Excerpt from, Oasis: A Spa for Body and Soul reprinted with permission. Copyright 2007 by Eva Marie Everson. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Tell my granddaughter that it’s time to take a bath and she jumps up from whatever she may be doing, runs down the hall, and begins stripping out of her clothes. Bath time is fun time! Warm water cascades from the faucet and—with the help of some bubble bath—a river of soapy froth is formed. Her colorful alphabet bath toys (still there from a previous bath) float almost joyfully, anticipating the little cutie who will slip into the water and play for the better part of the next half-hour, forming the words she’s recently learned at school, and placing them on the tile beside her.
Bathing, in our American culture, is a daily ritual; designed to wash away the day’s dirt and body odor. Unbeknownst to us, we’re also scrubbing away dead skin cells. Sometimes, however, a bath or shower is for the purpose of relaxation or mental renewal. “All I want to do is take a hot shower and go to bed,” isn’t usually said because we’re dirty, but because we’re tired or in need of stress relief.
Modern bathrooms are often completed with both shower and tub, the latter more modern, lined with jets for pulsating water toward tense muscles. But this has not always been the case. Historically the bath was not as we know it today. For example, we know from Exodus 2:5 that Pharaoh’s daughter went “down to the river” to bathe. (Aren’t you shy ladies glad you weren’t a part of those times?)
Many times, bathing for God’s people in Ancient Middle East, was for the purpose of becoming ceremonially clean. Romans installed lavish “public baths” where citizens could exercise, bathe, and socialize. There was a time when Europeans “feared” the bath, with both nobility and commoners rarely washing but rather applying talcum powder. (Glad I didn’t live back then, either!)
Today we have entire stores dedicated to the “art of bathing” where one can buy bath oils, gels, salts, bubble baths, and specialty soaps (made with extracts such as herbal, fruit and vegetable oils—canola, palm, olive, coconut, etc.), Vitamins E & C, etc. They come in a variety of scents designed to relax, stimulate, or even put you in a romantic mood. Consumers can choose to leave their bath smelling like flowers or fruit and just about everything in between.
Turning Your Bath Into A Personal Spa
Very few of us can afford to go to a spa on a daily basis, and you don’t have to! Your own bathroom can become a personal oasis for you by following a few simple steps:
- Turn off distractions. Unplug the phone. Shut the door. (If you are a mother with small children, certainly do not do this unless you have another adult or older child in charge of the little ones.)
- Light a few candles. You don’t have to invest your life’s savings, either. Head down to your favorite “dollar store” and grab a few scented candles for a dollar each. They smell wonderful and burn for a long time.
- Add some music. (But please don’t put a radio, etc. near your bath water. Please!) Be sure you don’t bring down the house, either. Something soothing and uplifting, playing quietly in the background is best.
- If you are showering, take your time. If you can, purchase a massage head for your shower. If not, begin with a nice warm spray and, when you are done with your shower, turn the water to cool for the final rinse. You’ll feel wonderful!
- If you are relaxing in the tub, grab a book or magazine and an inflatable pillow. Try not to go to sleep!
Products not to overlook: skin towels, sponges, bath gloves, bath pillows, body brushes, body buffers, loofa sponges.