Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath.
Lyndon B. Johnson
My neighbor Keith called me up the other night. He is a gardener, a father, a cross-fitter, and one of my favorite people in the whole world. We used to snowboard all the time together way back when, and now I live under him, his wife, and their 2 kids.
He has more remedy tools for the body then you can imagine. Foam roller, the new nubby foam roller (love), the broom handle (for the 7 inning stretch), rollers for the legs, massage tools that allow you to reach into to your shoulder blades without reaching back. Tennis balls, medium-sized balls, you name it. At any given point I can walk upstairs and find his yoga mat out with some kind of body tool on it.
“I’m destroyed.” He said, “Picking up a glass of water is hard.”
“This happens.” I said.
“Is the Epsom Salt bath legit?” he asked.
“Yeah, hook yourself up.” I responded. This is why.
Your skin is an organ…how quickly we forget…what we put on the outside gets absorbed into our blood (this is why it’s important to know product ingredients). Epsom Salt is compromised of magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium helps with normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and building strong bones. Sulfates detoxify and help form proteins in joints, brain tissues, and mucin proteins (that which lines the gut wall in the stomach) according to the Epsom salt Industry Council.
Chances are the average American is deficient in magnesium as a result of diets that are heavy in processed foods in general (foods rich in magnesium can be found here for your reading pleasure). Magnesium deficiency can contribute to muscle spasms, high blood pressure, hyper-activity, heart problems, migraines, diabetes, and other health issues. So, if you’re not getting enough Magnesium in the diet…you can simply take a soak!
The only contraindication to an Epsom Salt bath would be low blood pressure – meaning a bath is going to reduce your blood pressure – so if you already are at the low-end, be cautious.
According to Epsom Salt Industry Council, Epsom Salts can help with:
- Improved heart health through improved circulation, reducing blood pressure, and improving artery health by removing build up and toxins
- Pain relief by reducing inflammation, increasing circulation at a sore sight or bruise, and also removing toxic build up from the sight.
- Relaxation as a result of magnesium helping the body produce serotonin (the happiness hormone) – which helps us unwind and improves well-being.
- Increase energy by assisting the body in producing ATP (adenisone triphospate), the energy packets made in our cells. Experts state bathing 3 x’s a week can help with overall relaxation/sleep, focus, and improved energy.
- Electrolytes assist in helping muscles and nerves function normally.
- Increases the effectiveness of insulin in the body which can help lower the risk and manage diabetes.
There is number of beauty and garden benefits as well. I do about 2 cups in the bath for my soak and if I am feeling that I really need to unwind add a few drops of lavender essential oil (one of my staples in the house).
Not gonna lie, crossing into my 40’s has created more moments of soreness than when I was younger, and the consistency of my efforts in my own practice is beginning to work me too. I am sore…my back and my shoulders especially. I soaked last night and felt better this morning – but my practice was slower yet still determined. I only did primary series today and spent extra time in back bending just navigating my legs, pelvis, bandhas, and back. I thought I was going to feel pain – but by diving into deep awareness I was able to cultivate space and found a sense of ease.
Keith felt better too. 🙂