The native guide; All about unique JapanThe Correct Way Bathing Practices; Do And Don’ts
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The Correct Way Bathing Practices; Do And Don’ts

bathing tips, do and dontsCulture, Etiquette
Culture, Etiquette
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Taking a bath is refreshing, relaxing, and cozy. Besides, it can bring many health benefits to your body.
To enjoy effective bathing, read the Japanese bathing tip and the best Japanese bath salts guide in my posts.

But do you know that there are many unexpected accidents in bathing, especially in the cold season? To help you bathe more safely and effectively and protect your family and yourself, check the list below to see how to take proper bath steps.

Before A Bath

  1. Hydration
  2. Keep A Bathroom Toasty
  3. Tell Family You Are Taking A Bath
  4. Bathing 1-2 hours before bedtime
  5. Avoid Alcohol Drink

Hydration

Do you know that heatstroke can be occurred even while taking a bath?

You may like taking a bath for a long-period because soaking in the hot tub is cozy, but a long bath can cause dehydration.

Before taking a bath, be sure to drink a glass of water, or barley tea and sports drink that you can intake minerals.

Keep A Bathroom Toasty

Heat shockis a stress response caused by a sudden temperature change which leads to blood pressure fluctuations, damaging blood vessels and the heart. When you move from a warm place to a cold place, your body contracts blood vessels so that it doesn’t lose body heat, causing your blood pressure to skyrocket. Especially in elderly people with arteriosclerosis are likely to cause fatal consequences. Even young people with high blood pressure or overweight have a high risk of stroke or myocardial infarction as well.

It’s a common accident in Japan because there aren’t many houses built in the central heating system. In the United States where I live, it is common so you may not have to worry. However, like my master bathroom, it’s really cold not like other rooms although my house has a heating system. If you have the same issue, you have to be careful about the temperature difference in the bathroom especially in the cold season.

Use a heater, make the bathroom and powder room toasty before bathing.

Every year in Japan, about three times more people have lost their lives than those by traffic due to heat shock and heatstroke in the bathroom. Not only elders but also cases in their twenties who do not have chronic diseases, so be careful no matter how young or healthy you are if your bathroom usually gets really cold.
Moreover, remind heating a bathroom when traveling in Japan and stay in a private house.

It is necessary to pay attention not only to the cold bathroom but also to the difference in outside temperature in the cold winter. Avoid bathing if your body is cold right after coming back from outside.

Tell Family You Are Taking A Bath

If you live with a family or roommates, let them know that you will take a bath.

By the way, if you have high blood pressure, take a bath by getting cold in the evening when it gets cold, or take a bath before meals.

Bathing 1-2 Hours Before Bedtime

A human falls asleep when the body temperature drops. Therefore, It is best to take a bath 1-2 hours before bedtime to get better sleep.

Hot water makes the sympathetic nervous system awake-means your body gets excited, you hardly can sleep. Soak your body in lukewarm water (38-40 ° C) for 15 to 20 minutes.

Avoid Alcohol Drinks

If you take a bath right after drinking alcohol, your body will warm up and increase the blood flow- a large amount of blood is sent to the whole body, which reduces blood flow in the brain and heart, which causes cerebral anemia, arrhythmias, and heart attacks.

Blood pressure drops temporarily after drinking alcohol and also soaking in a hot bath at 38℃ – 40 ℃/ 100F -104 F leads to lower blood pressure, this synergistic effect can lead to faintness and drowning in the worst case.

It is better to avoid taking a bath right after drinking alcohol and wait for at least 2 hours.

In The Hot Tub

  1. Keep Water Temperature Below 41 ℃ / 105 F
  2. Avoid A Long-Bath
  3. Put Towel On The Shoulders

Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion table for taking a bath

Keep Water Temperature Below 41 ℃ / 105 F

There is a risk of heat shock if the water temperature is above 41 ° C and the room temperature is 20 ℃ or below.

Avoid hot water above 41 ℃ as it can increase blood pressure.

When taking a bath in 42 ° C water, the body temperature rises by about 1 ° C in 10 minutes. If you take a full-body bath (soak in your shoulders), your body temperature will exceed 40 ° C in about 30 minutes. Therefore, soaking the full body for a long period in the hot water over 42 ° C is a lot of risk of losing consciousness due to heatstroke.

Take *a half-body bath for 15 to 20 minutes in 38 – 40 ℃/ 100 – 104F water.

*Soak up to the upper part of the abdomen (the lower part of the chest.)

Avoid A Long-Bath

A long-bath can cause low blood pressure and in the worst case, it can cause drowning.

Since you feel so good and cozy in the hot bath and get sleepy, but you don’t know the condition is if you are just relaxing or if your brain is running out of oxygen due to extremely low blood pressure- it is a sign to get out of the bathtub when you feel sleepy.

Besides, elderly people are losing temperature sensitivity compared with younger people, they may not notice the body heat is too high, which is a higher risk of heatstroke in the hot tub.

If you have a bath table, it can be protected from the danger of drowning. If you feel sick and be able to get up, lean the body on it and call help.

Moreover, a long-bath whisks away skin fat and causes dry skin.

Put Towel On The Shoulders

Bathing under the chest is called a half-body bath method, which does not burden the body (heart). Put a towel or clothes that you don’t mind wet on your shoulders to keep your upper body warm.

It’s common in Japan that a bath has a cover, but I don’t know in your country.

If you have a bath table, it can be an alternative to a cover to keep the water temperature… (? maybe a little…)

After A Bath

  1. Rehydration
  2. Moisturizing

Rehydration

Remember to rehydrate after bathing to replenish the water and minerals lost after bathing.

According to this study, approximately 800 ml-body water will lose by bathing in hot water at 41℃ for 15 minutes.

I recommend room temperature water or mineral-rich, sugar-free barley tea.

Moisturizing

Hurry up moisturize your whole body after getting out of the bath!
In the case of just tap water without using bath salts, the skin starts being dried 10 minutes after bathing, so skincare should be done as soon as possible.

Check List; Danger Of Bathing Accidents

  • Soak up to your shoulders and a neck in the bathtub
  • Bathe for over 20 minutes
  • The water temperature is over 42 ℃ 
  • Stand up quickly when getting out of the tub
  • The bathroom is really cold
  • Your body is cold like after coming back outside
  • After drinking alcohol
  • Aged 65 and over
  • Overweight
  • You have a fever
  • Right after taking medicine
  • Have high blood pressure or heart disease
  • Have thyroid or female sex hormone disorders

Source; https://www.noritz.co.jp/aftersupport/careful/heatshock.html

  • 0 pointsExcellent! You have a high consciousness of your health and the risk of bathing accidents
  • 1 – 4 points…Aren’t you feeling anxious about your health? Take some measures and prevent bathing accidents.
  • 5 and more pointsRisky bathing accidents may occur at any time. Take some measures immediately. It is important to think about what you can do.

Enjoy Bathing Properly

Have you done the correct ways that I told you today the last time you took a bath? Enjoy taking the right bath for your relaxation and health.

In this blog, I have often recommended taking a bath because of “hot spring effects”- warming your body in the tub brings many health benefits. So, I want you to know about the essential safety tips for protecting your life.

This post is also informative to take a bath at home and also hot springs in Japan.

To take a bath more effectively and also too protect your skin, Japanese bath salts are recommended.

Besides, I tell you in this post about how to bathe effectively depends on your health concerns.

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