Recycled Star-Stuff to Make your Life Better!
Greetings Interwebbers and Self Care Circus Freaks! Today’s topic is my absolute favorite Quality-of-Life-saving supplement: Magnesium. Got muscle cramps and twitches? Magnesium is the star of the vitamin and mineral world. Magnesium: Best. Thing. Ever. (For leg cramps.)
According to The Wikipedia:
“Magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe… produced in large, aging stars… When such stars explode as supernovas… magnesium is expelled into [the Universe] where it may recycle into new star systems. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and the fourth most common element in the Earth (after iron, oxygen and silicon)… It is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater, after sodium and chlorine.”
Cool. “Recycled Star-Stuff to Make your Life Better!” (You can use that for marketing purposes, BigMag. You’re welcome!)
Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body needs to function. And when it doesn’t get it, it starts wiggin’ out. Lemme tell ya my story…
All my life I have had cramps. Leg cramps. Foot cramps. Cramps in my back and my neck. Bad ones. So I figured I just needed more potassium in my diet, and I ate bananas. A lot of bananas. To no avail.
Then one day I came across something that changed my life. (“Thank you, Internet!”) Turns out, cramps are also caused by a magnesium deficiency. (NOTE: my bloodwork didn’t show a deficiency, but as I am A) never normal, and B) “The Princess and the Pea”(see the old folk tale), I figured that what is normal parameters for most people might not be the same for me. (This is a recurring theme in my life, interestingly enough. I look like a tough-ass, but I’m really a delicate flower. *Pats forehead with lace hankie*)
The Great Mag Experiment
That’s why I started experimenting with Magnesium. (I don’t want to be a delicate flower, I want to be a… er… magnesium magnolia…?) So I got a magnesium powder to mix with water and drink. I got magnesium pills. And because it is more easily absorbed and used by the body through the skin, I got magnesium chloride flakes. (I will only ever tout stuff that I would/do spend my own hard-earned money on. That said, if anyone I sing the praises of on here would like to support The Self Care Circus with loot or supplements, we’re not proud.)
I put a few cups of the flakes into baths once a week or so, or a foot bath if I don’t have time for a full-on soak. You can mix the flakes with warm water in a 1:1 ration and put in a spray bottle it’s called “Magnesium Oil.” You can put it directly on a cramped calf or foot. It’s portable (I have one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen window), and it keeps forever.
Words to the wise:
If your skin is at all sensitive, be careful where you put this! I can use the spray on my calves, but it makes the sides of my leg itch. The fronts of my arms are tough enough to take it, but the insides are too sensitive. Never tried it on my tummy, but my friend did. Her reaction? “It BUUUURRRNS!!!” Err on the side of caution is my advice.
Be careful when using magnesium mixed with water at all, for it is slippery! (Hence the name for the 1/2 water, 1/2 mag concoction, “Magnesium Oil.”) Wash the bathtub after use, and when you use the spray, either spray into you hand, or stand on a towel when you use it, to keep the slippery overspray off your floors.
When I say that this has changed my life, I’m not being trying to be dramatic. It really has. I can stand barefoot on my squishy mat in front of the kitchen sink and not have to stop every few minutes to rub and excruciating cramp out of my foot. I can sleep through the night without waking to an agonizing knot in my calf. (Nothing like waking at 4 am, bawling. Don’t miss that at all…)
Just one more warning:
Magnesium can make you poopy. If you have constipation and you drink lots of water (< essential for your body to function correctly, and another post entirely), magnesium can make everything easier. But if you get “The Squirts”, (that’s the scientific term), back off the amount you are taking, drinking, or soaking in until you have regular bowel movements. (Incidentally, regular bowel movements are also wonderful. As are comfy shoes. Wish someone had impressed this upon me in my 20’s.)
DO NOT try this experiment if you’re going to be stuck in a car all day, or out away from a bathroom. And as always, consult your doctor to make sure you won’t have a reaction with other meds or herbs or existing conditions.
So these are some of the reasons I think Magnesium is the Best. Thing. Ever! It also helps you sleep, calms you down, and gets your regular. What’s not to like? I hope you find it helpful. Let me know what you think in the comments. Happy, cramp-free days, my friends!
Oh, and this DISCLAIMER:
I’m Mama Trish. I’m not a doctor, or a health care professional, but I am my own professional self care advocate. You should be yours. With the considered input of a doctor that knows you, and all the research you can do online. Don’t forget to also research the “professionals” behind the site. Type in the name of the page and the word “Scam?”, or Wikipedia it. Some of these clowns are just out to make a buck, selling you stuff themselves, or getting kickbacks from people who do. Don’t be a sucker, folks, do your research. Make your own snake oil!