One of the most frequent and popular bits of homecare advice we give as RMTs is to take an Epsom salt bath after (or even before) your massage. So why is this?
Epsom salts are magnesium salts. As we discussed in our previous blog about calcium and magnesium, magnesium helps with 300 biomechanical reactions in your body. Many of these are to do with muscle recovery and nerve health. When you take a bath with Epsom salts, magnesium diffuses through the skin with the water and loads the body with an adequate supply of the mineral to help relieve stiff, sore and painful muscles.
To properly dissolve the Epsom salts in the bath, the water temperature must be comfortably HOT! And the bonus there is that heat also helps relax muscles by increasing blood flow.
Also, a bath in itself is relaxing. Taking a few extra minutes to focus on your body and calm the mind can have a lasting and beneficial effect on stress levels.
So how do you take an Epsom salt bath?
What you need:
- 2-3 cups of Epsom salts
- A bath tub filled with hot water
- A cold glass of water
- Essential oils (optional)
- Music/candles (optional)
The first step is to fill the bath tub with hot water. As it fills, pour in the Epsom salts. If you are exceptionally sore, the more the better. Give the tub a good stir with your foot to help the salts to dissolve and not settle at the bottom of the tub.
And that’s really all there is to it. During your bath, drink some cold water as it helps keep your blood pressure under control, to avoid that dizzy or light-headed feeling as you get out of the tub.
Want to amp up the bath? Essential oils have an excellent effect on your body and attitude. Try peppermint for muscle pain, lavender to calm the mind, or citrus to liven up your mood. You can take the experience even further by playing soothing music and lighting a few candles. Creating a little sanctuary for yourself can be a huge stress relief at the end of a hectic day.
Talk to your RMT about an Epsom salt bath regimen that suits your needs. Taking a bath after a massage can help continue the massage’s good effects, while taking one before can allow for a deeper massage. For people living with high stress or with very active lives, an Epsom salt bath a couple of times a week is useful to minimize acute pain episodes or chronic muscle stiffness.