BATHS FOR HEALING
© July 2014, The Writers Group
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
For millennia, people have used various kinds of baths to assist healing. A bath is basically partial or total immersion of the body in a medium such as water, steam, hot air, mud or even sound or light waves.
Water baths or water hydrotherapy. These are the most commonly used baths. Assuming one has good water to bathe in, water baths are comfortable, inexpensive and can be very helpful for some conditions and situations. Too much water is yin, however. Here are just a few that I have used successfully.
Warning: In general, I do not recommend taking baths more than two or three times weekly. The reasons are:
A) Baths are very yin in Chinese medical terms. As a result, taking more than a few baths per week will make the body too yin. This is definitely harmful, no matter how good a bath feels. A lamp sauna session is far better because it does not have this effect.
B) Most municipal water is not that clean and contains some toxic metals and toxic chemicals that you will absorb easily in a bath. Some water supplies are even contaminated with bacteria and parasites, another problems that is fortunately not as common in developed nations.
C) Be careful about overheating the body or becoming chilled in a bath, as neither are helpful, in most cases. Exceptions are discussed above, such as heating the body to fight a cold or other illness.
COMMON THERAPEUTIC BATHS
1. Genital bath for bladder and genital conditions. This is a partial bath that is very helpful for many vaginal and bladder infections, and perhaps for some problems involving the penis, as well. Essentially, it brings a lot of blood to the genital and bladder areas.
Preparation: Wearing just a shirt, sit on the side of the tub, facing into a bathtub. Alternatively, if you have a shower massager you could sit in the tub, either on the floor or on a plastic stool. Then use a washrag or shower massager to splash cold water on the genital area only for about ten minutes per session. Do not splash water on the entire abdomen. You can repeat this bath every two hours, if needed, for an acute problem.
Cautions: The water must be cold. If your cold water at your tub is not very cold, you could put some in a bucket and add ice to it, to cool it down further.
2. The ozone and peroxide bath. This is for STDs and all other infections, and it works very well. To do this bath, add between one and two cups of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide to a bath that just covers your legs. The bath should be quite hot and stay in it for at least 40 minutes. Usually, the genital area is not overly sensitive to the peroxide. Use as much hydrogen peroxide as you can without it becoming too irritating to the skin.
The peroxide alone is excellent. For even better results, add ozone. To do this, you must buy an ozone generator and run the tube from the generator into the bath. To get rid of STDs, put the end of the tube deep into the vagina for women, and next to the penis for men. Just relax for 40 minutes or so and allow the ozone and peroxide to do their germ-killing job. Then get out of the bath and do not rinse off. Just get dressed.
Cautions: Beware of the following with peroxide baths:
a) Too much peroxide will cause itching and burning of the skin. Just use less if this occurs. More is better, however, if you can tolerate it.
b) 35% hydrogen peroxide is extremely corrosive. It will bleach and burn through clothing in a matter of minutes, for example. Never let the concentrated product touch your eyes or skin, if possible. Preferably, measure it out with a glass measuring cup, rather than a plastic one. Always handle it with extreme care, and replace the cap on the container so it will not spill all over if it falls over.
c) Do not repeat the bath more than about 3 times weekly, as too many baths are too yin in macrobiotic terms.
d) To get rid of STDs, even chronic ones, usually a few weeks of doing these baths 2-3 times weekly will work. However, be sure to follow a complete nutritional balancing program with it for best results. This means no fruit, no fruit juices, no wheat, 9 cups of cooked vegetables daily, and no raw vegetables and no sweets, at all.
d) Most people become sleepy from this bath. Only one person has reported that doing this bath just before bed interfered with sleep.
3. Kelp wrap or bath to help replenish some minerals. This is a newer method of replenishing minerals that is currently being researched. To read about it, please go to Kelp on this website.
4. Epsom salt bath for relaxation. This is one of the most relaxing and soothing baths I know of. It can be used to relax the muscles and nerves. It may help with anxiety, and may help one slow down to get to sleep.
Preparation: Add about 4 or 5 pounds of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) from the drug store or supermarket to a fairly hot bath. Soak for 20 minutes or a little more.
Cautions: This bath is fairly yin, so do not repeat more than twice a week, in most cases. For an acute injury, however, you could take a few of them to reduce pain, just for a few days.
The Epsom salt sitz bath. This bath is used to heal anal fissures. Turn on the very warm water until there is about 1 inch of rather warm or hot water in the bathtub. Add at least 3 or even 4 pounds of Epsom salts to the bath and let them dissolve. Then sit in bathtub for twenty minutes. You can wear a shirt or sweater. You will need to repeat this bath every day for a few weeks, in most cases. This bath is much less yin because it involves much less water.
5. Salt and baking soda alkaline bath to relax the body and remove certain toxins. This bath is extremely alkaline and may cause a tingling sensation on the skin for this reason. This bath can help with detoxification of some types of poisons, particularly acids that may be eliminated through the skin. Because it is alkaline, it may also be relaxing for some people, and healing, as well, by causing some temporary alkalinization of the body.
Preparation: To a warm or hot bath, add about 2 cups of sea salt and about 2 cups of baking soda. Make sure everything dissolves before getting in. Swishing your hand in the water will help everything dissolve.
Cautions: This alkaline bath is not a substitute for a nutritional balancing program to restore the alkaline reserve minerals. All temporary methods of alkalinizing the body, including drinking alkaline water and taking alkalinizing baths, must be secondary. I do not recommend alkaline water, as it is too yin and often contains some platinum and titanium, which are very toxic.
6. Mustard bath for detoxification. This bath can help soothe the skin, in some cases, and remove certain toxins, including toxic chemicals such as trichloroethylene.
Preparation: This is made by placing about 2 tablespoons of ground mustard seeds in the warm bath water. Alternatively, prepared mixtures of ground mustard seeds for baths are sold on the internet.
