Homeowners are creating spa-like atmospheres in their bathrooms that are not only providing much-needed tranquility, but also improving their overall health and wellness.
Re-evaluating homes in a quest for improved wellness has been a bustling business over the past twelve months. As homeowners become more cognizant of the direct link between their health and their homes, wellness renovation projects continue to grow in popularity, despite the many operational hurdles put in place by local governing bodies.
Although there are a myriad of changes that a homeowner can make throughout a property for maximum improved wellness, the area of the home receiving the most attention has been the bathroom.
With more time spent at home, combined with a decrease in daily commutes and a need for quiet relaxation, homeowners are creating spa-like atmospheres in their bathrooms. Re-imagined bathrooms are serving as peaceful, tranquil sanctuaries, especially when every other room is in use. Spa-like bathrooms have become oases to rejuvenate and re-focus, improving one’s overall health and wellness.
Current market research is also reflecting the important connection between wellness and bathrooms. When homeowners are asked to choose between more space or more upscale amenities for their bathrooms, homeowners are preferring smaller spaces that can provide a luxurious experience.
Bathroom Products to Improve Your Wellness
Personal cleansing after each trip to your toilet is no longer considered a luxury solely for high-end homes, but a necessity for all for good hygienic wellness. A thorough washing of your “undercarriage” is considered a healthy part of a daily constitutional and helps reduce or eliminate the need for bathroom tissue, an often unhygienic and less sanitary method of cleaning.
Bidets have also been used to alleviate and address certain health issues, such as:
- Anal Fissures
- Rectal Prolapse
- Anal Fistula
- Anal Itching
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Urinary Tract Infections
Furthermore, bidets are a must for complete cleanliness care for the elderly, Alzheimer patients and those with mobility issues, either temporary or permanent. A warm washing from a bidet can be just the cure to relieve constipation, as water pressure and thermal hydro stimulation may provide just the relief needed.
A study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science, concluded that electronic bidets have a positive effect on anal resting pressure when they offer different water jet and temperature settings. The peer-reviewed article further stated that bidets can duplicate the effect of the traditional sitz bath, an often recommended therapy for various health ailments.
Although still not prevalent in American bathrooms, bidets are common throughout the world, namely Asia and Europe. However, the “Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020” caused a surging interest in bidets, as sales in washlets*, which fit on an existing toilet, and full bidet toilets, skyrocketed in 2020.
Toto USA, the leader in bidets and WASHLETs, reported that in March 2020, the beginning of the shortage, their products sold out in two and a half weeks on Amazon. Demand has remained strong, as Americans, now with heighted awareness about germs and disease, are finally starting to understand that cleanliness is a critical element of overall wellness.
Today there is a price point for almost every budget to add either a washlet or full bidet toilet in every bathroom and powder room in your home.
Fun Fact: Powder Rooms, usually found close to the entrance of a home, were first introduced during the Spanish Flu in 1918, to ensure that guests washed their hands before entering the main part of the home.
* WASHLET is a registered trademark of TotoUSA. We use the term here interchangeably when referring to other manufacturers’ products which may commonly be referred to as bidet style toilet seats.
Toto WASHLET & WASHLET+
Arguably, the industry leader in brand recognition, dependability and technological advancement, Toto offers a variety of WASHLET and WASHLET+ products to fit every budget and need. A WASHLET is a feature-packed bidet seat that can be installed atop your existing toilet of any type.
WASHLET+ is a two part Toto system of both the toilet and a bidet seat that fit together as one unit when paired together. The WASHLET+ system comes in a variety of combinations to allow you to find the perfect aesthetic and functional match for your individual preference.
Recently introduced products include the C2 and C5, Aquia IV Arc and Aquia IV Cube, with many of the patented Toto features such as EWATER+ – ionized water for sanitization and Water PREMIST to prevent adhesion of waste materials to the bowl. With an automatic deodorizer, warm air drying, adjustable water temperature and dual action spray, you have a plethora of options available for every price point.
Omigo Element + Bidet Toilet Seat
Omigo, the newest member of the bidet toilet seat producers, is quickly making a name for itself. A father-son team from North Carolina, the Omigo duo set out to improve on the standard toilet seat by creating an affordable bidet toilet seat that sits atop most standard, existing American toilets.
