Not only does bathing restore both your physical and mental well-being, it is also a great opportunity to heal and nurture the body, mind, and spirit. And yet, when it comes to bathing, most people just fill up the bathtub, then jump in and jump out. Something so therapeutic and cleansing should be treated as an opportunity for relaxation and enjoyment and not as a chore to be done in a hurry.
Here are a few important bathing tips designed to help you experience a healthy, therapeutic bath.
1. First and foremost, remember to clean the bathtub! Baking soda, castile soap, and essential oils are natural ways to clean.
Natural Cleaning Scrub
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup castile soap
- 5 drops essential oils (choose from the oils listed below)
Antibacterial essential oils include tea tree oil, rosemary, and lavender. Pour the baking soda in a bowl; slowly pour in the castile soap stirring all the while, until the consistency reaches that of frosting. Add essential oils, then stir. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, wash the surface, and rinse.
2. Always urinate before and after your bath. Since a woman’s urethra is short—about 1-1/2 inches long—bacteria have only a short way to travel to reach the bladder. Getting into a bath can force bacteria to travel into the urethra and may allow it to attach, which can lead to a urinary tract infection. Urinating after your bath will dispel any bacteria that may have settled in the urethra during your bath.
3. Take a quick shower before you bathe. This will ensure that you don’t get into your bath with excess dirt. Exfoliate the skin while you are in the shower. Exfoliating helps to clean and remove dead skin.
4. The temperature of your bath is very important. Avoid water that is too hot. You need just enough heat to soften the collagen in your joints, muscles, and membranes. This will enable the muscles that are bunched and knotted from overuse or emotional stress to relax and stretch out. Test your water, by placing your hands into it. If you can’t stand the temperature, add some cool water and try again. You should also add a few drops of essential oils to your bath; ylang ylang, lavender, or clary sage are great to help center your emotions.
5. Avoid bath products like soaps, bubbling agents, or products that contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate. SLS is a high volume synthetic chemical used in consumer products and regulated as a pesticide. A suspected gastrointestinal or liver toxicant, sodium lauryl sulfate can be drying and harsh for the hair and cause eye irritation, allergic reactions, and hair loss. Health food stores carry brands of bath products that use herbs and coconut oil soaps as a base.
6. Limit your bathtub time to three times a week, especially if you are prone to infections or skin irritation. The duration of the bath should be twenty to thirty minutes and always make sure your entire body is immersed in the water.
7. After your bath, apply moisturizer as soon as you step out of the bathtub. Also, always use a clean towel. Never use the same towel twice because towels can harbor bacteria that can irritate your skin.
At the end of a stressful or hectic day, a hot, steamy bath is what I look forward to most. In fact, I am going to soak my sore muscles right now!