During a late-night Google session, where I was attempting to find a solution for the particularly annoying (and sometimes painful) leg cramps I'd been having, I came across the idea of transdermal magnesium therapy (AKA rubbing magnesium oil all over your body). I had been specifically trying to find an alternative to Epsom salt baths since after moving into a tiny Sydney apartment — sans bath — I didn't exactly have the option to soak my troubles away. So, after some further reading, I realised a lot of the slightly irritating (albeit normal) symptoms I'd been putting up with were linked to having low magnesium levels — including painful cramps (yes, I'm talking to you evil period cramps), headaches, poor sleep, impaired memory, and my good friend anxiety!
Why Is Magnesium So Important?
Magnesium works in our cells and is a really big deal as far as bodily function is concerned. It's one of the 15 essential minerals our bodies require to properly operate, and affects the brain, muscles, heart and blood vessels (basically all the stuff that keeps you alive). It's also responsible for energy production and cellular reproduction within the body. Transdermal magnesium therapy (as the pros call it) works by applying magnesium oil, lotion, or gel directly onto the skin. These products are essentially a concentrated mineral supplement of magnesium chloride that allows for easy absorption into the body (through your skin).
Let's Talk Application
For the first week or so, I applied it every night (recommended for quick restoration of magnesium levels). Then after two weeks, I scaled it back to twice a week, or whenever I fancied covering my body in this dry, slightly stinging oil. Which brings me onto my next point — to be really honest, there is nothing luxurious about applying magnesium oil, so don't be expecting a spa-like experience. I'm one of those people that doesn't like to have oily or tacky-feeling skin, but as this was a dry oil, it was manageable (and nothing chucking on a pair of long PJs couldn't solve).
Also, I had been warned to expect a bit of stinging after applying, but for me the sensation was similar to getting into the ocean on the first day of Summer — slightly stingy, but not in an uncomfortable kind of way. However, please learn from my mistakes and don't apply this anywhere near your legs after shaving (trust me, it was zero fun). After about ten minutes the stinging feeling would subside and turn into a warm sensation that actually left me feeling really calm and ready for bed. And yes, I know this might be a placebo effect, but on the nights I've used it, I find myself falling asleep easier, and feeling more rested (read: less grumpy) in the morning.
Take note, I'm obviously not a health professional, so I can only speak for the results I've seen in myself, but after using it for nearly three months I've noticed enough of an improvement in my symptoms to feel the need to share and get everyone in my inner circle onto a bottle of the magic stuff.