Thursday, June 17, 2010

Grandma was right!

So, I've had a bruise from an opponent's football cleat on my left ankle for over 2 weeks now, which is kinda weird... I would have figured it'd disappeared by now. It's still giving me occasional pain when walking or cycling... hmm... not really pain, I could just feel it's there. Like a high ankle sprain, or something close to that.

Anyway, for the last two nights I've dipped it (and me) in an epsom salt solution (bath), and today the bruising is all gone. No residual pain, no bump, no tenderness. Moreover, I feel really, really relaxed... much cheaper than a professional massage, with similar benefits. Who knew? I'm turning into my grandmother!

Epsom salts are pretty awesome. At under $4 for 2 kilos at the local No Frills, they seem like a great back to basics way to relieve muscle pain, stiffness, and tension and while hastening the healing of bruises and muscles.

How they purportedly work:
Epsom Salt is simply magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) in a heptahydrate form (hepta = 7, hydrate = H20). Epsom Salt has a high affinity for water, that is, it seeks and binds easily with water. For this reason it has excellent drying properties. This salt is used to draw out water from the body. Athletes who want to lose water weight without dehydrating themselves, often soak in Epsom Salt baths. The water is drawn out of the skin and subcutaneous layer, but remains in the organs and muscles. This not only allows you to lose significant weight before a weigh in, but allows your body to function just as well.

The name “Epsom” refers to a town in England where it was first distilled and marketed as a kind of all-around cure.

Also, if you feel like reading on, here's an interesting article about the lack of scientific evidence in support of epsom salt's therapeutic effects.