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THE ART OF
BATHING

nourishing
rest

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The Art of Healing & Relaxation
through Bathing

 

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Bathing as Therapeutic Self-care, 
a form of Nourishing Rest     

 

It is not easy to truly care for ourselves as humans, especially as women, and we often have trouble with giving ourselves permission to take a rest or recharge properly in quality ways.  Genuine self-care is not just about taking care of your body and wellbeing with quick-fixes. It is about extending to yourself the gifts of presence, self-compassion and quality time (which is not selfish) but actually increases your capacity to be available for others wholeheartedly without becoming depleted. Recharging.
Usually most of us apply superficial methods to relax and unwind that are often rather counter-productive! Like a thin veneer that provides only momentarily relief anyway. What we are talking about here are deeper restorative rest and relaxation methods that sustains root wellbeing, maintains a healthier state of mind, and a lighter, warmer heart. Being more at ease.

Bathing is such a delicious experience. We have experienced these rituals since babies but somewhere along the line we may have lost touch with bathing as little more than just a robotic function of cleaning our bodies and possibly being distracted and lost in a million thoughts.

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Easily integrated rituals into our lives
For many years we have been working on the concept of Nourishing Rest practices that can easily integrate wellbeing practices into our daily lives.
One of these methodologies includes Bathing.


Nourishing Rest Bathing Practices
Bathing can be a meditative practice that actually soothes, heals and nourishes us on deeper levels becoming a therapeutic form of self-care. Health Benefits of taking a Bath
Especially when struggling with overwhelm, burnout, exhaustion and depletion. Or for the simple habit of infusing more calm, balance and relaxation. 
The art of bathing becomes medicine for body, mind and spirit.

Healing Rituals​ Immersions to nourish body, mind and spirit
We share these practices in our programmes, workshops and immersive retreats.

Currently these are only offered online as
part of our Nourishing Rest offerings.

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The Power of Water
 

The Health Benefits of Taking a Bath
10 Scientifically Proven Ways

 

Submerging ourselves in water, whether in a bathing receptacle or in a natural body of water is something we do for both personal hygiene, leisure and health.
Bathing has a long and detailed history. There are few things more enjoyable than going for a refreshing swim in the ocean or a pond on a warm day, or having a soothing fragrant bath in the cooler months to warm us up or relax a tired body.

 

KEY BENEFITS OF RELAXATION THROUGH BATHING

  • deeper relaxation of the body and muscular system

  • soothes fatigued legs and feet 

  • reduced anxiety and calm

  • better sleep if bathing before bed

  • better digestion

  • feeling of overall wellbeing 

  • healing and medicinal therapeutic applications when used in conjunction with herbs, tonics and tinctures

  • quality time

  • bathing can be meditative and restorative

 
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If you are water or resource conscious - The Japanese have a beautiful system where you wash yourself thoroughly first with a bucket of water and soap yourself, or a quick shower and then commence to immerse themselves in traditionally a wooden tub to the neck that a few people can use consecutively, (thus also being less resource intensive). 

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Here are some health benefits of taking a bath

Taking a bath may help you to breathe easier

Being immersed in water past your chest with your head out, can have a good influence on your lung capacity and oxygen intake. There are two factors that contribute to this; the temperature of the water and the pressure the water places on your chest and lungs. When the water is warmer and your heart is beating faster, your oxygen intake can be improved and the steam created can clear your sinuses and chest.

Take care of your blood and immunity with a bath

Not only does a warm bath make the blood flow easier, it also makes it more oxygenated by allowing you to breathe deeper and slower, particularly when taking in steam. Taking a hot bath or spa can kill bacteria and improve immunity. It can relieve the symptoms of cold and flu. 

Balance your hormones by bathing

Conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and some fertility issues can be assisted by bathing in colder temperatures. Hormones released by the pituitary gland such as adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH and other hormones such as beta endorphin and cortisol can become more balanced. Alternatively, warm water bathing can increase levels of serotonin, which is the chemical produced by the brain associated with happiness and well being.

Your brain and nervous system can benefit from bathing

Submergence in water can reduce pain and inflammation and also calm the nervous system, reducing the levels of stress and anxiety in the body and improving your mood. Hydrotherapy can help people who suffer from multiple sclerosis as the temperature and pressure of the water gently relieves the spine of pain and discomfort.

