Water is a fundamental part of our lives. It’s something we are drawn to, and it can be a source of tremendous self-care. Most of us have a bath or shower every day; it is part of what we do and who we are. It is the way we refresh ourselves and recharge. Water therapy is a simple and effective means of nurturing ourselves we can plan to indulge in. Water therapy happens near the ocean, but it can also happen at home.
Think about the last time you went on a holiday to the beach and how good it felt to walk barefoot along the sand see my blog post on earthing, (create hyperlink) feel the waves wash over your feet, feeling the sun and wind in your hair. Surprisingly, there is very little research into the benefits of being by the ocean. However current ideas suggest that we spend so much time in urban environments where our view is cluttered by buildings that we crave a space where we can look right out at a distance over the ocean and into the horizon to clear our brain. The wonderful noise of the ocean, the swish of the waves has a rhythmic therapeutic effect on our hearing, especially when compared to the abrupt urban noises such as loud music, jack hammers and traffic. The air coming off the ocean is moist and clean, clearing out the smog and toxins through our lungs.
Other forms of water therapy
What should you do if you can’t get to the beach? The ocean isn’t the only form of water therapy, taking a bath can be a really effective way of relaxing, taking yourself into mindfulness and managing your health at the same time. Here are some simple additions to your bathing routine that can change bath time from personal hygiene time to therapy time.
The thing I love about bathing therapy is that it is a therapy you can access every day if you need to. It is/should be a private space to really de-stress. If you are rushed, then the therapeutic benefits of the bath will not be fully realised. This means choosing a time when you will not be interrupted. If you want to give yourself something to focus on think about listening to some soothing music while having a bath to help you relax and take yourself into mindfulness and calmness. Remember the calming effect of the sound of ocean waves is what you are trying to reproduce. If you really struggle to relax and empty your mind, a good book can be very effective way to take yourself right out of your present stressors. Start the bath hotter than you would like especially if you have a ceramic bath as it chills the water quickly. You can always add cold to the bath, it is harder to heat the bath up without having to let some water out. Add a source of magnesium to your bath water as this will absorb through your skin. Due to the over-farming of vegetables and fruits, commercially bought produce is lacking in this mineral and it is essential for good health. Essential oils have the most wonderful effect of producing relaxation. Before adding essential oils to the bath, always do a skin patch test first, especially if you have sensitive skin, just to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction. An alternative to adding the essential oils to the bath is to burn them in a diffuser or oil burner. If using candles be mindful of naked flames.
If you don’t have access to a bath, you can always indulge in some shower therapy. Create a warm bathroom and do some dry skin brushing. Dry skin brushing is a technique used to clear the lymph nodes and condition the skin. A natural brush is swept over the body following the lymphatic pathways towards the heart. You can burn essential oils and use therapeutic salt scrubs under the shower. If you want to give yourself a dose of magnesium you can finish your shower by rubbing yourself all over with magnesium oil.
Remember this is self-care
It is important to remember that when using water therapy – whether it is a bath or a shower – to work out the things you feel you need to make the experience a mindful and therapeutic one. Remember the ritual, time and space that goes into preparing the experience is often just as important as the experience itself.
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