Anna Stanhope from Flow Massage presents a monthly series about massage and healthy living.
MY appreciation of Epsom salt has derived from my favourite mineral, magnesium, and it goes without saying I can’t talk about Epsom salt without delving into the importance of this necessary nutrient.
Epsom salt is named from a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, it is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Epsom salt is used as a natural remedy for a number of ailments and also has uses in the household and garden.
To better understand the properties of Epsom salt it is important to know some of the vital roles magnesium has within our body. Firstly, it is an essential mineral being the fourth most abundant in our body.
It is required in the biological function of over 360 enzymes including energy production, digestion, blood sugar regulation, blood pressure, and circulation. Deficiency can result in disturbances in nearly every organ in our system.
Common deficiency signs may present in one or more of the following; headaches or migraines, sleep problems, muscular imbalance (aches, pains, cramps, spasms, stiffness or twitches), infertility, stress and anxiety. To make matters worse, lack of sleep, stress, painkillers, excessive exercise, a poor diet high in caffeine, processed foods or alcohol all deplete our body of this much-needed mineral.
So how do we get magnesium back into our body? This is where the use of Epsom salt is beneficial. Our skin is our biggest organ, and if we bathe regularly in good quality Epsom salt it will absorb the magnesium through our skin and directly into our bloodstream. There is increasing research now that magnesium is more readily absorbed through our skin than through supplementation.
As an added benefit, the sulfates in Epsom salt actually help flush toxins and heavy metals from our cells, by triggering a process called reverse osmosis. This process helps to ease muscle pain by actually pulling out and eliminating these harmful substances.
To top up your magnesium levels and aid in your detoxifying process add a cup of good quality Epsom salt to your bath water and soak in it for at least 15 minutes.
You can find quality Espom salt from your local health food store. Keep in mind that you also must drink plenty of water to help with the elimination process.