At the end of every one-to-one training session or mobility and Yoga Tune up® class that I teach, I remind my clients and participants to hydrate well and take an Epsom salt bath. I do this out of habit and one day I heard that little voice in my head say: “I don’t think anyone is actually following through with this incredibly wise recommendation of yours” Actually, the voice was really telling me: “ YOUUU don’t do this as regularly as you recommend so why should anyone actually buy into this supposed great thing”. Ouch… I pretty much just bitch slapped myself on that one!! A few days later I was attending a symposium for physiotherapists on Pelvic health and one of the presenters went into details as to how the use of Epsom salts and Magnesium Glycinate helped one of his clients. She had chronic hamstring pulls and overall chronic pain that was not going away with traditional massage, myofascial release, good training methods, etc.

So, off I go to buy Epsom salts and Magnesium Glycinate in order to start practicing what I preach. Of course, before I really committed to using this product and supplement, I did a bit more research. I contacted one of my favorite registered holistic nutritionists; Kristy Whyte. I knew that she would be able to give me the up-to-date scoop on the nutritional benefits of Magnesium Glycinate. Here is what she sent me within moments of me emailing her:

“Magnesium Glycinate is one of my favorite supplements to recommend to clients for so many great reasons.  Most people are deficient in this mineral because of our poor soil quality as well as the use of oral contraceptives (Oral contraceptives depletes our levels of Magnesium Glycinate). I have had many clients benefit from the addition of this mineral to their nutrition plan.  Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant helping us to feel more calm and content.  It is an effective sleep aid and helps with anxiety and stress.  It also is helpful with individuals who have trouble with daily bowel movements, allowing the bowels to relax and move the bulk through the intestines more efficiently.”

Kristy went on to list some of the benefits associated with the proper levels of Magnesium Glycinate:

• Helps to eliminate strong chocolate and sugar cravings
• Helps reduce muscle cramps, twitches, and spasms
• Helps relax muscles and nervous system
• Promotes good sleep
• Helps with the balance of neurotransmitters to improve moods
• Helps prevent headaches and migraines
• Helps cope with stress

Alright Kristy, I am sold all over again on this supplement. I have been taking it regularly for over 2 weeks now and am not battling the chronic body pain that I could not figure out and solve with my healthy lifestyle. Of course it is imperative that you check with your medical practitioner regarding the proper amount that you should take if you so choose to start taking this supplement. Make sure there are no contraindications for you especially if you take pharmaceutical medications. The presenter at the symposium suggested 150mg per day for 3 days to start with. His indicator that the dosage can be increased is whether you get diarrhea or not. If not, then increase the dosage to 150mg twice a day. According to Kristy, larger dosages can possibly be required but ALWAYS check with your naturopath or MD before making such decisions.

Now, on to the Epsom salts.

When I Googled this product I came upon this tidbit of information:

Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Long known as a natural remedy for a number of ailments, Epsom salt has numerous health benefits as well as many beauty, household, and gardening-related uses.

The wonders of Epsom salt have been well known for hundreds of years and, unlike other salts, has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind, and soul. Some of the countless health benefits include relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating colds and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body.

Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function, and helping to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins, and help ease migraine headaches. Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes. Magnesium is also known to be critical in the proper use of calcium, which serves as a main conductor of the electric impulses in your body.

The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances. Your skin is a highly porous membrane and adding the right minerals to your bathwater triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls salt out of your body, and harmful toxins along with it. You can click on these highlighted words to find a study that has shown that magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin, making Epsom salt baths an easy and ideal way to enjoy the associated health benefits.

After reading the following list of benefits, I am sure that you will have a new respect for this simple yet oh, so powerful substance:

  • Eases stress and relaxes the body
  • Relieves pain and muscle cramps
  • Helps muscles and nerves function properly
  • Helps prevent hardening of arteries and blood clots
  • Epsom salt is believed to improve heart health and help prevent heart disease and strokes by improving blood circulation, protecting the elasticity of arteries, preventing blood clots, and reducing the risk of sudden heart attack deaths
  • Makes insulin more effective
  • Proper magnesium and sulfate levels increase the effectiveness of insulin in the body, and can help to lower the risk or severity of diabetes
  • Relieves constipation
  • Eliminates toxins from the body
  • Relieves the symptoms of athlete’s foot
  • Remove splinters: Soak affected skin area in an Epsom salt bath to draw out the splinter
  • Treats toenail fungus
  • Soothe sprains and bruises much better than icing can
  • Eases discomfort of gout
  • When used with olive/coconut oil you can exfoliate dead skin, and dislodge blackheads
  • You can even c lean bathroom tiles, prevent slugs in your garden, clean detergent build-up on washing machines, fertilize houseplants, keep your lawn green and get rid of plant pests!

So, when I encourage you to take Epsom salt baths and consider Magnesium Glycinate as a supplement will it be a no-brainer to include these amazing products in your daily rituals?

I no longer have a reason to doubt how powerful nature and simple strategies can be.

For a detoxifying, stress reliving bath, add two cups of Epsom Salt to the water and soak for 10 minutes, or as long as you like.

By the way… DO NOT buy your supplements at Costco or drug stores. Get the real thing at a naturopath’s office or a credible health food store. You get what you pay for. Don’t waste your money on junk.

Be well inside and out!