The Skinny on the Epsom Salt Bath

When I was in massage college, one of my favourite courses was hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is the therapeutic use of water and what you either do with the water or put into it, in order to cause an effect. Hopefully, a pleasant and positive effect.

We often preached to our massage therapy clients to take Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt, AKA magnesium sulfate is awesome for the body. Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body and is responsible for hundreds of positive chemical reactions from creating strong teeth and bones to having a healthy vascular and cardiovascular system and cellular efficiency. Sounds pretty impressive, right?

So then, how are we supposed to use the Epsom salt bath in order to have a therapeutic effect? I have seen various suggestions from throw a handful into the tub to five cups. That’s quite the swing!

How do you know what’s right for you and the right amount to use? Well, it all depends on the reason for using the Epsom salt. For instance, if you would like to use it as a carrier for your essential oils to be put into the bath, usually a handful is enough. You can simply put 10 drops of your favourite essential oils into the salt, mix and let it run under the tap. If on the other hand, you want the Epsom salt to reach its full therapeutic potential, I recommend 5 cups per bath. If you’re thinking that’s a lot of salt, you’re right! But, there’s a reason and this is why:

It’s called osmotic potential. Osmotic whaaaat? Do you remember back in high school when they taught chemistry that if you take a high solution of salt, water will follow the salt? So, if you saturate your bath water, meaning put in so much salt that you can’t dissolve any more, when you get in, the osmotic potential, or “pull” from the salt water on your body, helps draw out and move toxins.

Have you ever been sore after a workout? It’s generally lactic acid that causes the soreness and a therapeutic Epsom salt bath helps to draw out that metabolic waste. It’s science but it ain’t rocket science.

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