We may view bathing as a luxury or part of a kids nighttime routine but bathing has a long history as a therapeutic practice. In India therapeutic and sacred extends back 3,500 years in the waters of the Ganges River. In Roman times baths were prescribed for liver and kidney problems and the Chinese used them to ease cramps, convulsions, and other conditions.
Even today ice baths, cold water immersion, or epsom salt baths with or without essential oils are used to promote recovery, ease aches, detox, and soothe muscle soreness. WebMD touts baths to help soothe skin conditions and promote a more restful sleep.
Do baths work? There may not be enough scientific evidence to support claims but antidotal evidence supports the benefits of baths in many circumstances.
Baths are soothing and relaxing. They feel good and give us a chance to unwind. They help our kids relax and by adding salts and essential oils can support skin health, soothe sore muscles, promote movement of lymph/decongest, and support mood and sleep.
Are they safe? Hot baths and cold baths should be avoided by pregnant women but for the most part baths are safe. If using essential oils you'll want to be sure to dilute in carrier oil or natursorb or use a bath product specially formulated to disperse the essential oils and reduce risk of skin irritation or sensitization.
Suggestions for baths:
Post workout: many runners and athletes swear by ice baths for recovery. Some suggest that simply submersing in water is the benefit regardless of temperature. So figure out what works for you. Many people find epsom salts beneficial but some research suggests there is not real benefit -- but again if it works for you why not?
Skin care: Many carrier oils, additives, salts, and essential oils can help soothe skin and irritations. You may want to do some research or consult a holistic health care professions, dermatologist, or aromatherapist etc. to help you create a bath blend to soothe any particular skin issues. But many people find that baths are very beneficial to soothing skin.
Sleep support: a relaxing bath with essential oils can help support sound sleep. For children using a bath as part of a night time routine can help them unwind and sleep better. For adults taking a break from technology and taking time for oneself while experiencing the relaxing benefits of essential oils can help promote healthy sleep. Many bath salts, bath oils, and bath bombs are designed to be relaxing.
So if a bath feels like a luxury reconsider the benefits. If you need to care for skin, sore muscles, or support sleep a bath may be just what a doctor would order.
If you'd like suggestions for essential oils or products for the bath contact Tricia.