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Hydrotherapy and Walk-in Bathtubs

by Alan Knight

A Brief History of Hydrotherapy

Roman Bathhouse
Human beings have been soaking in water for therapeutic purposes since the days of antiquity. Some of the earliest documentation of hydrotherapy was by the Greek physician Hippocrates. Chinese, Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations all have records of the medicinal uses of hydrotherapy.

Hippocrates promoted bathing in spring water. Ancient Rome created communal public baths. The Egyptians believed that adding aromatic oils and flower essences would aid in healing. Practices changed and evolved, and people continued to experience the healing benefits of hydrotherapy.

Natural Springs and Hydrotherapy

Wherever there are natural springs throughout the world, there are people who go to them to soak, to be healed by them, and just to relax in them. Some of the most famous places to “take the waters” in Europe are:

Tuscany, Italy, where the waters at thermal spa resorts are replenished every four hours by a volcanic spring.

The city of Bath in Great Britain, where the healing waters of Britain’s only thermal spring have been enjoyed by everyone from the Saxons to the Celts. The name of the city is no coincidence. (Which goes to prove that even back then there were marketers.)

Carlsbad, Czech Republic, a Bohemia spa town founded in the 14th century. The mineral waters there are reputed to have external and internal healing properties. Visitors can drink from the springs at several of the town’s historic colonnade complexes.

Florida’s Springs

DeLeon Springs
One of the most famous springs of them all is The Fountain of Youth, which is just south of Jacksonville in St. Augustine. Ponce DeLeon and his crew travelled a long way to find it. There’s no swimming, but tourists can drink a bit of water from it.

Visitors can swim in De Leon Springs, which is about 60 miles south of St. Augustine. It’s estimated that Native Americans used those springs going back as many as 6,000 years. Late in the 19th century, De Leon Springs became a winter resort that attracted wealthy northerners.

Yet another popular resort was built around Wakullah Springs south of Tallahassee by financier Edward Ball.  The Lodge at Wakullah Springs is still in operation and visitors continue to flock to it to swim and soak in the springs.

There are many other lesser known springs in Florida, including Blue Springs near Daytona, Ginnie Springs near Gainesville, Salt Springs and Silver Glen Springs south of Palatka, and many others. Floridians and visitors from other states continue to soak in them.

Closer to Jacksonville, the city of Green Cover Springs was a popular resort in the 19th century. These days, no swimming is allowed in the actual spring. However, water from the spring directly supplies and flows through a nearby municipal swimming pool.

Modern Hydrotherapy

Most people know that it is important to drink enough water. However, they may not realize that water applied externally can also treat illness or injury and promote health. This is a holistic type of therapy. Water is naturally soothing, making hydrotherapy an excellent choice for anyone interested in a treatment to help relieve stress. Hot water relaxes the muscles, stimulates the immune system, and causes blood vessels to dilate.

Bathers often experience greater invigoration and more fulfilling periods of relaxation. Modern hydrotherapy is the treatment of injury and illness through the use of hot and cold water. Hydrotherapy can help rid the body of toxins that may cause joint pain and inflammation. It can help in relaxing muscles and it relieves pressure on joints and bones.

Hydrotherapy has become a popular home health treatment, especially among injured people and the elderly. Many walk-in bathtubs feature therapeutic massage jets. Some manufacturers offer dual systems, incorporating both air and water jets. Hydrotherapy has commonly been used to alleviate pain associated with arthritis, blood circulation, fibromyalgia, and other infirmities. Water jets are designed to move water vigorously, while air jets represent a gentler form of hydrotherapy.

Depending on your objectives, the water temperature can be adjusted. The gentle pressure of circulating water can enhance the bathing experience. External hydrotherapy is a simple and effective treatment that can be enjoyed in the comfort of your home with a walk-in bathtub. A walk-in bathtub with hydrotherapy can promote ongoing health and wellness. External hydrotherapy can ease stress, relax muscles, and relieve pressure on joints and bones.

