The luxury called oil bath

Agreed that in the hurly-burly of life today, it is not convenient for us to have a proper bath and as a result our daily baths are usually hurried affairs. But you can reserve at least a few days in the year to pamper yourself zealously by spending quality time in bathing.

In most south Indian homes, a luxurious ‘oil bath’ is mandatory on Diwali day. However, we take this ritual of ‘oil bath’ very causally without realizing its significance on our health, well-being and beauty. Diwali eve coincides with the onset of winter and hence a thorough body massage with coconut oil followed by a long luxurious bath rejuvenates the skin and acts as a barrier against dry, moisture depleting winter air for several weeks.

In some communities, an oil bath for the bride on the eve of the wedding, is not only a part of bridal beauty-care but is ritualistic too. Then there is this ritualistic post-natal bath that a woman is given few days after childbirth for about 1½ months. Before this bath she is subjected to a meticulous body massage with special herbal oils by a trained maid. This hot oil bath helps to alleviate the muscle strain of labor and childbirth, is good for cellulite reduction and works wonders on stretch marks. It is also believed that oil massage helps the uterus to shrink to its original size and encourage the flow of breast milk.
While we are in our teens and the early twenties, sebum, which is secreted by the sebaceous oil glands, lies as a protective film over the skin helping to delay moisture loss. But as the skin ages, the activity of sebaceous glands decreases; they secrete less sebum and aren’t able to prevent the rapid moisture loss from the skin. That’s why as years pass by, the skin gets drier and flakier. Hence, oil bath is an excellent beauty and health routine for the aging body. Coconut oil is the best; it is natural, effective and inexpensive.
Even Sushruta, the ancient physician who lived in 6th century B.C, advocated the use of oil for a bath. His words:
“It is immediately absorbed, subtle, spreading, viscous and fluid. It is conducive to the nutrition of the skin and the softness of the muscles. It is beneficial to the eyes, promotes luster, strength and vitality.”

Modern beauty science also agrees with the fact that a combination of water and oil keeps the skin smooth, soft and health-looking. The application of oil, followed by a bath does have a beneficial effect as it nourishes and protects both the body and hair. A massage, following this oil application, improves circulation of blood, relieves muscle stiffness and tiredness, muscular spasms and tension and encourages sound sleep by relaxing the muscles.

For those who are too busy to enjoy an oil bath, putting a few drops of oil in a mug and splashing it all over the body, after the bath, and then patting dry with a towel, gives almost the same result, for it immediately spreads a thin layer of oil evenly on the whole body. Read Aromatic oils in the bath and also learn how to make a rich bath oil at home.
Beauty and health magazines create such hype over the benefits of ‘steam’ or ‘sauna’ baths offered at expensive spas but hardly stress upon the benefits of an ordinary oil-bath which can be had in the privacy and comforts of one’s home. Water and oils as tools for health and beauty were given great importance by our ancestors and it follows that we too should do the same. The secret behind the smooth dusky complexion and luxurious black tresses of the Keralites lies simply in their love for oils and baths.

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  1. Anonymous12:33 AM

    Nice post! I tagged you to a meme and you can read about it in my blog. Hope you participate.

  2. Anonymous1:16 PM

    benefit of taking oil bath once in a week It helps:
    remove dead skin cells
    moisturize your skin
    soften hair on you legs
    smooths out you skin

  3. Anonymous5:23 PM

    Get a weekly massage - will do you far better than just soaking in oil. I think that would be unhealthy for you skin to bathe in oil, but being rubbed down with oil is good every so often

  4. Anonymous3:20 PM

    A full-body massage can greatly help to release the tension and stress that we've accumulated throughout the day. If a full body massage isn't possible, than just ask a loved one to give you a quick shoulder rub. After all, a quick massage is better than nothing at all.

  5. Anonymous3:22 PM

    Massage helps prevent and heal injuries. By stretching connective tissue, massage improves circulation to help prevent or break down adhesions and scar tissue that result from muscle tears and other common muscle injuries. Massage also influences the excretion of certain fluids (nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur) that aid in tissue repair. Fast and effective recovery from injuries means that you can begin exercising sooner after suffering an injury and getting your weight loss progress back on track

  6. Aakriti10:00 AM

    Oil relieves stress and fatigue, relaxes the body. Improves skin texture and keeps it healthy

  7. Anonymous9:19 AM

    The hot, soothing bath not only relaxes your body by relieving it from stress, but also does wonders to your physical and psychological health. You can choose your favorite essential oils to use for the bath. Oil bath refreshes dull skin. The relaxed mind tends to go off to sleep after this wonderful treatment It provide relief from various skin problems. The oils also help to relieve any anxiety from your mind. The bath provides relief to the joints and muscles and is a good option for cramps. Some oils are also known for their romantic nature as they act almost like natural aphrodisiacs. Or you may use the oil simply to add to the essence of your bath

  8. Nandini9:27 AM

    I use coconut oil for my 6 yr old.Till he was one,I used olive oil(no problems with complexion,infact I think it made his complexion brighter!),then I switched to normal coconut oil for both body and head.

