When soaking in the tub on a wintry evening, it’s easy to understand why author Sylvia Plath once wisely said, ‘there must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them’.
The perfect antidote to a heavy-duty day, bathing has been an important cleansing ritual for many cultures dating as far back as the third century. The Greeks viewed bathing as an act one simply did before conducting business, while Egyptian baths were known as temples to heal and beautify.
Fast forward to present day and the medicinal powers of bathing are widely acknowledged – from luxury mini-breaks where we relax in bubbling hot tubs and unwind in free-standing baths to giving birth in special pools where the calming effect of water can help to ease the pain of labour. Yet on a day-to-day basis, we’re overlooking the advantages that the not-so-humble bath can provide.
Market research from Mintel reports that a daily shower is becoming increasingly popular as we move away from time-consuming bathing, despite its relaxing appeal. But while taking a shower may seem like a fail-safe way to make more time for yourself, running a bath provides meditative moments that are so desperately needed to contend with the stressful and fast-paced world we live in.
Check out our gallery for some bath-time inspiration…
Read 5 ways to feel more balanced, every day by Eminé Ali Rushton on LifeLabs
Photograph: Markku Lahdesmaki/CORBIS