Walk-in Bathtubs by Tub King

Tub King offers a completely therapeutic bathing experience that anyone can enjoy. If you find it challenging to get in and out of a traditional tub, a walk-in tub or safety shower could be  the answer for you. You’ll experience the healing effects of water on joints and muscles. Our walk-in bath tubs are safe to get into and out of. They drain quickly, have easy to use controls and low maintenance requirements.

In business since 1993, our team has the knowledge and expertise to do the job right every time. All of our walk-in bath tubs come with hydrotherapy jets (hot air bubbles). An upgrade to Whirlpool jets is also available. Your invigorating experience in our walk-in tubs will relieve stress and inflammation, ease muscle strains, cramps, back and neck pain. You can finally enjoy a soothing bath again! 


The Seaspray 051

The “SeaSpray 051” is the perfect walk-in tub for smaller spaces. No remodeling is needed to bring through doorways! This Safety Walk-in Bathtub was designed to fit into your existing tub space.  The “Cascade Model” walk-in bath tub can easily be brought through any bathroom doorway without remodeling or widening the door frame. It is designed to fits in area that have space constraints. 

The Seaspray 051 holds 40 gallons of water. The patented lock system on the entry door has a water tight seal with a lifetime warranty and the entry door has an easy to use lever bar. This model is made of extra thick fiberglass sealed in gel coat and is designed to last a lifetime. The molded seat is 17 inches high to eliminate back strain when sitting and standing, while also providing back support and comfort.

The built-in grab bar for balancing and slip-resistant seat and surfaces prevent falls and the beautiful faucet set comes with a hand held shower. The hydrotherapy system features 18 air jets to provide therapeutic bubbles for easing pains and treating injuries.

The Seaspray 202

The SeaSpray 202 Walk in Tub is roomy and popular.   The “Seaspray” 202 model is Tub King’s tallest walk-in tub that provides easy access with a choice of entry door on the left or right. The  Seaspray 202 is specifically designed for tall people or those who weigh over 300 pounds.

Tub King has many great reviews and guarantees the lowest prices. Call today to arrange a consultation with a bathtub professional from Tub King.

In this article, I’ve discussed the benefits of hydrotherapy, some of the history of hydro-therapy, the natural springs of Florida, and walk-in bathtubs. If you’ve found this article helpful in any way, please post a comment and pass the article along to others.

Would you like to receive a free copy of our new ebook – Tub King’s Ultimate Guide to Cast Iron/Porcelain Tubs, Walk-in Tubs & Safety Suite Showers? Fill in the form below and we will send it to you for free! It is also for sale and you can see/buy it on Amazon.com by clicking on this link.

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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.
 
Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville,  Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. In addition to providing superior products, Tub King has been honored with “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Awards” for four years running. If you would like to contact Alan Knight, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to alan@tubking.com.
 
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GET RID OF YOUR STRESS – IT’S NOT HELPING YOU

Becoming Your Parents Parents

Courtesy of  wheelsandfeet.wordpress.com

by Alan Knight

Watching a loved one deteriorate, whether it is physically, mentally or both, is a very difficult process. You have wonderful memories of your parents in their prime at family dinners and outings, giving of themselves and creating memories that last a lifetime. They raised their families and worked hard to provide for their loved ones. They were war veterans, entrepreneurs, musicians, doctors, teachers, and so much more. They made major contributions to society with their work ethic and love for their family. It was difficult to imagine they would ever grow old. For that matter, you probably thought you would be young forever and always have the comfort of knowing you would always have that shoulder to lean on.

