Salt and Soda Baths
Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) and Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) are naturally occurring in our muscular physiology. During periods of stress and exertion these components get out of balance contributing to muscular aches and muscular fatigue. By soaking in a bath of equal parts Baking Soda and Epsom Salt your body absorbs the salt and soda through osmosis and restores their balance in your body.
Use equal parts Baking Soda and Epsom Salts, anywhere from 1-2 cups of each. Use hot water to soak for at least 15 minutes. Water that is too hot will give you a "limp noodle" effect that you may interpret as very relaxing but may be counterproductive, if not contraindicated, should you have a heart condition. Soaking in very hot water forces your heart to work very hard to pump blood to the surface in an attempt to cool you down. The relaxation you feel may actually be a form of exhaustion from this exertion on the heart. Bathing in water less hot will be more truly relaxing. A tepid temperature is not required. Instead, use a temperature that allows you to stay in the tub comfortably for a minimum of 15 minutes. If you do prefer a hotter tub, and even if you don't, consider adding cold water and alternating contrasting temperatures for a longer soak. In this way it is easy to bathe for hours especially if you simultaneously drink a lot of water, which is generally always a very good idea! I have personally found great relief and a sense of total restoration from periods of high exertion and mental/physical demand when I take Salt and Soda baths in this manner. I highly recommend this approach while at the same time strongly advise you seek a doctor's permission if you suffer from any heart conditions.
Clients often ask about the use of ice and heat regarding sore areas. It is my educated opinion that ice is generally preferred because where there is pain there tends to be inflammation and you don't want to add heat to an area that is inflamed. I encourage icing 10 minutes on, 5 minutes off, 10 minutes on, 5 minutes off, 10 minutes on. Icing in this manner increases circulation to the area and here is how. When ice is applied, the body naturally sends blood into the area bringing with it fresh oxygen and nutrients. When ice is removed, blood recedes taking with it some of the body's natural by-products. By icing 10 minutes on, 5 minutes off, three times as described, you create a sort of pump that in effect flushes the sore area of naturally occurring, physiological by-products like lactic acid and carbonic acid, which can contribute to muscular soreness and fatigue and bathes it in fresh oxygen and nutrients which foster muscular repair and pain relief. There are times when icing for extended periods is advisable and those are generally under acute conditions. As always, seeking a doctor's opinion is always advised in those situations.