I love to take baths, everyone loves bathing. From bubble baths, to hot springs, to jacuzzi, to whirlpool tubs, to mineral baths, to mud baths, to hot and cold baths, to herbal baths, darn, there is something for everyone.
Can’t find a bath type you like? Well create your own then. Mix some bath salts and herbs and see what happens.
Bathing is one of the most relaxing endeavors. And in many cases it has remarkable therapeutic results.
Just dig into history and you will find stories of bathing and the benefits associated with it going back thousands of years, The Romans were famous for their community baths. The city of Bath, England, where the Roman baths were located, now draws over one million visitors a year.
What does bathing do besides relax you?
There are some aspects of bathing that may not be familiar and I want to discuss them because of their tremendous value. There are three types of baths that can have a profound affect on your health and well being:
The Friction Sitz Bath, the Epsom Salt Bath, and the Himalayan Salt Bath.
I am sure you are familiar with Epsom Salt bathing and may have even heard of Himalayan Salt baths. But chances are you have never heard of a Friction Sitz Bath (not to be confused with a Sitz Bath) A Sitz Bath and a Friction Sitz Bath are completely different from each other.
The sitz bath cleanses and aids in reducing inflammation of the perineal and anal areas. It is for patients who have undergone rectal or vaginal surgery or childbirth. The sitz bath also relieves discomfort from hemorrhoids or fissures. Typically the water is warm.
A typical sitz bath has someone exposed to warm water, and less commonly, ice cold water, which covers their anal area up to their thighs and lower back. The next picture shows what it may look like.
Friction Sitz Bath
A Friction Sitz Bath, on the other hand, is applied differently and serves much different purposes.
The area of treatment is similar. The water temperature is typically 60 degrees, not warm and not ice cold, as in a sitz bath.
With the Friction Sitz Bath a rubbing action is used and a follow up treatment is applied and a special diet can become part of the treatment.
The results obtained from a Friction Sitz Bath are remarkable. This is not to say that a sitz bath does not work, they both work well but have different objectives.
The inventor and promoter of the Friction Sitz Bath was Louis Kuhne. He was a German naturopathic practitioner, who helped his patients by using the bath and other methods. He lived from 1835 – 1901.
His use of the bath and the theory he proposed that explained why it worked suggests that any type of illness is the result of waste matter/toxins that build up in the body and eventually lead to the slowdown and malfunction of the body organs.
He was a strict believer in a vegetarian diet and the non use of salt and sugar. Proper eating meant healthy bowel movements and this, according to Louis Kuhne, is what leads to improved health. We addressed these issues earlier and mentioned how important they are to our health and well being.
Louis Kuhne referred to his theory as the “Unity of Disease”. This means that all health abnormalities have a central point of origin, the buildup of waste matter.
Even heart, lung and digestive problems relate to this buildup. He is considered the father of the Detox Bath. His health clinic in Leipzig Germany, created in 1883, successfully treated thousands of patients for over three decades.
His own illnesses led to his discovery of the Friction Sitz Bath. He was able to treat himself using a healthy diet and detoxifying baths.
His observations suggested that all disease is a result of accumulation of morbid matter over a long period of time. He noted that poor digestion was the cause of all ailments.
Poor digestion occurred when improper foods were consumed and waste matter built up in the system. So by changing his patients diets and by using baths and other means, he achieved a very high rate of success. Most of the people he treated came as a last resort, ready to die, yet left his clinic cured.
Kuhne believed that this waste matter pushes outward and upward to areas where it can no longer be eliminated and consequently causes organ disease. The baths were used to push the morbid matter out of the body by allowing it to enter the intestines from where it could be evacuated.
It is not hard to imagine how this method would be of great benefit. When waste matter builds up, we saw this before when we looked at colon issues, the body can no longer absorb nutrients and cannot perform normal digestive function.
The science behind the Friction Sitz Bath is of interest. When you understand how it works you will have more faith in its use. The best way to get a more complete picture is to read what Luis Kuhne had to say about how it should be done and why it works. First a summary of what it does:
According to Kuhne, internal body heat, generated by movement, digestion, stress or shock, pushes excess fat and toxins out to the body’s periphery where they deposit and can no longer be eliminated.