Now the roles have reversed. You are seeing changes in your parents that make you worry and even occasionally step up to take a little more control of their lives. They don’t want to feel like a burden, so it becomes a sensitive issue. It’s a fact that people are living much longer than they did in the past.  However, it’s also difficult for most people to ask for help when they need it most. Admitting they need help represents a loss of independence. This can lead to denial.  Denial is the unrealistic hope that a problem is not really happening and will go away by itself. “Denial plays a major role and signs get ignored,” says Paul Hogan, Founder and Chairman of Home Instead Senior Care.
Image courtesy of caregiveraction.org

The process of becoming the caregiver can become overwhelming, both financially and emotionally.  Whether you are prepared for this task or not, you will be faced with making some major decisions associated with their care. Most of us would prefer to allow our loved ones to stay in the comfort of their homes and studies show that 80 to 90 percent of elderly people prefer to stay at home as long as possible. You can be an integral part of giving your parents the independence they need while having some input to ensure they are safe and secure.

MAKING FOOD PREP EASY AND SAFE

As our loved ones age, preparing food can be a potentially dangerous task. Gas burners and ovens can be left on, shaky hands can lead to cuts and burns, water can be left running and so on. Under normal circumstances, accidents do happen in the kitchen. Did you know that home fires started by cooking equipment kill about 480 people a year? Much of that is preventable since it’s often due to leaving cooking equipment unattended. As our loved ones age, they become more forgetful and the likelihood of these accidents increases, which is exactly what we are trying to help them avoid.

Eating healthy is an essential part of keeping our bodies and minds in top form and to guard against illness. As people age, they often tend to choose easier methods to cook meals and that may often mean eating more canned food and frozen dinners that have little nutritional value. As I already mentioned, accidents can occur if they are trying to do too much food preparation.

A great option is home food delivery. There are a number of delivery services that can deliver healthy home cooked meals to your loved one’s door. They can also cater to the special dietary needs of their clients. This is definitely a more expensive option, but it can also be used as a safe supplement rather than the primary source of food for your loved ones.

Cook in bulk for your family and prepare portions for your parents. Thank goodness for the microwave oven. A great way to be efficient and economical is to cook in bulk. Don’t make a pot of chili that feeds four; make it so it feeds eight people and put it into individual containers to bring to your parent’s home where they can eat or freeze it. Seniors know how to use a microwave and it provides a much safer option than using the stove or oven. More importantly, they will be eating healthy, nutritional meals that you cooked, while at the same time reducing the chances of causing an accident in the kitchen.

PREP THE HOME FOR SAFETY– DON’T LET THE BATHROOM BE THE CULPRIT

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 285,000 people visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom. More than a third of these injuries occur when bathing or showering.  There are many ways to make a bathroom safer for your loved ones in order to decrease the chances of falls which can be debilitating and potentially deadly for seniors.

1.      Install grab bars near the toilet and other places where one must stand for a period of time. Tile floors are slippery when wet and bathroom spaces often do not have good footing. Seniors can have issues with balance, making them particularly susceptible to falls in the bathroom.

2.      Climbing in and out of a bathtub can be an ordeal as a person ages. A bathtub in the home can be altered with safety features or even replaced with a more modern and safe version such as walk-in bathtubs and safety showers. This is an expense that is well worthy of consideration since it can contribute to the independence of older adults and give them the privacy they desire when taking care of their bathing needs.

Safety shower image courtesy of TubKing.com

These showers and tubs are literally made so you can walk into them without a climb. They have built-in seats and removable shower heads so one can sit comfortably and safely without fear of slipping. Can you imagine how independent your loved ones might feel knowing they are safer in the bathroom and are able to take of their own needs? Even better, these showers and tubs are made so anyone can walk into them without a climb. Can you imagine how independent your loved ones would feel knowing they are safer in the bathroom and are able to take of their own needs?


  
PAY ATTENTION TO THEIR MEDICAL AND PHYSICAL NEEDS

Don’t rely on your parents to remember to take their medications if they need them. Set up a system to ensure they are taking their prescribed medications. Did you know there are “smart” pill bottles on the market? They have 3G capabilities and sensors that can track humidity levels within the bottle to “sense” how many pills or fluid ounces are left inside. Amazing! That data is then sent into the cloud and can remind people via a telephone call or text.

