Here’s How People Use Bathing as a Form of Self-Care in 5 Different Countries
Bathing is a practice that is revered across both centuries and cultures. And for good reason: baths provide myriad benefits for our minds and bodies, bringing profound tranquility and calm to the spirits that help us unwind and recover from the challenges of everyday life. As Dr. Barbara Kubicka tells Stylist, “Baths are not only cleansing but also relax our muscles, detox our body and calm our mind.”
In the United States, our culture surrounding work and our long workdays make it common to view baths as a luxury reserved for a trip to the spa or a practice in which to indulge on days off. However, baths are a vital tool for improving our wellbeing — and as such, we believe they should be taken as regularly as possible. Our Pure Calm Wellness Bath & Body Oil Gift Set is one way we’ve tried to make it easier for our customers to make bathing a part of their daily ritual: once you experience the transformative and healing experience of a bath infused with soothing Ayurvedic oils followed by a luxurious self-massage, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
Many cultures around the world also view bathing as an essential practice for physical and mental wellbeing. Here’s a breakdown of bathing rituals in 5 different countries — let them inspire you to jump into the bath and give your body (and mind) the care and love it deserves.
Iceland is known for its gorgeous, crystal-clear hot springs and lagoons. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people also bathe in the geothermal pools of Iceland, where the fresh, mineral-rich water boosts circulation and promotes calm. A key feature of this bathing practice is the application of mud to the body, which can sometimes be extracted directly from the pools, to promote thorough exfoliation. As a result, the skin becomes baby-soft and silky smooth.
In Mexico, along with parts of Central America, the temazcal is a low heat sweat lodge that was first used by Indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica. A temazcal ceremony involves crawling into a smouldering rock-heated circular dome. In it, a shaman typically leads participants through songs, chants, and the sharing of goals and intentions. As the ritual takes place and the heat sets into the body, it encourages deep spiritual healing, motivation, and growth.
In India, and in Ayurveda more broadly, bathing is vital for maintaining the harmony between mind, body, spirit, and environment. The Ayurvedic bath involves soaking in purifying water that has been infused with healing essential oils (like our Pure Calm Wellness Bath Oil!) to promote spiritual and mental relaxation, stress relief, and muscle tension relief. The oils also offer the skin deep hydration and nutrients. Follow your bath up with a luxurious and indulgent self-massage for maximal soothing and healing results — and glowing skin to match.
In Korea, both modern and traditional bathhouses (jimjilbangs and mogyoktangs) offer an experience of bathing that is deeply social. In modern bathhouses, visitors can cycle through a variety of different settings, from saunas to jade rooms to ice pools to hot baths. Each setting provides different benefits for the mind and body, promoting tranquility and purifying detoxification. There are also often areas where you can eat (soy sauce-braised eggs and sweet rice drinks are common jimjilbang fare) and sleep. They often allow visitors to stay overnight, too, creating a truly communal experience of cleansing, resting, and revitalizing.
Bathhouses in Turkey are home to the traditional hammam bathing ritual, in which visitors can either spend the day relaxing in a steam room or getting a professional massage. In the center of the hammam, there is a hot stone slab where visitors can warm their bodies, enjoy tranquil relaxation, soap and cleanse their bodies, and practice self-massage, which all lead to deep purification and detoxification.