We don’t take enough baths. Generally confined to those rare times when we have an evening to ourselves, achy limbs or need for some time out, baths can be incredibly therapeutic.
Here’s why — courtesy of Bustle — we should all take more time out for a good soak. And a plug for an amazing product which will transform your skin.
1. Being Horizontal In Water Helps Your Mood
This is actually not the most amazing revelation, but it may surprise you to know that it’s actually scientifically proven. In 2002 a University of Wolverhampton study found that a daily bath, usually at the end of the day, significantly improved the mood and optimism of the participants, which was attributed to a combination of bodily comfort, warmth, isolation, and body positioning.
It turns out that our bodies associate horizontal conditions with relaxation and vulnerability, particularly in the bath, which possibly mimics the warm, liquid conditions of the womb. One baby-bath manufacturer even makes baths that consciously feel like the womb, to calm any unhappy little ex-occupants. Some scholars think that this particular positioning gives us a sensation of security.
2. Baths Can Help Relieve Skin Conditions
If you suffer from psoriasis or another skin condition, you’ve likely been prescribed medicated or oiled baths as a method of moisturizing your skin, sloughing off dead cells, and attempting to remove potential causes of infection. And there’s new research to suggest that a material that ideally shouldn’t go anywhere near human skin might actually be a cure for inflammatory skin diseases in baths: bleach.
Researchers at Stanford found that baths in 0.005 percent bleach helped eczema sufferers both by killing the bacteria on the skin and by dampening the immune system’s inflammation response, reducing pain and swelling. It’s not recommended if you’re not suffering from serious dermatitis of some kind, though. (Also, be really, really careful if you ever try this at home.)
3. Bath Heat Can Help With Muscle Pain
The real culprit behind the relief of muscle pain in your bath isn’t actually your bath salts: depending on the type of bath you take, it’s either heat or lactic acid. If you’re taking a hot bath, it’s suggested that the heat of the bath is providing the equivalent of a «hot pack» that increases the temperature of the aching muscles, blocking pain sensors and producing pain relief.
If you’re an athlete, though, you’re more likely to throw yourself into a cold bath, which lowers the levels of lactic acid in the bloodstream. The cold constricts blood vessels and drains lactic acid, which builds up in the body during intense exercise, out of the affected muscles. Once you get out, new blood, free of acid build-up, replaces it, and your recovery time significantly improves.
4. Hot Baths Before Bed Produce Better Sleep
A good night’s sleep is associated with a host of health benefits, from immune system strength to better pain recovery, and a heated bath before bed is apparently a good way to ensure that you drift off to the Land of Nod without too much difficulty. It’s a matter of temperature adjustment and hormones.
A drop in body temperature at night is one of the classic signals for the body to start producing melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. Our bodies get colder at night naturally: apparently the temperature dip starts two hours before bed and lasts till about 4 a.m. Kick-starting that downward shift by heating yourself up artificially is an old trick to get yourself to feel sleepy. Get out of a bath, cool yourself down for a while, then slip into bed. Don’t massively overheat yourself, though, or you’ll find you’re actually revved up instead of chilled out.
5. Steam Helps To Reduce Cold Symptoms
One of the warm bath’s better qualities is as a treatment for symptoms is its function for winter cold-sufferers. We can’t make the common cold vanish, but getting yourself submerged in hot water targets two different elements of cold-management: steam therapy and overall body temperature.
The inhalation of steam is an excellent remedy for cold-induced misery. It clears out the nasal passages while reducing inflammation, and a steamy bath is a great source of the stuff. And it’s recommended that you keep yourself warm when you’re suffering from a virus: a 2011 study showed that elevated body temperature actually helps certain elements of your immune system to function more efficiently, helping you fight off infections and general nasties. A warm bath makes your immune system work better.
6. Salt Water Baths Calm Arthritic Pain
If you’re a sufferer of chronic pain related to arthritis, fibromyalgia, or muscular low back issues, this one may actually be a godsend: using average table salt in your next bath can really help to reduce the amount of pain you get in your joints. The discovery, made by scientists in 2012, shows that a saltwater bath takes a lot of the agony out of inflammation-based pain syndromes.
The reason? Salt reduces swelling in cells by dehydrating them, and acts as an inhibitor of the inflammation that causes such serious pain in sufferers. Interestingly, salt baths are one of the most ancient on the planet, beloved by the ancient Greeks and made into a full-blown industry in the 1700s in Europe. Clearly salt baths for pain relief have been a thing for thousands of years, but it’s only now that we’re understanding why.
Thalgo Plasmalg Gel is for those wishing to enhance the effects of a bath, body wrap, sauna or hammam. Also recommended for oily skin. This is a true beauty secret. Applied just before slipping into a bath containing Micronised Marine Algae or Thalassobath, it encourages the absorption of minerals and trace elements.
Apply all over the body before the bath, concentrating on the legs if they feel tired. When used to care for oily skin or the scalp, leave on for a few minutes before rinsing.
• Decoction of Micronised Algae
The skin feels replenished with minerals and revitalised. The transcutaneous absorption of marine ions (in suspension in the bath or body wrap) is encouraged. During heat-based treatments, sweating is stimulated to improve the elimination of toxins and excess sebum.