Transdermal magnesium therapy is an extremely effective modality for health maintenance. A form of magnesium therapy which involves absorption of magnesium through the skin, transdermal magnesium is usually applied with magnesium chloride, a highly soluble and pure form of magnesium.
Transdermal magnesium chloride therapy can be used effectively for a wide variety of health-related applications.
Transdermal Magnesium Therapy The Book, by Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac. OMD
Transdermal magnesium therapy came into wide acceptance thanks to the work of health researcher Dr. Mark Sircus and his book Transdermal Magnesium Therapy.
In his groundbreaking book, Dr. Sircus states that individuals who are deficient in magnesium can expect dramatic improvements in a broad range of conditions.1 Because the vast majority of people are deficient in magnesium, his statement regarding health benefits applies to nearly everyone.
Types of Transdermal Magnesium
Magnesium chloride for transdermal application is available as magnesium oil, magnesium gel, and magnesium flakes. Magnesium oil may be applied directly to skin by hand or using a fine-mist spray bottle.
The original Ancient Minerals topical magnesium products offer the benefits of transdermal magnesium with a mark of purity, Genuine Zechstein magnesium chloride sourced from a 250-million year old underground seabed protected from modern impurities. Ancient Minerals is the only brand of transdermal magnesium recommended by Dr. Mark Sircus.
Magnesium oil is applied directly to the skin with a fine mist spray bottle.
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil is available in an 8-ounce spray bottle size. Eight pumps of sprayed magnesium oil provide approximately 100 milligrams of magnesium transdermally. Many users prefer to transfer magnesium oil from large containers into small spray bottles for ease of use.
Magnesium oil may leave a slight mineral residue on skin after it dries. This residue may be more noticeable when larger amounts are applied, or after multiple applications. It can be wiped off with a damp cloth or rinsed off in the shower. Because the majority of the magnesium oil is usually absorbed within twenty minutes, it is advisable to wait at least fifteen to thirty minutes before showering or wiping it off. Magnesium oil tends to absorb moisture, and therefore it dries more slowly when humidity levels are high (and dries faster when humidity is low). Due to its concentration, ultra-high purity, and easy application, Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil is an effective form of magnesium chloride that provides maximum results per application.
Magnesium gel is a blend of magnesium oil and aloe vera extract. Magnesium gel provides an effective means for obtaining therapeutic levels of magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride and aloe vera support the health of skin and speed healing. Ultra pure Ancient Minerals Magnesium Gel Plus leverages the benefits of magnesium and aloe vera for supporting skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, and skin-related inflammation. It is also useful for burns, sunburns, abrasions, cuts, bruises, poison oak, and insect bites.
The gel is ideal for applications in massage therapy and bodywork.
Apply magnesium gel to skin and rub it in thoroughly. Ancient Minerals Magnesium Gel Plus is designed to remain hydrated while on skin. The gel remains in contact with skin for long periods, thereby keeping it hydrated and moisturized. The gel eventually dries during prolonged use. The gel may be “reactivated” by rubbing it with wet hands. Magnesium gel may be rinsed or wiped it off using a damp cloth. One-quarter teaspoon provides about 125 mg of magnesium.
Magnesium flakes are the form of magnesium chloride most suitable for use in full body baths and footbaths.
Magnesium flakes store easily and dissolve in water. One cup of Ancient Minerals Magnesium Flakes provides approximately 15 g of elemental magnesium.
New users might start with one to three cups of flakes in a bath or footbath. Greater results may be obtained by using larger amounts. Use up to eight pounds of flakes in a body bath for purposes of achieving maximum benefits. It is important to note that the water temperature ideally should be warm rather than hot. While hot water encourage elimination from pores, warm water best facilitates absorption. An ideal temperature range is about 100 degrees to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Users should soak in baths and footbaths for at least twenty-five to thirty minutes. Soaking for longer periods may result in higher levels of magnesium absorption and improved results.
While concentrations of magnesium chloride in bath water when using Ancient Minerals Bath Flakes are typically lower than the concentration of magnesium oil applied directly on skin, full body baths offers distinct benefits. These benefits include total (or nearly total) coverage of the body (i.e., a larger area of application), warmth that relaxes muscles and opens pores allowing magnesium to penetrate tissues, and a soothing bath experience. Magnesium flakes are ideal for travel because they contain no liquid and weigh less than magnesium oil or gel products. Note that magnesium oil may be used directly in full body baths or footbaths, or used in combination with flakes. Add two to four ounces (or more) magnesium oil to warm water prepared for the bath or footbath. As with magnesium flakes, the use of larger amounts of magnesium oil in bathwater may provide greater benefits.
Magnesium flakes can be especially beneficial for individuals who have sensitive skin, or who are less tolerant of high concentrations of magnesium chloride. Sensitive individuals, at least initially, may better tolerate lower concentrations of magnesium chloride in bath water. The flakes provide a means for controlling the concentration of magnesium to allow for gradual adaptation to more highly concentrated solutions. As the body adapts to higher concentrations of topical magnesium, it will be possible to increase the amount of flakes in bath water. Users thereafter may introduce direct application of magnesium oil or gel.
Transdermal magnesium therapy will provide the most benefits when transdermal magnesium is used frequently and at relatively high levels for the initial two to four months (or longer) of use. This period of high levels of usage helps reverse magnesium deficiencies and ensures that the body can fully replenish its magnesium stores.
Individuals vary considerably in their requirements for magnesium and in the duration of magnesium treatment required to redress deficiencies. This is partly due to the fact that magnesium deficiency inhibits the body’s ability to absorb magnesium.2 Individuals having severe deficiencies may require higher doses of magnesium chloride for longer periods of time in order to restore magnesium levels. In addition, absorption rates vary considerably from individual to individual and from one form of magnesium chloride to another.3 For this reason, certain individuals will require higher doses than others in order to maintain magnesium at sufficient levels.
Most users of magnesium chloride find a maintenance dose that effectively meets their needs after magnesium levels are increased during the initial two to four month period of application. It is desirable to determine optimal maintenance levels in order to meet daily requirements and avoid deficiency.
While some individuals discover they must continue their magnesium therapy with high doses or frequent applications, other individuals determine an appropriate maintenance dose or frequency of application that best suits their needs.
Although it is recommended that dosages of magnesium chloride be maintained at relatively high levels during the initial two to four months of use, it is also recommended to begin with relatively modest levels in the first few days or weeks. Starting out at lower doses allows the body time to adjust to increased magnesium levels.
As the body adapts to transdermally-applied magnesium, users can increase their dosages during the course of several days or weeks. A suggested daily intake of 3-4 milligrams per pound of bodyweight provides a rule-of-thumb benchmark for determining dosage.4 By this measure, a 150 pound adult would require 450 to 600 milligrams per day. This amount is provided by approximately one teaspoon of magnesium oil or gel. Note that this benchmark of 3-4 mg daily per pound of bodyweight is best suited for determining maintenance doses because the body’s initial demands for magnesium are often significantly higher.
Athletes typically benefit from higher dosages because they have greater needs for magnesium. Similarly, research indicates that children may have relatively greater requirements for magnesium (as much as 5 mg daily per pound of bodyweight) that partly relate to their needs to sustain growth.5
Magnesium deficiency (especially extreme deficiency), stress (emotional or physical), injury, physical activity (e.g., endurance sports), and diets deficient in magnesium all adversely impact magnesium status. These factors significantly increase the body’s daily requirements for magnesium.
Transdermal magnesium treatment provides readily absorbed magnesium that both supports general health and is effective for use in specific health applications.