we don't warm up and/or don't warm down and/or
overdo our workout (either fun or for work) we
get pain. So what do we do?
there is swelling or inflammation, ice. 20 mins
ice, then rest for the rest of the hour. Too
much ice will totally cut of circulation and
"freeze" the tissue and that is a bad
idea in the long run. Tissue likes to be warm
and pliable. In case of inflammation, you want
to reduce circulation just for a while, until
the inflammation subsides.
the inflammation subsides, then hot-cold works
great, because heat brings circulation and cold
prevents inflammation. Cold periods should be a
lot shorter than hot, and always end with cold.
regular maintenance, heat is the key, to keep
the muscles pliable and stretchable. So, we
warm up before any exercise, and we warm down
afterwards. Keeping muscles warm during the
activity and after is also important. So, STRETCH.
Without stretching, nothing works. If tissues
feel stiff and are not willing to stretch,
there are latent trigger points in them. Gentle
stretching and possibly self massage will help
to get rid of them and prevent potential
we are not warmed up enough, and muscles,
ligaments and tendons are tight, they will
resist being stretched. They will try to "stall" by developing
knots and trigger points in the tissue, to
prevent you from stretching it too much and
you REALLY INSIST on stretching such cold and
tight connective tissue, they will first
develop terrible knots, which you will feel as
pain even when you do nothing. The only way to
get rid of those is massage.
you keep on insisting on stretching tight
tissue, the tissue will break,
ligaments and tendons even more easily than
muscles because they are less pliable anyways.
Achiles tendon is a prime candidate. The
shoulder rotator cuff complex too. You will
hear a pop and there will be a lot of pain
where there is a tear. The tissue around it
will develop knots to protect the injury. Then
the rest of the body will be thrown off balance
in order to compensate. Then you have a
problem. Which could have been prevented by
simple stretching beforehand!
do you know what got injured? Ligaments and
tendons hurt in the morning, and less or none
in the evening because they got warmed up
during the day. Muscles are fine in the morning
but then get really sore and tired by the
night, from overuse. Injuring ligaments and
tendons is a bigger problem to solve, because
they have less blood vessels in them and thus
are more stiff, like rope, so they are very
prone to overstretching and tearing, and take a
lot longer to heal. Muscles are
"meat" - they are full of blood,
quite pliable and flexible, quite stretchable,
and respond a lot quicker and better to
massage. Ligaments and tendons like gentle
consistent movement and stretching. Rubbing too
much over them can inflame them, which takes
longer to get down than overubbing and
overstretching and overworking a muscle.
you hear a pop and then have terrible pain,
something got torn. In the worst case,
something got broken. Ice it first. When it
feels like the swelling is slightly down, put a
poultice on. Choices are:
Comfrey makes the bones and connective tissue
grow back. Yes, it increases the speed at which
they rejuvenate. Make a comfrey poultice by
putting a fresh, pin-rolled leaf on the injury,
or a rag soaked in comfrey tincture or
medicinal tea. Be careful, comfrey stains.
Lemongrass also makes connective tissue heal.
Make a tincture or a super strong tea, or go
the easy way: buy the essential oil by Young
Living. Order from: http://www.youngliving.us/products.asp
or call 1-800371-2928 and give my number, 609503.
is convenient because there are no rags etc,
you just sprinkle the essential oil and massage
into the tissue. It is great for traveling. The
flip side is that it is a lot less potent than
comfrey. However, it is great for lesser
Ginger just increases circulation, which helps
indirectly to rejuvenate the tissue. Grate
fresh ginger and make a strong tea out of it.
Then put the grates and the tea into a rag and
put it on the injury.
smaller strains, i.e. when there is no
"pop", you can also use homeopathic
Arnica remedy. Warning: it won't change your
tissue, it is just a bandaid. Do not use it all
homeopathic is great for bruises.
smaller strains you can also use lemongrass
essential oil, or live Noni or lotion.
regular maintenance after workout, you can
massage in some sports massage oil, with
pepermint, birch, wintergreen, camfor, etc.
Warning: do not do this all the time because
you will become "immune". Weleda has
wonderful Arnica oil that works well, Young
Living has Sports massage oil, etc. Check out what
works for you. This is the kind of thing you
would use for "special" occasions
when you need to stay away from being sore,
e.g. when you are out competing, on some of the
"normal" training days, etc.
truly regular maintenance, after your workout
take a hot shower or bath, with some sea salt,
and even apple cider vinegar. Epsom salt is
good too but it does injure the kidneys so some
people feel bad after soaking in it.
just a hot towel after a workout will help your
muscles stay warm and not go sore on you.
the legs up and massage them up to get the
blood flowing back towards the heart. Do the
same with all limbs.
to accomplish all of this? After shower/bath,
briefly massage some nice lotion or oil into
your skin, using massage-towards-heart moves.
In two minutes, you will be feeling brand new.