How Epsom Salts and Bicarbonate of Soda Baths can help you feel better.
Posted by Fiona Gavine on the 14th April 2020
By Andrea Lagunas . Massage, Myofascial Release and KCR Therapist. April 2020.
AFTER CARE: HOW EPSOM SALTS AND BICARBONATE OF SODA BATHS CAN HELP YOU FEEL BETTER?
Many of my clients would tell you that I suggest taking a bath twice a week with Epsom salts and bicarbonate of soda, as part of their aftercare routine.
Nowadays, we get a lot of mixed messages about what can be good or not so good for us. So, it makes sense to find a natural, inexpensive and easy ways of taking care of ourselves. Epsom salts were discovered about 400 years ago in Epsom, Surrey. They are a pure mineral compound of magnesium sulphate in a crystal form. It’s not a “salt” as we know it, as it does not contain sodium chloride. Meanwhile, sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) is an alkaline mineral, that when used with water, makes it silkier and can, in some cases, reduce skin irritation and itching.
Baths can be therapeutic and cleansing and the addition of these two ingredients brings many benefits that can help us relax our muscles, feel better and provide some “me” time that we find hard to get. You can grab a book, listen to music or simply just soak in, ideally for 40 minutes in warm water.
What are the benefits of taking these baths? . There are many, but I will include my top 5:
1. Restore of Magnesium:
According to studies, stress can diminish magnesium levels, as the body needs it and uses it to fight stress. Combined with the fact that we do not get enough magnesium in our diets or that our digestive system absorption is impeded, Epsom salts could help this through skin absorption. Baths also promote relaxation and a general sense of wellbeing.
2. Sore Muscle Relief:
Epsom salts with sodium bicarbonate are a perfect combination for soothing muscles that are tense and sore, especially after exercise. Recovery is key when making good progress with a workout, so at trying a therapeutic muscle soak, at least two or three times a week, will really help.
3. Detoxing Properties:
The sulphates in Epsom salts help draw toxins and heavy metals from the body. Bicarbonate of soda can draw impurities and toxins out of the skin, both boosting the immune system and eliminating toxin build-up.
4. Anti-inflammatory properties:
Epsom salts and warm water can help with pain caused by inflammation. Whether it be a sprain, strain, bruising or any other minor injury.
5. Making skin smoother and softer
The exfoliating qualities of Epsom salts and the soothing effect of bicarbonate of soda, are also great for skin conditions, like eczema, where controlling the itch is key to manage flare-ups and healing of the skin. Taking a lukewarm bath instead of a hot bath is recommended.
How to take an Epsom salt and bicarbonate of soda Bath?
To get the best results, it is important to mention that “pharmaceutical grade” salts are the ideal option, as they are in their purest or basic form, without any unwanted “fillers” in them. The quantities for a regular bath are important. If you have a regular size bath and you weight between 7st to 14st, you will need:
-One cup of Epsom Salts,
-One cup of Bicarbonate of Soda
-(add ½ cup if you are larger)
-It’s recommended that you stay in the bath for 40 minutes, as the salts take 20 minutes to remove toxins and 20 minutes to absorb the minerals.
-Contraindications to Epsom salt/bicarbonate of soda baths would be if you are pregnant, dehydrated or have open wounds or burns on your skin. Individuals who are suffering with cardiovascular disease should always consult your doctor who is familiar with the health benefits of Epsom salt baths before starting.
I hope these simple steps are useful to make you feel better – they have helped me. Now that we have time at home, give it a try and see if it is for you. Happy bathing!