Epsom Salt Footbath

Did you know that Epsom salts are a wonderful way to soothe tired or aching muscles? One of the major ingredients in Epsom salts is magnesium, a mineral necessary for allowing your muscles to relax.

There are two schools of thought on how to best use Epsom salts. The first way is in a bath. A soothing soak may be just what you need at the end of a long hard day, and it WILL decrease the amount of stiffness and soreness you experience when you wake up in the morning. Don’t be stingy – use 2 full cups of Epsom salts in your bath water. You can get a milk carton full of Epsom salts at the drugstore for under $10, so go ahead and splurge. Soak for as long as you like, but for at least 15 minutes to allow your skin to absorb the magnesium from the water.

The second method is a foot bath. To be honest, I’m partial to the footbath method. I find that most bathtubs don’t fit the average size human very well and elbows or knees are always sticking out at awkward angles. The beauty of Epsom salts is that since they are absorbed through your skin and into your blood, it doesn’t matter if your whole body is in the water or not. I routinely recommend footbaths to people with arm or leg soreness. As long as the salt is in the water and some part of your body is in that water, you WILL absorb it. If you use a footbath there is no way that 2 cups will dissolve in a foot tub worth of water, so I normally use just under one cup. If there are any little bits that don’t dissolve I rub my feet on them and get an exfoliant treatment at the same time.

Headaches have many different causes. If yours are caused by tension (and most are) then an Epsom salt foot bath may be just the thing. It will help relax the muscles in your neck and reduce the cause of the headache.  Migraines can even be diminished or prevented in this way. Use the hottest water you can handle and 1 cup of Epsom salts. Remember my posts on hydrotherapy? There is a reflex relationship between your head and your feet.  Hot Epsom salt water on your feet can bring down the pain of the migraine.

You don’t even need one of those fancy food spas everyone advertises.  Just find a plastic tub large enough to put your feet in.  I often suggest plastic storage boxes you can pick up for a few dollars at the drugstore.  A foot massage after the foot soak is a great way to feel pampered.  Do it yourself or trade foot rubs with your sweetie.

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