The Past, The Present and The Future
The benefits are not limited to stress relief. There is a reason why the immersion of the body in water has been such an enduring practice over the annals of time. We all know of the Roman and the Greek bathhouses that existed solely for the purpose of bathing. It was then seen as a communal activity, where citizens could conduct business and socialize. Baths were seen as the key to maintaining good health.
Fast forward to the 21st century and recent studies have echoed those beliefs. One study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that diabetics who spent just half an hour in a hot tub could reduce their blood sugar levels by around 13 per cent - as the heat dilated their blood vessels, the blood-flow improved and the body made better with the use of its insulin, the hormone that converts blood sugar into energy. Another study in Japan claims that 10 minutes in a warm bath improved cardiovascular health in elderly men and women, helping them to cope better in exercise tests and reducing pain.
You can't create a mood without music. To get into the relaxed frame of mind, it is best to stick to soothing instrumental music, such as the western classics or our own Sitar aficionados. You can also take a novel or magazine that you have been wanting to read but just not had the time, to the bath with you.
The most important thing to remember is that those 20 30 minutes are for you and you only. In the end, whether you emerge relaxed or not is up to you. You have to embrace this bit of relief from stress just as the warm water and all its ingredients embrace you when you settle in. You know best what tone to set to help you unwind. Choose the right ingredients and the right setting, and meet them halfway.