At More Than Skin, we see acts of self-care as a source of strength. Bathing is the most beautiful example of this.
Through the lens of self-care, bathing is more than just ‘getting clean’. Physically, bathing can soothe muscle tension, support immunity and balance your hormones. Being submerged in warm water calms the nervous system, and reduces stress and anxiety in the body. Emotionally, the healing power of water allows us to wash off any negative energy from the day. It’s a chance to escape, reflect and simply be. The ultimate moment of stillness.
Cultures around the world have long believed in the healing benefits of water, and bathing is rooted in ritual, tradition and respect for self and nature. In Japan, bathing is believed to be just as important as eating and sleeping. Japanese onsen, or hot springs, are visited frequently to cleanse body, mind and spirit. Hungary has the most natural thermal springs in the world - their spa and bathing culture dating back to ancient Roman times. In Finland, bathing practices extend to steam baths and saunas, so much so that saunas are almost equal to their population.
Here in New Zealand, we don’t have societal or cultural practices based around bathing. But taking a bath from the privacy of your own home easily be turned into an artform and a moment of self-care. The secret is to consider bath time as starting in the preparation, well before you lower your body into the deliciously warm water. Engage all your senses as you set the stage for a calming environment, clear the bathroom of visual clutter, incorporate candles and essential oils with botanicals like lavender, rose or chamomile. Dim the lights, consider the soundscape - will you bathe in blissfully serene silence or to tranquil tunes? And lastly, choose an intention; whether it’s to release, rebalance or rejuvenate. Hold that vision and allow the healing power of water to bring it to fruition. The art of bathing — a moment of calm.