The working principle for the bath is to cool down the core area of the body, the groin and genitals, using cold water for ten to sixty minutes daily, or at least 4 times a week (depending on your initial condition and the results you seek to achieve).
This action provokes a vibration in the fascia, (inter connective tissue covering all internal organs) which produces a roll back effect driving excess fat and toxins back into the intestines, where they are eliminated. Friction is added by gentle rubbing with a wash cloth. This method is still known today and used by holistic practitioners.
Here is Kuhne’s very detailed description. He first refers to women, then explains how it can be used for men. Well worth reading:
The Friction Sitting-bath:
This is taken by women in the following manner:
- In the hip-bath the patient lies in water up to the thighs; whereas a special feature of the friction sitting-bath is, that she sits high and dry so as not to touch the water with her body.
- To this end, a foot-stool or the board seat constructed by me is put into the same tub, in which the hip-baths are taken, and the tub filled with water, so as not to rise quite to the upper edge of the stool or board seat, the seat thus remaining dry.
- The bather then sits down upon this perfectly dry seat, dips a coarse linen cloth (jute or a rough towel) into the water beneath, and then begins gently to wash the genitals, always bringing up as much water as possible with the cloth.
- I lay stress on the fact, that only the outer part, and never the inner parts, of the genitals are to be washed, and not by roughly rubbing backwards and forwards, but by gently laving them with as much water as can be brought up.
- The water for these baths is always taken as cold as Nature gives it (50 ° to 60 ° Fahr.), though in special cases a somewhat milder temperature, up to 66° Fahr., may be taken.
- The colder the water is during the friction sitting-baths, the more effective they are. But never take the water colder than the bather’s hands can bear it.
- In the tropics and hot countries it will not be possible to take as cold water as we do; let it simply be taken as cold as it is to be had, for the relation of the water there to the temperature of the air will very nearly agree with that here, so that the effect will be the same in both cases.
- This opinion has been confirmed in every way by reports which I have received from tropical regions. Where no hip-bath tub is to be had, any wash-tub whatever can be employed for the friction sitting-baths, if it be only large enough for the reception of a stool or some other convenient seat, and contain at least from 30 to 40 gallons of water up to the edge of the seat.
- If too little water is taken for these baths, it soon grows warm, thus rendering the bath less effective. Soft water is preferable to fresh spring – water.
- Where only spring-water is obtainable, it is well to let it stand a while, taking care that it does not get too warm. In almost all superior families a similar process of washing, simply “for the sake of cleanliness, has long been known; although not with such cold water, or in the manner and length of time prescribed by me.
For men the arrangement as regards the vessel is the same, but in their case the outer edge, that is, the end, of the foreskin is to be washed under water.
The bather holds, most conveniently with the middle and forefinger, or the thumb and forefinger, of the left hand the foreskin drawn over the tip of the glans penis, so that the latter is quite covered, and then gently and continually washes the extreme end or edge of the foreskin so drawn down, under the cold water, with a jute or linen cloth of the size of a handkerchief, held under water in the right hand.
This bath, too, is so simple, that I cannot conceive why it is so often wrongly applied, in spite of the most careful description. In most cases the washing is wrongly performed above water, the cloth being merely dipped in; whereas the washing should be done continuously under water.
In other cases the person in question had taken hold of the penis properly, and held the end well under water; but then, instead of washing the tip-end of the foreskin under water, he had bathed the whole penis from the left hand up towards the body.
When improperly applied, the friction sitting-baths cannot have the effect otherwise peculiar to them; consequently I counsel all those who are not quite sure about taking them properly, to have the same explained to them by an expert, or to consult me, rather than waste time and trouble.
The duration of the baths, according to age and strength, is from 10 to 60 minutes.
In the case of patients having inflamed or gangrenous places in the interior of the body, the inner inflammation is very soon attracted downwards, frequently after the very first bath, and then reappears in the spot rubbed or in its immediate neighborhood.
In every case it is a favorable symptom, which should not deter any one from continuing the baths. It may appear inexplicable to many, that just this part of the body, and not some other, is chosen as the place for applying these baths.
