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A sitz bath is a localized bathing apparatus, that is particularly recommended by doctors for those who suffer from hemorrhoids, anal fissures, itching, swelling, or pain in the genital areas. It is usually taken with the help of a sitz bathtub, which is fitted over a toilet seat. This allows for a comfortable localized bathing procedure to make sure that you get the maximum benefit from it. A sitz bath is based on the principle that by soaking the area it has been designed for, in warm water, will help increase circulation to that area and relieve it of all the troubles it is afflicted by.This procedure does not necessarily require a specific tub, and may be carried out in a regular bathtub. There are specific instructions that need to be followed in order to ensure the effectiveness of such a bath.

Directions

Based on the principles of hydrotherapy, this procedure is known to provide comfort even to women, immediately after childbirth. The directions to perform a sitz bath are very simple and easy to follow. Take a look.
  • Amount of Water: If you have a specific sitz bathtub, it may come with a drain, and with the ability to provide a constant flow of water. This is to be placed over the toilet seat, and all the additional water will be drained into the toilet. Some may be without a drain, so you must fill it only with an amount that will sufficiently cover your buttocks and hips, to avoid unnecessary spillage. If you are using a bathtub, then fill it with about 3-4 inches of water.
  • Water Temperature: The temperature of the water you use should be warm, not burning hot. It should be warm enough to last you for about 20 minutes at least. As such, though the temperature may be slightly uncomfortable for you at the start, it will slowly reach a point where it is comfortable enough for your use. It is recommended by some practitioners of alternative medicine, that switching from warm to cold water at regular intervals, enhances the healing process. If you find it convenient, switch from warm water to cold water every 5 minutes, and remain in the cold water only for about 5-10 seconds.
  • Additions to the Water: Some doctors may recommend you to add salt, baking soda, or vinegar (in a small amount), based on the condition you are using the sitz bath for. Always discuss the appropriate amount and the choice of additions for your condition before you choose to add them in the bath. There are also specific recipes that you can make, with various herbs and essential oils, but these should be used only after consulting a qualified herbalist, as the effect of some of these may not be very positive for everyone.
  • Undergoing the Process: Get into the sitz bath, and soak yourself for about 10-20 minutes. Ensure that the water is covering the necessary areas to promote healing. If you are using a bathtub, soak the affected areas by sitting in the tub and keep your knees bent. When you are soaking in the tub, make sure that you focus on pain relief. It is known that such attempts enhance the process of curing the condition.
  • Wrapping Up the Sitz Bath: After about 15-20 minutes of soaking, make sure you get up slowly. If you get up too fast, it is possible for you to feel lightheaded and dizzy, while losing your balance. Dab the soaked area with a clean, soft towel. Ensure that it is completely dry as leaving it damp may further aggravate your condition.
  • Bathtub Hygiene: Once you are done with the sitz bath, ensure that you clean the tub well, rinse it, and dry it for next use. Do not use very harsh chemicals to clean the tub, as they may affect your purpose the next time it is used.
For better effect, perform a sitz bath at least 2-3 times a day. Though they are relatively free of any side effects, it is always advisable to opt for one, only at your doctor's discretion.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.