Baths: Self-Care and Beyond
Baths as a form of self-care are quickly growing in popularity, even though bathing is nothing new. Humans harnessed the power of water as a cleansing agent from time immemorial. It's true that bathing and baths have evolved over the centuries, but they are, at their core, nothing new. We've used baths to clean our physical bodies. We've taken baths to promote health and healing. We have even taken baths to maintain our spiritual bodies. Bathing has played a pivotal role throughout the ages.
Baths as Self-Care
Whether you want to use a bath as a form of self-care, in ritual or another way, there are a few things you can do to make the most out of it. When it comes to self-care baths, it's all about what feels good to you. Candles, lighting, music, plants, aromas, a special soap--all of these things or just a few may be some of the things that make you feel pampered and renewed. And that's the goal of a self-care bath, giving yourself the fuel you need to care for others, allowing you to sit with yourself and just be. All you have to do is run your water, set the scene and step in. You can make it a regular event or you can rotate it with other self-care practices. There are no rules when it comes to what self-care looks like. It's different for everyone, so honor what feels good to you and nurtures you.
Many of us enjoy baths because they are typically private, and they allow us to be alone. We have more room to think (or not think). You can give yourself whatever attention you feel you need. If you just want to sit with a book, listen to a podcast, shed some tears or give yourself a pedicure, you have the uninterrupted freedom to do so. There's no need to worry about wasting water or time on this indulgence, you're taking care of yourself.
Baths as Spiritual Care
If you are in the healing arts or on a spiritual journey, a spiritual bath can be very instrumental. Not only does it bring you calm and relaxation, it also can banish negative energies while reinforcing the good vibes. Spiritual baths are also ritual baths. They are practiced regularly with the idea of maintaining spiritual and emotional hygiene. There are many prescriptions for spiritual baths, so the specific modality or practice will dictate the bath's preparation and actions. If you are interested in doing a spiritual bath in your own way allow, your intuition to guide you as you choose your ingredients intentionally.
There are lots of things you can add to your spiritual baths, from prayers to dances to meditations and more. Epsom salt is often used to draw out negative energies as well as various herbs and other plant materials. Some common botanicals used in baths include sage, lavender, rosemary, rose and jasmine. Each plant comes with its own medicine and affinity, so do a little research on specific plants before incorporating them in your ritual cleansing.
Baths for Your Health
Baths can also be used for your physical healing. Those who suffer from arthritis may experience decreased discomfort from a good soaking. Are you an anxious person? A good bath can help with that. Adding essential oils to your bath can be beneficial to your health as well. Baths can help soothe rashes, reduce swelling, ease muscle tension, promote better circulation and plenty more. Many ancient cultures used baths medicinally. The Romans built large bathhouses. Many sanitariums also made use of healing baths. The merits of a good bath have been observed for centuries and it continues to this day being held in high esteem.
Whatever your reason for hopping in the tub is, just know that you will always benefit from a bath. Baths touch on so many important aspects of the human experience, from mental wellness to spiritual wellness. If you haven't had the joy and relaxation that comes from a good soak in the tub lately, maybe it's time to give it another go.
Feel free to share the ways in which you enjoy a good bath.