For centuries, taking baths has been linked to human health. The Roman's love for baths led them to create incredible bathing complexes, while African priests had special bathing ceremonies to assist Kings in their journey to the afterlife. Nowadays, baths are largely prescribed for relaxation and indulging in a bit of "me time". But, how can taking a bath be a health benefit?
First, we'd like to say that taking baths in water that is too warm can be damaging to your skin and even cause stress on the heart. The ideal bath temp for your skin shouldn't stray above lukewarm, says Sejal Shah, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. There's no absolute for how hot your bath should be, but doctors advise to keep the water below 110 degrees. If your skin is turning red, it's probably too hot.
With all that being said, on to the benefits!
Can Help To Ease Muscle Pain
Warm baths can provide relief for your aching muscles. The warm water increases the temperature of your aching muscles, which blocks pain receptors. This is wonderful for those who suffer from chronic pain and other muscular issues.
If you're athletic and just finished an extensive workout, you might opt for a cold bath. Cold water constricts blood vessels and drains the lactic acid in muscles that tends to build up with intense exercise.
Improves Your Mood
Who isn't in a better mood after a long relaxing bath? Duh! But you'll be interested to know that there is real scientific evidence of it. Dr John Harcup, chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee for the British Spa Foundation, thinks that being horizontal also has a huge effect on psychological wellbeing. "Not only are you in a more relaxing position, there is also all the water around you - I think that gives us connotations of being in the womb, and it is very comforting." That's a prescription we'll gladly take!
Help Relieve Skin Conditions
Taking luke warm soaks with the addition of milk, oats, sea or epsom salt, certain oils and many other skin soothers, is known to help with conditions like psoriasis and eczema. These gentle exfoliators help to moisturize and soothe itchy skin, while maintaining the skin's natural barrier function.
Steam Is A Cold Buster
How many times has your mom told you take a warm shower or bath when you're feeling congested? Turns out mom was right! Surprise! It helps to clear out nasal passages and airways while reducing inflammation. Steam also helps to relax the muscles in your diaphragm, loosening the air passageways, allowing space to cough up phlegm from chest congestion.
Get A Good Night Of Sleep
Ever wonder why you feel so sleepy after a nice warm bath? It's all about the hormones!
At night our bodies naturally experience a dip in temperature. That dip in temperature signals our body to start producing melatonin, which is our sleep hormone. After taking a warm bath, your body cools off relatively quickly, tricking your body into thinking that the temperature drop has taken place and it's time to go off to la la land!