Magnesium Oil and Restless Legs Update

Many of you have inquired about Rob’s restless leg syndrome. For those of you who missed it, the original post is HERE and how to make the Magnesium Oil for cheap is HERE.

I am happy to report that my darling bed-mate is no longer turning the sheets into a tiny ball in the middle of the bed, kicking me in the knee caps, running up and down the stairs in the middle of the night, sitting up in bed and loudly sighing, constantly twitching or flipping around the bed like a fish. My legs are back to being the normal pasty white color, instead of various shades of black, blue and purple. We are both resting well and I am not lying in bed awake dreaming up ways to smother someone more than  twice my weight with a pillow. In short, IT WORKED!

Rob has found over the months of trial and error that he does much better if he sprays with magnesium oil twice a day. In the morning before work, he sprays his legs and rubs it in until its dry, then gets dressed and goes about his day, leaving the magnesium oil on his skin. At night about 1/2 an hour before showering he sprays his legs, arms, and torso and rubs it in. He pays special attention and sprays an extra amount along his spine, as he feels that it absorbs better there. Zero scientific proof of that, but he ‘feels’ that it works better so that’s what he does 🙂 Sometimes you just have to listen to your body right? He lays around and lets it soak into his skin for at least 30 minutes, then gets into the shower and gets ready for bed.

I can attest that twice a day is much better than once. He is completely still at night! It’s amazing the difference between Crazy Twitchy Rob and Non-Heebie-Jeebie Rob. I don’t want to strangle the new guy. He’s so nice and peaceful to sleep with that I’ve decided he can stick around 🙂

This program has also turned out to be very affordable. You all haven’t forgotten that I’m a cheapskate have you? We are still using the original 2.2 lb bag of Magnesium Chloride Flakes that I purchased for $14.99. I am happy to report that I have since  found an even cheaper source for you HERE at Iherb. This is 2.75 lbs of very pure Magnesium Chloride for only $13.85!  IF YOU USE THE COUPON CODE HIF798 YOU WILL RECIEVE A $10 DISCOUNT. PLUS THEY OFFER FREE SHIPPING! YAY!

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Homemade Magnesium Oil and How to apply

Yesterday I talked about the depletion of magnesium in our food and soil and the devastating results. The fact that up to 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium really scared me (see health studies mentioned yesterday) and prompted Rob and I to do an experiment. We eat a whole lot of magnesium rich foods, and for some reason he just isn’t absorbing it that way. A few months ago we tried oral magnesium, and that wasn’t absorbed well either (If you’re looking for a recipe for diarrhea take a heaping teaspoon of oral magnesium). I started researching transdermal magnesium therapy and discovered that 75% of the magnesium is absorbed through the skin with this method. I found a product loosely referred to as magnesium oil. Though it’s not actually an oil at all, but a super saturated solution of magnesium chloride.

First I went to the health food store shopping for magnesium oil to be applied to the skin. I found a 4 ounce bottle for $19.99 or a 8 ounce bottle for $37.50. Those are both around $5 per ounce. I’m sure by now you have figured out that I’m a cheap skate. I went home and figured out how to make it myself.

Calling all Cheap Skates

I went online (I found several sources on Amazon) and ordered pure 100% Magnesium Chloride Flakes (and you should too). I ordered a 2.2 pound bag of flakes for $14.99. This will make gallons of magnesium oil. I would recommend Swanson Ultra or Ancient Minerals if you are looking for a pure source. Also make sure the label says “Magnesium Chloride Flakes” and absolutely nothing else! This is what they look like:

Homemade Magnesium Oil

1/4 cup magnesium chloride flakes

1/4 purified water

In a saucepan heat water and add flakes. You don’t have to boil it. Just hot enough to dissolve the magnesium. Ok that’s it. I feel like there should be a lot more steps here, but nope, you’re done 🙂

I funnelled ours into a cute little spray bottle that I saved. Yes I save everything like one of those weird hoarder people. And see, I really do use all that crap eventually!

Rob and I both shower at night. So before my shower, I take off all my clothes in the bathroom and spray my entire body down with magnesium oil. I then rub it in really good just like lotion. It needs to soak into the skin for at least 20 minutes, so don’t shower for at least that long. I spend this 20 minutes brushing my teeth, using my water pick (do ya’ll have a water pick? If not you should go get one they are the bomb) plucking my eyebrows and whatever other stupid girly things I can think to do.

I should probably warn you about a couple of things here, because nobody warned me and I was quite unpleasantly surprised….

1. The first couple of times you use this spray is stings. It didn’t sting all over my body, but for some reason my lower back was itching/stinging/burning/ for like 5-7 minutes afterward. Not fun. Rob had the same thing happen to his abdomen. It stings because magnesium chloride is derived from salt and some of us have sensitive skin. After the 3rd day of using this I am 100% sting free and so is Rob. So hang in there!

2. After it dries on the skin it leaves a white, salty, powdery residue on the skin. You kind of look like you just walked out of a bakery explosion 🙂 This is the reason that I started spraying right before I shower. This would not be cool under my mostly black work attire.

3. Don’t spray this on an area that you just shaved. Ladies if you can just imagine here the area that I just got done shaving before I sprayed….you will die laughing. For some reason it didn’t occur to me that this would be an especially sensitive area. Whatever. I won’t make that mistake again.

