Epsom and mineral salt baths have been part of a natural healthy lifestyle for ages. By putting Epsom salts into your bath water, you can increase your magnesium levels to help in maintaining your energy level, sustain the health of your muscles, heart and blood vessels and you can also lower stress hormones when used to create a soothing ambiance to relax in.
How to make an Epsom Salt bath:
1. Ready your salts, herbs, and water enhancers in the kitchen for convenience, below are salt concentration recommendations
- ½ c per 3-5 gal pale or bucket for foot or hand soaking
- ½ c added to full bathtub for mild mineral absorbency
- 1 c added to full bathtub for moderate mineral absorbency
- 1 ½ – 2 c added to full bathtub for stronger mineral absorbency
2. Provide yourself with a bath towel, bath mats and railings for safety
3. Fill your tub with the hottest water you can handle
4. Add your ingredients under the running water one at a time allowing time to dissolve
5. Get in. Allow yourself time for mineral absorbency, soak a minimum of 10 minutes to receive benefits and soak as long as the water stays comfortably warm (up to 25-35 minutes) for maximum relaxation benefits.
6. Repeat as recommended by your Registered Massage Therapist
Important aspects in creating an Epsom salt bath:
- Temperature: set the water temperature for as hot as is comfortable. For persons with compromised circulation, ie; diabetics, persons with high/low blood pressure, elderly, etc. please use a comfortably warm, not hot temperature.
- Solution concentration: how concentrated do you want the salts in your bath? Experiment to find a solution that is to your liking. See “How to” above for some recommendations:
- Raw materials: epsom salts can be purchased from any pharmacy, health food store, or even here at Rain Wellness where you can custom blend your own salts with herbs and essential oils.
- Environment: create a safe and comfortable environment using bath mats, towels, proper lighting, and a thermometer if unsure of a safe temperature. Schedule a bath into your day and create a place of relaxation.
- Water quality: do you have hard or soft water. Do you like adding other ingredients into your bath, like vitamin C, baking soda, or oatmeal? See below on how to enhance your water.
- Time: soak a minimum of 10 minutes to receive benefits and soak as long as the water stays comfortably warm (up to 25-35 minutes) for maximum relaxation benefits.
Creating an Experience for stress reduction
Adding extra ingredients makes your bath just that much more healthy and beneficial.
Water enhancers: Here are some ingredients and their benefits.
- Ascorbic acid: helps with skin irritations and even makes your skin look and feel better
- Baking soda: calms irritated skin from bug and mosquito bites
- Calendula: relieves pain and offers relief from insect bites as well as assists with slow healing cuts in people with compromised immune systems
- Hops: relieves insomnia and will leave you sleepy
- Lavender: calms your nerves and rejuvenates your skin
- Powdered Oatmeal: soothes eczema and dry itchy irritated skin
- Sage: prevents stiff sore muscles after a workout
Essential oils: Different oils provide a variety of health benefits.
- Cypress oil – helps to activate natural killer cells in immune system and lowers the stress hormones like cortisol
- Rose oil – lowers salivary cortisol levels
- Lavender oil – good for the brain and helps with your quality of sleep
- Eucalyptus oil – helps to lower cortisol levels and this study shares anti-inflammatory and pro-immune system benefits.
Music: Find your right kind of music to enhance relaxation.
Lighting: Different lighting can create a calmer environment. Dim the lights or add a lamp, do you like bathing by candlelight? If so, turn off the lights and enjoy.
For more information on essential oils see our Aromatherapy Page