A HOT BATH

In the part of the world where I live, winter has more than arrived:  It’s cold and windy.  Part of the time, we have snow and ice; other times, it’s barely above freezing and rainy.  Bottom line:  Tis the season for nice, hot baths.  I can’t think of a better way to get warm.

 

I have some favorite additives for the bathtub:
*Either coconut or olive oil.  You can find more than a few articles on the benefits of each one.  Some sources prefer coconut oil, saying that it detoxifies, moisturizes and works as an anti inflammatory; others will promote olive oil for many of the same reasons.  I like either one, mostly because they moisturize.
*A favorite recipe of mine is:   1 cup epsom salts, 1 cup wine, 2 tablespoons olive oil.  I find this very soothing.
*Oatmeal, usually prepared as an additive for baths.  I have read that you can take regular oatmeal, put it in a sock or infuser and put it in your bath water so that you don’t have a mushy mess.  I haven’t tried this approach.  Oatmeal does seem to soothe dry, itchy skin.
*A few drops of scented oil.  I really enjoy jasmin or bergamot.  One I am planning to try is cinnamon-cassia.
There is one I would like to try:
*Two cups of instant dry milk mixed in bath water.  This is supposed to be very good for skin.
I could see adding some oil and fragrance for a wonderful experience.

 

I have also heard of putting 1 cup of honey into a bath:  I’m not so sure I want to try this – Too sticky.

 

Other additives include lemon juice, baking soda or commercially prepared bath salts.

 

It does turn out that hot baths are good for more than just warming up on a cold day.

 

One of the first medicinal uses I ever learned was for help in relieving a migraine.  It works like this:
Get an ice pack for your neck.  If you have one of those really killer ones, get one for your forehead as well.
Draw a bath that is as hot as you can comfortably stand – no burning yourself, right?
Lean back in the tub so that your lower body, hands and forearms are submerged.  Rest there for up to 20 minutes.  I found that I could only tolerate about 10, so my suggestion is stay a tolerable length of time, up to 20 minutes.  Then, go directly to bed.  Because I always found that light, motion and noise seem to aggrivate a migraine, I kept the lights off and the house as quiet as possible.

 

Another benefit of a hot bath is some relief from emotional distress, including anxiety and depression.  I have heard some news reports on this one.  I do find that it helps.  A couple of sources that I have found suggest 2 cups of epsom salts to help with stress reduction – it’s the magnesium of course.  I have tried that, but am not convinced that doing so made much of a difference.

 

Pain reduction is a third therapeutic use for a hot bath.  I have known people who tried this when they had some inflammation going and were not happy with the results; however, if it’s muscle tensions or things like a pulled something or other, a bath can deliver tremendous relief.  I have found that a soak in hot water is wonderful when I am generally achy.

 

Some other benefits I have encountered include:
*Lowering blood pressure
*helping to prepare for sleep (this requires a warm bath instead of a hot one.)
*Part of curing a cold and other viruses

 

Two cautions:
Some information states that pregnant women and people with heart problems should not take hot baths.  If you fit one of these groups, talk to your health care provider first.

 

A strong suggestion is to drink a glass of water before and after a hot bath:  We perspire; therefore, we lose some fluids.

 

Obviously, some people will not like a bathtub because of size, physical ability or personal preference.  I say, find nice gels and such; then make a hot shower your treat.

 
Enjoy; stay warm and happy.

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