Good, clean fun. By Sukritee Soopal For Japanese people, bathing is not only about cleaning the body but it is a whole ritual of cleansing the body, mind, heart and soul. It is a favorite pastime to relax and rejuvenate and a cultural asset.
In modern houses, the bath tub is nowhere to be seen. While some people do invest in a Jacuzzi now they still often complain of a lack of time to enjoy a lengthy bathing ritual due to a busy lifestyle. Having lately seen a lot of people going to the spa to indulge in some relaxing pool time, I thought why not do this in the comfort of your own bathroom and do it more often than to wait to get an appointment to enjoy at the spa?How to prepare your own Japanese tub The first thing I would definitely recommend is to clean up your bathing space. So many of us go in the bathroom to clean the body but looking at the bathroom, it seems the bathroom itself is longing for a bath. To create the spa and Zen atmosphere, it is important to have a clean and organised space. Next, look for your Japanese tub. It needs to be big and deep enough for you to get in and soak till the neck. You could have somebody make it for you at your woodworking corner, or look for a readymade Japanese soaking tub online or if available at some markets, or simply use an inflated pool (make sure you can fill it with hot water though). To create the ambience, it is definitely worth the effort to invest in some candles and sweet-smelling ones are the best. You could also buy a scent diffuser to give the place a soft fragrant background or make your own oil reed diffusers. Choose scents that are relaxing and stress-busters. This aromatherapy session is one you won’t forget soon so you would want to invest in fragrances that really last long in your memory and after your session.
You could also choose to have soft background music while you indulge in your Japanese bath. Make sure to keep your electrical appliances away from water and keep safe.
Ensure all materials you will need like your bath towel, preferably white to create the mood, and your body scrub and oils are within your reach.
Fill your tub with hot water but make sure to test the temperature. It should be hot enough to last for a good session but not burn your skin.
Put in a few drops of your favourite oil in the water. You could also use your favourite baby oil. Throw in some fresh rose petals. Light your candles or diffusers. Switch on your music and get ready for a unique experience.
How to prepare yourself for the Japanese bath
It is not a good idea to enter your Japanese tub dirty. Before you enter your tub, it is advised that you have a quick shower to remove sweat and grime.
Then slowly slip into your tub and soak for a while. Enjoy the water on your skin. Close your eyes. Enjoy the aromatherapy session and listen to the soft notes in the background.
Then use your homemade scrub and scrub it on your skin. Enjoy the whole process and don’t rush. Use your hands.
Enjoy the water more and then, as you feel the water cooling down, get under the shower again to feel clean.
Pat dry your skin and then generously apply some body oil and massage gently. Put on
some light fabric and have a good rest.
Avoid the sun or some alerting activities for a while. You could enjoy this Japanese ritual in the afternoon after a tiring day or before you go to sleep but make sure you have had your meals well before the ritual.
To make it romantic, you could also enjoy this bath with your partner. You could also make it a family affair and involve your children. Make sure then to invest in the proper tub and to follow the etiquette. You would not want somebody to slip into your tub with mud.
A homemade body scrubWhat you will need: 5 cups oatmeal which soothes the skin. 1 cup dried thyme to revitalise and refresh. 1 cup scented dried red rosebuds for fragrance. Grated orange peel from two oranges for fragrance
Preparing the mixture: Grind each ingredient separately in a grinder. Mix everything. Pour into an airtight container..
Display ideas: Fill a glass container to store your scrub. Decorate with ribbon or tassels. Embellish with some shells and include a clam shell to use as a spoon. A homemade oil reed diffuser:
Buy your diffuser bottle and some rattan reeds. These are available as a combo or else you could find a small vase with an opening and some rattan reeds separately. In a measuring cup, add about ¼ cup of oil like safflower oil. Add 2 tbsp of alcohol to thin out the oils and help them travel up the reeds. You can use any cheap vodka. Add 15 to 20 drops of essential oil or a blend. Lavender and sage is a good relaxing combination Mix the oils well. Pour the mixture into your small bottle or vase. Insert the reeds at the neck and fan them out. It might take a few days for the reeds to absorb the oil, you can then replace them. Once the mixture is evaporated, prepare another mixture.