The Restorative Power of Salt Baths and Self-Care

As young as nine years old, I understood the restorative power of a salt bath. I would put nature sounds on the stereo, grab some fragrant essential oils, light some candles, and dump a cup or two of bath salts in the steaming water.


It was the start of a lifelong love affair with self-care.


Taking a salt bath leaves your skin smooth and soft and your muscles relaxed. There’s no easier way to feel like a million bucks.


So, if you’ve had a stressful week and you’re finding it hard to unwind, fill a bathtub with hot water, sprinkle in some bath salts, and enjoy the ultimate relaxation cure.


The best part? While you’re soaking and relaxing, you’re enjoying some major wellness benefits.


Benefits of a salt bath

After you take a salt bath, the wellness benefits won’t be much of a mystery. You’ll notice your muscles are suddenly more relaxed. You’ll feel incredibly chilled out, and any stress or anxiety you were experiencing will evaporate with the steam.


According to WebMD, salt baths have been used for hundreds of years to alleviate muscle pain, soreness, and stiffness. “In water, (Epsom salts) break down into magnesium and sulfate. The theory is that when you soak in an Epsom salt bath, these get into your body through your skin.” While this hasn’t been proven, people still report that Epsom salt baths offer relief from a myriad of conditions, including pain and swelling from arthritis, sprains, fibromyalgia, sore muscles after working out, and tired, swollen feet.


Taking a salt bath can also help you fall asleep. If you have a hard time with insomnia or sleep procrastination, soaking in a salt bath for just 15–20 minutes can help you relax enough to get some restorative shut-eye.


An Epsom salt bath can also help people who suffer from migraines and headaches. Studies show that taking a magnesium supplement can reduce the incidence of migraines by up to 41 percent, and taking an Epsom salt bath can be a fantastic way to absorb more magnesium, as Epsom salt is just that—100 percent magnesium sulfate. And, according to Cleveland Clinic, an Epsom salt bath can “help relax muscles and relieve pain in the shoulders, neck, back, and skull. By relaxing the muscles surrounding the skull, the magnesium in Epsom salt may help release a headache or migraine.”


If you’re carrying around unwanted tension, try an Epsom salt bath before popping any pain pills.


However, the benefits of salt baths go beyond sore muscles and tension. Just a 30-minute soak can soften your skin, reduce inflammation, and alleviate stress and anxiety.


What’s in a salt bath?

When you think of salt baths, don’t think of table salt because it’s not the same thing. If you’re looking for all the benefits listed above, you’re going to want to find a product with magnesium sulfate or Epsom salts.


Trust us, after a single soak, you’ll feel incredible. Don’t let the stress and tension of the week get to you. Arm your bathroom with all the bath salts you need so you can take good care of your mental and physical health.


Rebecca is a freelance writer and creative director who loves writing about health, wellness, and living the good life outdoors. She lives in the Ohio countryside with her husband and Australian Shepherds, and when she's not writing, she's playing piano and guitar in her folk-rock band.

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