Bathing can benefit your muscles, joints and bones

Stretching and moving in water has been shown to be low impact on the joints, muscles and bones, but very effective in providing an adequate workout through resistance. There is also less chance of injury for people who are at risk of falls, which makes aquatic exercise ideal for the elderly.

Bathing cleanses and moisturises your skin, hair and eyes

Exposure to fluid through bathing and steaming is a great way to ensure hydration of the body in all aspects. The human body is made mostly of water and that is why we are encouraged to drink plenty of it. But soaking in it is also extremely beneficial. We can enhance this by adding certain oils or salts to a bath or bathing in a natural body of water or pool, rich in naturally occurring minerals.

Bathing can improve heart health

Although bathing in high temperatures can put unnecessary strain on your heart, especially if you have a pre-existing heart condition, taking a warm bath will make your heart beat faster and can give it a healthy work out.

Your core body temperature will be optimal through bathing

There is no quicker and more pleasant way to regulate your body temperature than through bathing. On a cold day, taking a hot bath or spa is sure to warm you up. Going for a cold ocean swim in the height of summer is undeniably the best way to cool off.
 

Evidence has shown that bathing, whether in cold or hot water; at home in a vessel or out in a natural body of water can have many health benefits without adverse effects. However, it is advised that a health professional is consulted if pre-existing health conditions or diseases are present before embarking on any form of hydrotherapy.

 

This has also appeared in our Nourishing Rest blog
Inspired and based on the article: 10 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Taking a Bath, Cite: Diane Kopman/ Lifehacks.org. Jan 2018

To read the complete article click: https://www.lifehack.org/381960/10-scientifically-proven-health-benefits-taking-bath

Hydrotherapy has been practiced for centuries. Both the use of hot and cold water can have beneficial and therapeutic effects on the body. In some places boiling water can be sourced naturally from a hot spring and in many places like Nepal, Japan, New Zealand and Iceland naturally occurring hot pools exist that people can utilise to take advantage of the mineral rich waters with many restorative and rejuvenating properties. Similarly, cryotherapy or taking ice baths, can help to alleviate muscle strain and many athletes including runners will submerge themselves in freezing waters to counteract the damage or even sometimes injury induced by exercise or repetitive strain.

Regardless of your choice of temperature, the benefits of taking a bath have been scientifically proven, historically venerated and can ensure optimal health of the mind and body.

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Sometimes it may feel utterly indulgent to use a whole bath full of water to immerse yourself in, especially in these times when our earth's finite resources need to be respected more than ever.  One of the tips I have to share if you are water conscious, is using your bath water to flush your loo or use for washing or watering your garden and plants. We have two-three large buckets in our bathroom and it works really well to flush the toilet or for clothes washing. It saves resources (and is cost effective)! Some people have the facilities to purify the water and reuse it again.

 

Personally I have always found the ritual of a bath, (even if it is simple and not indulgent) with only epsom salts or a few drops os essential oil has always left me feeling renewed, restored and relaxed. 
 

The whole human being needs to be protected and nurtured. 

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A note about the products you choose to use in your bath:
Choose your products carefully and lovingly respect your
body and wellbeing

We have lost our connection with nature and have come to rely on mass produced, shelf-bought remedies that are not always created with good intention nor genuinely have our wellbeing and wellness in mind but may just be driven by selling more products for big conglomerates that sadly often only have greed in mind.  We need to be more discerning about choosing products we use on and in our bodies that  potentially do more harm to ourselves and even those hands that create them (like factory workers or mass assembly lines working under pressure or duress) And the damage and harm caused to our environment by irresponsible practices and over-production. And lastly, mostly what potential harmful products are doing to us at the detriment of our health (and our pocket!)

The price we pay for toxic products are much more expensive in the long run on every level.
 

Especially, if women struggle with chronic illness, feeling depleted or run down or recovering from illness or burn-out, we do need to take extra special care to rejuvenate ourselves and not cause more severe illness or other issues of co-morbidity or deeper depletion by toxic products that look good in the packaging or are sometimes cheaply and badly produced.

A lot of remedies can be made at home by things in our pantries or by getting products made with care and our best interests and health in mind. Please choose your products carefully for your own wellbeing as well as all our beloved home, mother earth.  In our programmes we share recipes and practices to support you. ​​