There is growing evidence that the custom of daily bathing in hot water is part of what makes the Japanese one of the healthiest and longestlived populations in the world. Showering does not count.
The Relaxing, Health-Giving Properties of a Hot Bath involves immersing the whole body in a tub of hot water.
Bathrooms in Japanese homes are kept totally separate from the lavatory, they contain a bathtub deep enough to immerse the whole body. Next to the bath there is a spacious area for showering and washing before getting into the tub. The practice is to wash thoroughly with soap and shampoo before getting into the tub so that the whole family may use the same clean water for a good soak.
The Health Benefits of Heat
Increasing evidence has shown the health benefits of this. A research project with Chiba University showed that the risk of developing health problems requiring nursing care were approximately 30% lower for people who took a bath every day, including strokes & heart attacks. There are three main health benefits of bathing regularly: heat, buoyancy, and hydrostatic pressure. Of course, good personal hygiene and cleanliness is also beneficial for health, but this can be obtained just as well by taking a shower. For the other three, though, you need to immerse yourself in hot water.
• Soaking in hot water causes the arteries to relax and expand, boosting circulation.
• The benefits of buoyancy come from the fact that your body is literally floating in water.
• When you are immersed in a bath, the water surrounding your body exerts hydrostatic pressure on every part of your body.