After a busy day at work, followed by an even busier night at home, feeling "stressed" out might be an understatement. Even though you might be unable to take a much-needed vacation or a stress-relieving trip to the gym, your sanctuary awaits right in your bathroom.
Taking a bath is not only a simple pleasure, but it also has the power to calm your racing mind and tired body. By adding bubbles or essential oils, baths have been shown to boost brainpower, induce sleep, and soothe sore muscles.
What are 10 types of baths to help ease your body and mind?
- Apple cider vinegar
- Epsom salts
- Dry skin
- Baking soda
- Cold and flu
- Itchy skin
What are some other ways baths can help heal your mind and body?
Tara Grodjesk discusses the amazing benefits of healing baths and the 10 different types of baths you should try.
RadioMD Presents: HER Radio | Original Air Date: March 5, 2015
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Dr. Pam Peeke, founder of the Peeke Performance Center and renowned nutrition and fitness expert and Michelle King Robson, founder of EmpowHER.com and leading women's advocate, cut through the confusion and share the naked, bottom line truth about all things woman. It's HER Radio.
PAM: I'm Dr. Pam Peeke with Michele King Robson who's on travels.
Alright. We get to talk about one of my most favorite topics. That's right! Take a bath. Have a little bit of stress? You want to calm your body and your mind? Oh. Alright. Do you realize there's some science behind this? And, I would really like everyone out there in HER Radioland to hop in the water, feel good, and now, we're going to figure out why and how to do this optimally with Tara Grodjesk, who is one of my dearest friends, and President of Tara Spa Therapy and who has, for the last 20 years, been devoted to promoting the experience of well-being. She's a certified massage therapist, holistic whole health educator and certified Ayurvedic practitioner. Her website is TaraSpa.com.
Tara, let's hop in the bath.
PAM: We need to de-stress out there. You know, the baths have been around forever in Europe and Asia and they've been an integral piece of health and well-being. So, let's talk about the benefits of taking that bath, and then, different kinds of baths.
TARA: Okay. Well, hi, Pam. It's great to be here.
You know, baths are really amazing and, of course, they date back to ancient times. One of the very important benefits of a bath is not only the thermal therapy—that means when you're in the warm or the hot water, you're getting the benefit of that heat and moving circulation and releasing tension in the muscles and alleviating aches and pains and so on from the thermal therapy or the heat therapy, but another really incredible thing is that when you're soaking in water, because of the anti-gravity effect—that's, hopefully, if you have a big enough tub—you're able to benefit from relief of pressure from gravity. So, that means that the hydrostatic pressure is really good for the internal organs and it just takes stress and tension off of your vital organ function.
PAM: Well, you know, this is such a great bit of information because one of the things we're trying to figure out, too, is the science behind this. So, you probably saw that recent study that was done in men and, I assume we can extrapolate to women, and that when they're in the sauna, that they can actually reduce their heart risk by taking sauna on a routine basis. Again this also goes back to early research that actually showed that when you had that increased heat, especially from water--and we were talking about moist heat-- being very, very effective, you speed up biochemical reactions in the human body including metabolism of blood sugar, for instance. So, no wonder the health baths, as it were, have been so integral to the spa industry for so long.
So, let's talk about the different kinds of baths. Good grief! We have a whole list of them here. What is this Apple Cider Vinegar Bath? How does that work?
TARA: Well, apple cider vinegar is actually pH balancing, so it's really like an acid. It has that kind of consistency. It contains alphahydroxy acids and so on, but what it does is it helps to balance the pH of the skin. So, it's actually a really good one for itchy skin and sunburned conditions and, you know, it does help to relieve sore muscles, to some degree. It's also antiseptic, too.
PAM: Alright. Oh, my gosh. So, it's a great one for your skin. It's antiseptic. Also deodorizing and it's pH modulator. So, that's great.
Now, here's one I do all the time: the Athlete's Bath. Oh, boy. Look at all the great things that go into this one: bay leaves, Epsom salts, eucalyptus. So, why is this so good?
