I know that after my 2 hours workshops and after your first ever kettlebell class, you will want to use your Epsom salts gift to relax those muscles and help reduce any post workout muscle soreness (known as DOMS) in a warm detox bath.
Here is the step by step by to do just that:
- Prepare your bath on a day that you have at least 40 minutes available. The first 20 minutes are said to help your body remove the toxins, while the second 20 minutes are for absorbing the minerals in the water, which includes magnesium which is great for joints and muscle pain.
- Plus, Add ground ginger or fresh ginger tea. While this step is optional, ginger can increase your heat levels, helping to sweat out toxins. However, since it is heating to the body, it may cause your skin to turn slightly red for a few minutes, so be careful with the amount you add. Depending on the capacity of your tub, and your sensitivity, anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1/3 cup can be added.
- Optionally, for more of a detox bath add 1 to 2 cups or more of baking soda (a.k.a. sodium bicarbonate). Baking soda is known for its cleansing ability and even has anti-fungal properties. It also leaves skin very soft.
- Add Epsom salts (aka magnesium sulfate). Soaking in Epsom salts actually helps replenish the body magnesium level, combating hypertension. The sulfate flushes toxins and helps form proteins in brain tissue and joints.
- Fill your tub with comfortably hot water.
- Most people sweat profusely with the addition of the ginger, and if you wrap your body in a blanket immediately after getting out of the tub, you can continue to detoxify through perspiration for another couple of hours. This is especially beneficial if you are trying to get rid the body of a bug of some sort of disease, like the flu, or a cold.
- Add aromatherapy oils. Again optional, but many people love the fragrance of such oils and for many, the oils have particular therapeutic properties to take advantage of. There are many oils that will make the bath an even more pleasant and relaxing experience (such as lavender and ylang ylang), as well as those that will assist in the detoxification process (tea tree oil or eucalyptus). Around 20 drops is sufficient for a standard bath.
- If you prefer, you can use fresh herbs. Add mint leaves (warming), lavender flowers (soothing), chamomile (soothing), or anything else that suits your mood.
- Swish all of the ingredients around in the tub, then soak. Again, 40 minutes is recommended (the longer the better), but aim for at least 20. You should start sweating within the first few minutes.
- If you feel too hot, start adding cold water into the tub until you cool off.
- Get out of the tub slowly and carefully. Your body has been working hard and you may get lightheaded or feel weak and drained. On top of that, the salts make your tub slippery, so stand with care.
- Drink plenty of water. Any time your body detoxes (after this type of bath, a massage, or chiropractic work, for example), you need to flush out toxins. If you don’t, you will likely feel sick afterwards.
- After the bath, you might like to rub down your body with a loofah or vegetable bristle brush. This can help to stimulate the lymphatic system, which can aid with the release of toxins. Use long, gentle sweeping strokes aimed toward the heart.
I would love to hear how your bath went and if it helped you with soothing your newly worked muscles!