It's nice to know relief from life's numerous challenges can come in the simplest of forms. In this case, a soak in a salt water bath.
For thousands of years and across countless societies bathing has been a way to replenish the body - supplement it with minerals and nutrients, encourage detoxification and nourish the skin - and ease a troubled mind.
Today you can replicate this ancient wellness treatment by adding bath salts to a tub of warm water. You can use store-bought bath salts but it’s easy to concoct and customize your own.
You can start with epson salt, also known as the naturally occurring mineral compound, magnesium sulfate. When you dissolve a cup or two in warm bath water and slide beneath the water's surface to soak awhile, the magnesium gets absorbed through your skin, which helps relax your tired muscles.
Your mind is also eased because magnesium helps produce serotonin - a mood-elevating chemical in the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Sulfate improves the absorption of nutrients and flushes out toxins.
Epson salts are inexpensive and easy to find. Any pharmacy should carry it by the bag with enough for several baths.
If you can find it, add some pink Himalayan salt to the mix. It offers up to 84 trace minerals and adds a beautiful splash of colour.
Elevate the whole experience by adding dried flower petals like calendula, chamomile or rose (if you don't have your own, look for some at a local health food or bulk store) and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
Add a scoop or two of bath salts directly to the water, climb inside and soak with the petals floating about. Or maybe you prefer to use a simple cotton drawstring bag or make bundles of bath salts with squares of cheese cloth tied with string. It does make for an easier clean up.
To make your own bath salts:
*Mix together equal parts epson salt, Himalayan salt and flower petals.
*Add one or two drops of essential for each cup of salt.
*Store in a jar with a lid.
*Add one or more scoops to your bath water (warm water for absorbing and hot for detoxing) or pour a scoop into a cloth bag and let it steep in the tub water.
*Sink beneath the surface and soak your troubles away.
*Consult with your physician before taking salt baths if you are pregnant or have a medical condition.