With features such as rear and front wash, varied water temperatures and jet settings and seven nozzle positions, the Omigo Element + is taking on industry leaders by offering an affordable bidet toilet seat. Reviews attest that the DIY installation is easy, takes less than fifteen minutes and requires no electricity.
Perhaps the most popular full bidet is the remote controlled Toto Neorest line, which is synonymous with comfortable, healthy living. From the automatic opening and closing of the lid to the hands free washing and drying, to its automatic flushing and self-cleaning, you have a completely sanitary experience, without ever coming into contact with waste material.
With PREMIST to keep the bowl clean before and between each use, Toto Neorest uses CEFIONTECT ceramic glaze which minimize waste sticking to the ceramic surfaces and EWATER+ or electrolyzed water, a proven disinfectant, keeps the cleansing wand and bowl sanitized. A remote control allows you to control jet and water settings so you have just the right amount of pressure and temperature that suits your needs.
Soaking and Hydrotherapy Bathtubs
Balneotherapy is the ancient tradition of treating various diseases and ailments with bathing or heat exposure through tub bathing. A Japanese study conducted over a twenty-year period concluded that hot baths, or thermal immersions, have a preventive effect against cardiovascular disease (CVD) by improving the flow of blood throughout the body’s organs and tissues. The conclusion of the 30,000 plus participant study was simple: taking frequent baths, or “tub bathing”, is associated with decreased risks of cardiovascular disease.
Around the world, people have sworn to the medical benefits of mineral baths, or hydrothermal therapy, as a cure for skin ailments (Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, and Vitiligo) and other diseases (Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Respiratory Disorders). In almost any country in the world, you can find a “hot spring” that locals swear by as the cure-all for whatever ails you.
Physicians have long promoted the efficacy of the Epsom salt bath to increase circulation, encourage perspiration of toxins and soothe tired and overworked muscles. With the proliferation of all types of soaking tubs, the idea that these are luxury items has been dispelled by the different materials and producers currently in the market.
Victoria and Albert
A British purveyor of finely crafted, luxury freestanding bathtubs made of volcanic limestone, Victoria and Albert has made its mark as one of the top quality luxury bath producers in the world. Hand crafted from locally sourced South African limestone, the company’s proprietary process creates a durable, sleek bathtub, made to last a lifetime and backed by a 25-year warranty. With several styles, shapes, depths and lengths from which to choose, Victoria and Albert Bathtubs are affordable showpieces for your bathroom that are elevated to functional art.
Toto Flotation Tub with Zero Dimension
Toto introduced its Flotation Tub with Zero Dimension, the world’s first zero gravity bathtub allowing bathers to experience tension-free, calming, weightlessness flotation. The adjustable headrest has a cascading water shoulder warmer to soothe overworked neck, shoulders and arms in a continuous stream of hydrotherapy.
The tub’s depth allows bathers to remain in a floating position, much like a body would float in space or other zero gravity environments. Equipped with hydrohands, jets with deep stimulation that mimic real hands kneading muscles of the lower back, the flotation tub also has air jets or soothing streams of bubbles throughout.
Steam has been known to diffuse stress and other toxic elements which are precursors to debilitating diseases. Long associated with Turkish baths, health spas and high-end health clubs, steam showers are now becoming affordable, residential fixtures, at price points that deliver a positive return on investment for your health.
Steam inhalation has been used to treat chest colds, sinus conditions, and to improve breathing conditions in adults by infusing warm, moisture into lungs to loosen mucus inside the airways. Sitting in a steam room has been associated with improvements in cardiovascular health, as it is believed to improve circulation in older individuals, especially in extremities, which can lead to improvements in blood pressure.
Video courtesy of Health Q.
Purveyors of both commercial and residential steam rooms, Mr. Steam has a variety of options for custom steam showers big or small. With their award-winning steam therapy products, the company has been in business for over 100 years with their beginnings in 1917, as the world’s first electric steam iron for garment care. Through innovation and improvements in technology, the business has evolved into deluxe, residential steam showers that are backed by a lifetime warranty.
