We take inspiration from the four elements to create an elevated and spiritual bathing experience.
Element of Water 水
Water is essential for existence and represents the flow of change. Like flowing water, life is in perpetual movement - always changing. In many cultures, water is used to heal and purify the mind, body, and soul.
At Inoki Bathhouse, water is our first element. We take every step to perfect the bath experience so that the water you soak in and the tea that you drink provide you the warmth and comfort needed to find your balance in this busy life.
Element of Earth 土
Earth is the most grounded and supportive element. It is found in the vast mountains, hills, and fields. It is pivotal to inhabiting life and, in many cultures, represents substenance.
Through the earth element, we explore plant and tea-based ingredients from diverse regions and cultures to create a unified scent and flavour profile for an elevated relaxation experience. Let earth nourish you.
Element of Fire 火
Fire is essential for growth and represents the flow of energy. In many cultures, fire represents transformation and life.
Although fire can be seen as destructive, in many cultures it’s used as a way to illuminate, enlighten, and connect us to the immaterial world. Let fire warm your spirit and bring you a sence of renewal during uncertain times.
Element of Air 气
Air is the element of life itself and represents knowledge and wisdom. It is practiced globally in the form of mindfulness and meditation to bring clarity and focus.
The Inoki bath experience incorporates intention-setting, mindful visualizations, and breathing exercises to ensure a holistically calming experience. Let air bring presence into your practice.
Element of Metal (New Fifth Element)
Metal is a new element that came with innovation. To me, it represents, the technology you have available to you. My goal is to help you feel grounded with your experience but have it enhanced with everyday digital convenience. This includes adding meditation/mindfulness exercises, soothing music, and more.
What is our version of bath therapy?
Bath therapy to me is being intentional with dedicating time to relax and decompress in the comfort of a warm bath. It also includes creating a relaxing end-to-end bath experience for yourself and making a conscious decision to be away from technology.
A perfect end-to-end bath experience for me is:
- Aromatherapy with natural and herbal ingredients
- Soothing and invigorating traditional Chinese or Japanese tea to sip
- Mood lighting, which involves candles and/or bamboo lanterns
- Delicious fruits or snacks to enjoy during the bath
- Soothing music that flows so seamlessly you feel like you've been transported
- Warm, steamy, and humid atmosphere
- A well-decorated bathroom environment filled with flowers and plants
At Inoki Bathhouse, we aspire to provide you the resources to create the ultimate at-home bath experience for relaxation. I know this appears to be a lot of work, but you do not have to follow what I do. It's all about giving yourself the right environment to relax and decompress, that varies person-by-person.
I aspire to make your bathroom your happy place
I want to reimagine at-home baths by creating a full sensory bath experience that uplifts you in all the right ways. Whether it's to decompress from a tough week, get away from all the mounting stressors, work through some emotional challenges, or simply because you deserve a good break, I hope to equip you with all the resources you need to feed your spirit and find your balance.
Creating your perfect bath environment
Here are my recommendations for creating the perfect bathhouse environment inside your own bathroom. I will continue updating this list.
- Mood Lighting: Purchase warm mood lights so that you can turn off the florescent light in your bathroom. My favourite is a woven bamboo lamp. Use enough light to make you feel like you're in an everlasting sunset, but not enough that it strains your eyes.
- Candles: Light candles throughout your bathroom to create a warm sunset hue. As part of the Inoki Bathhouse kit, I include 6 tealight candles with lavender to sprinkle into it to give it a nice light lavender scent.
- Fresh Flowers: Buy yourself some beautiful and fresh flowers. You deserve it and it will look fantastic in your bathroom. Support a local flower shop if you can!
- Dry Flowers: I highly recommend getting dry flowers so you don't have to buy fresh flowers all the time. It will make your bathroom look phenomenal. I purchase my dry flowers from local flower shops. Note: dry flowers are not meant to be in humid environments, but if you're taking baths once a week, I don't think it's a big deal.
- Plants: I love including my plants in my environment (I personally have a money tree and a hanging plant) in my bath environment. Hanging plants such as Boston Fern, Golden Pothos, Maidenhair Fern, String of Nickels, are fantastic and low maintenance.
