Arnica for muscle, tendon, and ligament soreness and injuries.

While gracefully turning to look for the volleyball, my food went in an independent direction. Ack!  I do not intend to give up on the sport but I will be off for a few weeks and perhaps wear a brace in the future.

My recovery has been aided by Arnica, both topical and oral – a homeopathic remedy that assists your natural healing process. The evening of the incident, any weight bearing was painful. By the next day I could walk and by three days almost without a limp. I still need to limit my activities that would involve squatting or lots of changing of direction, but I feel confident I will be able to enjoy hiking in the Rockies in an upcoming trip with the safeguard of a simple wrap.arnica

Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the ability of the body to heal itself. Arnica is not an analgesic. You may want and need to use some analgesics and anti-inflammatories as well when you have an injury. And of course, you may want to consult a medical professional in case of injury.

Homeopathic remedies are not as well known or understood in the United States as they are in Europe, but Arnica is by far the most popular and supported by anecdotal evidence.

I use Arnica for bumps, bruises, strains, sprains, and over-exertion  soreness. It can be found at the East End Food Co-op and a few other retail outlets that well natural remedies.


Tablet and phone use injury

Little aches and pains

Do you pay attention to little pains and take care of them before they become big pains?

All of us are prone to ignoring warning signs, including me!  For months I’ve had a recurring pain in my forearm, right along the radius bone.  I thought, bone bruise, stress fracture?  But could recall no injury.

Finally it dawned on me – gripping my phone and iPad. The thumb has many long muscles, giving it great mobility. They extend down the forearm. Overuse = tendinitis or tendinosis – inflammation and/or tiny tears in the muscle and tendon fibers. I am now much more conscious of how and for how long I am holding my devices.

We’ve probably all heard of “phone neck” from leaning over your phone. But phone thumb is also a risk, especially for you text-addicts!flexor-pollicis

I mention this as a cautionary tale.  Pay attention to little pains so you can adjust your activities and save yourself from chronic pain and disability!

And consult your massage therapist for care and prevention!  She can often help you pinpoint the source and cause of your pain, as well as suggest therapy and self care.

The Body Tells the Truth

I have been reading a fascinating book “What Every Body is Saying” by Joe Navarro

While people vary somewhat due to temperament and cultural differences, the limbic brain expresses some very basic emotions in universal ways.

Everyone instinctively reacts to stressors in remarkably similar ways. When a surprise or threat pops up, we all freeze.  When we are in an unpleasant situation, we attempt to either distance ourselves  by changing our posture  and/or soothe ourselves with gestures such as touching the neck or face, rubbing the forehead, or smoothing our legs with our palms.

We can also use posture intentionally to try to change our mood. Play act different moods by assuming the posture associated with it, and you will be amazed at how your feeling changes.  I’m not suggesting this as a cure for depression, but as a mood lifter and attitude changer.

On a related thought, we can also pay attention to what we say to ourselves about our body.  I encourage clients to identify with the progress they are making rather than the tension.  A human being is always growing and changing, and while we may not always appreciate those changes, a kindly attitude towards our body goes a long way towards having a more contented life.

Taking the time to pay attention to your body mechanics and posture while working is a way of telling yourself that you matter and are worth taking care of.  It is powerful to think of the implications of our actions and take charge of the situation accordingly – and don’t beat yourself up when you forget!

Exercises for low back pain.

bird dogTo prevent or recover from low back pain, exercise is terrific. But there is always the caution of avoiding exercises that put too much strain on untrained muscles and vulnerable joints.

Avoid toe touches, double leg lifts and full sit-ups.

Go for partial crunches, bridges, wall sits, bird dogs, press-up back extensions, knee to chest, pelvic tilts, and hamstring stretches.

Also, personal trainers have told me to avoid the back extensions weight machines at the gym. Because you are supported by the machine, it gives the illusion that you can do more weight than is really advisable. It is almost always more effective to do free exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups to stabilize you even while they focus on certain muscles.

Massage therapy is also a proven aid to any training program or recovery from strain or injury.

To see a slide show of good and not so good back exercises, follow this link: