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
- 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.