Epsom salt can be obtained from chemists. It is also used for constipated cattle and hence it is available with pharmacies which sell veterinary medicine. Epsom salt (½ kg - cost Rs 50) should be dissolved in a bathtub containing warm water, the temperature being at the tolerance level (patients suffering from angina, high blood pressure etc should avoid water that is too hot). Do not add soap or bath cubes, salts or oils as the alkalinity of these products will fight the acidity of the Epsom salt, thereby minimising its effects. The temperature of water may be maintained at a more or less constant level by the supply of fresh hot water. Exercise the joints within the limits of tolerance. Beginning with the toes, move every joint till the neck is reached. The movement makes the deposits in joints get loose and the Epsom salt draws out the poisonous acids. The heat of the water will open the pores of the skin, enabling the Epsom salt to draw out the toxins. After a bath of about five-ten minutes, dry yourself with a towel and if the weather permits, try to sleep in blankets so as to keep yourself warm and sweating. The object of this is to keep the pores of the skin open all night, to encourage the elimination of acids through sweating. Patients may find that sleeping between blankets will help to absorb the sweat. This bath is a wonderful relaxer and pain-reliever. You will sleep well. Take a bath when you get up to wash away the accumulated acids. After the bath, you may feel some weakness and lethargy. That will go away in one-two hours. After Epsom salt bath, the body must not be exposed to cold or draughts. This could lead to tension in the nerves and muscles, thereby causing temporary pain. Keeping the body warm is most important, as it will prolong the period of elimination.
The use of a tub is not feasible for everyone, nor is it easy for some arthritics to get into a tub. For them, the following method may be adopted.
After Epsom salt bath, the body must not be exposed to cold or draughts. This could lead to tension in the nerves and muscles, thereby causing temporary pain.
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