- Fake Plants: I have a ton of fake plants, but I don't use it as much for my bath environment nowadays because real plants are more aesthetic and pleasing to look at. Tip: get your plants from proper plant shops as opposed to supermarkets. The detail is in the quality of the plant roots and soil - if the foundation is good then it will be resilient. Real plants also help clean the air in your home so double win.
- Do not overdo the scent: Do not overdo the fragrances and essential oils because your tolerance for scents will adjust during bath experience. My bathhouse formulations are made with natural plant-based ingredients with sweet scents that continue to release throughout the bath experience as it soaks in the warm waters (it's not overpowering or too subtle).
- Do not combine scents: Do not combine scents from different products when you're in your bathroom. For example: lighting all sorts of scented candles that have disjointed scents. This also includes using scented products (use your products at the very end). Create a relaxing scent and stick with it for the entire soaking experience, it will make the bath experience much more relaxing.
- Bath Cushion: Get yourself a bath cushion. It absolutely changed my bath experience. My bath formulations will definitely stain your bath cushions into a tea colour. I hope this isn't a deal breaker, but if it is, no hard feelings!
- Bathtub Tray: My bamboo tray transform my bath experience. Now I can read a book/kindle, enjoy fruits, and drink hot tea.
- Bath Bowl: Get a bath bowl (you can honestly use anything). When I visited bathhouses in Japan and Korea, I used large wooden bowls/buckets to scoop hot bath water and pour it over my head and body. It was a functional use of limited water and created a relaxing sensation from the quick water pressure.
- Gua Sha: If you're not familiar with gua sha, it's essentially the practice of using a tool that helps relieve pain and tension. This practice originates from traditional Chinese medicine. You can use the gua sha tool to massage various parts of your body, like the muscles in your back in legs. Massaging your muscles while you're in a hot bath seems like the perfect opportunity to give your muscles some more love.
- Floor Towel: To create and maintain a steamy bathroom, I recommend putting a body towel at the foot of your door. Cold air will typically rush in from that crack and we want to avoid that.
- Facial Bath Towel: Have a small clean towel available in your bath so that you can soak it in warm water and wrap it around your eyes and neck.
Refreshments: Tea & Fruits
- Bring Heat to Your Body with Hot Tea: Whenever I was sick with a cold, my mom would tell me to sweat it out. I believe this is a part of traditional Chinese medicinal practices - the belief that adding heat to your body and sweating it out will bring balance back to any internal chaos. As part of the Inoki Bathhouse experience, I include premium traditional Chinese or Japanese tea in the bathhouse kits to help bring you some delicious, aromatic heat.
- Refresh with Fruits: My mom's greatest act of service throughout my childhood was proactively cutting me fruits. I believe giving someone or even yourself a fresh bowl of fruits is love - either an act of love or self-love. It's also a great source of vitamins and electrolytes considering how much you'll be sweating in your bath.
Here's some scientific research
Benefits of a Hot Bath
Plath, who struggled with depression, would surely have felt vindicated by the findings of a study reported in NewScientist, which concluded that taking regular afternoon baths was associated with a moderate but persistent lift in mood among people with depression. Indeed, the size of the effect was greater than that of physical exercise – a more established mood booster.
By increasing participants’ core body temperatures, the theory goes, warm baths helped to strengthen and synchronize their circadian rhythms, the daily fluctuations in behaviour and biochemistry that affect every one of our organs, including the brain.
Core body temperature usually rises during the daytime and falls at night – in fact, this nightly decrease helps us to fall asleep by promoting release of the hormone melatonin, which tells the body when it is night. However, in depressed people, this temperature rhythm is often flatter, disrupted or delayed by several hours. In the research, eight weeks later, those taking regular warm baths in the afternoon scored six points lower on a commonly used depression scale, while the exercise group scored three points lower on average compared to the control group.
Benefits of Aromatherapy
Research on the effectiveness of aromatherapy is limited; however, studies have shown that aromatherapy might have health benefits, including:
- Relief from anxiety and depression
- Improved quality of life, particularly for people with chronic health conditions
- Improved sleep
Smaller studies suggest that aromatherapy with lavender oil may help:
- Reduce pain for people with osteoarthritis of the knee
- Improve quality of life for people with dementia
- Reduce pain for people with kidney stones