Struggling with chronic pain? You’re not alone. According to the CDC, one in five Americans suffers from chronic pain conditions. For many of those individuals, prescription pain medications are one of the only available options to help alleviate their discomfort.
But there are other choices people with pain can utilize—therapies that are complementary treatments to their current relief regimen, including Epsom salt. Not sure what Epsom salts are or how they might be used? They are part of holistic treatments that can work as a great assistant due to its complex and natural composition.
What Is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt comes from the city of Epsom in the United Kingdom. However, it is not salt as most people believe it to be. Instead, it is magnesium sulfate—a combination of magnesium, oxygen and sulfur. Naturally occurring, this salt has an extensive range of uses that ultimately aid healing. Epsom salt is very bitter and isn’t recommended for eating.
Why Use Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt has been used for thousands of years for its healing and restorative capabilities. When you dissolve it in water, it releases magnesium and sulfate ions and is dense when mixed with water, similar to the Dead Sea. Its weightlessness in water can help the body float, releasing gravity’s hold on the body.
This compound can also be taken in supplement form, or it can be applied directly to the body with lotions or paste, although most people dissolve it to create an Epsom salt bath.
How Does Epsom Salt Benefit the Body?
Epsom salt offers several significant benefits for the body, including the following:
- Provides a source of supplemental magnesium, which is necessary for 325 different biochemical reactions in the body, including supporting heart and nervous system health.
- Magnesium may boost the production of serotonin in the brain, helping lift your mood, improve your focus and relieve depression.
- Epsom salt has been shown to relax muscles and alleviate muscle-related pain. It has even been used to treat migraines.
- Magnesium has anti-inflammatory capabilities when mixed with water due to its density, making Epsom salt a recommended option for treating conditions ranging from arthritis to cardiovascular disease and fibromyalgia.
In addition to its benefits for the body, you’ll discover many other uses for Epsom salts, such as cleaning grout and soiled pots and pans.
Using Epsom Salt During Floating – But What Is Float Therapy?
Flotation therapy, sometimes called float therapy, involves floating atop a special solution of 180 gallons of water mixed with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts. The water is set to skin temperature in the float pod to reduce one of the five senses: touch. The other five senses can be reduced with the sensory deprivation environment (closing the pod door completely, although it can remain open if needed), which helps remove any external stimulation and reduces the brain allocating resources to processing distractions.
Then, the high concentration of Epsom salt in the water makes the body very buoyant, allowing you to float effortlessly. This environment has zero-gravity, alleviating stress and tension on the muscles and joints of the body, such as the neck, back and knees. It also helps reduce inflammation within the body.
Because these environmental conditions are there to create a relaxing experience, the mind and body have a chance to wind down, positively affecting internal processes. Epsom salt might not seem like much, but it plays a central role in achieving incredible benefits.
The Benefits of Floatation Therapy with Epsom Salt
Floating directly helps eliminate stressors, migraines, heart disease, insomnia, anxiety, depression and even PTSD. Everyone who floats experiences different results, but the main takeaway is complete relaxation.
For those with chronic pain conditions, flotation therapy can be extremely beneficial and work together with other treatments to manage, reduce and prevent chronic pain from increasing. Here are a few additional ways floating can support individuals dealing with chronic pain:
- Lymph Drainage – Epsom salt added to the float tank can stimulate lymph drainage, move lymph fluid through the body, and decrease related discomfort.
- Muscle Pain – Those with chronic muscle pain will find that the Epsom salt in a float pod offers temporary relief from pain and discomfort and increased comfort the more a user floats.
- Stress Reduction – When the body is free of its senses, it is possible to exist in a peaceful environment. Many might not realize that the hustle and bustle of everyday life can directly cause stress, which then influences pain and mental health symptoms. When stress is reduced, chronic pain can also be addressed, and that is why sensory deprivation works wonders.
Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral combination that offers significant health benefits that range from mood-lifting to reducing chronic pain. Even better, when paire with water in a unique practice, float therapy benefits are amplified, creating a powerful treatment solution for individuals struggling to live daily with health conditions that prevent them from living life fully.
True REST Float Spa recognizes that float therapy isn’t a cure-all for physical pain. However, the science behind floating proves it can be an additional treatment option for individuals who need relief. Floating is a unique and different experience from any other, but its simplicity makes it an excellent choice for anyone who would like to experience simple peace and serenity during a 60-minute session.
Offering float therapy at multiple locations across the country, True REST encourages individuals to try the practice. Float associates at each location are trained and ready to answer questions about floating, the pods or the complimentary oasis room and oxygen bar.