Researchers in Israel found that soaking in water from the Dead Sea relieved the pain of knee osteoarthritis more effectively than simply soaking in a Jacuzzi filled with tap water. What’s the secret?
The researchers studied 44 people with knee osteoarthritis, dividing them into two groups. For six weeks, one group soaked twice a week in a pool filled with water from the mineral-rich Dead Sea, and the other soaked in a Jacuzzi filled with tap water. For six months after the therapy, the Dead Sea group had a significant decrease in pain and stiffness. The Jacuzzi group enjoyed the same benefits — but for only one month!
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My guess is that the incredible buoyancy of the Dead Sea water — it’s so rich in minerals that rather than sink, you can effortlessly float — is responsible for the long-term pain relief.
If you want to soak in salts from the Dead Sea, check out the Dead Sea Premium. Bathe in it for 20 minutes, at least twice a week.
A More Cost Effective Route: An At-Home Detox Bath
A hot bath that I recommend to soothe the general muscle aches and pains of CFS/FMS uses two cups of Epsom salts in a tub of hot water. Simply fill the tub with hot water and add the Epsom salts. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. It’s easy, and you can feel the pain flow right out of your muscles. Then climb into your cozy bed with a cozy wool liner, which another study showed to be far more effective than pain medications in fibromyalgia. You’ll be amazed at how the pain goes away!
I have talked about the use of a sauna for detox, but people often ask about other detox methods. A hot mineral bath will help clear out toxins as well. Here is the recipe.
To a tub of hot water, add:
- Epsom salts (2 cups )
- Baking soda (1 cup)
- Hydrogen peroxide (1/3 cup)
- Essential lavender oil (20 drops or so, depending on preference. Optional.)
You will sweat in the tub and lose toxins (which causes you to lose some water as well), so it is important to drink plenty of water while you soak. (You can make fresh lemon juice and mix it with water, or you can drink plain water — but it is essential to drink while you take the bath.) If you have a tendency to become lightheaded easily, be cautious when getting out of the tub, or have someone nearby the first time you take the bath. After getting out of the tub, rinse off the salts by taking a shower with a temperature that’s lukewarm to cool. (If you don’t, you may itch afterwards.) Rest for 30 minutes after the bath.
“Intermittent Balneotherapy at the Dead Sea Area for Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis,” Sherman G, Zeller L, Avriel A, Friger M, Harari M, Sukenik S, Israeli Medical Association Journal, February 2009, Vol 12, 88-93.
Dr. Teitelbaum, also known as “Dr. T,” is an integrative physician and one of the country’s foremost experts on fatigue, sleep and pain management. The treatment program he developed for combating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia and related conditions has helped hundreds of thousands of sufferers reclaim their health and vitality.
Dr. Teitelbaum is the Medical Director of the National Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and author of the best-selling books, From Fatigued to Fantastic!, Beat Sugar Addiction Now! and Pain Free 1-2-3. He has also authored several landmark scientific studies. Dr. Teitelbaum has firsthand experience with CFS and Fibromyalgia — he battled the condition when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. Since then, he has dedicated his career to developing effective strategies to treat these conditions and educating the millions of people who need help.
Visit his web site to learn more.