Mud Facial Mask Hastings NE
Natural Radiance—Much Ado About Mud
Mud, as pigs and small children know, is fabulous fun. We grown-ups, however, usually only deal with mud when we gingerly step around it or beg certain family members not to track it throughout the house.
But mud has powerful curative properties that cultures all over the world have recognized for centuries. People have bathed in it, baked in it, wrapped themselves in it, and scrubbed with it to ease pain and facilitate the healing of such conditions as psoriasis, arthritis, infection, joint injuries, and acne.
“The benefits of mud have to do with the drawing aspect,” explains Doug Lewis, ND, a naturopath in Seattle. “Mud pulls things out of the body and tends to be detoxifying.” In addition to acting like a magnet to toxins, mud also provides a concentrated dose of essential minerals in a form that’s easy for the skin to absorb.
How a particular mud works depends on what it’s made of, which in turn depends entirely on the location from which it was extracted. The mix of minerals from mud taken near one spring can differ significantly from the mud that comes from a spring on an adjoining hill. Many of the muds used by American spas and healing centers for baths, wraps, masks, and scrubs come from geothermically rich locations in France, Italy, Israel, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.
Importing spa supplies from foreign lands says less about the quality of our homegrown mud than it does about how far ahead of us other countries are in the study, use, and appreciation of mud. “In Europe, [mud therapy] is a physician-prescribed treatment,” says Les Moore, MD, director of Integrative Medicine at the Clifton Springs Hospital in New York. “More than 20 million Europeans use [mud] therapy each year.”
With a growing number of mud products available, consumers have plenty of opportunities to get dirty— both for play and for healing.
Dead Sea mud
Since the time of Cleopatra, people have revered the black mud found at the bottom of the Dead Sea and have used the rich mineral mix for healing baths and beauty treatments. Its high concentrations of chloride salts of magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, and bromine help relax muscles, ease pain, and stimulate circulation. Studies show that Dead Sea mud baths can alleviate symptoms of psoriasis and fibromyalgia, and people often use the mud to treat dandruff, eczema, and oily skin.
If you can’t travel to Israel, where repeated immersion treatments are generally prescribed over several weeks, you can still get some of the benefits of Dead Sea mud at home. Mud scooped out of a tub or squeezed from a tube is cool, dark, and full of mystery. One idea for an at-home spa experience: a backyard mud party. Friends and family can slather it on arms, legs, back, and chest, bake in the sun, and then rinse with a hose. It’s exactly the kind of thing that could turn a lazy summer afternoon into a healing, messy fiesta.
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