So – I live under the general expectation that my attempts at Yoga and Pilates are a matter of public record. I think one of the keys to getting to class is looking good, as in – you need the right gear. I will have to think more on this … whilst I am doing this, my usual intertia speed hump otherwise known as THE phenomenon most likely to be responsible for my absence from class – the main offender and usual suspect – sore muscles. Actually aching muscles is a more accurate description of the situation. I have been reliably informed and I have tested this – sore muscles can signal the need for Magnesium! Truth.
Who knew how powerful the mineral magnesium is and much it is needed by the body? Not many, not me as it happens. Experience is the second best teacher – pain the first. Both introduced me to magnesium and it has a huge role in maintaining overall well being and maintaining a pain free existence.
Magnesium is a necessary macro mineral that our bodies require for proper function. The human body actually needs 100s of milligrams of magnesium every day. Inside our bodies magnesium can be found inside our bones, our muscles and in our cells and bodily fluids. Our bodies do not produce magnesium on their own, instead we must absorb our necessary magnesium from the foods we eat and from the supplements we take.
Magnesium is related to so many different functions in the body that a magnesium deficiency can surface in a variety of ways. From muscle weakness and tremors to headaches and elevated blood pressure, not getting enough magnesium can create a pretty uncomfortable and rather unexplainable situation. Chronic pain and especially muscle pain can be associated with magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium works with its good friend and close colleague calcium to help to regulate the body’s nerves and muscle tone. Magnesium actually performs as a gate keeper for the amount of calcium allowed into a nerve cell. If there is a rush of calcium into a nerve cell, it will activate the nerve. This continued over-activation of the nerve causes the nerve to send too many messages to the muscle resulting in a muscle that over-contracts and becomes uncomfortable. This means pain, muscular and chronic – muscular fatigue and cramping. The cause? Magnesium deficiency.
How can you tell? You could try eating more magnesium rich foods of course but sometimes, especially if the situation is well – dire, a supplement is worth a go. Foods high in magnesium include swiss chard, spinach, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, sesame seeds, halibut, black beans, sunflower seeds, almonds and cashews. I found Ocean Milk, which is a magnesium supplement made from coral to be easily absorbed. It is also paired with Calcium.
Another way to deal with chronic pain associated with the muscles is to try a magnesium oil or cream that is applied to the skin over the area that is in pain. The magnesium is absorbed through the skin and is noted for immediate relief of muscle pain. There are also some practices of a magnesium oil foot bath in which you soak your feet in the magnesium oil for at least an hour allowing your skin to absorb the magnesium. You can also add Epsom Salts to the bath. However these skin absorption approaches have not been tested as much as simply increasing the amount of magnesium you get in your diet.
Ofcourse – you can also get too much magnesium. If you are getting too much your body will let you know by presenting diarrhea and other digestion issues. What we eat has so much to do with how our bodies perform. Our bodies are intricate machines that need the right balance to operate properly. Magnesium and other trace elements and minerals are easily overlooked in this busy busy world we live in. If you are experiencing chronic muscle pain or stiffness, consider your intake of Magnesium – it might be the cause of the trouble.
It is always nice, when it is simple. Isn’t it?