By Katie Faulkner
The ancient practice of submersing our bodies in water has a multitude of studied and scientifically proven health benefits. With endless variations that can be tailored to your needs, from skin conditions to psychological benefits, the classic hot bath is a wonderful way to heal your mind and body. So go start the water. It’s time for a soak.
Treating Skin Conditions
There are numerous types of baths that can help combat skin conditions, from eczema or psoriasis to dry skin.
For eczema, many doctors prescribe bleach baths. The bleach kills bacteria and reduces redness, itching, and scaling during eczema flare-ups. Just be sure to always consult your doctor before attempting this type of bath on your own.
Another go-to bath for eczema or psoriasis is an oatmeal bath. In fact, they
are beneficial for dry, itchy, and irritated skin. Often recommended, colloidal oatmeal is specifically processed to deliver the most moisturizing and strengthening benefits to the skin. This variety of oatmeal is not for consumption and is usually found in drugstores on health or beauty product shelves.
Producing Psychological Benefits
Baths infused with essential oils can amplify the oils’ positive effects on your mental state. The steam from a hot bath delivers the oils’ stimulation to your olfactory nerve (which transmits impulses through your smell receptors). For example, a lavender, bergamot, or rose oil bath magnifies the anxiety-relieving powers of those scents. Eucalyptus, spearmint, and lemon grass oils make great baths for boosting your mood and increasing alertness.
Treating Common Colds
The steam from a hot bath aides congested respiratory systems. Nasal passages or a stuffy chest can be loosened by the steam, allowing drainage and in turn, both temporary relief and an expedited recovery process.
Supporting a Better Night’s Sleep
Your body has a natural way of beginning to unwind at the end of the day. As your body’s temperature drops, it begins increasing melatonin production. (Melatonin is the hormone that promotes sleep). To accelerate your body’s cool-down process, take a hot bath earlier in the evening. The elevated temperature of the bath water will cause a more dramatic decline in body temperature once you get out of the tub. You’ll be ready to slip between the sheets in no time!