Revolutionary H-bath - Natural remedy for your healthier life
Many years ago, during my Ph.D. program at Osaka University Medical School, I first heard of the half-body-bath (h-bath). My first impression of the idea to “Put the lower half of the body in warm water until the whole body is warm” was that it was hilarious. How could you warm up your body, while your upper half-body is out of the tub?
I had completely forgotten about it until 2 years ago, I was reminded of the h-bath by a friend, did some investigation on it, and then started the h-bath by myself. I read books about the h-bath and watched TV programs produced in Korea and Japan, and then I learned in detail about the h-bath. The h-bath was started by Dr. Yoshiharu Shindo, Japan, and spread into Korea and China over the years.
After I started the h-bath, first I was surprised at the amount of sweat in only in 20 minutes by putting lower body in the tub. Secondly, I felt my whole body was still warm enough even long after the h-bath (it lasted about 2 hours). I then recommended it to my wife who was suffering from “cold hands and feet”. Guess what! She was able to get rid of “cold hands and feet”, and was able to have good night sleep. Now even my 10-year-old daughter is enjoying the h-bath every night.
What other health benefits did we get from the h-bath practice?
I lost 17 lbs in 8 months and also was relieved of shoulder pain I had for more than 15 years. Best of all, is the daily stress management by the h-bath. As mentioned previously, my wife was finally relieved of “cold hands and feet” (Raynaud’s disease), as well as the long-time-suffering of GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease), a.k.a. acid reflux. We both gained much more energy than we previously had. Of course, I also did a daily exercise of 30 minutes of walking combined with 30 minutes of the h-bath. I am sure that the h-bath had a synergic effect in my weight loss.
Since I am not an exercise orientated person, like many of you, I knew that both walking and the h-bath were programs I could continue. My daily walking program is not strenuous; rather it is a relaxing slow walk of 30 minutes around the work place or on the treadmill during a lunch break. At night, I did 30 minutes of h-bath everyday. That’s it! I feel much energized now.
I am a scientist, majored in the medical sciences and quite often I couldn’t control the stress from research, discussions, and presentations and so on, until I started the h-bath. I never knew that a bath could be fun. Different from ordinary whole-body-bath, your arms and hands are free, which means you can read a magazine, book etc and fully enjoy the half bath experience.
I want to share the experiences and science of the h-bath with you and recommend the h-bath for healthier you. Best of all, you don’t need to purchase any special equipment for the h-bath, but you should learn proper instructions to start.
What is the half-body-bath (h-bath)?
The main purpose of taking a bath is to sanitize the body. After a bath, we feel relax and relieved of day to day stress. This implies that a bath has a stress relief effect. Fatigue can be relieved when submerging your whole body into the tub-full of hot water. And a bubble bath or few drops of essence oils can also help you to be relaxed. You may have experienced falling asleep while taking a bath, right? Taking a bath is not only good for cleaning purposes, but also for mental health.
The history of submerging-body-bath is older than we think. According to the history records, there was a public bath in Rome, AD 300. The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes shouted “Eureka, eureka!” when he found the principle of buoyancy (Archimedes’ principle), while he was taking a bath. For a long time, taking a bath meant whole-body-bath (w-bath), which is submerging a body up to the neck. In the early 1980’s, Dr. Yoshiharu Shindo, an ENT clinician, established a revolutionary bathing method, the half-body-bath (h-bath). Dr. Shindo mentions this in his first book, [Remedy for all diseases - controlling the thermodynamics of the body];
“I have been suffering from the “cold hands and feet” especially during the winter, so I used to wear long boots and thick cloths. And, finally came across the thought that what if I warm up the lower-half-body in the bath. It was cold winter, but I tried everyday. I thought that winter is the best time to test the effect of the h-bath, since it is the most severe season for the “cold hands and feet”. After many trial and errors, I concluded that maximum effect can be obtained by using warm water (100-104oF = 38-40oC), which is slightly higher than the body temperature. And keep the water level up to the 3-4 inches above the belly button, and then stay in the water for 20-30 minutes.
