Bathing is one of the most important parts of a person’s daily routine. It is easy to overlook how a simple thing such as bathing can seem unimportant at first but it is really amazing to find out how many different ways it can help your body. Regularly having a warm bath doesn’t just clean your body physically, it has many health benefits as well. There is nothing more satisfying than finding that a pleasurable bath can also help your body stay healthy and help relieve various symptoms.
A warm bath is also linked to hydrotherapy and is known as the water cure and this has been part of the alternative medicine that generally use water to relieve pain and treat illness. This has been practiced for many centuries and is still known to help people who are in physical pain. Conversely cold baths are used to alleviate some muscle strains and other injuries while warm baths are used for muscle, joint, bone and other associated issues.
Here is a list of some of the health benefits of a warm bath:
- Joints, muscles and bones
There are many types of heat therapy and one of the easiest and common heat therapies is taking a warm bath. Getting in a warm bath can help you to heal any inflamed area because this is one of the best ways to dilate the blood vessels and it will also help your body to increase blood circulation. It is also a traditional way to fight sore and tightened muscles to help relax and ease the pain. Steam baths can eliminate the fast buildup of lactic acid wastes that usually occur after exercising. A warm bath that you may not usually think of as important can also help you treat sore joints or chronic muscle pain that are common with arthritis. Warm baths can also help you to relieve strains and sprains. Pain in the back, neck injury, irritation and stiffness in your tendons or people with osteoarthritis can get relief to ease up their movements and lessen the pain.
- Gastrointestinal health
Pains that are caused by haemorrhoids or anal fissures can also be treated with warm baths. The warmth of the water on your body can help improve the healing of your wounds from surgery, but it is not advisable to have a warm bath immediately after eating food. Warm baths also have an ability to reduce the level of sugar in the blood, which can also be a great help for those people who want to lower their sugar levels without taking any oral medicines. Aside from relieving abdominal pain, it can also help receptors in our body to detect the pain and will send a response to our body to fight the pain.
- Easier breathing
Soaking yourself in a warm bath and immersing your whole body in the water with just your head out will help you to have a good breathing pattern. The pressure that the water gives your chest will help your lungs to stretch and grow in capacity, while the warmth of the temperature in your bath makes your heart beat a little faster and makes your oxygen content higher than normal. And if you have blocked sinuses, having a steamy bath can also help you to clean your sinuses and even your lungs. The warm water can help your nasal passages and airways to widen and relieve congestion. Adding some appropriate essential oils to your bath can also boost its effectiveness and make you breathe easier.
- Healthier skin
The human body is made of approximately 60% water and to keep our skin clear and moisturised it is recommended to drink plenty of water every day to remain hydrated. Soaking in water can also be beneficial for our skin. It may be true that taking a shower can be cleaner than having a bath, but taking a warm bath can make the pores in your skin open. When your pores are open this will be the moment that the water will enter the skin and help to clean, removing toxins and dead skin, especially when using a sponge or flannel. Soaking for long periods in the water can give you wrinkled skin but can bring you great benefits. The warmth of the water will leave your skin moist for a long time. If you want to enhance the benefits of soaking your skin in the water you can add some essential oils to help your skin obtain certain special minerals it needs.
- Nervous system and brain
Immersing yourself into a warm bath is one of the common things people tend to do when they want to relieve stress. Having a warm bath is known to be one of the best ways to relax your mind and body. But aside from making people relax, warm baths can also help the nervous system and brain. By reducing anxiety and stress in someone it can be a great mood setter. This has also became a way to treat those people that suffer with multiple sclerosis because the pressure and warmth of the water can help to gently relieve the pain and discomfort in the spine. It also gives the postural stability that is a great relief for the person who suffers from symptoms that are associated with Parkinson’s Disease. This can also help to create and continue having a better quality of life.
