More on Epsom Salt Baths…

I have had a number of patients come in with complaints of chronic muscle tightness. The tightness may have come from an auto accident in the past, over use or physical work that involves a lot of lifting, someone that has a heavy workout schedule or perhaps a person with poor posture that has been overworking their back muscles. The common denominator is that the muscles are in a chronically shortened position. The way that a muscle brings in oxygen and gets rid of the off-product, Carbon Dioxide, is through shortening and lengthening. When a muscle is chronically shortened, it loses it’s ability to bring in Oxygen and get rid of the CO2, this can cause pain, that causes continued tightness and the cycle continues. Epsom Salts are beneficial in helping to remove by-products of muscle function and increasing oxygen delivery to muscle tissue. Epsom Salts are Magnesium Sulfate. Here is some information regarding additional benefits of Epsoms Salts Your handy Thesaurus might not list it, but the scientific name for Epsom Salt is magnesium sulfate. And while most people know little about these low-profile elements, numerous studies have demonstrated the wide-ranging benefits of magnesium and sulfate for areas such as beauty, health and gardening.It makes sense. Magnesium, a major component of Epsom Salt, is the second-most abundant element in human cells and the fourth-most important positively charged ion in the body. Magnesium also helps to regulate the activity of more than 325 enzymes and performs a vital role in orchestrating many bodily functions, from muscle control and electrical impulses to energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins.The National Academy of Sciences, however, reports that most Americans are magnesium deficient, helping to account for our society’s high rate of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies and stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a host of other ailments. The Academy estimates the average American male gets just 80% of the magnesium required for good health, while females get only 70% of their recommended levels. Nutritionists say Americans’ magnesium levels have dropped more than 50% in the past century.Researchers and physicians report that raising magnesium levels may:

  • Improve heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improve the body’s ability to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improve nerve function by regulating electrolytes. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieve stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.

 While increasing magnesium levels, Epsom Salt also delivers sulfates, which are extremely difficult to get through food but which readily absorb through the skin. Sulfates, which are minerals, serve a wide variety of functions in the body, playing a vital role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the mucin proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. Sulfates also stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are believed to help detoxify the body’s residue of medicines and environmental contaminants. The most important thing to remember is that you should use 1 – 2 cups of salts in a bath and drink up to 2 litres over the next 24 hours to rehydrate as the salts draw fluid out of your tissue.  The next thing is always check with your doctor to make sure that the baths are safe. This is quite a powerful detox and can be harmful if you have a condition that can be aggravated by the process. Your doctor may not agree that it is beneficial, but always make sure that it isn’t harmful to use.