It’s mid-January and you may be in the same boat as millions of other “new year’s resolution” exercisers – the sore, tight muscle club. Need an easy way to get relief? Try using an Epsom Salt bath. Now, I’ll be honest with you – when I was in massage school, I simply didn’t believe it would help. But… I was required to try it for hydrotherapy class. Low and behold, it’s a huge help. Here’s how it works:
WHAT’S IN EPSOM SALT?
Named for Epsom, England, a spa village where people sought the healing properties of its famed mineral springs, Epsom salts contain magnesium and sulfate. When dissolved in water, your body quickly absorbs these two essential minerals.
Magnesium regulates the activity of more than 325 enzymes in your body, reduces inflammation and assists in muscle and nerve function. Stress of any kind drains your body of magnesium; replacing lost magnesium triggers the release of serotonin, the ‘relaxation hormone.”
Sulfates improve the absorption of nutrients, enhance joint function and flush toxins and heavy metals. Here’s a prime example of ‘science is cool.’ When you sit in an Epsom salt bath, the absorption of sulfates triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which basically means: something enters via your skin and something exits via your skin. Sulfates come in; toxins and waste products go out.
Athletes: the process of muscle building creates a ton of waste products. The more efficient your body becomes in handling them, the faster your recovery process. Accident Victims: when you’re recovering from an injury, your level of ‘waste products’ is higher than normal. Epsom salt baths can help you manage them.
Dissolve 2 cups of Epsom salt in a full bath of water. Soak for 12 minutes. Rinse off. Seriously, it’s that easy.
No need to make the water super-hot, as that can dry out your skin. If you don’t particularly enjoy sitting a bath, there’s no need to sit longer than 12 minutes – your body hits its max absorption level at about 12 minutes anyway.
Can’t soak your entire body? No problem-o. Dissolve a ½ cup in a footbath and pop your tootsies in there for 20 minutes.
The Epsom Salt Council – yes, there is a ‘council’ for everything these days – recommends taking an Epsom bath three times a week to help your body function at its best.
- Relieves muscle and joint pain, whether that’s from playing a sport, taking a fall or living with a disease like arthritis or fibromyalgia.
- Eases stress levels
- Promotes sleep. Yes, take this bath just before bedtime!
- Helps muscles and nerves function properly
- Relieves constipation. Yup, your small intestines will absorb some water, making things move more easily.
- Reduces swelling and bruising
COOLEST OF ALL
It’s cheap! For $4, you can pick up a half-gallon carton of the stuff. Spend a little extra, and some companies will throw in aromatherapy scents. Spend even more, and you can upgrade to salts from the Dead Sea or the Himalayas, which contain additional feel-good minerals. You never know, you might get hooked.