By Esteban Tovar: Energy Healer and creator of the Evolved Healing website
Magnesium has helped me in ways that I did not expect it too. I only started taking magnesium after I read that it could help me in releasing muscle tension. I had muscle tension on the upper side of my back and it started to get more and more painful after about 3 years. I figured it would help in getting rid of the pain and it did (along with yoga). But I did not expect magnesium to get rid of the mild anxiety that I had. I didn't even know that I had mild anxiety! I just assumed that I was more sensitive to my surroundings. Getting rid of that veil of anxiety allowed me to be more confident around others, more social and more at peace, which feels great! So I wanted to write a post about it and see why that is and why a lot of people are deficient in magnesium in the first place.
Our bodies store a lot of magnesium
Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral in the human body (potassium being the first). Our bodies hold up approximately 21-28 grams of magnesium. 99% of magnesium is located in our bones, muscle, and soft tissues, while the remaining 1% is found in other places like red blood cells. In the human body, magnesium is necessary for the function of over 300 enzymes. This includes reactions that generate ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), a type of molecule that is used to power the human body. ATP is also used for muscle contraction and muscle relaxation (magnesium also directly affects muscle relaxation). Magnesium also contributes to the vascular tone of blood vessels, cardiac rhythm, and bone formation.
Magnesium deficiency is recorded in the hospital settings
Hospitalized patients often have a magnesium deficiency and can vary from 9% to 65% of the patients. It is also particularly higher in intensive care units. Even more interesting, is that It's considered a critical medication in emergency situations. Magnesium deficiency in the clinical setting has shown that it can result in neuromuscular problems like muscle weakness and muscle cramps. It can also result in problems like depression. Magnesium has also been linked to heart attacks, tumors, high blood pressure and psychiatric disorders. Even more interesting, magnesium deficiency is linked to anxiety. It's often known as the relaxation mineral. Dr. Mark Hyman mentions that anything that is tight, irritable or stiff is a sign of magnesium deficiency. This makes sense for me. In my experience, it wasn't until I consciously started getting magnesium into my body that I realized how tight and stressed I actually was.
magnesium deficiency is linked to anxiety
How to Increase Magnesium
As the consumption of processed food increases so does the magnesium deficiency in our western society. It seems that about 50 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient which greatly affects their health. Some researchers suggest that we should consume about 200-450 mg of magnesium but I think that we should be shooting for no less than 500mg of magnesium per day. This can be increased if you are under stress or if you exercise a lot since both use up magnesium.
There are a few ways to get magnesium into your body. Eating foods like spinach, avocados, almonds, and bananas are probably the best way to get magnesium into your body since you are also getting other nutrients. Another method that I like to use is magnesium oil (it's actually water-based but just feels oily) and just put it on my skin. It's pretty interesting sometimes because if you have muscle tension or a cramp you can put it on it and actually feel the muscle relax. It's not very expensive and can last 3-4 months. The magnesium oil that I like to use is Ultra Pure from Mag Essentials.
The pill form of magnesium is a bit tougher to research in my experience. I would say that most companies don't make high-quality magnesium that is easily absorbable, which is a waste of money and time since you won't get any magnesium and may have other unwanted chemicals in them. I would suggest doing your research and buying from companies that specify that they don't have other harmful chemicals, fillers, metals and that their product is absorbable by the body. Either way, choose what is best for you!
Jahnen-Dechent, W., & Ketteler, M. (2012). Magnesium basics. Clinical kidney journal, 5(Suppl_1), i3-i14.
Noronha, L. J., & Matuschak, G. M. (2002). Magnesium in critical illness: metabolism, assessment, and treatment. Intensive care medicine, 28(6), 667-679.