A person is sitting in a bathtub, wholly covered in bubbles. All you can see is a hand raised holding a bag of Epsom salts.

While Managing a Flare, Find Relief in Soothing Epsom Salt

As a public high school teacher, this past year has ranked as the most stressful one I’ve ever experienced in my 27-year career. Having an IBD on top of stress doesn’t help matters.

And stress is a sure-fire trigger of a flare-up. So, what’s an ulcerative colitis sufferer to do in the midst of professional angst?

Looking for relief in all the wrong places...

At first, I thought I might find some relief in the sweet, soothing centers of chocolate truffles, candy bars, and, well, chocolatey desserts of any kind. But, alas, my waistline sent a message to my brain, “Sister, you’re on the fast track to buying a bigger-size wardrobe.”

So, I dropped the sweets and began looking for relaxing relief elsewhere.

What I found was luxuriance at its BEST... at least, luxuriance that this school teacher’s wallet could afford.

Enter: the bubble bath

This year I’ve found my “happy place” in the depths of evening bubble baths sprinkled with a dose of Epsom salts.

Ok... maybe it’s not a dose. Maybe it’s more like two cups of Epsom salts, topped with extra-long pours of pure liquid bubble bath, served with a side glass of sweet, red wine, book-in-hand, while soft meditation music lulls its background chants for my haggard soul.

Yes, the bathtub has become my safety net, my respite, and my time spent quietly contemplating the plot of a driving suspense novel. This warm, bubbly distraction is just what I need during a professional year that has found my workload doubled, while the anxiety of a pandemic nips at my heels.

Once I hit my first flare-up at the beginning of the school year and spent a short-stint on prednisone, I knew I would need a medicinal replacement. In the bubbles, I have found some relief.

Epsom salt for the win

I can’t RAVE enough about the benefits of a bubble bath but especially one with Epsom salts. In case you’re unaware, Epsom salt has become a popular remedy for many ailments. From muscle soreness to stress, people use it to soothe numerous health issues.

For this colitis sufferer, I like the affordability of it and just the feeling I experience after soaking in it for about 30-45-minutes.

If you didn’t know, Epsom salt is a chemical compound consisting of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. Different than table salt, many folks might refer to it as “bath salt.” Research doesn’t necessarily back up the use of bath salt for the treatment of medical ailments.

But I believe if your mind thinks it works, then why not?

Does Epsom salt relieve pain?

According to the “Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt” package in my bathroom, it states that “Dr. Teal’s revitalizes tired, achy muscles, reduces stress, minimizing swelling and refreshing skin’s appearance.” I don’t care about my skin’s appearance, but I do care about how my body feels after a good soak.

If the particles can, indeed, be absorbed through one’s skin, then maybe it does work? In all honesty, I don’t know much about the research on magnesium absorption. However, I do believe in the therapeutic aspect of reducing stress on my nervous system; which in turn, helps soothe the pain of my digestive system.

Overall, I just know that I sleep better each evening I soak in lavender bath salts. Sleeping better helps reduce stress. Of course, the glass of sweet red wine doesn’t hurt either.

So, I say... soak it in!

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