The reason is very simple. The effect of the friction sitting-baths is a double one; firstly, purely mechanical, as thereby the interior of the body, in which in all forms of disease excessive heat is generated, is normally cooled in a manner peculiar to these baths and hitherto unknown, without needlessly chilling the rest of the body, so
that during each friction sitting – bath a peculiar warmth is generated in the exterior skin, which latter is too cold, especially in all chronic diseases.
Through this effect, peculiar both to the friction sitting-bath and to my hip-bath, the abnormal temperature of the body induced by disease is rendered normal, that is, all further fermentation of the foreign matter in the system is prevented. For, as I have said before, all fermentation is prevented or forced to retire by this cooling process.
Secondly, by means of the friction sitting-baths the nervous system, and thus the vital powers of the entire body, are strengthened in a manner hitherto unexampled.
At no other point in the body is there a junction of so many important nerve-extremities as in the one which just indicated. These are, in particular, the branches of many spinal nerves, and of the nervus sympathicus, which are the principal nerves of the abdomen, and through their connection with the brain are capable of exerting an influence on the entire nervous system.
In a later work I shall speak in greater detail on “the essence of life”, and many will obtain thus a clearer notion concerning the reasons for the influence exerted by the friction sitting-baths.
It is only at the genitals that the entire nervous system of the human frame can be influenced. Here is, in a sense, the root of the whole tree of life. By washing in cold water a marked invigoration of the nerves takes place, or, in other words, the vital powers of the whole body, down to the minutest part, are thus stimulated.
Exceptions occur only where the nerve-connection is interrupted. After this explanation it will be plain to all, how it is that I successfully treat diseases of the eyes and ears with the same remedy, with which in other cases I cure scarlet fever, smallpox, cholera, etc. The vital powers of the entire body are stimulated, and at the same time there is no possibility of one member’s being more excited than another unless, as said above, the nerve-connection is interrupted.
How heightened vital power manifests itself is, however, quite unknown to most people; for its tokens are often external phenomena, which are utterly opposed to the patient’s expectations.
If for instance smokers can no longer bear their cigars after the baths, they are inclined to think that their stomachs are weakened, whereas just the contrary is the case. Before, their stomachs had not strength enough left to offer effectual resistance to the poisonous nicotine, while now they have regained vigor enough to do so. And many like cases.
Wherever the nerves are still – capable of being strengthened by these baths, the system recovers the power of expelling the foreign matter gradually collected in it through the natural organs of secretion.
Yet no one should suppose that this remedy will infallibly cure every patient; as I have observed before, I can cure all diseases with the same, but by no means all cases.
For where the vital powers of the body are already broken down, and individual organs in great part destroyed, this remedy can, it is true, afford relief and alleviate pain as no other can, but a complete cure is impossible.
I think that no one can name any other part of the body whence the entire organism can be influenced in the same manner. Just as nobody can alter the fact that all life proceeds from the reciprocal action of the sun, air, and water, neither can the above arrangement be altered at all.
The sun influences our whole earth in one and the same manner, yet the outward manifestation of this influence differs in every climate. Where its operation is most intense (in the tropics) the development of life is most abundant and diversified, while in the North vegetable and animal life grow rarer as we advance.
In like manner, the operation of the friction sitting baths differs with the constitution of individuals and their actual stock of vital power, which differ considerably. But they are the best means known to me for effecting a lasting animation and invigoration of the entire organism.” (Louis Kuhne)
Well, after reading that I feel intimidated to follow with a discussion on Epson Salts Baths. It’s like the Eagle just flew overhead and now I want to talk about Sparrows.
But Epsom Salt baths have remarkable powers and there is a special version that should be looked at. I found out about it when studying Edgar Cayce’s works. He was the famed healer and psychic. A good friend was suffering from severe arthritis and I wanted to help.
First let’s look at Epsom Salts Baths as they are routinely used and what affect they can have on our health and well being.
Epsom Salts Baths
Epsom salt is a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. It has a wide variety of uses: healer, beauty treatment, household cleaner and gardening product.
