The curious case of rain bathing
Imagine, the sky is pouring. All the dry heat of the summer is getting dissipated. The raindrops falling on the roof of our houses, kissing the glass of the windows give us a heavenly feeling.
If someone wishes to go out and immerse himself/herself in nature, can we really blame that person? Probably not, as many of us prefer to do the same.
Bathing in the rain is a favourite pastime of many, provided the rain is there of course. But do we know it may have some health benefits as well?
Rainwater is cleaner than our average water. It has alkali in it, which can help clean the impurities and dirt from our hair. So if someone bathes in the rain regularly, the hair is supposed to look shinier and healthier.
One catch though, after coming back from the rain, the hair should be washed again with a mild shampoo.
Studies revealed that the microorganisms found in rainwater can stimulate the production of vitamin B12 in the human body. To get this benefit, the bathing time in the rain should be about 10-15 minutes, and afterwards, take a bath with a mild soap.
Rainwater has a calm and soothing effect. Why? Because contact with this water releases certain hormones, e.g. endorphins and serotonin. These are known as pleasure hormones which may reduce stress and change the mood for the better.
Rain has a soothing effect on the skin too, especially after a dry summer. The summer heat and sweat can cause rashes in the body. Rain baths cool the heat and help to alleviate the rash.
Researchers from Nihon Fukushi University, Japan, identified an important characteristic of rainwater. They showed that if someone runs in the rain as a form of exercise, this will actually burn a lot of fat. So doing physical activity in the rain may have some value for getting rid of extra calories.
A note of caution, nothing in excess is good. While rain bathing has its merits, spending too much time in cold rain is detrimental to health. Experts warned that a cold shower interferes with our body’s normal temperature, which may cause shivering or uncomfortable feelings.
It is also advised that we should not choose the first monsoon rain as the time for a bath, as experts suggested this may not be healthy.
So, the next time the rain is on, maybe we can take the chance and get into it. But we must remember, soaking in rain for a long time, e.g., 20 minutes or so may cause more harm than good.
Also, it may also not be a good idea to do this every time it rains. It may be better to do it periodically, just to be on the safer side.