what is a mortuary

Dead but Not Gone: What Is Embalming?

Embalming is an option that many people choose to preserve their loved ones after death, but not a lot of us know much about it. So how exactly does the embalming process work? And why is it so popular in today’s society?

If you have ever been curious about what embalming entails, look no further than this guide. Read on to discover more about this interesting practice.

What is Embalming?

Embalming is a process in which chemicals are filtered into a deceased person’s body, delaying the process of decomposition and preserving the natural appearance of skin, organs, and tissues.

It helps with the restoration of a body and prevents the decay and decomposition of its cells for a certain period of time. It is usually so the loved one’s family can view the body in a presentable state and therefore helps with the grieving process.

A deceased body will begin to naturally putrify and break down the skin tissues and cells. However, this sight can often be traumatic for the family hence why embalming is now a popular choice for many funeral homes and services.

The History of Embalming

The process of embalming can be traced as far back as the Egyptians in 3200 BC. They had priests that specialized in the art of mummification and embalming. The technique they used was to remove the organs of the deceased, dry the body of excess moisture, and rub it with natron.

This process was believed to allow the soul to return to the body after death. In terms of other ancient civilizations that also used embalming techniques, there are the Peruvians, Aztecs, Mayans, Tibetians, and many others that also dabbled in the practice.

The first documented use of injecting chemical solutions into the arterial network of the body is in the 17th century. William Hunter, a Scottish surgeon, was the first medical practitioner to use this method in a mortuary and is similar to the steps that modern embalming involves.

How Long Does Embalming Take?

The entire process of embalming doesn’t take anywhere near as much time as you would expect. From start to finish it usually takes around two hours. This includes the washing and drying of the hair and body so that it is ready to be viewed by relatives.

However, if any circumstances have affected the condition of the body, this process may take slightly longer. It is usually performed in a mortuary or funeral home. If you are wondering what is a mortuary or want to know the difference between the two, click the link to learn more.

How to Decide if Embalming is Right for You

A lot of people now choose the process of embalming for their loved ones for the peace of mind that it gives families. It means they are able to plan the funeral in their own time without worrying about any natural changes happening.

Do your research into what funeral homes or mortuaries can offer and make your decision based on what feels right for you.

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