If you’re looking for natural, no-medication, pain relief you might want to start by turning on the hot tap in your bathroom.
A warm bath for tired, aching bodies, is a cure-all treatment that’s been used for generations. Modern science has recently discovered why our grandparents were right. A warm bath with fragrant bath salts doesn’t just make you feel better because it’s taking your mind off things – it has genuine physiological benefits that help to ease pain.
Why can Warm Water ease my pain?
The beneficial effects of a warm bath have been found to have a prolonged effect, even after you get out of the water.According to Dr Bruce E. Becker, MD and director of Washington State University’s National Aquatics & Sports Medicine Institute, warm water therapy can achieve results with a number of musculoskeletal conditions. These include arthritis, fibromyalagia, lower back pain, general muscle aches and even some forms of tension headaches.
The first way that warm water submersion helps with pain is loosening your joints. It also helps to ease tight and tense muscles. Often tension headaches are caused by tense neck and shoulder muscles which have been hunched up for hours in one position. When these muscles are soothed in a warm bath the headache they cause is alleviated.
Being submerged in a hot bath also reduces the force of gravity on your muscles and joints. If you’re injured or your joints are sprained the weight they have to support can cause you more pain. By giving them a rest in warm water you’re allowing them to recover. The same is true for aching limbs.
Having aching arms and legs in warm water gives them 360 degree support. Warm water soothes the nerve endings which also relieves pain and relaxes the muscles because they are no longer having to react to those over-stimulated nerve endings.
Submerging your body in warm water also improves your circulation which stimulates the immune system and all of your body’s healing mechanisms. Improved circulation means that you can detox more easily, too.
Warm Water and Recovery
Warm water submersion in the form of baths and warm water pools is often used for pain management and recovery in those with injuries. Some women even opt to go through labour in a birthing pool because being submerged in warm water reduces their pain, most likely due to the effects of gravity being lessened in the water.
Patients who are recovering from injuries are often encouraged to perform gentle exercises in the bath. The warm water makes it easier to get their limbs moving again with less gravity, improved circulation and more relaxed muscles.
Bath Salts for increased Pain Relief
Add some well-chosen salts to the bath water for even more effective natural pain relief.
According to research done at the University of Birmingham (UK), many people suffer from cramps and muscle aches because they don’t get enough magnesium. By adding some inexpensive sulfate crystals (Epsom salts) to your bath water you can boost your magnesium levels by up to 35%! This will automatically help to relive pain caused by magnesium deficiency.
Regular salt in your bath water can relieve pain in other ways. For Arthritis sufferers salt solution baths are an absolute must. According to research done by Dr. Compan and Dr. Pelegrin of the University of Manchester, which was published in the journal Immunity, salt water submersion can reduce swelling at a cellular level.
By soaking in warm salty water (hypertonic solutions) swollen cells are dehydrated through the process of osmosis. What that means is that inflammation is inhibited and swelling reduced, which can substantially relieve pain. This process is called osmotherapy and it is very helpful to those suffering from arthritis and other inflammatory joint diseases.
The benefits of one hot salt bath can last up to four weeks!
You can try this Epsoak Epsom Salt for better pain relief.
How to Draw the Perfect Bath to Relieve Pain
Make sure that you are getting the most out of your bath.
The perfect pain reliving bath should be warm but not hot. The optimum temperature is between 92 and 100 degrees. Making your bath too hot can put stress on your heart and anything above 104 degrees is considered dangerous by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. So make sure that it’s a comfortable temperature! If you feel uncomfortable please add more cold water. Your bath should be relaxing and should not make you feel light headed or woozy.
Spend enough time in the bath. For your bath to have time to work its wonders on your body, you need to be submerged for about twenty minutes. You can always stay in longer if you want to – but do try to keep your body in the warm water for a minimum of twenty minutes.
Another good idea is to drink a glass of cool water before you climb into the tub. This will help to keep you hydrated if you are having a salt bath. You want to dehydrate the inflamed cells, not your entire system!
Try some muscle stress release techniques in the bath.When you’ve been in the water for about five to ten minutes you should start to feel the effects of your circulation improving. Joints and muscles that have been stiff should have better circulation and therefore better movement. Now you can try some gentle stretching.
Start by moving your head from one side to the other. You should start with your nose facing towards one shoulder and slowly roll it over to the other side. Repeat two or three times.
Then try stretching your limbs out one by one and releasing them again. You can try making small rotations with your wrists and ankles. Because the water is helping to support the weight of your body this should be easier than it is outside of the water.
For lower back pain you can take a tennis ball and place it between the small of your back and the bath tub. Then gently roll it against your stiff and knotted muscles to release built up tension. The benefits of these exercises have been found to last for some time after you get out of the water.
So before you reach for the pain killers, try soaking in a warm bath for twenty minutes. To make your bath even more relaxing you can choose one of the many organic fragranced bath salts and let it be an aromatheraputic experience too. Or simply add half a cup of Sea salt crystals and a few drops of lavender, rosemary or rose geranium oil to your bath water and let your aches and pains soak away.
Most of the time, chronic pain takes more than a hot bath to ease the pain. You need to have the right posture and eat the right foods too. Certain foods can aggravate your pain while others can help relieve your pain.
Learn more about the type of foods that will help relieve your pain.
About the Author:
Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Check out her 4 foods to never eat for breakfast video to lose more than 18 lbs in 3 weeks.
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