The History of Bathing
Imagine "The Dawn of Man"- No tooth brush or tooth paste, deodorant, soap or shampoo. And, everything we ate was sushi.
Now imagine Date Night. Not a pretty thought.
If I were an Archaeologist, or an Anthropologist (whichever would actually get paid to make a wild guess at the origin of bathing), I would offer the following explanation of how that all changed:
Two people who loved each other very much, but stunk really bad, decided they needed some time away from the tribe, kids, and the in-laws. Their camp at the time was situated as such that their only option for privacy was a huge boulder on the other side of a river. When they got to other side, they instantly noticed that something was different....better.... Instead of just pretending, they could now (in the absence of eye watering body odor) actually distinguish the notes of licorice, kiwi and shoe leather in their wine glasses.
Extensive minutes on internet search engines proved to be futile in finding the names of the people who first bathed on a regular basis. But, it did indicate that bathing was more likely associated with religious ceremony than hygiene. The first real evidence of bathing for cleanliness was the bath of Mohenjo-daro. Located in Sindh, Pakistan, the bath dates back to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, which is roughly the same time the upper classes in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt may have actually had showers in their homes. The lower classes presumably covered their heinous odor with cheap cologne, creating a subculture that exists to this day.
It appears that it was the Greeks that got it figured out...kind of. They didn't use soap. In fact, soap wasn't really widely used until the late 1800's. But, they did get clean.
A guy (I assume women back then just put on some chill music and soaked in the tub) would strip, rub some organic, non-gmo, cold pressed olive oil on his body, throw dirt on top of that, then go out and wrassle his buddy to work up a sweat. Then his buddy would take a metal rake, called a strigil, and scrape all of the oil and muddy sweat off of him. They would then get in to a room temperature bath, followed by a hot bath, and then a cold bath.
The bath house was a one stop shop. There were barbers, doctors, physical companions...
The Romans expanded on this and spread the custom throughout their empire. And, it was all good...until Nero learned to play Cotton Eyed Joe.
With the fall of Rome, the Western world fell in to a state of Ideocracy. No one to fix the plumbing. More and more people joking about the water being warmer right next to them, etc... These were the Dark Ages.
By the middle ages many people believed baths were actually bad for your health. And, when the Medieval Church proclaimed that bathing led to immorality, promiscuous sex and disease, the average person spent more time looking up the spelling of "promiscuous" than taking baths.
It should be noted that in many parts of the world, Asia in particular, they were nailing bathing down to a science. Marco Polo chose to bless Western civilization with the precursor to Spaghetti-Ohs and Mac& Cheese instead of this. So...."Good Trade".
And, that's the way it stood in much of the Western world for a very long time.
It wasn't until the 18th century that the idea that bathing and hygiene could serve medical purposes and lead to better health. In fact, doctors didn’t even wash their hands before surgery until the late 1800s. In the 1700s, the idea that water could be used for therapeutic purposes — termed hydrotherapy — gained some popularity.
By the early 1800's Bath houses were beginning to make a come back in Europe. People began to view bathing as both healthy and therapeutic. In the mid 1800's the most innovative and luxurious thing to happen to bathing (until sandcreekrestorative.com Bath Teas) became popular on both sides of the Atlantic, Soap! By the late 1800's the average American family would spend Saturday night carting buckets of water to the tub while humming the Irish Spring tune.
With the convenience of showers in our homes today, baths are associated more with relaxation than hygiene. Unfortunately, so many of us no longer take the time to relax in any manner, let alone for a bath. Hell, we barely have time to microwave those Spaghetti-Oh's. So, we certainly aren't going to waste what little time we do have sitting in the tub.
Think about it. Not only is a bath one of the easiest and least expensive forms of mental therapy, it is also very good for your physical health. A bath can elevate your mood, make you sleep better, relieve tension and sore muscles, soothe your skin, eliminate toxins, burn calories...The list goes on.
None of that happens sitting on the couch watching the Bachelorette.
Stay Calm....And Soak