7. Very hot bath to cause sweating, to help with some infections, and for relaxation. Very hot baths have several uses. The most common is to quickly overcome some acute or chronic illnesses. The hot water effectively raises the temperature of the body a few degrees. This stimulates the immune response.
Very hot baths work best when the bacteria, virus or parasite is heat sensitive. That is, when it is immobilized or even killed by fever. An example is the rhinovirus associated with the common cold. Beware, this is a very yin treatment so I do not use it much.
Preparation: Make the bath water as hot as you can stand it. Alternatively, get in the tub and slowly add hot water, as this way the body will become accustomed to the hot water.
This bath can be made even more powerful by drinking a cup of hot ginger tea. This tea is warming, so it is synergetic with the effect of the hot water.
Cautions: a) Hot baths can be very debilitating. It is best to have someone else present when you do this bath, in case you feel very weak afterwards and have trouble transferring to your bed to rest after the bath.
b) You will absorb more toxins such as chlorine and fluoride from very hot baths, as well as breathe more vapors or fumes from hot baths. Therefore, use them cautiously, and not too often, in most cases. You may need one or two during a bad cold, but donÕt repeat them if they are not needed.
Hot tubs are another example of hot bathing. However, please avoid most hot tubs because:
1) They are breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.
2) One usually picks up toxic chemicals from the water and from the chemicals used to sanitize the water.
3) The plumbing in the walls of the tub is impossible to clean properly.
If you want to use a hot tub, purify it with hydrogen peroxide and do not allow anyone beside yourself to enter the tub. Preferably, change the water frequently and note if the tub smells or looks foul – in this case, change the water immediately, clean the tub thoroughly, and shock the tub with chlorine or another toxic chemical to help kill germs.
8. Cool or tepid bath to lower fevers. A cool bath is usually used to lower a fever. It can be extremely helpful for babies and children who can run high fevers, although it is equally effective with adults. It is much better than giving Tylenol or Aspirin, for example. These depress the nervous system and irritate the stomach, liver and kidneys, which is not good. Either a cool or tepid bath, or sponging the body with a cool rage is much, much better. This simply removes excess heat.
Note that cool baths will lower a fever, but if one is ill, the fever will go up again in a few hours, usually. This is normal. The bath can be repeated a few times daily, if needed, to keep a fever in a safe range.
Cautions: a) Be careful not to become chilled. This will happen if you stay in a tepid bath too long. Often, just 15 minutes will suffice. Monitor children carefully so they do not become chilled.
b) Do not try to lower a fever down to normal. Just use the bath to keep the body temperature safe – usually less than about 103 or 104 degrees F.
9. Turmeric bath for detoxification. This bath may be helpful to remove some toxic substances through the skin. It is anti-inflammatory, and turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant substance.
Preparation: To a warm or hot bath, add several teaspoons of powdered turmeric. Help it dissolve by swishing your hand in the water.
Cautions: Turmeric can stain anything that it touches. Therefore, be careful with clothing or other objects in the bathtub.
10. Clay bath for detoxification and other purposes. This is really not a bath, but a clay application to the skin, which can be done in the bathtub, if desired, as it is quite messy. Clay is a very absorbant substance, and this treatment is used to remove some toxins through the skin.
Clay can be very good for cystic or severe acne, for example, and to remove some infections, boils and other skin irritations. Clays also contain some nutrients, which may be absorbed into the body during a bath. However, clay is high in aluminum, so I do not recommend it very often.
Preparation: Buy some facial or body clay. Mix it with distilled water, preferably, until it has the consistency of a paste. Then get in the tub to apply it, or you could apply it to the skin outside or somewhere else where it wonÕt be too much of a mess. Allow the clay to dry on the skin, usually for an hour or more. Then it can be washed off in the shower.
Cautions: Most clay is high in aluminum. For this reason, I do not recommend clay baths much, at all.
11. Ozone in bath water or in a steam bath to help oxygenate the body. Ozone or O3 can be added to any bath. This will provide the body with more oxygen, which is particularly helpful for cancer, strokes, and with some other conditions, as well. An advantage of ozone is that it is not too yin. A disadvantage is that it is a gas, so it will dissipate quickly in the air.
Preparation: You will need an ozone generator. Some make O3 from room air. Others are usually more costly machines that start with oxygen (O2) and then concentrate the O2. To add ozone to a standard bath, just run the output tube from the ozone generator into the bath and let it bubble into the bath.
Ozone can also be added to a steam bath, preferably a clam shell style steam cabinet in which oneÕs head is outside the cabinet. The ozone is piped into the cabinet, while steam is also generated inside the cabinet in most cases. The hot steam may help the ozone to penetrate into the body.
Ozone can also be used in the rectum or intravenously. However, these require more equipment and usually a trained person to assist you.
Cautions: Breathing too much ozone can be irritating to the lungs in some people. Otherwise, ozone is fairly safe.
12. Eucalyptus bath to promote circulation and relax the muscles. This may help with the pain of Lyme disease.
Preparation: Draw a fairly warm bath. Before getting in, or when you get in, add just a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the bath water.
Cautions: Beware that essential oils are extremely yin in Chinese medical terms. Therefore, use them very sparingly! Most people use too much. This may feel good, but it makes the body much more yin, which is not helpful.
13. Alternating hot and cold partial bath. This bath is used on the feet when one has a migraine headache. It appears to work by drawing the blood out of the head and down to the feet, and this can provide relief from a severe headache when nothing else works.
It could also be used on a hand, arm or other part of the body to draw more blood to the area.
14. Colonic hydrotherapy. This can be viewed as a sort of immersion of the colon in water, or therapeutic use of water. It is discussed in the article entitled Detoxification Protocols.