Monday, March 14, 2011

Take a bath...

Picture from Builders Square

In the winter months especially, I love a hot bath.  A good, long soak in the tub with a cup of hot tea on the ledge and a good book or magazine in my hands is a really happy place to be for a half an hour or so.  Doesn't this bathtub look like the perfect place for unwinding?  (I wonder how you clean a wood bathtub?)

When I was a kid at home, long baths were never an option.  I recall taking group baths with my siblings when we were littles.  Do any of you remember pictures taken in the tub with your hair all sudsy and formed into a tall curlicue?   My mom loved doing that, and I'll admit that I have some pictures of my own children with their hair all done up in suds and their clean faces smiling for the camera.  As we grew up, baths were dumped for showers. Timed showers -- about five minutes.  Unlike homes of today, ours had just one bathroom and there were six of us to share it.  There was also limited hot water.  Oftentimes we took our showers in shifts.  Some of us showered at night and some showered in the mornings.  It helped with the hot water and the time factor of getting everyone ready for school and work.  So bathing became a luxury or something that was done when you were really sick or needed to soak a throbbing back.  

This past winter you'd find me soaking in the tub in the evenings after the chores and the dishes were all done, and I'm not yet finished with taking baths.  It has become a way of treating myself for a day's work well-done.  The rest of my family enjoys an evening bath too, so we have to take turns having a bath night since our tub is fairly big and requires plenty of hot water.  The first to call it, gets the first chance at the tub.  Lately we've been taking turns passing the flu back and forth and so the bathtub has had a lot of traffic.  A hot bath is so therapeutic for the flu sufferer.  Stuffy heads, achy muscles, and pounding heads seem to melt away when you can submerge yourself in a hot bath.

I have found some interesting facts about bathing recently when I decided to try adding some Epsom salts to my bath water.  Here's what the Epsom Salt Council says about adding salts to your bath.
Studies show these benefits from the major components of Epsom Salt may: Magnesium:
  • Ease stress and improves sleep and concentration
  • Help muscles and nerves function properly
  • Regulate activity of 325+ enzymes
  • Help prevent artery hardening and blood clots
  • Make insulin more effective
  • Reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps
  • Improve oxygen use
Sulfates:
  • Flush toxins
  • Improve absorption of nutrients
  • Help form joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins
  • Help prevent or ease migraine headaches
I didn't realize it, but magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin and most of us are very short on the mineral.  Magnesium is not easily absorbed through supplements and so the best ways to get it is to eat foods high in magnesium (nuts, seeds, grains, fruits) and to take a bath or soak your feet in Epsom salts three  times a week or so.  How about that for a healthy way to relax?

I pulled out my blue Ball canning jars and filled them up with Epsom salts and set them out in the bathroom so my family could easily dump salts into their baths.  Pretty and functional! 

Another way I like to soak is to take an oatmeal bath.  I made some Oat Floats a few months ago for gift-giving and for my family.  I add one to my bath and squidge it around so the powdery oats dissolves in my bath, and then I use the pouch to rub the moisturizing, oat-y goodness all over my skin.  If you have dry skin, it is very soothing.  I sometimes add a little coconut oil to my bath water which also moisturizes the skin nicely.  I have even used coconut oil as a hot oil treatment for my hair and then follow up with my regular hair washing routine. Click here for more information on using coconut oil for your hair.

So if you're feeling tired, sick, harried, overwhelmed, or you just need a few minutes to relax, consider a hot bath. Would you like to know more about the health benefits for taking a hot bath?  Click here.  It'll cure what ails ya.

Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.   
~Thomas Aquinas

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful tub! I never knew there was such a thing until I found this one here:

    http://www.houseofturquoise.com/2011/01/incredible-wooden-bathtub.html


    There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.
    -Sylvia Plath

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  2. I've been longing for a hot tub, and so have Bill and Jeff. We used to have one, but it was a hand-me-down and finally cracked. Our bathtub is little but Jeff has a soak every night. I often have my soak in the morning and BLISS it is!
    I had the same timed bath issues when I was a kid and my mother did the curly cues, too! I did the same to my four bathers!
    I like it when I pop over here. I say, "Hello Bums!" and smile at those little cuties.

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  3. Blissful baths! I use epsom salts and oats too! Oh and a few drops of lavender. Ahhhh! :)

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  4. That's so interesting about Magnesium. I tried to add some to my diet with supplements for leg cramping. I'm going to try epsom salt baths instead. :0)
    Love the lamb header.

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  5. Such good info, Jody! I'm gonna run right out and get some epsom salt. Wonder if it helps broken toes too ;)?
    Blessings,
    G

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  6. I've been in physio for my hip and my therapist recommended Epsom salts for muscle soreness - I love them but I never knew all the benefits! Thanks!

    (I really like Thomas Aquinas beverage of choice as well)

    Love your little lambie banner! Sweet!

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  7. Thanks for sharing Jody :) Beautiful picture! I recently discovered Epsom Salts too. I suffer from injuries from a car accident and I can truly feel the soothing properties while bathing in the Epsom Salts. Very comforting and relaxing. I like to add a little essential oil too :)

    Have a great day!
    Sharon

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  8. We have home movies of me and my older brother sudsed up in the tub. The scandal is that in the middle of the movie, my brother--five at the time--stands up! Oh, that cracked us up when we watched on family movie night.

    One of my regrets in life is that I'm not a bath taker. It sounds so lovely and romantic to me, but I've never really enjoyed them. Maybe if I cleaned my tub?

    xofrances

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  9. I heart epsom salts. My daddy thought it would cure anything. He soaked a lot of lame horses feet in it. Sams is the place to buy it. You can get a big tub for around 5 bucks. I keep a bottle on the tub and add lavender oil to it. Roll the jar/bottle around and the oil will work it's way through the salt.

    We grew up with very little water, our well would pump dry in the summer and all the water had to go to the cattle so my sis and I shared a tub when we were little as well.

    We have to be careful with hot water so we have to bath in shifts too. But it is worth it. I do not want to give up my bath.

    ~M~

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  10. I had no idea of all the benefits of Epsom salts. Sounds like just the rX for those of us battling icky sicky bugs. ThanX for the tip! PS: Love the quote (and I quite agree)!

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  11. Since I was a little girl, a hot bath is my me time. I do not know how poeple can live without a bath. Cool, I did not know magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin. Thanks for the tip xoxox Clarice

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  12. We have the hot water shortage problem here. Our water heater is a bit temperamental. I prefer showers myself, but soaking in a hot tub does sound comforting if one is sick!

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