Focus on maintenance for healthy seniors and encourage them to be active. People are living longer than ever and can live long, healthy lives and stay physically fit. Be the motivator and inspiration. Encourage them to take a walk after dinner or enroll them in your local YMCA. They often have classes geared towards seniors and they can make friends while they’re working out.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE LOVE

Everyone desires to age gracefully and independently. Today’s seniors have many resources that allow them the freedom to live healthy, happy and independent lives while giving their caregivers peace of mind.

I hope you found the information in this article useful. Until the next time….

 Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.
Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 

The ABC’s of Bathroom Redos

by Alan Knight

Do you dream of having a luxurious master bathroom where you can escape the daily hustle and

Image courtesy of TubKing.com

bustle to relax in your own private spa? Do you dream of a sanctuary, a quiet, pristine place where you perform your daily ablutions? Is your dream bathroom reminiscent of a grand hotel or does it have the aesthetic of a zen-like space? Does all this dreaming make you consider  some little changes to your bathroom or are you thinking of giving it a complete overhaul? Keep in mind, there is practicality in improving a master bathroom in your home. The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your home, especially when it comes to resale value. An average bathroom remodel can yield a 75% return on the investment and make it more appealing to buyers. So let’s look at the ABC’s of remodeling.


A= APPEAL – AS IN “EYE-APPEAL”
When it comes to a redesign of your bathroom, this is your chance to express your personality through the bath’s design, colors, fixtures, and lighting. What are your priorities? Are you looking for more luxury, better lighting, or to update an 80’s looking bathroom? Do you want your tub or shower to be the focal point or do you prefer to put more emphasis on the vanity area?  Consider installing grab bars in your bathroom to prevent unnecessary accidents. If your plan is to sell your home, research the improvements that will “show” well by making your home stand out from the rest. New counter tops and flooring are visible improvements that will be noticed. A show-stopping tub can be all you need to make a big splash. A walk-in shower is a stand out addition with many safety features and will be a blessing to have in your elder years. Are you seeking a modern look or something more whimsical? You can find many great ideas by looking through design magazines, visiting home centers or showrooms and of course, doing your research on the internet.

THE “B” WORD – PLANNING YOUR BUDGET
Planning your budget is the most important factor when planning a remodel. The two factors to consider are materials and labor. Labor can account for approximately a third of the total remodel. The budget will guide your decision-making process and give you an idea of how much a makeover you will be able to afford. Don’t forget to leave a cushion, because you want to account for those little surprises that may be lurking behind the walls. Unexpected plumbing issues can be costly and require more time and money than originally planned. Remember that a luxurious master bathroom will increase the value of your home. If you are planning on selling in less than five years, then consider the remodel as an investment. If you plan on staying in your home, then the remodel is an investment in your comfort and serenity that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.

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COUNTING UP THE COMPONENTS
As you know, while the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, it’s also helpful to lessen the daunting task of putting it all together by looking at the bathroom as separate sections:  The bath and shower, the vanity area and the toilet, the floor. Think about where changes are most needed and start in that zone. If you’re doing a complete remodel, keep a notebook in order to stay consistent with the style as you progress.  But still remember to keep the big picture in mind. While you’re trying to make your bathroom your sanctuary, you must also keep in mind the functionality and practical considerations when doing your remodel. Space and layout will guide your decisions. When making major purchases, it’s important that you look for products that have features that are low-maintenance, lasting and safe.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS
Image courtesy of TubKing.com
Deciding whether you want a bathtub, shower, or a combination of both will be guided by your personal preference, space and budget. This is the area where you may want to splurge a bit because this is where a spa-like environment can be created. Actually, you can create not only a spa-like environment but an actual spa. The possibilities are endless starting with steam showers, walk-in zero threshold showers or a whirlpool tub. Don’t forget that safety is a major consideration when remodeling.   This is particularly important when purchasing a tub or shower. You may not be thinking about it when you are in your 30’s and 40’s, but if this is the home you will live in when you retire, then built-in safety features should be a must. Keep in mind you can have still a spa-like environment and be safe at the same time.

