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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Powerful Health Benefits of Taking a Bath

Head pounding from sinus pressure brought on by seasonal allergies? Muscles aching from a stressful week at work? Having trouble getting to sleep at night? You might think that these seemingly non-related minor health issues wouldn’t have anything in common, except you would be wrong.

Turns out one very simple and often overlooked activity could be the key to fixing them . . . taking a bath.

Alleviates Muscle Aches
Lower back and neck pain are all too often realities for people living in the digital age, many of whom spend day in and day out sitting at a desk working on a computer, practicing poor posture habits and barely getting enough stretching or exercising in each week. Baths provide a unique opportunity for muscles to be swathed in warm water, helping to reduce inflammation, boost blood circulation, and mitigate the pain signals being sent back to the brain.

Similar to applying a heat pad to a sore back, lying in warm bath water can alleviate dull aches and muscle tension, and potentially prevent you from having to take over the counter pain medicine. Arthritic joints that experience stiffness, inflammation, and pain can also receive relief both in and out of the bath. Some hydrotherapies involve lying in a cool bath, or ice bath, and when a person then transitions into a warm bath, blood flow rushes back through vessels and arteries flushing out lactic acid and built-up waste byproducts, and delivering fresh oxygen and nutrients to fight inflammation and aid tissue repair.

Improves Sinus Pressure
Pressure, pain, and headaches symptomatic of sinus inflammation can be debilitating, making it hard to carry on with even the simplest daily tasks. The cheekbones, forehead, and bridge of the nose may ache from a sinus infection, seasonal allergies, a cold, the flu, and so on. What causes that pain? Most often, sinus pressure results from inflammation of the lining of the nasal passageways as well as potential buildup of mucus and other gunk in the nasal cavities that result in a blockage.

The steam from a hot bath can provide temporary relief of some sinus pressure by opening up nasal passageways and eliminating some of the blockage. Nasal tissue inflamed from constant sneezing and blowing of the nose can also benefit from relaxing steam from a bath, especially when the water is enhanced with essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus. Scientists have also found that elevated body temperatures (like with a fever or taking a bath) actually stimulate a more powerful immune response in the body which can potentially help you stave off infections.

Nourishes and Hydrates Skin
Did you know that an estimated 500 million skin cells will die off on the surface of your body every single day? While many fall off and become dust on your shelves and windowsills, millions remain building up, clogging pores, and making the appearance of your skin seem dull or rough. Taking a warm bath after exfoliating your skin can do wonders from scrubbing away built-up dead skin cells to improving tone, texture, and pore size. Experts recommend first showering and exfoliating with a cloth, gloves, or brush like a back scrubber - for back scrubbers, click this URL.

This washes off dead and damaged skin cells, oils, lotions, and any other potential contaminants that were on your skin. Following this routine with a warm bath then helps to rehydrate your skin, which is technically the largest organ on your body. The heat of the water raises both your temperature, which may cause you to sweat, your body’s natural cleansing process, as well as your heart rate, stimulating lymphatic flow and blood circulation.

Promotes Healthy Sleep
The combination of pain relief, cleansing, and stress relief a bath brings is in itself a recipe for better sleep at night, however, there is a unique way a warm bath also aids this process. The body naturally enters a cool down period when it is time to sleep, helping you relax and enter a deep unconsciousness where system functions start to repair, from the brain to your muscles.

When you exit a warm bath into naturally cooler air, especially right before bedtime, melatonin release is triggered in the body, a hormone which is responsible for helping you fall asleep. Bathing by candlelight, listening to calming music, and avoiding looking at digital devices prior to bed may help you fall asleep faster and even get better quality sleep.

This is a guest blog entry.

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