Epsom Salt, also known as Magnesium Sulphate
The type of salt that we use in our floatation tanks to give buoyancy to the water is called Epsom salt. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal qualities and continues to offer many health benefits when used for floating.
Epsom salt was once the most popular medical drug in England. Its beneficial antiseptic and restorative qualities were not understood, but users knew that it was good for health and promoted a long life.
Why we use Epsom Salt for Floating
Epsom Salt Floatation tanks are an excellent way of combating stress, alleviating muscular aches and pains and for reaching Zen like states of relaxation. The buoyancy in a float tank is provided by creating a super saturated mixture of Epsom salts and water, allowing the user to float effortlessly on top of the skin temperature solution.
Epsom salts / Magnesium Sulphate / Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4·7H2O) has been used for centuries as an effective cure all.
Soaking in Epsom salts has been found to stimulate lymph drainage, and promote the absorption of Magnesium and Sulphates.
Magnesium is the second-most abundant element in human cells and the fourth-most important positively charged ion in the body, so it is little wonder this low-profile mineral is so vital to good health and well being. Magnesium, a major component of Epsom Salt, also helps to regulate the activity of more than 325 enzymes and performs a vital role in orchestrating many bodily functions, from muscle control and electrical impulses to energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins.
Magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century due to changes in agriculture and diet. Industrial farming has depleted Magnesium from soil and the typical diet contains much less Magnesium than that of our forefathers. In fact, the modern diet with its fat, sugar, salt and protein actually works to speed up the depletion of Magnesium from our bodies.
57% of the US population does not meet the US Recommended Dietary Allowance for dietary intake of magnesium.
Researchers and physicians report that raising your magnesium and sulphate levels may:
- Improve heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
- Improve the body's ability to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
- Flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
- Improve nerve function by regulating electrolytes. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
- Relieve stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
- Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.
When using a float tank Magnesium is absorbed through the skin due to natural molecular diffusion, the body optimizes the levels of Magnesium, so there is no overload effect from floating in the salts for extended periods.
While increasing your Magnesium levels, Epsom Salt also delivers sulphates, which are extremely difficult to get through food but which readily absorb through the skin. Sulphates serve a wide variety of functions in the body, playing a vital role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the Mucin proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. Sulphates also stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are believed to help detoxify the body's residue of medicines and environmental contaminants.
As well as preventing sclerosis, kidney diseases and rheumatism, Epsom salt was also useful in avoiding weight gain.
How Epsom Salt Affects the Body
Epsom salt's strong affinity for carbon and carbon compounds is the secret of its value for medical purposes. It is always trying to revert to its original carbon state, which is why it's useful in helping to treat bodily conditions.
So, how does it work? Carbon, in one form or another, is one of the main building blocks of vegetation. This in turn provides the food on which we survive. The human body then excretes its waste products in the form of carbon.
Most of this carbon waste passes out via the lungs or bronchial tubes as carbon dioxide, which is formed as the result of a combustion process called oxidation. The blood and tissues need enough oxygen to carry out this process, in order to get rid of the carbon waste. If there's not enough oxygen, 'retarded combustion' happens. This is when partially oxidised forms of carbon waste (such as uric acid) and other acids and toxins form.
These partially oxidised carbon compounds tend to build up in the blood and tissues, which can cause ill health and disease. However, Epsom salt can absorb and negate this harmful waste, acting as a useful remedial agent when correctly used.
How Epsom Salt Can Be Used
Magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) paste is still widely recommended by doctors to help draw out impurities and poisons from the body. It is most beneficial when applied externally, because of its ability to draw waste (stored in the tissues) from the body through the skin.
It is also common in spa's to have Epsom salt baths, where they add small amounts of Epsom salt to the water where the body is able to absorb the magnesium, which relaxes muscles and lowers blood pressure. This treatment is common amongst long distance runners, as it allows muscles to recover quicker and reduces soreness.
However, when taken internally in small doses, Epsom salt also acts on the kidneys. By increasing their action, they can get rid of more waste matter solution.