Congratulations New Yorkers. We survived another Fashion Week. I am physically exhausted, but oh was it worth it. At the moment though I feel like my body is crashing, and I might never leave the house again. Since I’ll be home hibernating for the next week – or maybe just the weekend – I might as well treat my mind and body to one of the most popular bathing methods in Japan, ‘Hanshin Yoku,’ otherwise known as the half bath.
This treatment requires that you soak only the lower part of your body right below the chest. This bath is HUGE in Japan and is believed to have many therapeutic benefits for our health and well-being. Some of the benefits include blood circulation, easing of muscular tensions and aches and fluid retention reduction. Digestive and detoxifying process will be also encouraged as blood and lymph circulation is stimulated. Whoop whoop! It also calms the nervous system, which helps to relieve stress and improve the quality of sleep, so I would definitely suggest doing this at night before bed.
How to make your own post-fashion week Hanshin Yoku Japanese bath:
1. Fill your bathtub up half way. The water temperature should be about as hot as your can handle it, without burning yourself, of course.
2. Soak the lower part of your body for at least 45 minutes. Make sure keep the top half of your body dry. Don’t get lazy and dip your hands or arms into the water.
3. Your body will warm up and you will start sweating on your upper body. I weirdly sweat on my hands so so much. The sweat helps eliminate waste products and toxins from your body through the skin.
4. After 45 minutes rinse your body of all the toxins with cool or cold water.
Make sure you have a glass of room temperature water before and after Hanshin Yoku to hydrate. This is not a morning ritual because you will be exhausted afterwards and you will benefit the most from the experience if you make time to rest after the bath.
Sea salt – Dead Sea salt or Epsom salt are particularly rich in minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which helps relax and muscle tension and increase the detox. Add one or two cups of sea salt to the bath.
Essential oils – Mix a few drops of calming essential oils (Aveda has some great ones) such as lavender, chamomile, geranium or sandalwood in to bath. The yummy aroma will encourage relaxation.
Enjoy your Hanshin Yoku! Wonderful for relaxing and detoxing and you will sleep like a baby afterwards.