What makes it so appealing as a health product is the ease with which the magnesium and sulfate are absorbed through the skin. Many of us are deficient in these minerals and this deficiency can cause constipation.
However, you should not look to Epsom Salt bathing as a way to supplement your diet or cure constipation.
Magnesium helps regulate the activity of over 325 body enzymes, it reduces inflammation, helps muscles and nerves function and can help prevent hardening of the arteries. Sulfates improve mineral absorption, flushes out toxins and can even ease headaches.
Magnesium has long been known for its stress and relaxation properties but it has much more far reaching benefits. Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline.
When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.
Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Experts believe that bathing with Epsom salt at least three times a week helps you look better, feel better, and gain more energy.
Magnesium ions also relax and reduce irritability by lowering the effects of adrenaline. They create a relaxed feeling, improve sleep and concentration, and help muscles and nerves to function properly.
I want to focus on the ability of Epsom salt baths to eliminate toxins from the body. Edgar Cayce, the famed healer and psychic, spoke about this but you may not be aware of how to go about achieving this result.
The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
Your skin is a highly porous membrane and adding the right minerals to your bathwater triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls salt out of your body, and harmful toxins along with it.
The typical approach is to sit in a warm or hot tub and add 1-2 cups of Epsom salts and relax for 30-60 minutes. This method helps, but a much more stronger approach should be taken in order to gain the full advantage of this beneficial product.
The Edgar Cayce data base is packed with many useful health recommendations and as a member of their organization I want to share what Mr. Cayce says:
Epsom salts baths were often recommended for persons suffering from muscular and joint conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis. Although the therapeutic suggestions sometimes varied for individuals depending upon the severity of the condition, here are some general guidelines for using Epsom salts baths.
In many cases (especially arthritis), Epsom salts baths are to be taken after a series of Atomidine (An Iodine based product that can still be purchased today).
How to Take an Epsom Salts Bath:
- Use at least five pounds of Epsom salts for a modern tub (about twenty gallons) or eight to ten pounds for an old-fashioned tub of water, which generally holds about thirty gallons of water.
- Be sure to stir the salts thoroughly so they do not remain in a lump at the bottom.
- Start with six to eight inches of water in the tub at about 101-102 degrees. Be sure to use your thermometer. Gradually work up to 106 degrees. Gradually add hot water as you immerse yourself so that you keep the temperature even, and progressively raise the temperature to 106 or 108 degrees by adding fresh, hot water until the bath is deep enough to cover your back; then soak. If you are trying to relieve chronic pain, eventually, as you take the baths over a period of time, you may be able to get the water temperature up to 110-112 degrees.
- To relieve pain, you should remain in the tub ten or twelve minutes to start, and gradually increase to twenty minutes.
- Massage body (especially affected parts) with Epsom Salts solution while body is in bath.
- An ice bag or cold washcloth or sponge to the forehead or back of neck will help you bear the heat.
DON’T OVERDO – EASY DOES IT. This is a particularly good therapy for stiff joints, muscular pain, arthritis, and rheumatism; for increasing the metabolism and the work of the heart; and for raising body temperature and relieving pain.
CAUTION: Epsom salt baths are contraindicated in cardiovascular or high blood pressure conditions. Ask your doctor, in such a case, whether you may take the bath.
CAUTION: When taking hot baths of all kinds, be sure to have someone nearby in case you are overcome by dizziness or faintness. It is also best to set a timer for accuracy, for your sense of time may not be accurate.”
Remember to drink water while taking the bath, as you will be sweating a lot.
This approach places the emphasis on arthritis and rheumatism but I have found that it is great way to jump start a cleaning process, where you are able to leach harmful waste matter from your system.
The Friction Sitz Bath has this as its primary goal and the Epsom Salt Baths, with the very large amount of salt recommended by Cayce, can help achieve this as well.
The Epsom Salt baths will leave your skin looking so beautiful. It will get rid of dry and wrinkled looking skin and heal many skin conditions.
The Himalayan Salt Baths have many benefits and discussing them is a great way to complete this article on detox bathing.