A zero threshold shower allows you the ability to walk into a tub or shower without having to climb. Safety showers and walk-in tubs come with many features to give you best of both worlds: Safety and luxury.  If you want to add a whirlpool to your tub, many walk-in tubs come with these features built-in.   Best of all, adding these elements to your master bath will also add value to your home.

THE ESSENTIALS
You probably think this blog is only about the bathtub and shower. Well, it’s also about the vanity area too. Countertops and counter space are significant in the bathroom’s design and this is where you can make another statement. Since the space is relatively small (as compared to a kitchen for example), you can spend a bit more on higher quality materials to give you that luxury feel. Natural stone counters on your vanity are not only durable and easy to clean, but also add to the luxury you seek. Some of the most popular choices are marble, granite, limestone and soapstone. To give a more spacious feel, a vanity that looks like a piece of furniture can also include storage that helps avoid clutter. Are you seeing the possibilities yet?

A FRESH START FOR THE FLUSH
Is your toilet making your bathroom look a bit outdated? There are new models that provide comfort and efficiency and that fit the aesthetics of your newly remodeled bathroom. These include one and two piece models designed with your family in mind.  A one piece toilet has the bowl and tank in one piece. It saves space and is more aesthetically pleasing. A two piece is more universally used. The bowl and the tank are separate, making it easier to maintain and afford.

GOT IT?

Remodeling your bathroom can be a major endeavor and it really makes sense to break the project down into components. Focusing on your budget, style choices, space and personal preferences are the keys to ensuring that you get the luxury you crave at prices you can afford.

 Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.
Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 

CLEOPATRA CHIC

THE MANY BENEFITS OF BATHING IN THE DEAD SEA
by Alan Knight

Image courtesy of dead-sea-cosmetics-shop.com

Imagine you’re wandering through the desert and see a picturesque clear blue lake in the distance.  Surely it must be a mirage, you tell yourself. As you walk closer you see people floating on top of the water and lying next to the shores of a desolate lake covered in mud. You also see salt formations that almost look like ice sculptures and you think this is completely surreal. Do not panic.  You aren’t having a hallucination.  You have happened upon the Dead Sea, the earth’s lowest elevation of land and one of the most mineral rich bodies of water on this earth.


LET’S START WITH A LITTLE HISTORY

The Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan was formed about 2,000,000 years ago after the land was repeatedly flooded by the waters of the Red Sea. Through geological changes over the millennia, the topography changed, causing the Red Sea to recede and a large creek to form where the water eventually became trapped. As the water flowed in from the surrounding rivers and streams, the creek grew over time and formed a landlocked sea.

SO WHY IS IT SO SALTY?

Oddly enough, water does not flow out of the Dead Sea.  It’s only escape is through evaporation.  This concentrates the salt and minerals from the original seawater, making it ever more salty. The heat of the desert causes more evaporation and the process continues. Water flows in, evaporates quickly, and salt and minerals collect in the water and on the shores. (There’s so much concentrated salt and minerals that people who swim in it bob to the surface like corks.

WHAT MAKES THIS WATER SO SPECIAL?

The list of minerals in its water is long, containing everything from potassium, magnesium, bromide, sulfur, collagen, calcium, lithium, strontium and so much more. The salt content in the Dead Sea is about 31%, while the salt content in most of the earth’s oceans is closer to 4%. Due to the high salt and mineral content, no plant or animal life can survive there.  Have you ever seen a natural lake with no plants growing near its shore or fish swimming below the surface? However, it’s the same properties that won’t allow marine life to survive that provides people with many benefits.  The Dead Sea’s amazing healing properties have attracted people to this area for thousands of years.

