In western cultures, bathtubs are viewed as a tool for washing our bodies. Eastern cultures, particularly the Japanese, see bathtubs in an entirely different way: as a tool for relaxation and spiritual peace. The desire for a relaxing experience has spawned the popularity of wooden bathtubs for soaking worldwide. In Buddhist cultures, bathing is a ritual cleansing tradition, and the special, deep wooden bathtub is part of that rite, according to Diamond Spas. Like a simpler version of a hot tub, a wooden bathtub, particularly a round one, is meant for soaking and for hot water.
Why are the Japanese so fond of their baths and hot springs? The Japanese ritual of the bath has several reasons besides the obvious purpose of hygene. A warm bath stimulates blood circulation and decongestionates the lymphatic system: this is effective both in washing off the sweath of the torrid summer and in preventing cold and influenza during the rigid japanese winter. Medical evidence has been found that a correct warm bath has positive effects on the health of body and mind, also thanks to the curative and emollient effect of minerals and oils present in the water. Recent research proves how negatively charged ions present in the water and steam of a bath "scrub off" magnetic tensions and free radicals, having an "antiage" effect on the whole body. Negative ions also have experimented psychological benefits, imparting a feeling of security and sense of refreshment while they soothe the body. Such ions tend to be generated by waterfalls, fountains, and other sources of agitated water. When bathing japanese style, we first soap and scrub, then we rinse and only when we are "physically clean", we enter in the bathtub for soaking (at least 30 minutes). Because the body is washed outside the bath, the bath water stays clean and deeply refreshing.
In fact, in the Japanese culture, bathtubs of any kind are not intended for soap and washing. People clean themselves outside of the tub, and only then climb in for a a relaxing soak. Traditional style wooden bathtubs in Japan include seats.
The popularity of hot tubs and spa experiences in modern society could possibly be behind the rising popularity of a wooden bathtub for soaking.
In Japan, a wooden bathtub is traditionally made of Hinoki wood, but in the Unites States, types of Cedar are often used. The cedar is especially fragrance and can add to the experience.
Regardless, the relaxation that a soaking tub provides at the end of a long hard day is a tradition that most people would happily adopt.
Pic6: palasdesign.comTHE WONDERS OF JAPANESE WOOD BATHTUBS THE WONDERS OF JAPANESE WOOD BATHTUBS