"Hey, man! I love this stuff!'
I had handed the Pavilions checker a carton of epsom salts. His comment was boisterous, unsolicited, and sincere.
"I took baths when I was coming off cigarettes. Made the process easy as the salts withdrew the nicotine back through my skin. I was still getting a buzz as I was coming off. It was like the nicotine was making a slow, consensual retreat."
I wasn't surprised.
Epsom salts are easy, inexpensive, and way effective.
But first, a little background about this righteous mineral.
Epsom salt is NOT ACTUALLY A SALT.
It’s magnesium sulfate, with no sodium. Amazing stuff.
Magnesium is an effervescent mineral that gets five stars for its yeoman's work, like assisting in muscle and nerve function, regulating blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and making protein, bone and DNA. And when you're stressed, your magnesium levels can drop. A soak in a hot bath with a few scoops of Epsom salt can not only raise your magnesium levels, it can wash your stress away.
Epsom salt can help relieve pain and inflammation in tired joints. Sore feet? Aching muscles? Sad?Fill a tub with hot water and Epsom salts and give your body the stress release that it craves. A perfect was to get a good nights sleep.
You can combine it with an immersion meditation practice...
1) Fill your tub with 6" of hot water. A little hotter than you find comfortable *
2) Step one right foot in the water. Close your eyes. Keep your foot there for 15-20 seconds. (once you close your eyes, keep them closed throughout the rest of your practice) Feel the water around your foot.
3) Step the left foot in the water. Hold for 15-20 seconds
4) Bend your right knee into the water as if you are genuflecting. Hold for 15-20 seconds
5) Bend your left knee into the water. Hold for 15-20 seconds
6) Extend both legs out into the water so you are sitting in the tub. Hold for 15-20 seconds
7) Slide your body until your torso is fully immersed in the water. Bend your knee if you have to if you have a short tub. Keep your arms and head out of the water. Hold for 15-20 seconds
8) Lower right arm into water. Hold for 15-20 seconds
9) Lower left arm into water. Hold for 15-20 seconds
10) Slide your head fully into water. Ideally your nostrils remain above the surface. If not, empty your tub accordingly. Lie hear breathing through your nose and listening to the resonant sound of your inhale and exhale. Remain immersed.
11) At some point, you will begin to pick out and hear your own heartbeat. When you do so begin to count each pulse to 250. You can go longer if you'd like. If you drift away from the count, guess where you are and continue to the end.
12) Once you've completed the count, get out or stay in for as long as you'd like.
The immersion meditation is quite enjoyable. Centering, mindful, balancing and relaxing.
Try it. Let me know what you experience.
* The temperature above comfort levels is both practical and strategic. During your slow immersion, the temperature will be gradually cool as time passes. You'd like it to reach slightly above your comfort level by the time you are fully immersed in the water. Strategically, it is an antifragile practice to help boost your immune system. It is similar to building muscle. Above comfort levels ask all body functions to regulate towards those temperature levels before they ebb back to pre-above-comfort levels. What you've done is put out a carrot for your horse to follow. Since you've set a higher bar of experience, your body systems to coordinate to go slightly further than the above-comfort-temperature you've experienced anticipating that you will go there in the future. How long depends on the consistency of your soaks. You've primed the pump for further growth should you choose to take it.