CLEOPATRA BATHED THERE

Image courtesy of jacksonupperco.com
When Cleopatra learned of the health benefits of the waters and mud surrounding the Dead Sea it is said she built the first spa along its shores. History tells us she was a lover of indulgence and wanted to preserve her beauty and health. According to legend, she used the therapeutic properties of the mud and minerals as part of her own beauty regimen.

NOW THE WORLD WANTS IN

The Dead Sea has today become a mecca for wellness and health, with spas and treatment centers surrounding it.  People from all parts of the globe travel there seeking treatment for everything from skin conditions, to arthritis and many other ailments that can benefit from the natural minerals and salt in the water, mud and clay.

Who doesn’t want to turn back the hands of time? Sure, aging is inevitable but there are natural remedies out there that have been proven to delay the process or at least soften it. Sulfur helps to provide softness and smoothness while sodium helps to heal dryness. Manganese helps to promote a healthy glow. The Dead Sea contains all these in abundance.

THE THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF BATHING

Balneotherapy (In Latin balneum means “bath”) has been effective in treating many rheumatic diseases since Roman times. One of the therapies in the Dead Sea is to have patients bathe in pools of thermal sulfur spring water with mud packed the mud around the joints. Huge cisterns are placed on the shores of the Dead Sea so people can slather on its healing mud. These therapies have been known to aid in joint stiffness, reducing chronic pain to the joints, lower back and more.

The climate in this region is also a major factor in these treatment therapies. The temperatures in the area are uniformly warm with a low level of relative humidity. The oxygen-rich air, high barometric pressure and low content of pollen and other allergens provide the perfect climate for people suffering from rheumatic ailments. Many sufferers of asthma and other lung conditions have reported significant improvements due to this optimum climate for health.

The Dead Sea waters and salt contains many of the minerals our body needs. Magnesium can combat stress and help to calm the nervous system. Bromides aid in relaxing muscles and calcium is effective in increasing circulation and balances skin moisture. It’s amazing to think one body of water can contain all these essential elements that aid in keeping us healthy. The Dead Sea has all of these elements in abundance.

DO I HAVE TO GO TO ISRAEL TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF THE DEAD SEA?

While it is quite an adventure and might be an item to add to your bucket list, you can enjoy many of

Image courtesy of TubKing.com

these benefits in the comfort of your own home. Dead Sea salts, creams and mud masks can be purchased online and in many retail stores. All you need is a tub filled with hot water. Pour some of that salt into the warm water, light a candle and slather on some mud in order to enjoy the natural benefits of those healing minerals and salts can impart. Afterward, you will feel much more relaxed and rejuvenated whether you are using the salts for healing purposes or just wish to bathe like Cleopatra.

In this article, we have discussed some of the history of the Dead Sea as well as the healing properties of the waters and salts. There have been studies for centuries about the health benefits that come from this magical place. It is worth a visit, but the exciting thing is you really can enjoy the benefits to your health in the privacy of your own home. I think it might be time to take a bath!
 Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.
Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 

What You Don’t Know About Mother’s Day … and What You Should Remember

By Alan Knight
Photo Credit: mothersdaycelebration.com

I hope you and yours enjoyed a warm and heartfelt Mother’s Day.

Did you know that while not the actual beginning of today’s Mother’s Day celebration, the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to their maternal goddesses is generally regarded as somewhat of a precursor to it?  Admittedly, some pundits are divided on this issue.  Nonetheless, the Greeks used the occasion to honor Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology.  Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria, which was dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. 
It may be noted that ceremonies in honor of Cybele began some 250 years before Jesus was born.  The celebration during in the Ides of March was made by making offerings in the temple of Cybele, which lasted for three days and included parades, games and masquerades.  Over time, the celebrations became so notorious that followers of Cybele were eventually banished from Rome. 
Photo Credit: britlitwiki.wikispaces.com

