If just the mere thought of meditation or yoga makes you recoil with discomfort - there is a very, very good chance you are low in magnesium.
Think of magnesium as THE relaxation mineral. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or an even a mood, is a sign of magnesium deficiency. This critical mineral is actually responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilise membranes and to help muscles relax.
In fact, there are over 3,500 medical references on magnesium deficiency, some of the most common symptoms;
• Muscle cramps or twitches
• Sensitivity to loud noises
• Autism + ADD
• Palpitations + Angina
• Headaches + Migraines
• Chronic fatigue
• Kidney stones
• High blood pressure
• PMS + Menstrual cramps
• Irritable bladder + Irritable bowel syndrome
Magnesium deficiency has even has been linked to inflammation in the body and ageing. At the risk of sounding dramatic, a study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine,(i) a deficiency in this critical nutrient makes you twice as likely to die as other people. A recent scientific review of magnesium concluded, “It is highly regrettable that the deficiency of such inexpensive, low-toxicity nutrient results in diseases that cause incalculable suffering and expense throughout the world.” (ii)
The reason we are so deficient is simple - many of us eat a diet that contains practically no magnesium — a highly-processed, refined diet that is based mostly on white flour, meat, and dairy (all of which have no magnesium). This is all further complicated by the fact that magnesium is often poorly absorbed and easily lost from our bodies. In addition, magnesium levels are decreased by excess alcohol, salt, coffee, phosphoric acid in sodas, profuse sweating, prolonged or intense stress (physical or emotional), chronic diarrhoea, excessive menstruation, diuretics, antibiotics and other drugs.
Unfortunately, a blood test is the least effective way to detect a drop in your total body magnesium level as it is stored in your bone and soft tissues. Yet it is simple to correct. So if you suffer from any of the symptoms above, or have any of the diseases - several sprays of a magnesium oil a day or a magnesium bath every few days, will have you back on track into time, it is great for the entire family! You can also adopt some lifestyle changes to minimise loss;
- Limit caffeine, colas, salt, sugar and alcohol magnesium
- Learn how to practice active relaxation
- Check with your doctor if your medication is causing magnesium loss (many high blood pressure drugs or diuretics cause loss of magnesium)
- The most absorbable form is via the skin.
- Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide. They are poorly absorbed (and the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements).
CAIM & ABLE produce a range of highly therapeutic magnesium products.
(i) Tong, GM and RK Rude. 2005. Magnesium deficiency in critical illness. J Intensive Care Med 20 (1):3-17. Review.
(ii) S. Johnson. 2001. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. Med Hypotheses 56(2): 163-70