My housemate and I have rediscovered the luxury of having baths. We were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to house sit this gorgeous house in the inner city suburbs of Brisbane for three months. One of the best features of the house – two huge claw foot baths.
I’ve never really been a “bath person” (whatever that means). I’ve lived in houses and apartments before with baths but they’ve always been those lame bath and shower combos so it’s never really felt quite right. So I guess because this bath is the traditional free standing style it’s a little more luxurious.
The occasional once a week bath when I first moved in has now turned into more of a daily habit. I now proudly admit that I’m in that bath almost nightly. Even at times when I get home after midnight I can’t resist the urge! It seems to be the perfect way to wind down.
Last night I arrived home after 11pm and headed straight to the bathroom to get a hot bath started. Fifteen minutes later I found myself lying in the water feeling all heavenly and relaxed watching the steam rise out of the water, and then thinking …I wonder if these regular baths are healing for my body? Or are they actually bad? I mean, it must do something to your skin lying in hot water like that for a good 20 minutes.
I know my Chinese Herbalist doesn’t think much of them for us “weaker” types (thinner, more sensitive). I questioned him about saunas recently and he told me that the heat in saunas (and therefore baths too) can actually take the energy out of your body. So this is why you feel beautifully relaxed after a sauna or bath. A chunk of your energy has been taken away with that heat. He did say that they can be very healing and detoxing for more robust body types, but unfortunately that does not include me. He says the reason why I experienced a “healing crisis” after my series of far-infrared saunas and colonics recently was because my body is too weak for such strong detoxing cleanses. Hmm, definitely something to think about.
There is also the issue with the temperature of the water drying out your skin. The hotter the water the more drying it is so it’s better for your skin if the water is cooler. Unfortunately I only get that amazing heavenly feeling when I first step into a very hot bath, so cooling the water down almost defeats the purpose. My skin has been a lot dryer for it though. It is coming into winter here so my skin naturally begins to get dryer, but the skin on my legs has been excessively dry. And I had my regular skin cancer check yesterday (which was all clear by the way, yay!) and the doctor pointed out a patch of dry skin on my back which I had no idea was there because I couldn’t see it.
There are also some people out there who warn against baths because apparently the really hot ones can raise your blood pressure or heart rate. I’m not a doctor so I don’t know if this is true, but personally I’m not particularly worried. But if you do have a heart or blood pressure condition, perhaps it’s a good idea to seek some professional advice before you jump in your bath or hot tub on a daily basis.
On the plus side, after a bath I’m usually more relaxed and I tend to sleep better. So if you’re highly strung or stressed then perhaps the relaxation of a bath outweighs the possible negative effects. High on Health is definitely the best job in the world and I’m lucky to have it, but it has been a tad stressful lately with the workload so the relaxing baths have definitely been a good addition to help me relax at the end of the day.
How to make your bath a little more healing
You can get a little more creative than me and add some aromatherapy oils to the bath, which does make it a little healthier. And these oils don’t have to be the usual (and a little boring) lavender smell. You can add whatever mix of oils you need. So you might add some oils to help motivate you, help clear a cold or even to help you feel happier. Get a book or do a Google search on aromatherapy. You can use oils to treat just about anything physically or mentally.
Baths salts are also very fashionable at the moment. But be careful with the type of salts you use. There are some sketchy salts out there that won’t do a lot for your body. A good quality bath salt should be packed full of natural minerals and actually help to detox your body and skin. I haven’t fully tested baths salts myself so I’m not sure how effective they are. I was using baths salts for a while but did not notice any difference so forgot to replace them when they ran out.
But if you want your own salt bath, you can use sea salt, baking soda, clay, or Dead Sea salts – all of which you’re likely to already find in your own bathroom or kitchen. And if you’re feeling adventurous try making up your own mix. I have stumbled across a few bath salt recipes which look really easy to make.
In conclusion? I don’t think hot baths are THAT great for you but I’m not convinced they’re that bad either. I have two more weeks left in this beautiful house so that’s two more weeks worth of baths. Perhaps if I was looking ahead to two more years then I’d amp up my research