Thermasol designs and builds products to create the home spa experience. Using smart home technology, Thermasol components include a steam generator, steam controller and steam heads all fully controlled by any smart device that uses Alexa voice controls. With programmable features, the system allows you to create personal wellness routines in a simple one-touch command.
Chromotherapy, treatment that uses visible spectrums to cure various diseases and medical conditions, in combination with a steam shower or hot Epsom Salt bath, not only helps to complete the spa atmosphere, but can add additional health benefits, as well.
In a peer-reviewed article published in 2019, The Mechanistic Basis of Chromotherapy: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives, researchers studied the effects of previous works conducted on visible light on bacteria, enzymes for wound healing, and the treatment of psychiatric, allergic and hypertension diseases. The study highlights the correlation of light wavelengths and mechanisms of photobiology and conventional chromotherapy.
Earlier research revealed that the human body is composed of colors and is therefore stimulated by colors which are responsible for the correct functioning of various systems.
A study revealed that all organs and limbs of the body have their own distinct colors, frequencies and vibrational energies:
“When various parts of the body deviate from these expected normal vibrations, one can assume that the body is either diseased or at least not functioning properly. The vibratory rates inherent in the vibrational technique (chromotherapy) are such that they balance the diseased energy pattern found in the body. For in every organ there is an energetic level at which the organ functions best. Any departure from that vibratory rate results in pathology, whereas restoring the appropriate energy levels to the physical organs results in a healed body”.
“Light affects both the physical and etheric bodies. Colors generate electrical impulses and magnetic currents or fields of energy that are prime activators of the biochemical and hormonal processes in the human body, the stimulants or sedatives necessary to balance the entire system and its organs”.
Livinghouse Chromotherapy Systems
Livinghouse, one of the UK’s leading luxury bathroom fittings suppliers, offers a DIY installation chromotherapy lighting system for showers, bathrooms and other wet rooms. Kits are available with 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 waterproof lights, and includes: color changing lights with 7 spectrums; a controller; an ON/OFF switch; and automatic or manual options.
Amerec A210LK Chromotherapy Light Kit
Designed to be used in steam, sauna and bath enclosures, the Amerec A210LK Chromatherapy Light Kit is perhaps the most popular chromotherapy light for wet rooms. The kit includes one lamp, housing, transformer and a color selection controller for four spectrums.
LE RGB Color Changing Light Bulb with Remote
If you are hesitant about installing a true chromotherapy system, then test the concept with the LE RGB Color Changing Bulb, an inexpensive option for under $10. The bulb offers four color spectrums (Red, Green, Blue and White) and four lighting modes (Flash, Strobe, Fade and Smooth). Ideal for either indoor or outdoor use these 40 watt incandescent bulbs will remember the color and brightness from your last session.
Ayurvedic medicine has always stood on the principle that our bodies are attuned to our innate nature, diet and lifestyle. This balance to maintaining good health can be achieved with essential oils found in the pharmacy of nature in a healing practice known as aromatherapy. Plant based oils can make a positive impact on health and well-being as long as they are used in a safe manner. Always use high quality, concentrated products that have been distilled and packaged under sterile conditions.
Aromatherapy is thought to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system – the part of the brain that controls emotions.
This ancient tradition of stimulating olfactory receptors for healing the body has started to gain traction in the western medical world, as studies, from Johns Hopkins, The Mayo Clinic and other highly regarded medical institutions, have begun touting the benefits and validity of aromatherapy. Experts are now recommending lemon essential oil for headaches and mental fatigue, or mandarin oil to combat restlessness, anxiety, nausea and to induce sleep.
And finally, music, known to calm the savage beast, and to put you in a state of total relaxation and calm, can be streamed into your bathroom during a shower, bath or your morning constitutional. From nature sounds, to Classical to your favorite podcast, auditory or music therapy has been known to have a profound effect on both emotions and the body. Slow, rhythmic tempos can provide the impetus to quiet the mind and relax your muscles, while scientifically proven to create alpha brainwaves, which are present when we are relaxed and conscious. According to researchers at Stanford University: “listening to music seems to be able to change brain functions to the same extent as medications”.
Video and music courtesy of Yellow Brick Cinema – Relaxing Music.
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