Early Christians celebrated a Mother’s Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.  However, the roots of today’s present Mother’s Day history can also be traced in UK where a “Mothering Sunday” was celebrated much before the festival saw the light of day in the U.S.   It was expanded to include all mothers.  A more recent history of Mother’s Day dates back to 1600s in England.  It was celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40-day period leading up to Easter) to honor mothers.  After a prayer service in church to honor the Virgin Mary, children brought gifts and flowers to pay tribute to their own mothers.  On this occasion, servants, apprentices and other employees staying away from their homes ― and there were many of them ― were encouraged by their employees to visit their own mothers and honor them. Traditionally, children brought gifts and a special fruit cake or fruit-filled pastry called a simnel.  Yugoslavs and people in other nations have observed similar days celebrating mothers.  While most countries celebrate Mother’s Day in May, usually the second Sunday of the month, in other parts of the world, Mother’s Day is celebrated at different times of the year and with different customs.

Origins of Mother’s Day in the Land of Lady Liberty

Photo Credit: awesomestories.com

The idea of the official celebration of Mother’s Day in the U.S. was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe. An abolitionist, activist, writer and poet, Julia Ward How is known for her famous Civil War song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  She wrote a passionate appeal to women and urged them to rise against war in her famous “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” which she had written in Boston in 1870.  In 1872, Julia Ward Howe suggested that June 2nd be annually celebrated as Mother’s Day, asking women from around the world to join together for peace.  Unfortunately, her efforts proved unsuccessful, and she openly began to wonder if Independence Day on July 4th could be reconfigured into her vision of “Mother’s Day.” Her idea evolved and was later replaced by the Mother’s Day holiday now celebrated in May.

Last year, our modern-day Mother’s Day celebrated its 100th birthday.  It was founded for the mourning women to remember soldiers who’d died in battle and to work for peace.  When the holiday began to take on overtly commercial overtones, another of its greatest champions, Anna Reeves Jarvis, tried vehemently to fight it, but ended up dying a pauper and broken in a sanitarium.
Photo Credit: puraproducts.com

According to an article, “Mother’s Day Turns 100: Its Surprisingly Dark History,” published last year by “National Geographic”: “In the 1850s a West Virginia woman, Ann Reeves Jarvis, Anna’s mother, held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination.  The group also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865.  In the postwar years, Jarvis and other women organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes … Around this same time, Jarvis had initiated a Mother’s Friendship Day for Union and Confederate loyalists across her state.  But it was her daughter, Anna, who was most responsible for what we call Mother’s Day ― and who would spend most of her later life fighting what it had become.”

While Anna Jarvis didn’t have children of her own, the death of her own mother served as inspiration for her to organize some of the first official Mother’s Day observances in her hometown of Grafton West Virginia in 1908. On May 10th of that year, families gathered at a church, which has since been renamed the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Other Mother’s Day events were held in Philadelphia, where Jarvis was living at that time and in several other US cities. It was primarily from Anna Jarvis’ work that Mother’s Day became a national holiday, as seven years later, in 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed the second Sunday in May as the official holiday.
Photo Credit: medienwerkstatt.com

Originally devoid of all the commercial trappings associated with it today, Jarvis’conception of Mother’s Day included spending time with one’s mother and personally expressing gratitude for all that she did. “It wasn’t to celebrate all mothers.  It was to celebrate the best mother you’ve ever known ― your mother ― as a son or a daughter,” states West Virginia Wesleyan College graduate Katharine Antolini, who authored “Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Defense of Her Mother’s Day” as her Ph.D. dissertation. That’s why Jarvis stressed the singular “Mother’s Day,” rather than the plural “Mothers’ Day,” Antolini explains. However, the increasing commercialization of the holiday eventually led Jarvis to perceive her initial success as a failure.

