Sunday, November 13, 2011

Epsom Salt: A Pole Dancer's Guide

It's no secret that pole dancing is a strenuous and physically demanding activity that results in soreness. Especially for the beginner level student. As a pole dancer, we utilize a series of muscle groups in different moves that require strength and flexibility. These maneuvers often lead to a soreness that often peaks twenty-four to forty-eight hours post pole work out, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness. It's an inevitable result of a beneficial work out. When you've worked your muscles effectively, you are going to experience fatigue. It's important to rest your muscles in between work outs. Just as we get a good nights rest, we must take into consideration a day of rest for the wellness of our muscles. This strategy is a good practice that is often recommended for beginner level pole dancers. Over time as the dancer progresses and begins to excel in the sport, the training regimen will change to reflect a strategy that is individually suited. However, for safety and injury prevention, it's important to respect your body and remain patient in your progress. Rushing into over working your body will not benefit progress in any way.

In conjunction with respecting your body, a popular and beneficial remedy to assist in alleviating post work out soreness is Epsom Salt. Epsom salts are naturally occurring minerals distilled from water. The main component of Epsom Salt is magnesium sulfate. Magnesium Sulfate is a chemical compound. Magnesium sulfate can be detected in the human body by measuring levels found within the blood. Research has shown that deficiencies of magnesium sulfate have negative effects. By administering replacements of magnesium sulfate, many ailments can be corrected. According to the Universal Health Institute of Chicago, research has shown raising magnesium levels has had significant positive impact on cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, and muscular systems. Some of the beneficial effects in relation to pole dancing specifically involve easing muscle soreness by flushing toxins from the body and creating a feeling of relaxation by increasing the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that when increased creates a feeling of well being and relaxation. In addition to feeling relaxed, stress levels are reduced. Epsom salt is also useful in reducing bruises, which a common occurrence for pole dancers of every level.

So how do you use Epsom Salt? The magnesium and sulfates are best absorbed through the skin. The Epsom Salts Council recommends for soaking of sore muscles to mix two cups of Epsom salt in a standard size bath tub of warm water and soak for at least twelve minutes. From experience, I have found the best results when soaking before my delayed onset muscle soreness peaks. I generally soak in an Epsom salt bath either immediately post pole work out or before I go to bed on the night of my pole work out. It's important to always incorporate a thorough post pole work out stretching session as your cool down, which will also help alleviate muscle soreness. Rest days can also be reserved for Epsom salt baths. These will be the days where your muscles experience fatigue therefore an Epsom salt bath will be a welcomed treat.

Where do you buy Epsom salt? Epsom salt can be purchased from any major retail chain or drug store pharmacy. Epsom salt can be purchased as a plain unscented white salt or as a bath soak mixture that contains aromatherapy agents. Plain Epsom salt is popular among athletes for it's low cost and ability to be purchased in larger quantities. Epsom salt can be purchased in various quantities and is often sold in recyclable friendly cardboard cartons. For more information on Epsom salts and the beneficial uses, please visit the Epsom Salt Council website.

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