4. Rob sprayed his whole body, including his chest. Nipples are sensitive people. Very, very sensitive. So, unless burning nipples are something you’re really into, avoid these two small areas.

So that is our little experiment in a nut shell. I am really hoping and praying that this cures Rob of his restless leg syndrome. After all the research I have done, I would recommend that EVERYBODY supplement with magnesium. The chance that you have enough magnesium in your body is only 20% And by the way, my 4 ounce bottle of magnesium oil cost $1.70. That is .42 cents per ounce. Ha!

In case some of you have not discovered Underground Wellness, there was an excellent podcast about Magnesium on Wednesday March 28th 2012, that I would highly recommend. It features Morley Robbins, who has dedicated his life to studying magnesium deficiency. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.It is much more thorough and in depth than my meager postings….Go to www.blogtalkradio.com and search for Underground Wellness and you can listen to it online or click the above link. It is also free on iTunes. I am a big fan of listening to my iPod while I’m stuck in the kitchen all day….

Magnesium Deficiency and what to do about it

My darling boyfriend (I still think it sounds idiotic to say boyfriend at my age. Can’t we coin a new phrase America?) has restless leg syndrome. Until recently I truly thought that was just a made-up syndrome. Doesn’t it sound ridiculous? Well poor Rob has a terrible time with completely involuntary and uncontrollable restlessness in his legs, feet and ankles. We will be sitting down watching a movie on the couch, and his legs hurt, they are cramping and he has this “itch’ to get up and move or to shake his legs. He’s tried to describe it to me, but it’s a really difficult feeling to describe. Then, after he’s sound asleep in bed his legs literally kick every couple of minutes all night long. He says it’s like when you are at the doctor and they hit your knee with the reflex hammer. So this has resulted in two things. One, my legs are black and blue from being kicked in my sleep all night and Two, I’ve been doing a lot of research on restless legs and what on earth causes this! Here is what I found out:

Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the human body and is essential to good health. It is critical in over 350 essential biochemical reactions in the body including digestion, energy production, muscle function, bone formation, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and also assists in the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, adrenals, brain and nervous system. In fact, Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body—it can be found in human bones, teeth and red blood cells, and activates more enzyme systems than both Iron and Zinc combined.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency is running rampant among Americans. One study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health shows that 68% of Americans are magnesium deficient. Other experts put the number closer 80%.

If you’re a geek like me and like to read the actual health studies:

  • “Dietary Magnesium and C-reactive Protein Levels,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 24, No. 3, 166-171 (2009).
  • Jaffe R MD. “How to Know if You are Magnesium Deficient: Over 75% of Americans Are” (transcript), 06/16/09, http://www.innovativehealing.com

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

  • Leg Cramps
  • Foot Pain
  • Muscle Twitches
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Low Energy
  • Muscle Weakness
  • PMS
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Osteoporosis
  • Restless Legs (aha!)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Kidney stones (calcium oxate)
  • Constipation
  • Insulin Resistance

Of all the minerals required for good health, calcium has been pushed into the spotlight. There has been a flood of calcium-fortified foods, beverages, and supplements. Ironically, without magnesium, calcium cannot be properly used or absorbed by the body. If there’s no magnesium, then the calcium builds up in the cells causing angina, arrhythmia, hypertension, headaches, and asthma.

Compounding the problem is the knowledge that the body actually strips magnesium and calcium from the bones during periods of “functioning” low magnesium. This effect can cause a doubly difficult scenario: seemingly adequate magnesium levels that mask a true deficiency, coupled by ongoing damage to bone structures. Thus experts advise the suspicion of magnesium deficiency whenever risk factors for related conditions are present, rather than relying upon tests or overt symptoms alone.

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

If you eat like a typical American—many processed and refined foods, convenience foods, and junk foods—then you’re probably seriously magnesium deficient. Just the process of refining foods strips nutrients, including magnesium. Some examples:

  • Dry roasting nuts removes the highly nutritious oils which contain magnesium.
  • Milling flour from grains strips magnesium from the grain.
  • Sugar in anything uses up magnesium.
  • Fluoridated, softened, and distilled water depletes magnesium.
  • Carbonated beverages and some processed foods, like lunch meat, contain phosphates that bind to magnesium molecules and flush it out of the body.
  • Alcohol blocks magnesium, especially if you have three or more drinks a day.
  • Caffeine flushes magnesium from of the body.
  • Some foods—like raw or roasted nuts and seeds, grains, soybeans, spinach, and chard—contain compounds called phytic acid and oxalic acid which can cause magnesium to be eliminated from the body.

You can find ample amounts of magnesium in green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains — but only if they’re grown under optimal growing conditions by an organic farmer who also uses a nutrient-rich fertilizer containing magnesium.

So while eating magnesium-rich foods is a noble goal, it just might not be realistic given the lack of nutrients found in our food and in our soil today.

So both Rob and I are trying external magnesium therapy. I made homemade magnesium oil, because this stuff is seriously expensive at the health food store.  I’ll post the very simple, very cheap recipe for Homemade Magnesium Oil tomorrow, and how to apply it. I’ll also keep you posted on how this works for his restless legs. My fingers are crossed!

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