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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Epsom Salt Baths, Restful Sleep, and the Wonders of Magnesium

Epsom Salt Baths, Restful Sleep, and the Wonders of Magnesium

Hey y'all, Watch my video above for my explanation on how to do Epsom salt baths. Here are the basic steps:
  • Fill the bath tub all the way with the hottest water you can stand- people with MS or adrenal issues will want to start with comfortably warm water
  • Add between 1 cup to 1 pound of Epsom salt to the bath water- start with 1 cup per week
  • When you get to the point you are so relaxed that you can fall asleep in the tub, that's your personal amount of Epsom salt
  • Soak and sweat profusely in the tub for 20-30 minutes- use an egg timer if you like
  • Cover as much of you body as possible- you may need to change positions
  • If the water cools down, add more hot water
  • If the water leaks out through the drain-out, put some duct tape around the drain-out to seal it
  • Feel free to add aromatherapy candles, soothing herbs, peaceful music, cucumber slices on your eyes, etc.
  • Quickly rinse off with cold water when you are done
  • Do these 1-7 times a week to relax tight or sore muscles, reduce anxiety and depression, detox emotionally, "escape," wind down, and sleep well and deeply

Do you have a magnesium deficiency?

You may have a magnesium deficiency if you experience the following:
  • Hyperexcitability (feeling hyper" or anxious, "wired")
  • Dizziness or feeling as if you might faint or black out
  • Muscle cramping or spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue or feeling wiped out
If you are severely deficient in magnesium, you may also be depleted in calcium, potassium, and may retain sodium. Often, retaining sodium can manifest high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and edema (swelling) in the ankles, feet, or hands. You may get the "shakes," lose your appetite, feel nauseous, or experience mood swings.

What does magnesium do?

Magnesium is responsible for many functions in the body, including muscle function, blood clotting,   nerve signal transmission, calcium absorption, and even heart failure.

Dr Russell Blaylock, MD, says that diabetics and cardiac patients have the lowest magnesium levels of all. He says that people who are low in magnesium are at a greater risk for heart disease and sudden cardiac arrest, and when they do have a heart attack, it is harder to resuscitate them.

Benefits of magnesium include:
  • Restful sleep and a peaceful calm during the day, as I mentioned in my video
  • Regular bowel movements, since magnesium relaxes smooth muscle tissue, making it a natural, gentle, and inexpensive laxative
  • Relief from hyperactivity, irritability, anxiety, migraines, heart palpitations, and PMS
  • Relaxed muscles after a strenuous workout, or for those with muscle cramping and pain issues
  • Increases DHEA (the "youth hormone") levels, which increases sex hormone production, when absorbed through the skin
Yes, we can get magnesium from our food.  All of the leafy green vegetables contain magnesium. Rice bran is full of magnesium, as are a variety of seeds, nuts, blackstrap molasses, and the woman's favorite, chocolate. However, many people are not eating enough of these foods. In addition, so much of our commercial farmland has been stripped of essential minerals that the nutrient content in our produce is lacking.

I suggest that if you are having trouble getting to sleep or suffer from anxiety issues that you try the Epsom salt baths. If you do, please comment and tell the Bluebonnet community about your experience.

From deep in the Heart of Texas,

I love you all.

Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Get Enough Sleep

Hey y'all,

I'm going to start doing videos on Bluebonnet Natural Healing Therapy and the first one is called "How to Get Enough Sleep."

Let me share some interesting things about sleep.

First, here is a chart from the National Sleep Foundation showing how much sleep each person needs by age:

What happens when we sleep?

While we are snoozing in the Land of Nod, our body is still very busy. Sleep is the time for:

  • Muscle repair
  • Memory consolidation
  • Growth hormone activation
  • Appetite hormone activation
If we do not get enough sleep, we cannot concentrate fully, we cannot make good decisions, and we have trouble engaging socially with others. We may also feel hungrier, because our appetite control hormones have not had enough opportunity to work properly. A lack of sleep may actually contribute to unwanted weight gain.

How does sleep work?

75% of the night is spent in four sleep stages:
  1. The period of time between being awake and fully asleep; dozing or light sleep
  2. Falling asleep; disengaging from surroundings; body temperature drops; heart rate and breathing are regular
  3. Deep sleep; blood pressure drops; breathing is slower; muscles relax; muscles repair and grow; energy is restored; hormones are released
  4. Same as #3
25% of the night is spent in REM sleep. This first occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep, and recurs about every 90 minutes. As the night progresses, the time between REM cycles lengthens.

During REM sleep, the following things are observed:

  • Dreams
  • Eye movements
  • Muscles relax and the body becomes immobilized
  • Cortisol levels drop, and elevate when it is close to time to wake up
I think I will do a couple of videos and blog posts on natural ways to prepare for sleep and how to deal with insomnia naturally. I'll share a really nice herbal recipe I have and talk about some herbs that may help you wind down.

As I mentioned in the video, feel free to leave a comment and tell me how you feel after getting eight hours of sleep. Maybe you could also share how you rearranged your schedule and life to get enough sleep.