Wellbeing Wednesdays week 9 – the healing power of water
January 6, 2021 | by Lynette Mayo
Throughout human history, people around the world have used water to cleanse, heal and relax the body. Water is said to be the most important resource in the world.
The human body can go up to three weeks without food, but it cannot survive more than three days without fluids.
A few facts about water and your body
- About 60% of the human body is water
- The brain and heart contain about 73% water
- Skin contains about 64% water
- Lungs contain about 83% water
- Muscles and kidneys contain about 79% water.
Every function in the body is dependent on a steady flow of water. Without water, we would not be able to digest or absorb minerals or nutrients.
What are the benefits of drinking water?
- It lubricates the joints – long term dehydration can lead to joint pain
- It delivers oxygen throughout the body – blood is more than 90% water
- It boosts the skins health and beauty – dehydrated skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders
- It cushions the brain – prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning
- It regulates the body temperature – water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the skin’s surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body, especially in sport.
- It boosts performance during exercise – Some scientists have proposed that water enhances performance during strenuous exercise.
Splish, splash… step into a bath (or shower)
Like drinking water, taking a bath or a shower has many benefits to our bodies and minds.
These benefits include:
- If you relax in a bath up to your neck, your lung capacity and oxygen levels will improve (this all depends on the temperature of the water and the water pressure on your body).
- Resting in a bath can do amazing things for your nervous system. It can calm you after a particularly stressful day. A bath lightens your mood and can help you feel restored.
- If you perform stretches and move in a bath filled with water, it will help relieve your muscles. This is because the water offers resistance and makes the work-out low impact on your body.
- A hot shower can help relieve or stop the pain of headaches and migraines. This is because the water reduces the pressure that causes the pain.
- After physical activity you can ease any aches or pains by stepping into hot water. Heat increases the metabolic rate, thereby assisting your muscles recovery.
- According to studies, warm baths help us relax and drop your body temperature. Dropping your body temperature leads to better sleep, therefore take a bath one to two hours before bedtime for 10 minutes to aid a better night’s sleep.
Your bathing checklist
The ritual of preparing a bath is as important as the bath itself.
- Lighting – keep it soft and low, with tapers, tealights and scented candles. The trick is to let any scented candles to burn for 20 minutes before you bathe, to get the most out of the aromas when you step in to the bath.
- Sounds – both bathing and listening to music are idyllic aids for relaxation of an evening. Listening to music in general can reduce stress, lower anxiety levels and promote regeneration and relaxation.
- Water – self-care is personal to you, so bathe in the temperature you are most comfortable with. Be mindful that heat doesn’t suit dry or sensitive skin.
- Make it tidy – A clean bathroom makes all the difference, even tidying away cleaning products or the kids toys will make a difference to your experience.
- Everything where you need it – plan ahead and makes sure you have everything in your reach before you step in the tub or shower. There is nothing worse than having to get out to fetch something you have forgotten.
Important note: first, consult your doctor before using any of the tips mentioned, especially if you have a previous health condition.
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