Baths are often dismissed as frivolous and seen as less important than other forms of self-care. But that’s far from the truth. As you discover what works within your self-care routine, know that baths are more than just perfunctory body care. They can have real, enriching effects on not only your body but your mental health, and humans have been tapping into those benefits for centuries.
The earliest recorded bath was unearthed in Pakistan’s Indus Valley by archaeologists, who dated it back to 1500 B.C. National Geographic reported that archaeologists believe that among the people of this ancient civilization, bathing was associated with godliness. Many years later, the ancient Greeks and Romans maintained this practice, making bathing a focal point of their societies. Baths were built in the middle of towns and acted as centers for socializing. While modern day baths look different today, why are we so quick to disregard their significance when the tradition of drawing a warm bath has been alive and well for centuries around the globe. Our ancestors knew about the healing and restorative benefits of a bath, so it's time to fill our tubs, add some bath salts and relax. Here are some overlooked benefits of bathing:
1. Tuning into your mind and body
Dim the lights, sit in silence or turn on calming music and light a candle. A bath can become a sanctuary for your busy and overworked mind. It can be a place to meditate, slow down your nerves and become a space for reflection. When bathing prior to bed, opting for a candle instead of artificial light can also help improve the quality of your sleep.
2. Turn up that serotonin
Naturopathic doctor Peter Bongiorno explained, on PsychologyToday.com, that bathing can create chemical changes in the brain. In his study, he said that there is a direct correlation between a decrease in cortisol and other stress hormones and bathing. He also wrote that bathing helps to balance serotonin levels.
3. Breathe easier
Relaxing in a hot bath can help clear up congested nasal passages. A study published by the American Physiological Society found that the pressure of hot water on your chest from a bath or shower can help increase your oxygen intake and lung capacity. Use a body scrub with essential oils while in the tub to elevate your olfactory experience.
4. Reduce body pains
We’ve all pulled or strained a muscle and have been told to apply heat to reduce muscle soreness. Next time, maybe also opt for a hot bat. Bathing provides an all-encompassing heat pack, allowing your muscles to fully relax. And when your muscles tense up due to stress, take a hot bath to help relieve your stress and keep your muscles loose.
To help you curate your own your bathing experience, we sourced the following tools from the JunaBlu Shop:
For when you are preparing to relax:
Oat Bath Soak: A healing and soothing gluten-free oatmeal based bath soak, intentionally crafted with hibiscus petals, lavender buds and rose petals, for numerous healing benefits.
For when you dim the lights:
Oakmoss and Amber Soy Candle: A warm and comforting scent enhanced by a rich woody and musky base with a fusion of herbs. We love the crackle of the wood wick with this scent.
For when you want to engage your senses:
Sisal Bath Glove: Love your body with this soft-medium exfoliating glove handmade from a women’s cooperative in Bagota, Colombia.
For when you are nurturing your skin:
Edible Exfoliant Face Mask: A gentle daily exfoliant cleanser, restorative mask and acne spot treatment with multiple healing benefits. The goat milk and honey, soften and smooth the skin. The oats help with collagen deposition, and the rosemary and cacao tighten pores. Bonus is that it smells like sugar and chocolate.
For when you leave the tub:
Jardin de l'Olivier Body Lotion: An olive oil-infused body lotion that softens and hydrates the skin with nourishing Vitamins A, B1 and E. The fragrance is a light and fresh blend of lavender, artemisia and lemon.
Enjoy your bath! 💕