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“Anna Jarvis’s idea of an intimate Mother’s Day quickly became a commercial gold mine centering on the buying and giving of flowers, candies, and greeting cards ― a development that deeply disturbed Jarvis,” according to the “National Geographic” article. “She set about dedicating herself and her sizable inheritance to returning Mother’s Day to its reverent roots.  Jarvis incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association and tried to retain some control of the holiday.  She organized boycotts, threatened lawsuits, and even attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother’s Day to raise funds for charities … Jarvis’s fervent attempts to reform Mother’s Day continued until at least the early 1940s.  In 1948 she died at 84 in Philadelphia’s Marshall Square Sanitarium.

“‘This woman, who died penniless in a sanitarium in a state of dementia, was a woman who could have profited from Mother’s Day if she wanted to,”Antolini says. ‘But she railed against those who did, and it cost her everything, financially and physically.’”

Money Mother’s Day  

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Today, Mother’s Day, like many other contemporary holidays, comes gift wrapped in overt consumerism.  According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an average of $162.94 on their mothers this year, down from a survey high of $168.94 last year.  Total spending is expected to reach nearly $20 billion. The National Restaurant Association states Mother’s Day is the most popular holiday for dining out.  Furthermore, more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than on any other day of the year. These holiday chats with mom can cause the phone to traffic to spike as much as 37%.

We can, of course, argue the points regarding how Mother’s Day has become so commercialized.  Of course, the same can be said of many other religious and non-religious holidays.  But the commercial element embracing mommy dearest is here to stay. Retailers stay in business to make a profit, while we have that not-so-gentle nudge to do something nice for someone we love. 

Presenting the Best Presents

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In recent years, adult children have started to take a look at where they spend their money in expressing their love and appreciation for their mothers (and nowadays, mother’s in law, grandmothers, aunts, etc.).  In some cases, help in purchasing a home, help in purchasing a condo or renting an apartment in a retirement community, or perhaps something even more personal.  For example, the Walk-in Bathtub has become a product of need among seniors.  Many have seen commercials about them on TV, Internet and in print, and maybe even received information by mail.  The Walk-in Tub is something many seniors need, which may not be affordable, especially for someone living on a fixed retirement income. Companies such as Tub King, Inc. have always strived to make these tubs affordable for seniors.

Unlike some companies that try to bilk would-be buyers out of their hard-earned money to buy a Walk-in tub, (read our previous blog, “Is the Walk-in Tub a Scam?”) since its inception 14 years ago, Tub King has always done its very best to keep both the purchasing and installation fees on its various models as affordable as possible.  My brother, Kerry (now retired from Tub King) and I have an elderly mother, so we empathize with those who want to ensure that their parents are safe and comfortable, particularly in the bathroom, which statistically is the most dangerous room in the house for the elderly.
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This unique, high-tech but easy-to-operate bathtubs offer the opportunity for independent bathing, safety from falling when getting in and out of the bathtub due to its low threshold, hydrotherapy options for various pains and ailments that are associated with aging, and importantly, peace of mind for users and their children.  They’re a great way to tell your mom “I love you” on Mother’s Day.

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Another product that mothers of adult children are gravitating towards these days are Tub King’s new Safety  Suite Showers. There are two main designs ― a low threshold and a zero threshold ― and each comes with a variety of options such as the drain orientation (left, center, right), the type of in-shower seat, the type/color of tile, etc. There are also safety-designed accessories that are fitted with built-in grab bars such as towel racks, paper roll stands, shelves, etc. 

In this article, I discussed the origins and history of Mother’s Day, heralding back to ancient Greece and Rome. I also talked about two of its main proponents in the U.S., Julia Ward Howe and Anna Reeves Jarvis. The article goes on to discuss two very popular bathroom products for mothers (and dads, too), Tub King’s Walk-in Tub and Safety Suite Showers.

Tub King Customer Testimonial for Walk-in Tub
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Alan Knight has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also multi-award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact Tub King, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.

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