Japanese Detox Hot Baths
In Japan, hot bathing is not just about getting clean, it's a lifestyle approach to both of their physical and mental wellbeing. Japan is one of the top countries that have the longest life expectancy in the world, while Japanese women are proudly showing off their healthy, young-looking and glowing skin.
Being located on one of the world's most active volcanic zones, Japan has an abundance of naturally occurring hot springs, rich in minerals and other properties offering various medical and beautifying benefits. Japanese people love their detox hot baths, a wellness practice that keeps them healthy and their skin fresh and smooth.
Onsen, bathing in hot springs, or Sento, bathing in public bathhouses are centuries-old Japanese practices of purifying the body and mind. While we may not have the luxury of many hot springs or public bathhouses available to us, we can still enjoy the benefits of Ofuro.
Ofuro is a Japanese term for a relaxing and meditative hot bath soak in the comfort of your home. ‘O’ in front of ‘furo’ has a meaning of respect, suggesting how important this Japanese bathing ritual is. The purpose of o-furo is not to wash and get clean, it is a mindful self-care ritual allowing you to wash away the stresses of the day, ending your day with a peaceful mind and relaxing evening.
A mindful hot bath ritual is definitely a very simple lifestyle change we can make and one of the cleansing practices that we should do more often. Japanese style of hot bathing purifies both body and mind, boosts circulation and the immune system, helps reduce pain, relieves stiff shoulders and muscle tension.
Skin health through sweating
Detoxifying using steam or hot bath opens up skin pores allowing sweat to rinse away trapped toxins, dirt and impurities from underneath your skin. Our body gets rid of toxins naturally through sweat and urine. The concern is that we don’t sweat as much as we used to in the past. We spend most of the time on our bums than our feet, in air-conditioned rooms than out in nature. Hot baths are an easy, quick way to get our bodies to sweat and relax at the same time. Jolly detoxing and hot bathing!
Hot Bathing Ritual of Ofuro
The ritual of Ofuro is about the experience of bathing as a whole; like a meditation. Allocate time for yourself, allow your body and mind to pause and experience the awakening feeling of all your senses.
Set up a scene to feel the difference
Clean up the bathroom, put the unnecessary stuff in a cupboard, so the room stays empty of clutter. Light the candles and fill up the bathtub with hot water that you can tolerate while still creating a bit of steam in your bathroom.
Essential oils, salts and herbal tea hot bath
Add detox Epsom salt enriched with magnesium, or Himalayan salt or a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender, eucalyptus, geranium or tea tree into your bath.
You may decide to brew loose dried herbal teas instead. Brew plenty of dried leaves in a saucepan, then pour the brewed tea into a bathtub already filled with hot water.
Rinse off your day
In Japan, before stepping into a bathtub, you must wash yourself first. Traditionally, you sit on a small stool and rinse your body with a bucket of water.
In our world, start cleansing and massage the whole of your body using our Japanese style body brush made with natural plant fibres. The body brush helps to remove dead skin, dirt and impurities that are ‘stuck’ to your skin. After the body brushing, shower to rinse off the remaining dead skin.
Purify your body and mind
Submerge the whole of your body into the bath, savouring every moment as your body starts loosening its tension and mind is beginning to relax. Close your eyes, feel every part of your body, hot water touching your skin, essential oils soothing your senses while you slowly take deep breaths.
After you feel ready to complete your self-care ritual of Ofuro, emerge from the bath and gently tap excess water from your skin. Rub a moisturising oil or body lotion of your choice into the skin to hydrate it. Enjoy the softness of your freshly clean and smooth skin and the feeling of contentment in your body and mind.
The benefits of detox hot bathing
While you are unwinding your mind and soaking your body in a therapeutic hot bath, think of all the powerful wellness and beauty benefits this hot bathing experience offers.Immersion warm bathing helps improve your both physical and emotional aspects of quality of life.
(trusted source PubMed Central):
Improved breathing and blood circulation - immersion in a hot bath leads to a considerable increase in blood flow, supplying more oxygen and nutrients to body tissue.
Increased elimination of carbon dioxide and metabolic waste materials
Lowering levels of stress and tension-anxiety
Makes you feel refreshed
Improved skin condition - hot water and steam open up pores for easier elimination of toxins and impurities from the skin
Keeping your skin hydrated. According to PubMed “eccrine sweat is thought to play a role in epidermal barrier homeostasis through its delivery of water, natural moisturising factors, and antimicrobial peptides (amino acids) to the skin surface that act as a humectant (moisturiser) allowing the outermost layers of the skin to remain hydrated.”
Hot bathing can be your new way of practising mindfulness, to wash away the worries of everyday life and recharge your body and mind.
Indulge in the ritual of Ofuro
*Pubmed Central research - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2112126/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6011066/