“I am sure there are things that can’t be cured by a good bath but I can’t think of one.”
-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The shower has replaced the bath in our hurried modern society. But throughout the history of human civilization, bathing was both a sacred and social activity.
History of the Bath
In present-day Pakistan, you can find The Great Bath, built in the 3rd century, featuring a swimming-pool size bath with elaborate stairs on either end. The Baths of Diocletian, an important part of ancient Roman civilization, were built in the 2nd century, covering 1.5 million square feet and cased in granite and gold. In Ancient Greece, water was regarded as a gift of health from the gods. Baths were such an important part of many cultures, that they took on their own terms in different areas:
What are the benefits of the widely regarded ritual bath?
How to take a therapeutic bath
To get the most out of your bath, make sure the temperature is comfortable, not piping hot. If you are bathing right before bed, keep temperature just above body temperature. Be sure to drink water before, during, and after your bath to replenish fluids lost through sweat. Stay in the bath 20-30 minutes, taking deep meditative breaths. Be careful not to slip when you step out of the bath. Blot your skin with a towel and put on light, loose clothing.
To transform your bath into a real spa-like experience, pour glasses of cool water over yourself. This allows your body to shed some heat. Stretch or massage sore muscles while your body is heated in the water. Add therapeutic oils to the water to moisturize the skin, and enhance your experience. We recommend oils inspired by exotic destinations, like Fuji Musume, or Tiare Tahiti, to truly be transported.
Take time out of your busy schedule for some TLC. Start your own bath ritual!
Learn more. Check out this video on why oils have been used as a beauty ritual for thousands of years.