is mystical. The concentration of minerals in its rich, black mud and water is ten times higher than those of any other sea on Earth. Bath salts made from Dead Sea salt act as a relaxant, rejuvenator, skin healer and bactericide. This unique combination of minerals allows damaged skin to recreate a healthier appearance and a more maintainable surface. The most effective elements are the richness in bromine, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals have a positive influence on germs that live on the body’s skin and helps prevent infection and inflammation. They regenerate skin, alleviate itchiness and allow damaged skin to recreate a healthier appearance and maintainable surface.
Today, life is filled with stress. Daily tensions are taking their toll on mankind, both mentally and physically. Tension headaches, anxiety attacks and muscular aches and pains are ways that our body tells us it’s had too much of a bad thing. If you are feeling the effects of life’s hustle and bustle, take a daily, half-hour bath using Dead Sea bath salts. Your daily bath will give you the benefit of complete body relaxation, due to the bromine in the salt. This mineral is known world wide for its tranquilizing effect and is particularly beneficial in reducing anxiety, tension, stress and migraines.
Sunday, 04 January 2009
The holiday season was probably the busiest time of year for many of us. We were running last minute errands, frantically searching for the perfect gifts for friends and family, sending out holiday cards and letters, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. We had house parties, dinner gatherings, and office soirees.
Christmas was the time of giving, but all too often we forget to give to ourselves. It’s a beautiful season and yet we’re so consumed with getting things finished, we fail to fully enjoy it.
Your feet are aching, your mind is full, and let’s face it: you’re exhausted from the Holidays. How are you going to make it through this New Year feeling ready to take on the year ahead?
Take some time out of your busy schedule and take a relaxing bath
twice a week. Dim the lights or light some candles and fill your bathtub with fragrant bath salts. There are many “recipes” for a relaxing bath
and you can mix and match colors and scents to fit your particular tastes and mood.
Here are some ideas:
If you are completely worn out and need the ultimate relaxing bath, use our “Relax” bath salts or use this recipe: 2 cups Epsom Salt
, 1 cup Dead Sea Salt
and 15 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil.
If you feel frazzled and full of anxiety after the holidays, use this calming recipe: 2 Cups Epsom Salt
, 2 drops Lavender essential oil
, 2 drops Sandalwood essential oil, and 2 Tablespoons baby oil.
If you need to replenish much-needed energy, soak in this rejuvenating recipe: 2 Cups Epsom Salt
, 1 Cup Pacific Sea Salt
, 6 drops Eucalyptus essential oil, 10 Rosemary drops essential oil, and 15 drops Peppermint essential oil.
Enjoy, and Happy New Year!
Saturday, 03 January 2009
It’s 8:00 am. You overslept. Get up, stagger into kitchen, start a pot of coffee, take a quick shower, shave, find an outfit that’s clean, get dressed, gulp down coffee, grab keys, drive to work, meet deadlines, attend meetings, eat lunch at your desk, meet more deadlines, leave work, make important calls on your way home, remember you scheduled dinner with your sister who’s been dying to see you but you haven’t had the time, turn around go to restaurant sit down leave 2 hours later drive home park in garage go inside say hello to roommate/husband/wife/pets set alarm brush teeth put on pajamas turn on TV fall asleep on couch… and repeat this for five days in a row.
Sound a little too familiar? You’re not alone. We live in a culture that values productivity over happiness. Given this way of life, it’s no wonder that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States – because the leading cause of heart disease is stress.
With so many responsibilities, we don’t give ourselves permission to take time out for ourselves. We urge our stressed out friends to “take a day off”, we tell our harried parents to “relax”, but we seldom take our own advice.
Tomorrow, try something a little different.
After dinner, tell those who live with you that you will be unavailable (“only call for me if something is on fire!!”) for 45 minutes. Take your phone off the hook, and turn your cell phone off. Bring some candles, your favorite CD, and a radio into your bathroom. Close the door. Fill your tub with warm water and, if you have them, some scented bath salts (Lavender is quite soothing, for instance). Hit “play”, disrobe, and lie down in your tub.
Close your eyes, and inhale slowly. As thoughts of work, social engagements, and deadlines fill your mind, acknowledge them. And then, gently let them go. Your obligations have no place here – only allow peaceful thoughts to stay.
20 minutes to an hour of relaxation in the tub, with a serving of bath salts , will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed. Your circulation will improve, your skin will be soft and supple, and you’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep. If you take this time for yourself at least every other day, you’ll notice many important changes; you’ll look and feel younger, you’ll have more energy for your work, your hobbies, and for those you care about. The benefits don’t end there – your body will thank you too.
Thursday, 01 January 2009
Finally, you can start with a clean slate. The holidays are over, the new year has begun. You have made many promises to yourself: you will exercise more, put more effort into your relationships and your work, you will finally organize your closets and clear out your filing cabinets. You’ll learn a new language, take an art class, spend more time with your children. You’ll be more romantic, you’ll be more confident, you’ll be more happy.
The new year is still very new, and you are already very, very tired.
You made your list in a fit of self-assuredness (and maybe after you had some champagne). With each item on your list you felt as if you were already changing, a better person just for having written each resolution down. But now, you look at your list and wonder how you will summon the energy to actually keep those promises you made to yourself.
Hopefully, one of your resolutions was to take a bath at least twice a week. Bathing is not only good for relaxation, however - bathing can be energizing and can give you the strength you need to keep the rest of those resolutions.
For a truly energizing, uplifting bath, you can add essential oils to your bath salts. Citrus scents such as Tangerine, Orange, and Lime will uplift you. Ginger and grapefruit are wonderful as well. Minty scents such as Peppermint and Spearmint help to increase your circulation. Chamomile, Lavender, and Ylang-Ylang promote tranquility.
Color is a powerful energizer as well. Combine the scents above with the right colors to fit your mood (or the mood you would like), for instance: Orange, Tomato, Lime, and Yellow are warm, uplifting colors. Combine these with some citrus scents and you’ll have the energy for the new year to finally tackle your most daunting tasks.
Here’s to a fresh start, and a wonderful year!