- Improve blood circulation
Having a warm bath is a good exercise for your veins and other blood vessels in your body. Warm bath temperature makes your heart beat faster and will give your heart a workout. The heart is a muscle and we need to take care of it and exercise it like any other part of our body. For those people who have blood pressure issues it can help to lower their blood pressure. A warm bath will make your heart work faster, healthier and stronger. This also helps your blood flow easier because while we exercise our heart we also exercise our blood vessels. Great heart work will give more oxygen to your blood and it will make your blood less thick and viscous. But due to the fact that it can increase heart rate, those people with heart problems are recommended to ask their doctor first for advice before taking a warm bath.
- Helps natural birthing process
Currently many couples choose to have a water birthing process than having a traditional birth. It is when a mother is immersed in warm water while labouring for their child instead of lying on their back. It is has been found that having their labour in the water really helps to relieve the pain of giving birth. The warm water helps the muscles to relax making the expectant mother focus on giving birth only. Sometimes essential oils are put in the water to help in the healing process of both mind and body.
- Improves hormone balance
Hot steamy baths can even balance your hormones. Some conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome or fertility issues can be helped by cold water. While having a warm bath can increase the level of your serotonin that is chemically produced by our brain to be happy, it is also associated with our well being. This can also lead you to have a good psychological health and makes you feel calm and relaxed. This will also drive you to increase the feeling of pleasure and contentment. Hot water can also relax your body and mind and can be a way to help prepare yourself for sleep. If you are having difficulties sleeping taking a warm bath before bed time to help you relax. The warmth of the water relaxes your muscles making it calmer, and can give people the peace of mind that they are needing.
- Regulate core body temperature
There are many studies that have been done to prove the benefits of taking a bath whether it is a warm bath or a cold one. Regulating our bodies temperature is very important. Having a body temperature that is too high can lead to heat stroke and when it is too cold it can lead to hypothermia. Taking a warm bath or a cold bath is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to keep your body temperature on a perfect level. It is also one of the fastest and most pleasant things to do for your body to keep it in a good state.
- Warm baths can help you lose weight
There are studies that suggest taking a warm bath can actually help you to stay in shape and even lose weight. Many people that are suffering from different types of diabetes soak themselves in a hot bath on a regular basis because it has been shown that a warm bath can reduce the level of sugar and glucose in the blood. Having regular warm baths can also help to keep you in shape and at the same time relax your mind and body.
- Helps to avoid urinary tract infection
Regularly having a warm bath is a good way to help protect yourself from urinary tract infection [UTI]. The urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria in our urinal tract, which can affect the kidneys, bladder and other organs in our body. Just like in the water birth process it helps to relax and to improve the healing process in our body.
- Relief from headache and colds
Headaches are often caused by blood vessels that narrow and reduce blood circulation. A warm bath can positively affect the blood vessels and alleviate the pain and pressure on the blood vessels to reduce pain. Aside from a headache, warm baths can also help you to dry out the mucus that builds up from symptoms of flu and colds. While not eliminating the effects, just by dipping into a warm bath can help you feel better.
Many studies have been done to test and prove the benefits of taking a warm bath. It is one of the most common ways to help people that are suffering from physical pain and anxieties. It has been proven that soaking in a warm bath once in a while really relieves pain and it can be an effective alternative to taking oral medication such as an analgesic or pain killer. The effectiveness and power of warm water differs depending on the situation and the severeness of the pain, and it can also depend on the depth of the affected tissue.
But despite all these great positive advantages of regularly taking a nice warm bath, it is still not recommended for all people especially for those that are suffering with heart conditions or may have a history of heart problems. People that have a heart condition must see their doctor first and get advice before soaking in a warm bath. Generally speaking, people should just spend 20-30 minutes or less in the bath, and it is not recommended for pregnant women to have a hot bath. If you have a warm bath make sure to keep yourself hydrated because it is very easy to perspire without noticing and become dehydrated.
For those people who are less able bodied there are bath lifts for elderly available that can help to lower and raise you in the bath. Not only will they help you get out of the bath but also keep you safe.
Overall bath time helps people to relieve various symptoms that they may have as seen here. Whether it is a warm or cold bath it is all about helping people to feel good about themselves in the body as well as in mind.
This information is given as general guidance on the health benefits of water on the body and is not intended to be medical advice.
If you have any medical condition please seek medical advice before any type of water treatment.