I never thought much about magnesium. I certainly had heard of it and knew it was in a lot of great foods and it had awesome benefits for our bodies. But it wasn’t until I did a 4-day nutrition workshop with Dr’s Gaby and Wright that I truly understood what the power of that little mineral was. Jonathan Wright shared that magnesium was his favorite mineral. (I thought, “Who has a favorite mineral?”) I learned that magnesium was good for headaches, muscle aches, muscle cramps, menstrual cramps, PMS, sleep issues, mood issues and constipation. That we needed it to absorb calcium and that it helped with heart function. And could maybe fight cancer. Wow. He said, “If it spasms, take magnesium as it relaxes smooth muscle.” You could take magnesium internally through food or a supplement or soak in it in the form of Epsom salts. And after that pitch, I realized that magnesium was my favorite mineral too. Because apparently as a health practitioner I needed one. After that workshop I saw multiple needs for magnesium in my life and took it for menstrual cramps and muscle aches. It became the biggest bottle in my alternative medicine cabinet.
And his words echoed in my head as I proudly explained on radio and TV shows that magnesium was my favorite mineral.
One day during a workout, I reached back to grab my foot and stretch my quads and I felt a stabbing in my back. I actually turned around to see if someone had rushed into the gym and plunged a knife in my back. No one had. I dropped to the floor in a cold sweat and excruciating pain ran through me. I had popped a rib out. A common occurrence for me. I managed to make it home though I couldn’t fasten my seatbelt or drive with my right arm. I made it into the house where I collapsed on the floor and told my husband to retrieve the ice pack…and the magical magnesium (If it spasms take magnesium). I lay on the ice and finally had the strength to sit up and take the elixir, which I knew would stop my muscle spasm. I took 4 giant pills. 1000mg of magnesium. I had never taken that much, but I needed it.
Over a few minutes the muscles in my back relaxed. The spasm stopped and the pain went away. But what I forgot was that magnesium relaxes ALL smooth muscle. So when I found myself dashing to the bathroom I wondered what in the world I had eaten to cause such a reaction. And such a lack of…how shall we say…solidity. Then I remembered magnesium is good for headaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, sleep, mood and…CONSTIPATION. Ah, the bowel is smooth muscle. Oops. Note to self: 1000mg of magnesium is too much unless I’m constipated. Lesson learned. And though it was an unpleasant day in many ways, magnesium is still my favorite mineral, though in a more conservative dosage. Remember to keep magnesium handy in your alternative medicine cabinet for what ails you.
Written by Kathy Gruver. Kathy is an award-winning author and the host of the national TV show based on her first book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet (winner Beverly Hills Book Awards). She has earned her PhD in Natural Health and has authored two books on stress: Body/Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker and, just published, Conquer Your Stress with Mind/Body Techniques (Winner Indie Excellence Awards, Beverly Hills Book Awards, Finalist for the USA Best Books Award). She has studied mind/body medicine at the famed Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School and pursued further education at The National Institutes of Health. Gruver has been featured as an expert in numerous publications including Glamour, Time, Wall Street Journal, CNN, WebMD, Prevention, Men’s Health, Huffington Post, Yahoo.com, Ladies Home Journal, Massage and Bodyworks Magazine, and Massage Magazine. She has written dozens of health and wellness articles and contributing posts. Dr. Gruver has appeared as a guest expert on over 200 radio and TV shows including NPR, SkyNews London, CBS Radio, and Lifetime Television, and has done over 100 educational lectures around the country. For fun and stress relief Dr. Gruver does flying trapeze and hip hop dance. www.thealternativemedicinecabiner.com