The ancient art of bathing
The ritual of bathing is not a new idea. It is well documented that the ancient Greeks and Romans practiced water cures, better known as Balneology. Traditionally, free-flowing water exposed to the sun is said to be particularly therapeutic. This is because the water is able to absorb the solar power and pass it on to the body. In fact, most ailments were treated with fresh air, sunlight and water.
There is an art to bathing. Firstly, the temperature mustn’t be too hot. A relaxing bath should be very warm but never scalding. At just the right temperature, around 40-45 degrees Celsius, a warm bath will better prepare you for sleep. If the weather is on the warmer side, a cooler bath will energise and is an excellent tonic for the skin. Be discerning with what you add to your bath. Anything too bubbly is not recommended as it will likely dry out the skin. It is better to choose something that will benefit the skin. I recommend either Epsom or Himalayan salts blended with essential oils. Add a generous handful for muscle relaxation, high mineral content and pH balancing properties. Try Jacqueline Evans Rose & Vanilla Bath Salts, $26.95 or Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts, $60.
BEFORE AND AFTER
Your pre-and post- bath ritual is just as important. Dry body brushing is very effective at sloughing off dead skin cells and stimulating circulation. Start at the feet and work your way up the limbs in long strokes towards the heart. When done consistently over a few months, skin becomes smoother and more radiant. Post bath, gently pat the skin dry, being careful not to remove too much of the oils added to the bath. Wrap up warm and try to avoid letting too much body warmth escape.
Only bathe for 20 minutes maximum. It’s imperative to keep hydrated post-bath to avoid a headache. After drying, hydrate your body with an organic body oil or cream. This last point is particularly important because your skin will more even more receptive to what you apply so avoid anything with synthetic fragrance or parabens.
If you don’t have a tub or do not like to soak your whole body, a warm foot-bath with the addition of salts can be beneficial for detoxifying via the feet and stimulating circulation. This also has a powerful sedative action when suffering from a headache or general aches and pains.
Now that it’s warming up outside, don’t forget about mother nature’s bath- the sea. Salty sea water is abundant in minerals and sea air is high in fortified oxygen molecules. In other words, it is a natural disinfectant for the entire body.
No matter how you choose to do it, it’s nutritional, stimulating, cleansing, detoxifying ad relaxing. There really is no better way to reward your body and your spirit.