Take a break, take a bath, and take a breath. Your body and your soul will thank you. And if you would like more advice, read on.
It is Feb. 18 and I just had my first bath of 2015. I dream about baths usually in the late evenings when my head finally hits the pillow and I think about how nice a bath would be but I am too tired to take one. Tonight I was reminded of the power of baths.
Baths have been considered water therapy since the ancient times. Clearly Cleopatra and the Romans knew something. But why a bath? It may not be as efficient in terms of cleaning as compared to showers. Baths use up a lot of water and take time -- both of these resources are precious. Yet a bath is a moment of pure pleasure, of wellness, and as Ramona Emerson said in a recent issue of Allure Magazine, "A bath is cinematic in a way that few household activities are."
To me, there are three parts to an amazing bath.
1. The Ritual aspect of baths: A bath is alone time (at least the baths I am talking about are). It is an opportunity to enjoy relaxing music or silence, to reconnect with one's body and one's breath.
2. The Therapeutic aspect of baths: While water is therapeutic on its own, by creating this feeling of weightlessness for the human body, products will enhance these beneficial properties. Whether detoxifying, relaxing, or invigorating, salts, oils and other substances can transform a bath into medicine.
3. The Sanctuary aspect of baths: With just a few candles and some fresh flowers, a simple bathroom can become a magical area. The environment is as important as the act of bathing.
Tips for an amazing bath:
From the dermatologist, Dr. Luigi L. Polla:
To avoid having the hot water dry your skin out, avoid soapy gels and bubbles. Instead, use oil-based products (Aromatherapy Associates, Clarins), and use more than your instincts tell you to. Milk bath products (Weleda) and herbal bath soaks (Kneipp) are also ideal. Epsom salts are an oldie and goodie -- a true classic to alleviate pain, swelling, and inflammation. Make sure to moisturize immediately upon getting out of the bath, when your skin is still moist (especially if you have been in the bath long enough to get prune-y skin).
From the fish, Dr. Barbara Polla:
Lit candles and a window in the bathroom, that opens on to let in the sound of the wind rustling the leaves of the trees is the essence of luxury. For those of use without a window in our bathroom, an iPod, perhaps playing the sounds of nature, specifically the evening wind rustling the leaves of trees, can do the trick.
A great bathrobe is essential to prolong the luxurious, warm feeling of the bath. I loved my full-length deep blue velvet Christian Dior robe, which made me feel regal (my daughter loved it so much it now lives with her).