Healing bath: a longstanding coping and gently medicinal therapy

Update August 2015: I’ve posted this recipe and variations on the commentary several times on the blog. Below is the one from the last time in October 2014. I continue to take these baths…honestly, if I don’t take one for more than a few days my body absolutely starts CRAVING one. They are profoundly helpful and healing and simply a loving thing to do for our bodies. I do many variations on this recipe now. Sometimes I include bentonite clays (make sure it’s the kind that won’t clog your pipes) and/or sea salt and baking soda.  All these substances gently calm and detoxify when used as your body allows. I generally no longer include the essential oils as they started bothering me.

Baths have been one of the most consistently helpful therapeutic practices I’ve used since I became ill with protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal. For a few years it was a daily and sometimes twice daily way I managed. A bath with the right ingredients can take the edge off of all manner of painful and debilitating symptoms. Sometimes just briefly, but when you’re living in the moment, out of necessity, that is enough. Below I’m going to repost my recipe for an epsom salt bath.

These days I only take baths a couple of times a week, but they remain important and necessary. I have played a lot with what I put in my bath. In the post I’m sharing below is the first recipe I used to use. Today I took a bath with epsom salts, sea salt, baking soda and bentonite clay. Ahhhh. I realized I needed to share about the power of baths on Beyond Meds again. I can’t encourage folks enough to give them a try.

Here is the original post shared again:

yeah, I wish I had a tub this deep
yeah, I wish I had a tub this deep

I’ve posted this simple little coping and healing tool a few times because it’s been so valuable to me and others I know.

I take a bath like this almost every day. Sometimes twice a day. There have been times when I’ve been too sick to manage getting in and out of a tub, but if there is anyway I can manage, it very rarely fails to give some modicum of relief. Occasionally I emerge feeling greatly better. On a good day it can be simply invigorating as well! I’ve shared this in various circles and people rarely give it much credence. I encourage you try taking a bath if your first reaction is to dismiss this. It’s simple and subtle but amazing.

  • 2 – 5  cups Epsom Salts (experiment — some people find too much to make them too tired)
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • a few drops of  lavendar oil or other favorite calming essential oil (optional–some people find themselves sensitive to inhaling these oils, listen to your body — I in fact, have not been using the oils lately)

Poor all into a large tub and fill with water as warm as you can tolerate comfortably. Sometimes that may mean tepid water!  Especially in the summer. We can be sensitive to both heat and cold.

Soak 10 to 20 minutes.

Emerge refreshed.

Epsom salt baths are widely talked about in withdrawal groups and circles as well as alternative medicine sites. The thing is no one ever really says how much to use. This is a whole lot of Epsom salts and it really can help soothe. It’s by no means a cure all but it can help ease unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. It can also relax anyone who needs to relax. No extenuating circumstances necessary.

If you look around you might  find sources of bulk salts and the baking soda both. It can be quite inexpensive.

It’s a completely relaxing and refreshing soak. It helps with body pains as well as tension of all sorts.

Epsom salts is a source of magnesium that is taken through the skin. Oral magnesium is often suggested in alternative circles for relaxation as well but some people have trouble with it bothering their guts. This is often a more effective means of getting magnesium.

It can ease muscle and other bodily soreness and pain as well as anxiety or tension of most kinds.

This is also good before bed to relax before sleep

Be well everyone.

For more coping and healing ideas see here: 

*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

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