Pain can be can have various causes. It can be because of an injury or maybe its because of lactic acid buildup from a hard workout or maybe its simply because you’re dehydrated. Whatever is the root cause of that pain, there are things we can do to alleviate and even cure it altogether. The first step to alleviating pain is providing your body with the optimal condition for recovery. This means giving it sufficient quality rest, eating a heathy diet and minimizing stress. This is where baths come in. Taking a nice long soak (especially in the winter) will promote higher quality rest, reduce stress and relax muscles to increase blood flow for faster recovery.
Below are 5 of our favorite bath tips for pain relief. You can add a few of these to your bath routine to see how you feel after you wake up in the morning. If you find that you’re feeling better with less pain, please let us know because we would love to hear from you!
1. Epsom Salt
Adding Epsom Salt to a hot bath can do wonders for reducing swelling and speeding up recovery for sore muscles or joints.
Lack of magnesium can be a culprit in causing pain and this can be easily fixed by adding Epsom Salt (aka. magnesium sulfate) to your bath.
2. Essential Oil
Adding a few drops of Essential Oils to your bath will help you and your muscles relax even more during your bath. What this does is make your muscles become even more receptive to both the heat from the warm water and the magnesium from the Epsom Salt.
Different Essential Oils provide different benefits and you should choose the oil to used based on what ails you.
Here are two of our favorite recipes to get the most pain relief benefit out of your bath:
- 3 drops of Peppermint and 7 drops of Eucalyptus – this will help relieve your sinuses and help relieve headaches and head colds
- 4 drops of Lavender and 4 drops of Eucalyptus – the Lavender will promote relaxation and get you ready to sleep while the Eucalyptus will sooth your sinuses to get blood moving everywhere for improved recovery
3. Glass of Water
Drinking water before and after your bath is essential for pain relief. Why is that? Because if you’ve had a very active day running around and doing chores (especially if you’re moving things around and building up a sweat), you’re going to build up lactic acid in your muscles. And if you haven’t been drinking enough water, your body will be less efficient in removing that lactic acid from your muscles. This lactic acid build up will contribute to soreness the day after.
While taking a hot bath will help your muscles relax and improve recovery, it will also make you sweat which can easily dehydrate you and slow down the removal of lactic acid from those very muscles you want to be less sore. The only way to combat this is by hydrating before and after your bath.
4. Give Yourself a Massage
Give yourself a massage on the sorest parts of your body during your bath. This will help those muscles relax even more and become even more receptive to the benefits of your bath.
My personal favorite is to give myself a foot massage when I’m taking a bath. There is nothing like it for removing soreness from my feet after a long day of walking.
5. Cover Your Eyes With a Warm Towel and Give Yourself a Head Massage
If you want to take headache and sinus relief to the next level, grab a small hand towel and soak it in the warm bath water. Close your eyes and cover your eyes with the warm towel. As you let the warm water relax your head, slowly massage the areas around the bridge of your nose, your eyes and your temple. Everything is going to be more relaxed and your massage is going to bring even more blood into the areas which are causing you pain. That infusion of blood is going to start clearing that area out. You might start feeling better right away. But if you don’t, that’s normal too because your body needs time to fully heal itself. Try to take a nap after your head massage (with a warm towel) and see how you feel afterwards.
6. Stretch Lightly AFTER Your Bath
I discovered this one accidentally and it’s changed my life! I used to be a runner and suffer from soreness the day after a long run. The usual advice the day after is to go for a light jog the day after so that you can warm your muscles and joints up so that you can stretch them. But honestly, the last thing you want to do when your muscles are sore is to exercise with those same muscles. So one day I decide to take a hot bath instead and afterwards I reflexively started stretching and saw that my muscles and joints were already warmed up and receptive to a nice stretch. The next day the soreness was almost completely gone!
You basically get the same muscles and joints warming benefits from a bath as you do from a light exercise warmup. Why not take it to the next level and incorporate some light stretches to your post-bath self-care routine? You can thank me for this later!
We Would Love to Hear from You!
Do you have any bath tips or routines you use to help with pain relief? Please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to hear from you!