Epsom Salts Baths

As a Registered Massage Therapist in Ontario, I was educated in the benefits of Hydrotherapy—utilizing hot/cold water applications in treatment, which assists the body’s own innate ability to heal itself and function more effectively in the balance of homeostasis.

Epsom salt, chemically known as Magnesium Sulphate, when added to hot bath water can aid in circulation and detoxification by absorption through the skin. Use 2-4 cups of Epsom salts in an average-sized bath of 20 gal. water 36-38 degrees Celsius (add hot water to preference) for 10-20 minutes.

Magnesium promotes the release of lactic acid from muscle tissue and heated water increases blood flow to the skin, resulting in increased waste removal. It is commonly used as a laxative and antacid.

Magnesium is the 4th most common element on Earth and the 11th most abundant element in the human body by mass, found mostly in the skeleton and skeletal muscles. It is essential to all living cells, playing a major role in DNA, RNA, and ATP compounds. This also allows hundreds of enzymes to function (3).

According to the Epsom Salt Council “68 percent of U.S. adults consume less than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium, according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, and 19 percent consume less than half of the RDA” leading to magnesium deficiency. Doctors attribute this to the increasing prevalence of processed foods in American diets, the food refining process and modern fertilizers which contain no magnesium. Epsom salts may also be used as an alternative garden fertilizer! Low levels of magnesium in the body have been linked to the development of asthma, diabetes, and osteoporosis (2, 3).

Epsom salt baths are useful for arthritis, sluggish circulation, glandular disturbances, toxaemia, muscle aches and pains, impaired locomotion, and detoxification after massage (1). Use caution with conditions of high or low blood pressure and cardiovascular conditions by using a shorter, cooler temperature bath, even a half bath keeping the water level below the heart. Keep drinking water and a cold cloth nearby for wiping the head/neck and over the heart (1). Breathe and enjoy!

~Eleanor Hayward RMT