I absolutely love muscle soaks because they help significantly with two things I struggle with: stress and sore muscles. Before I get into my basic muscle soak recipe I think it’s important you understand exactly why each ingredient is included and what it does to your body.
I’m a teacher – you know I can’t pass up a chance to educate!
Epsom Salts – contrary to what you would believe there is no salt in Epsom Salts! It is a mineral compound made up of magnesium and sulfate which are vital to the human diet and can actually be absorbed through the skin when soaking in Epsom Salts. Magnesium helps to soothe sore muscles and increases levels of serotonin in the brain (one of your ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter). Sulfate fluxes toxins from your system, can ease migraine pain and helps lower blood pressure. Win!
Sea Salt – used in bath salts since it is alkaline and helps lower the acidity in the body. Certain types of sea salts are considered to be more effective than others; particularly Celtic, Himalayan, French and Atlantic. My budget allowed for the Alessi brand I found at Publix for $2 from somewhere in the Mediterranean!
Baking Soda – helps draws toxins out of your skin, has anti-fungal properties (hence why it’s often used in natural cleaning products) and leaves your skin feeling really, really soft.
Lavender Essential Oil - I am a huge proponent of the power of Aromatherapy and Lavender essential oil is definitely my favorite. While research is still mixed on the effectiveness of Aromatherapy many studies have found it significantly improves mood via lowering anxiety/stress levels, increases relaxation, eases headache pain, and helps with insomnia. One researcher even found that smelling Lavender increases the alpha waves in your brain (the same waves that increase when meditating or being hypnotized.)
Aromatherapy Muscle Soak:
2 c Epsom Salts
1 c Sea Salt
1/2 c Baking Soda
15 to 20 drops essential oil. You can use whatever oil you’d like (or a combination of oils) depending on what effect you are going for:
- Relaxation: lavender, chamomile, bergamont
- Invigorating: Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemon
Optional: dried flowers or herbs
To make the bath salts you just need to mix all ingredients thoroughly and store in a cool dark place. I’ve had a jar last for months before, although the scent of the oils will start to diminish a bit over time. I add about 1/2 to 1 cup for each bath and try to soak for at least 15-20 minutes to get the full effect.
How easy is that? I had all the ingredients on hand except for one thing but even if you had to go out and buy everything I doubt you’d spend more than $20 and would have enough to last you for a year! This is also such a fun gift idea and you can really get into decorating the jars with ribbons and fabric.
Finally – just because I had the camera out and was feeling feisty:
Do you soak in bath salts regularly? What is your favorite essential oil?