Do you often have cold hands or feet? Most women do. Chinese medicine sees this as a symptom of liver qi (chi) stagnation. This means that one aspect of ourselves is being over-used, blocking up our energy and affecting the circulation of blood.
Soaking your feet in a warm epsom salts bath is an easy and inexpensive way to treat yourself to relaxation and also to prevent the destructive effects of stress from piling up.
We all know the soothing power of warm water, but did you know that this simple technique that has similar effects to meditation? It clears the mind and brings inner calm.
I recommend a shallow rectangular basin, so the feet fit comfortably. I bought mine at the dollar store for $5. Fill the container with enough warm water to cover the full foot up to the ankle. Ideally, your ankle bones should be under water. If you purchase standard epsom salts from the grocery store, I would use ½ to 1 cup, and they will dissolve easily. If you buy them at an artisan shop, they will be more expensive but also more potent, so you can use 3 tablespoons, or as directed. An older towel is useful to lay under the basin, so you can place your wet feet onto it as you step out. Sit somewhere comfortable, ease in, and let your mind float away!
What I like about it
I love taking this time for myself. It feels like a gift to have granted myself 15-20 minutes of solitude and peacefulness. I put on a favourite album that suits my headspace and I can feel all of the tension that I’ve been holding close to my heart melt down my legs, and get drawn and cleansed away by the salt.
Why Epsom Salts?
Magnesium is a well known mineral that relaxes our muscles, prevents insomnia, and helps to decrease our stress hormone levels (cortisol). When you take magnesium orally, it’s mostly filtered out by liver, so absorbing it through the skin is more efficient and effective.
Magnesium deficiency can cause:
- Restless leg syndrome
- Agitation and anxiety
- Irritability and confusion
- Abnormal heart rhythm
Why the Feet?
Six different energy meridians begin or end in the feet.These are energy pathways that connect the feet to the rest of the body. Therefore, when you relax the feet, you can experience results all over your body. Tension in the neck and shoulder eases, lower back pain subsides, and headaches melt away.
There are also over 50 acupuncture points in each foot. That’s why nurturing your feet translates into several emotional reactions. People report feeling grounded, sure footed, focused, clear, and calm after this self care treatment.
Drawing Energy Down
Most of us suffer from overly busy minds. We’re bombarded with information and juggling so many details each day. This constant low level stress translates into so many health problems, but this simple treatment can address this. By warming the feet, we draw the energy and blood from the top of the body (and brain) down into the lower body. This gives our mind a break and leaves us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.