Bodywork that's more than skin deep

Massage therapy is just one part of a healing regimen. Yoga or daily stretching and breathing exercises are key elements in preventing injury, reducing stress and maintaining overall health. They extend the benefits of massage treatments! A balanced diet, exercise, plenty of water and laughter are also important aspects in a healthy lifestyle.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

At Home Hydrotherapy

While massage is often the most direct and effective way to relieve muscle tension and soreness, sometimes you need to get relief immediatley, and without leaving your home. All you need is a bathtub. Just like the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians, you too can practice the healing art of hydrotherapy.

Hydrotherapy is the use of water (hot, cold, or a combination of the two) in any of its forms for the treatment of disease or the maintenance of health. Body systems most affected by the use of hydrotherapy are the nervous, circulatory (heart), and integumentary (skin) sytems. An important form of hydrotherapy that everyone should know about is the Epsom salt bath.

Epsom salt is the natural occuring mineral, magnesium sulphate. "Epsom salt was originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters at Epsom, England, and afterwards prepared from sea water. In more recent times, these salts are obtained from certain minerals such as epsomite." from Wikipedia. Click for more info on magnesium sulfate.

You may be more familiar with its use as a laxative but a fantastic way to use Epsom salt is in a relaxing, hot bath! If you are suffering from muscle achiness, an Epsom salt bath can be highly beneficial. In a bath, Epsom salt promotes perspiration and draws acidic wastes (like uric acid) from the muscles through the pores of the skin. Temporary muscle soreness following a deep tissue massage treatment can occur and an epsom salt bath is a great way to relieve the soreness. Magnesium sulfate is also a nervous system sedative which means an epsom salt bath will also increase the feeling of relaxation you will feel.

Make the time to bathe and enjoy the rejuvinating quality of a relaxaing epsom salt bath.

Here's how:

Pick up epsom salts at your local pharmacy or pharmacy section of your grocery store. Use 2 to 4 cups in a full, comfortably hot bath. Soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes. Do not add any bathing solutions, oils or soaps, as these substances will alter the chemistry of the water.

To replace lost fluids, keep a bottle/glass of cold water beside you and sip it during the bath. For additional relief, if you are suffering from neck/head tension you may want to wring a towel in cold water and wrap it around your neck.


Do not take hot baths and salt baths (including Epsom salt baths) if you have heart trouble, high blood pressure, or are diabetic.

Also, as with any hot bath, make sure you get out of the tub slowly and carefully.

1 comment:

Clareb27 said...

That sure is interesting. I will definitely give that a shot!