TARA: Well, Epsom salts are really popular for after sport activities because the magnesium content in the Epsom salts is really good as an anti-spasmodic. So it's really good, especially if you've been really active and had a really hard work-out or you've been hiking all day or skiing or something like that. But, when you combine Epsom salts or other mineral salts with different herbs like eucalyptus and ginger and juniper berries, these are all really great botanicals for muscles and joints. Eucalyptus is warming to the muscles and it's also used for rheumatism and arthritis. Ginger, for example, boosts the circulation and helps to neutralize toxins in the system. Juniper is the classic detoxifier and also is an anti-inflammatory. So, those are really good examples of great botanicals to add into the bath for sports recovery.
PAM: Oh, wow. Okay. Well, you know, it's cold and flu season, so there's even a cold and flu bath. What's that about?
TARA: Yes. Well, for colds and flu, I really think we need to think immune boosting and some of the herbs that we might use for immune boosting are, again, ginger is just a great herb to be using. You can get ginger at the supermarket and actually one of the great things I like to do with any of these baths is, you actually can chop up the ginger root or slice it and boil it in some water on your stove and then take that tea water and then pour it into your bath.
You know, with any of the herbs and botanicals we're talking about, you can actually boil them in water on the stove and then pour them into the bath. There'll will be concentrated and then they'll go into your bath water that way instead of just putting the raw herbs right into your bath water, it's like you're cooking them and breaking them down and getting more benefit from them.
PAM: Alright. Well, I have oatmeal in the morning for breakfast, but there's an Oatmeal Bath, too. So, tell us about that.
TARA: Yes. Well, I actually love an oatmeal bath. I've actually created signature baths for several resorts using oatmeal, milk powder and even coconut. Oatmeal is great because it sooths irritated skin and it also hydrates the skin. So, for people that are suffering from dry, itchiness, and oatmeal bath is a great thing to do. You can combine it with milk. Use whole milk because whole milk is fatty. You don't want to use 1% milk for this. You definitely want whole milk, very rich milk with the fat content and the oatmeal and it makes a beautiful bath that's softening to the skin and it's good for irritation or sensitive sin.
PAM: Oh, my gosh. That's been one of my "go to" baths forever and a day. Then, you know, so many of us out there have dry skin and we've been in the indoors and the heat is on and whatever. So, with dry skin there are herbs that can give us a soothing, lubricating effect. Tell us about that.
TARA: Yes. Actually, my recommendation would be to take the oatmeal and then use some of the herbs such as calendula flowers. You can find it in the health food stores. Sometimes, you can find it dried and you can combine that with chamomile or comfrey and these are available in health food stores that have an herbal tea section.
Again, you can cook them up in water in a pot and then take that tea water and mix it into the bath with the oatmeal. The other thing is, you could take a little pouch or you could take a sock, a clean sock, and you can put the oatmeal and the herbs and then let that be your tea pouch for your bath water.
PAM: Oh, now. That's brilliant. I love the idea of the sock. Lord knows, I have enough of those sitting around.
And, I love that.
Then, that just bring us to the Relaxing Bath which is, you know, taking the edge off a stressful day with these calming botanicals. Again, there we see some of the same wonderful jasmine flowers, lavender flowers and my all- time favorite. I'm sorry. I'm a rosebud girl. So, I see this in the Relaxing Bath. I see it in the dry skin and that's something that just smelling it reduces so much of my tension and stress and back and forth.
So, I want everyone to really appreciate what Tara has said. She's the president of Tara Spa Therapy. Her website is TaraSpa.com. There you're going to be able to learn a lot more about the science and the application of so much of what we talked about today which is how to calm your body and mind by using healing baths. Bet you didn't know you could do that!
Tara, once again, thank you for being on HER Radio. We so appreciate your being here.
I'm Dr. Pam Peeke with Michele King Robson.Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.Stay well.