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Why I love Epsom salts

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Nov 26 2015 09:00AM

West Norwood Therapies' fusion massage spcialist, Jennie Duck, explains why she is a big fan of Epsom salt baths

As a massage therapist I use my body a lot and not always in the kindest way to my muscles and back. As with any repetitive movement and posture, it’s all too easy to fall into habits of slouching and choose the path-of-least-resistance technique over the one-that’s-best-for-my-body technique.

And, like so many of my clients, I also spend a lot of time at my desk. There is a surprising amount of behind the scenes work in my job, especially because I enjoy the design aspect of marketing materials, website etc so I can spend long hours on the computer and we humans were not designed for the long stretches of sedentary hunching this involves.

So my body suffers. My back gets stiff, my shoulders hunch, my hamstrings tighten, my jaw clenches…Yoga and pilates are good antidotes and of course massage. Regular massages are the best help to keep me pain-free, but I can’t fit 4-5 massages in one week…Not so with Epsom salt baths!

I do have around 4-5 Epsom salt baths a week and find them invaluable for relaxing my muscles, especially my lower back. After a long clinic it really helps to relax and can be a nice way of doing some gentle stretching and/or meditative breathing. In this cold weather it’s also great for getting warm to the bones!

Epsom salts have an especially high magnesium content, an important mineral for general body and cell function and we absorb it well through the skin (as long as we stay in the bath long enough, studies show it needs to be 12mins +). It is said to be helpful for lowering blood pressure and to be a particularly good detoxifier.

It is the detoxifying effect as well as the muscle relaxant that we recommend them to clients for after massages. Often a massage, especially a deeper one, can leave us with a groggy, almost hungover feeling afterwards or the next day. This is because lots of toxins have been released through the massage work and the body is trying to get rid of these. We recommend drinking lots of water as well, it can help flush through your system (you might pee a lot) and having an Epsom salt bath later in the evening can help expedite this process as well as relax your muscles and give you a good night’s sleep. (good for actual hangovers too!)

The only disadvantage I’ve found with all these baths is that, for the maximum effect, the lights need to be off, candles on and silence…which means no extractor fan – and condensation truly is the enemy of nicely painted walls. So re-painting here we come! At least I have my Epsom salts to soak in at the end of a long day’s DIY…

Festive Epsom salts with frankincense, cinnamon and orange will be on sale at our open day on Sunday 6th December - come and do some shopping and enjoy some lovely mulled apple cider in our cosy room

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