Himalayan Salt Baths
Their popularity has soared as many celebrities taut their health and beauty benefits. There are literally thousands of testimonials online praising results when used in solution (taken orally) and as a therapeutic salt water bath. The focus here is on their bath use.
According to lab tests using Spectrum Analysis they contain 84 minerals. I have not seen the actual lab results but it is not unreasonable to reach this conclusion since salt that is mined once had a connection with an ocean. Yes it does contain some lead and cadmium and perhaps some other unwanted minerals but the amount is too small to be of concern. You get more lead in your body when you touch a drop of gasoline at the gas pump than 1000 baths with Himalayan Salt.
Salt that contains minerals has two primary benefits: mineral supplementation through skin absorption and toxin leaching through capillary action that the salt creates.
We know from cooking how soaking chicken, for example, in a brine solution draws the blood and other non essential ingredients out, so the final cooked product is better tasting. The Israelis have arguably the best tasting chicken I and others have consumed, and when asked how they get such good results, they say it is the brine soaking.
Himalayan Bath Salts are a product mined in Pakistan. The name is somewhat misleading as it implies the Himalayan Mountains, which are typically associated with Nepal.
Pakistan is part of the Himalayan chain so the name is appropriate. An ancient ocean dried up and left behind a vast underground network of mineral rich salt. Virtually every food store now carries Himalayan Salt. Most health food stores have quality product in large containers for bathing. Amazon has it as well.
How to Take a Himalayan Salt Bath
For best results experts suggest this to be the correct way to take a Himalayan Salt bath.
Preparation before bath for greater detoxification:
- Dry Brushing before hand loosens dead skin cells, increases circulation and opens pores to intensify detoxification
- The correct concentration of salt is critical to maintain 1% solution (about 500g (1.1 pounds) per 27-32 gallons of water in a full, average sized bathtub)
- Light a candle: combining energies like fire, water, earth and air can be spiritually cleansing
- Drinking a glass of water is helpful in releasing toxins during the bath and is used to replace lost moisture. You will sweat Instructions 1. Shower first, to avoid using bath additives like soap, shampoo, conditioner or shaving cream in your Salt Bath 2. Fill tub with about 3 inches of hot water
Instructions to take a Himalayan Salt bath:
- Add Himalayan Crystal Salt and stir until dissolved
- Finish filling the tub with very warm, but not hot water (about 37° Celsius – 98.6 Fahrenheit)
- Submerge as much of your body as possible and soak for at least 20-30 minutes
- Sip your glass of water until finished
- Don’t rinse off
- Allow skin to air dry or gently pat dry
- Skip the moisturizer – Let your skin breathe
- Rinse tub
- Rest for 30 minutes
The salt bath water will remain at a constant temperature if a true, 1% solution is used. The biophysical composition of the salt solution is so strong, that it actually causes the molecules to move in a constant rhythm. When this happens, organ functions begin to resonate with the rhythm, activating the body’s self healing powers.
The temperature and ionic makeup of the brine bath is comparable to that of the amniotic fluid in the prenatal state, providing warmth, comfort and safety. This is often the same reason why we’re so drawn to the ocean. The negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase serotonin, alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost energy.
Results that one can expect from the bath:
- Allows mush needed minerals to be absorbed through the skin.
- Reduces acidity and inflammation in your body and balances the pH of your skin.
- Produces spiritual and mental balance, lightens depression and negativity, regulates sleep, relieves stress and restores all around harmony.
- Helps reduce inflammation of sprains, strains of muscles and joints, relieves pain and soreness from broken bones, arthritis and rheumatism, osteoarthritis, tendinitis.
- Stimulates circulation, promotes cellular regeneration and moisture retention in dry, irritated skin. Helps heal various skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, allergic and recurrent infections, insect bites, blisters and provides relief from poison ivy, oak or sumac.
The Himalayan Salt Bath and the Epsom Salt Bath can greatly enhance your sleep patterns and detoxify your body. Their relaxing and calming attributes will help you get to sleep faster and you will have a sounder nights rest.
While cleansing it is important to take proper detoxifying baths that help to reduce inflammation, sweat out heavy metals and other pollutants, as well as provide relaxation and a calming experience.