Types of Hydrotherapy- (1) Benefits of Warm Bath
How often do you take a bath? Bath can sound quite distant and intimidating as it can be more time consuming than a quick shower. However, consciously taking time out of the day for a warm bath can bring mental, physical, and emotional health benefits. Plus, bath is one of the hydrotherapies that can be implemented at home at your own convenience.
So, what are the health benefits of Warm Bath?
1. As commonly known, warm baths can improve sleep, which is crucial for healthy mind. By increasing core body temperature, warm baths strengthen and synchronize circadian rhythms (internal sleep-wake clock over 24-hour cycle), which affect all organs, including brain. If you need quality sleep, try taking a warm bath before bed.
2. Warm baths can regulate moods, alleviate anxiety, and improve depression by decreasing stress hormones and balancing serotonin levels. A bath can activate parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation. As the nervous system adjusts to the warm water, you begin to experience lowered level of stress. Serotonin, the feel-good chemical in your brain, is found to be released in response to increased body temperature. A study reported in New Scientist concluded that taking a regular afternoon bath was associated with a moderate but persistent lift in mood among people with depression.
3. Submerging in water can reduce muscle and joint pains. According to William Robiner, a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota's Medical School, says “hot water helps relax the muscles surrounding damaged nerves, disks, or vertebrae". "When the body's temperature is raised, the dilation of blood vessels increases blood to the muscles in those areas," he says, adding "flowing water in whirlpools and hot tubs can also mimic massage pressure," providing additional relief. If you have a lower back pain, try submerging yourself in warm water with some bath salts to gently relieve the spine pain and discomfort.
4. John Bargh, a psychology professor at Yale University, also found that people who bathed frequently felt better about themselves and less lonely, showing the connection between physical warmth and social warmth. He says “Research shows that heat on the skin opens a pathway in the brain - the same one that antidepressant medication opens up”
5. Other than all the benefits mentioned above, bathing can improve lung and heart health, boost immunity and metabolism, balance hormones, and of course, cleanse and moisturize your skin and hair.