The Romans knew it, as did the Victorians. Throughout the ages different cultures have all been aware of the importance of regular bathing. Bathing used to be a social event, where the great and the good relaxed together, discussed politics, the events of the day and even conspired to overthrow emperors. The ancients also recognized the health benefits of a good soak too. Of course, in today’s world we are far more private and bathing is a personal act, but it’s also becoming something that too few people do anymore.
In today’s busy world, the shower has become the preferred choice for people to get clean of a morning or evening. And why? Well, showers are quick of course. Turn on the shower, hop in, and within minutes you can be out and dry and racing to work. But getting clean is only part of the reason for bathing. Having a good soak in a bath with a good book and imagining you're on a cruise
is not just good at getting rid of the daily sweat and grime, but it also provides plenty of benefits, both physical and mental.
provides many physical benefits that people who shower are simply not getting. A good long bath has great advantages for improving health and well-being. Unlike showering, a good soak opens the pores to the skin allowing the removal of toxins; this ensures healthier skin and can even providing relief from certain skin conditions. A good long soak in a hot bath also relaxes muscles, which helps to avoid injury when doing anything physical, while the heat from a warm bath is also good for the intestine, helping it to function properly and improving our digestion. This can help stave off the colonic conditions that are for too common in modern society.
Recent research has also shown other health benefits to bathing. A bath is highly effective at reducing blood sugar levels, essential for people suffering from diabetes. A ten minute soak has also been found to help stimulate blood circulation, which also keep us healthier. It also boosts the immune system, making us better prepared to stave off disease and infection. When we are ill, a good hot bath is one way of alleviating symptoms of various ailments. The steam helps decongest sinuses and can shorten the effects of cold and flu symptoms, while sufferers of arthritis and rheumatism find bathing relieves symptoms and eases pain.
If you use salts in a bath, you can further increase the health benefits, by ensuring your body is getting enough minerals. For example, natural minerals, such as magnesium and sulfate found in Epsom Salt
, are not easily digested, but these are essential ingredients to keep our body healthy. Magnesium deficiency is responsible for high levels heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and various other conditions. And according to the National Academy of Sciences
, most of us are not getting enough due to our modern diets and lifestyles. Soaking in a bath that contains bath salts
is the easiest way to boost intake of important minerals, which the skin easily absorbs.
As equally important to the physical benefits bathing provides us, is the advantages to our mental well-being. Stress is one of the biggest causes of serious health problems in the world, and we all suffer from it. Few other methods of relieving stress are as effective as taking a bath
. Whether you are lying back for half an hour with some scented candles and dreaming of being on a Caribbean cruise, or relaxing with a good book and some music, the bath is the perfect place to unwind.
In today’s modern world, few people spend enough time alone and in private thought. Spending time to ourselves is essential for stress relief and mental well-being. The relaxation and tranquility of an uninterrupted bath enables us to get lost in our thoughts, which helps us work through our problems. Spending time relaxing alone, not only means we are more likely to be less stressed, but also it has other benefits.
It was in a bath that Archimedes first cried, “Eureka”
at discovering his famous principle. A bath is the perfect place to think of new ideas, have creative thoughts or simply get lost in day dreaming. So many inventions, ideas and creative works were thought of in the bath. It’s the perfect place to think, and without it, many of the great works of literature, art and science would probably not have occurred. So before you hop in the shower, why not turn on the faucets and treat yourself - you deserve it.
Written by Isabella Woods for San Francisco Salt Company