Mineral water bathing and soaking to alleviate aches and pains has been practiced for millennia.
People can travel long distances to visit bathing facilities set up around thermal springs that gush out mineral laden water high in magnesium, sodium, sulphur and other minerals. Such water therapies are called ‘balneotherapy‘. Of course we can also go swimming in the ocean for a good dose of mineral salts, and don’t we feel so good afterwards? Magnesium baths or footsoaks can be enjoyed at home. The two most common forms of magnesium salts used for a magnesium bath are magnesium sulphate (epson salts) and magnesium chloride – but which one is better?
A magnesium bath using epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) is better than nothing, but over time the sulphate strips out too much oil from the skin, leaving it feeling dry and itchy (like a detergent does). Magnesium sulphate also only has 9% elemental magnesium, but our magnesium chloride flakes have 15-16%. Magnesium chloride is also kinder to skin. Overall, magnesium chloride is more effective and offers better value.
Recommended one cup Magnesium Flakes per standard bath (or tablespoon per footsoak), or twice as much if recovering from an illness or injury. Soak for half an hour.
Is a hot or cold water magnesium bath better for magnesium absorption?
Some people think that the body absorbs more magnesium from cold water. This appears to be a rumour. Of course when you swim in the ocean your skin would be taking up some magnesium ions. However, for therapeutic purposes where the goal is both to detoxify and to absorb magnesium, comfortably hot-warm water is best. The reason is that cold conditions cause the muscles and capillaries to contract, and the natural oils in the skin maintain barrier insulation.
However, when the water is warm to hot the skin oils become softened with some of them liquefying and dropping out into the hot water – along with trapped dirt and grime. This helps the skin channels to open up more to letting out lymph waste products, as well as taking up magnesium ions. It’s a two-way street. In addition, the hot water makes the capillaries of the cardiovascular system expand and move closer to the surface of the skin, which means better access of the magnesium ions direct to the blood supply.
If the kids are getting hyperactive or have issues with ADHD, then a magnesium bath on a regular basis may be just what the doctor ordered. Much research is now showing that a low level of tissue magnesium (stored in muscle and bone) is strongly associated with hyperactivity, and that replenishment of magnesium stores helps to calm down the nervous system, dampen down adrenalin, and promote a deeper and more restorative sleep. There are no negative side effects and the process is completely natural and chemical-free.
A note of caution about hot baths to those with high blood pressure or dehydration
If the bath is too hot for those with hypertension and dehydration, the body can release excessive adrenalin which pushes the heart to work harder. Adrenalin is also dehydrating, which can exacerbate the hypertension. Stress pushes blood pressure upwards. But extra hydration (ie. drinking lots of magnesium mineral water) alleviates this issue. Don’t have the heat turned up higher than tolerance level. Listen to your body and do what feels comfortable and relaxing. With regular practice your body becomes more accustomed to this process, making it a great pleasure with super relaxation and better sleep rewards.
Benefits of a magnesium bath
- Muscle relaxation
- Calming central nervous system
- Alleviating anxiety and stress
- Improving quality of sleep
- Effective magnesium supplementation without having to digest tablest and powders
- Detoxification and release from skin of metabolic wastes from the lymph system
- Skin softening, exfoliating and hydrating
The smooth finish!
After towelling dry, finish by massaging in Magnesium Cream moisturiser to replenish lost oils and skin barrier protection. It’s a great way to help your skin maintain hydration and elasticity so you can stay looking younger longer!