Some of us are bath people and others like a shower. I for one feel an absolutely need for a deep, deep bath to truly unwind, once or twice a week. Many of us feel that affinity with water that leads us wanting to swim, get in the sea and spend time in the bathroom regularly. Water helps negate the build-up of Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMR) we build up through our constant exposure to technology. Adding salt evokes our love of the sea and recreates the safety of the womb.
The healing powers of Epsom salts
Epsom salts contain the rich detoxifying and tension-reducing minerals magnesium and sulphur, which can penetrate the skin and help relax the mind and the muscles. Both have a detoxifying effect and we absorb them in very quickly through the large surface area of the skin. Magnesium allows our calming parasympathetic nervous system to move us into self-soothe mode. The sulphur in sulphate compound form helps detoxification pathways that often flag in the face of stress. This is also the detox route for alcohol and oestrogen, so women finding they tolerate alcohol less could really benefit, and by avoiding the alcohol too!
- Add two cups to a bath of warm water along with a few drops of fresh lavender oil or any others that soothe you if you like.
- If you really want to feel indulgent, add this Ayurvedic skin remedy – cover yourself top to toe in organic linseed or unrefined or toasted sesame oil before you get in, really massaging every part of you (it’s amazing for softening hair but needs to be shampooed out twice).
- Soak in the bath for up to 15 minutes, dimming the lights and playing some Bach or Mozart (this is shown to help stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and relaxation) gently in the background.
- If candles are your thing, light a few.
- After a bath, let your body cool back down to room temperature before going to bed or the temperature drop can disturb sleep.
Where to buy
All pharmacies stock bog-standard Epsom salts, but I do suggest buying in bulk (Westlab is a good brand available online) as it works out cheaper and once you start, you’ll want to be adding generous cupfuls. Try and buy a pure variety as they are the kindest; commercially prepared salt bath mixes can cause irritation to skin and eyes.
Honestly, if you want to reduce stress before bed, this is the best way I know. We all have those day where our minds won’t seem to shut off and the Epsom Salts bath is the best switch-off mechanism we know – ‘a revelation’, as one of my clients once said. I do also use Dead Sea salts for the high soothing potassium content too…a mixture is great.