I even tried that when I got a common cold. After 20-30 minutes for the h-bath, I started to sweat a lot, and experienced a complete cure from fever & cold the next day. I was also relieved of the shoulder and upper arm pains. They were gone after few months of the h-bath. Of course, a common cold is not the problem anymore. I used take a short nap during the day to have enough energy for the rest of the day, but after continuing the h-bath, I realized I could keep up my activity without a nap. After I investigated the relationship between coldness and diseases, I am assured that the unbalance of the thermodynamics of the body is what causes many diseases. By fixing this heat unbalance by the h-bath, many diseases related to thermal unbalance can be cured naturally. This can be confirmed through the observation of my patients. In combination with conventional medical treatments, the h-bath enhances the cure index in the most of respiratory diseases including common cold”.
Dr. Shindo not only found that the h-bath primarily controlled his “cold hands and feet”, the so called ‘Raynaud’s disease’, but he realized that the h-bath helped to restore the human body naturally by equilibrating body heat.
Blood flow is a prime method of distributing heat evenly throughout the body. Poor blood flow can cause a reduction in the temperature of the extremities, and researchers theorized that poor blood circulation can cause cold hands and feet, subsequently causing other problems such as insomnia. Needless to say, the heart is responsible for the delivering of “warm blood” throughout the body. However, for some reason, it does not go flow through to the end of the body, like the hands and feet. If you take thermography of the whole body, you can see that the heat distribution of the body is not even. The upper body has higher temperature (98.6 oF = 37 oC around the heart), however lower body has comparatively low temperature; especially the temperature of the feet which is below 87.8 oF (31 oC).
Japan was built up from volcanic eruptions, and has many naturally formed hot springs all around the country. So over a long period of time, they developed unique bathing culture. Taking a bath is a daily part of a life in Japan. Paradoxically, on average 10,000 people die in the bath every year. The majority of people who die in the bath are elderly, mainly caused by cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction and cerebral hemorrhage etc. If so, is taking a bath deadly for elderly?
The answer is “it depends on the way of bathing”. A traditional w-bath can produce a lot of stress to the heart, mainly caused by water pressure. Since the whole body is warmed up from the w-bath at the same time the heart is experiencing stress, the heart beat rate and blood pressure rapidly increases and sometimes can cause cardiac or vascular problems. Besides, body heat can hardly be equilibrated since 85 - 90% of your body is submerged in the same temperature, and head is the only place to get the extreme blood stream and excess heat.
However, with an h-bath, the blood circulation increases gradually and reasonably with less stress to the heart and also does not provide the added stress of the water pressure. According to scientists, the h-bath does not significantly increase the blood pressure, shown by measuring cardiograph during the h-bath. The h-bath is comparatively safe, and is hugely effective for blood circulation. However, it doesn’t mean that the h-bath is “totally safe” for elderly and cardiovascular disease patients. Consult your doctor prior to start the h-bath.
The h-bath has spread all around Japan, Korea and China in a short time period. Millions of people continue the h-bath everyday and are accumulating their experiences and pre-scientific data. According to the h-bath people’s network, the h-bath is very effective in weight loss, improving skin health, helps to decrease the discomfort during a woman’s menstrual cycle, and lowers the blood pressure by enhancing the blood circulation in general.
There is no need to purchase expensive equipment for the h-bath. A bathtub and warm water are basically enough. A thermometer, reading materials and a rubber ducky are optional. The rest is continuing the h-bath with consistency and making this part of your daily activity.
About the Author: Andy Lee, Ph.D. in Medical Science
Andy got a Ph.D. in Osaka University Medical School. And now he is working in the Biomedical Institute in San Diego as a faculty. Andy is interested in the alternative medicine and trying to understand and explain with the western medical theory.
Send email to Andy at: email@example.com