Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

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Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Magnesium…how important is it?


Magnesium lotion

Being a curious person and open to trying things new to me with regards to fitness and mental health, awhile back I purchased a bottle of magnesium lotion. I heard a seasoned triathlete talk about what he does for recovery after races or hard workouts. That sounded interesting and so I tried it for myself while on vacation.

After doing a few sprints on the beach (a great workout by the way) my calves were extremely sore. I remembered I packed some magnesium lotion (Ancient Minerals) and applied a small amount (a.k.a. topical magnesium application) and then went about getting to the airport for the return flight. I had forgotten I had put some on my calves until while walking through the airport I noticed my calves weren’t sore. They weren’t sore at all. It just didn’t take a little bit of the soreness out, it was all gone. What? Did this actually work or was this a fluke? When I developed other sore muscles or felt tension, I again applied a small amount with similar results.

So what’s going on? Let’s first take a look at what magnesium is and its importance. Magnesium is a mineral that we have in our bodies mainly in muscle and bone tissue and is responsible for more than 300 reactions. Some of which include protein formation, nerve and cardiac function, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium plays a structural role in bone and in cell membranes, where it helps transport ions across the membrane.

What could happen if we don’t have enough magnesium in our bodies? Possibly muscle cramping, excessive soreness, inadequate force production, disrupted recovery and sleep, immune system depression, and heart arrhythmias.

In their book, “Perfect Health Diet”, Paul Jaminet, Ph.D. and Shou-Ching Jaminet, Ph.D. explain further that “…Chronic magnesium deficiency causes or is associated with a host of diseases: cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure metabolic syndrome and diabetes, migraines, osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, dysmenorrhea and PMS, and asthma. Actual heart attacks have been observed during magnesium-deprivation experiments.”

Also explained in their book is the RDA (recommended daily allowance) and what levels on average, people have. “…RDA is 420 milligrams per day for men and 320-400 milligrams per day for women.” “…surveys have shown that most Americans are deficient in magnesium. Median magnesium intake is 326 milligrams per day in men and 237 milligrams per day in women (even less in black men and women).”

They also give some possible explanations to why we may be deficient in adequate magnesium levels. “Calcium and magnesium are two more electrolytes that, because they dissolve in water, are at risk for deficiency in modern diets. Water treatment has removed them from drinking water, and calcium and magnesium in food may easily be lost if cooking liquids are discarded.”

Pretty important stuff. Did I have you at “disease”? Similar to the magnesium lotion would be soaking in Epson salt bath. Because, you guessed it, there is magnesium in the salt. This type of bath helps draw inflammation out of the muscles and joints.

So why use topically and not through food or with oral supplements? In addition to what is stated above, other resources suggest that our soil is not as nutrient rich as it once was. Taking magnesium orally may have a laxative effect. Good if you are constipated but not so good otherwise. Also, applying oils or lotions to our skin can faster absorb and can target specific areas of the body.

So back to my sore calves after a workout. What are some of the other benefits? Could this help athletes? Yes, so much so that there is an entire book written to the untapped uses and benefits that magnesium has.

The book by Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD is titled, “Transdermal Magnesium Therapy”. He states, What I have found is that magnesium chloride, applied transdermally, is the ideal magnesium delivery system – with health benefits unequalled in the entire world of medicine. Nothing short of a miracle is to be expected with increases in the cellular levels of magnesium if those levels have been depleted. There is no wonder drug that can claim, in the clear, what magnesium chloride can do. Most people will show dramatic improvements in the state of their health when they replete their magnesium levels in an effective manner.”

He goes on to talk about the many benefits of massages and even massage therapists using a magnesium oil for the massage. There is no oil in the “magnesium oil”. They do use it like you would massage oils or create a special blend mixing essential oil or other massage oils together with the magnesium chloride. A magnesium massage on a regular basis will assist with the body’s natural recovery process, thus speeding up healing as well as helping to prevent future injuries for those sore and stiff muscles.

As you can see, there is much information on magnesium and topical applications. This just scratches the surface. I encourage you to find out more and to try it for yourself. I know I will continue to use it and will be purchasing some for family members.

I am hopeful that you are finding these newsletters useful and a way to think differently and be curious.

It’s amazing what can happen if we keep our mind and hearts open.

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