  9. Avinash3:29 PM

    Self massage allows you to detect early clues from your body such as fatigue, exhaustion, soreness, stiff bits or excess stress and can prevent future illnesses taking hold of your body

  10. Navya3:40 PM

    Nice thought, terrific post. Massage also has been shown to strengthen the immune system, reduce muscle pain and soreness as well as relieve stress. It’s one of the best ways to feel better fast that money can’t buy.

  11. Pavan8:33 AM

    Some great points about the positive effects of a massage. I do think more and more people are beginning to recognize the health benefits of regularly receiving a massage. In the long run it leads to a much more healthy and enjoyable life.

  12. Rudresh8:36 AM

    Whether you’re suffering from stiffness and soreness, or other muscle aches and cramps, massage therapy has demonstrated its efficacy in the modern world. Massage has also been proven beneficial to newborn infants, geriatric patients, and cancer sufferers.

  13. Ramani9:09 AM

    When the skin becomes and and it get gets wrinkles, it means, the circulation of the blood in the tissues is not sufficient. These dead cells have to be stimulated and energised to make them live again. I have prepared some formulations in oil. This oil is massaged gently for about half an hour daily on- say the back of the hands, face, neck, feet, breasts and other parts if you need to energize them. This formulation increases the circulation of the blood and the skin becomes tightened and starts glowing. This treatment has to be continuously taken for about two months.
    It removes the aging affect from these areas to a greater extent. I have used it with some exercises and the results were very satisfying.

  14. When we are under stress, our muscles are tense, breathing is shallow, blood pressure increases, and our immune system is weakened. By relaxing the body, massage helps to counteract all of these reactions to stress.

  15. You guys are doing a great job, i just loved reading this post.
    Foot massager

  16. Harish11:20 AM

    Some great points about the positive effects of a massage. I do think more and more people are beginning to recognize the health benefits of regularly receiving a massage. In the long run it leads to a much more healthy and enjoyable life.

  17. Kailas3:13 PM

    Oil bath is helpful towards a feeling of well being that encourages health, as emotional and physical health an interconnected.

  18. Mithun10:07 AM

    Before your bath, make a batch of Hot Oil Treatment and take it to the bathroom with you. Lock yourself in the bathroom, put on some soothing music and light a candle. Put the Hot Oil on your hair and wrap.

  19. Sprinkle some powdered milk in your running bath water for an easy milk bath. Try a few drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance.

  20. Binny9:27 AM

    people who undergo massage experience measurable changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response.

  21. Anonymous9:30 AM

    People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle.massage doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you,a single massage may deliver a measurable benefit. * Swedish massage group experienced significant changes in lymphocytes ,(lymphocyte numbers and percentages white blood cells that play a large role in defending the body from disease. Swedish massage caused a large decrease (effect size -.74) in Arginine Vasopressin (AVP) a hormone believed to play a role in aggressive behavior and linked to helping cause increases in the stress hormone cortisol.
    Swedish massage caused a decrease in levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Swedish massage caused a notable decrease in most cytokines produced by stimulated white blood cells.

  22. Ravishankar9:40 AM

    Regular body massage helps in the activation of some of the key points & vital in the body that help maintain normal blood levels in the body.

  23. Expert9:26 AM

    Benefits of massage
    Release of Muscular Tension,Improves Circulation,
    It Releases of Mental and Emotional Stress and
    Boosts Immune System

  24. Pour a cup or more of powdered milk under running bath water. The lactic acid in the milk will remove dry dead skin and leave you baby soft. Powered milk is quite reasonably priced compared to those expensive bath oils and soaks. Just add a drop or two of some scented oil if you want a really dreamy bath!

  25. Richa9:27 AM

    Oatmeal baths will sooth irritated skin. Often used for Chicken Pox, Poison Ivy, and Poison Oak.

  26. Anonymous8:59 AM

    A massage can do wonders. If you are suffering from painful muscle aches and pains, then this kind of massage is perfect for you. Heated rocks are placed in certain points in your body to apply warmth and loosen tight muscles that inhibits movements and causes aches and pains. The therapist will apply slow pressure and apply friction to these areas to further loosen the muscles.

  27. Shneha11:45 AM

    Massage strengthens the Immune System: It stimulates the digestive system and activates the urinary system.

  28. Rakshanda11:52 AM

    a daily self-massage with warm oil is easy to do and takes only about 30 minutes. You can do it at home each morning, and reap the benefits of this luxurious therapy all day long.

  29. Namita10:59 AM

    .When you take a bath, add a cup of milk in it (softens your skin).a teaspoon of brown sugar and olive oil (lip scrub) Add olive oil to remove makeup... also put it into your musse if you have extremely curly hair

  30. Daksha8:19 AM

    You can even pamper your skin with an olive oil massage for the whole body before taking a bath. Alternatively you might even add a few drops of olive oil in the water before stepping into your bath tub.


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