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 Health and Wellness Blog

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Bardos Wellness and Massage in Henrico, Virginia also has a range of articles that can further help in your preventive care and post-surgery healing journey. Read them below!

The Benefits of Castor Oil on Our Muscles

Posted on February 5, 2019 at 2:05 PM

Castor oil is an amazing natural oil that has many holistic uses. You may have heard your grandmother say to drink Castor oil if you have a backed up GI tract. Today we mostly use castor oil to induce labor, for muscle cramps or hyper-tonic muscles. Castor oil is thankfully used externally for these purposes.

So what exactly is Castor oil?

Castor oil comes from the beans of a perennial flowering plant called Ricinus Comminus. The beans are pressed into an oil. Castor oil is a triglyceride of fatty acids. Approximately 90% of its fatty acid content is made up of ricinoleic acid. Ricinoelic acid has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Ricinoleic acid can also be effective in preventing the growth of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds.

There are many helpful uses for castor oil but the main benefit that I want to discuss is the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Many of us have achy, tense or sore hands from time to time. This pain can be attributed to long periods of gripping tightly, typically from holding a racket, golf club, long periods of typing, jobs that require large amounts of hand dexterity etc. These forces and activities of overuse aggravate the muscles and tendons in your hand, wrist and forearm creating inflammation and tension.

We use our hands everyday so finding time to rest them for more than the time we sleep is hard to come by. The muscles and tendons need to let nutrients and blood flow freely to help the healing process. When we receive trauma to our muscles, they tense and tighten inhibiting adequate flow of these essential nutrients. Also prohibiting the lymphatic flow which removes waste trough the circulatory system.

Castor oil is known to have a significant increase in the production of lymphocytes (disease-fighting cells of the immune system). With the anti-inflammatory properties to relieve muscle swelling, in addition to the increased lymphatic flow, pain and tension is greatly reduced, giving adequate relief as well as starting the healing process.

By rubbing a dime size amount on the hands before bed can greatly help relieve and prevent pain and tension.

Why Do I Feel Sore After Strenuous Exercise?

Posted on February 5, 2019 at 1:50 PM

We all know that exercising can leave our muscles feeling sore and stiff. The question is WHY? Why do my muscles feel achy and sore to the touch. How come I am stiff in the morning getting out of bed?

Here is why:

Muscles need energy

Our body produces energy to sustain extended periods of muscle exertion. Our body needs oxygen to perform this process which is called aerobic respiration.

This process is done by converting glucose (sugar) into pyruvate (an organic acid that supplies energy to living cells). This is done when aerobic activity is present. Over the course of exercise, lactate or lactic acid is produced from pyruvate. In short, this chemical compound helps maintain energy production throughout the length of activity in which lactate concentration rises.

Imagine a camera inside of a beer cask that is in the fermentation stage. Initially it is just water, yeast and hops (or whatever else you throw in), then the carbohydrates and the yeast introduced begins to turn into alcohol. The longer it sits the more sediment builds and the cloudier it becomes. Then it is filtered out and we have a delicious brew.

But what if it wasn't filtered? This process applies to our muscles as well. If this sediment builds up in our muscles and is not removed, our muscles react accordingly. We get sore and stiff! Lactic acid is exactly that... an acid, it irritates the muscle fibers as well as putting the body through strenuous activity causing them to swell and stiffen.

Here is another analogy.... Imagine now that you are at your sink about to do the dishes. You have a sponge in one hand and a plate in the other covered in spaghetti sauce, but before you get the sponge wet you start to clean the plate. You will notice that the spaghetti sauce just smears around the plate, the sponge doesn't soak up the sauce and it just a bigger mess. This obviously is not cleaning the plate. Now, rinse the sponge under the running faucet and allow the clean and fresh water to saturate the dry sponge and flush out all the sauce and impurities it is holding. This analogy also applies to your muscles. Lactic acid build-up, impurities from chemicals, artificial dyes, and sediment settle in your muscles and need to be flushed out.

Here's how you can reduce the amount of impurities in your body to reduce muscle soreness and increase athletic performance:

Drink adequate amounts of water

We need water to flush out the muscles as does the sponge for cleaning. We need water for proper organ function and to clean the blood as well. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even when not exercising.

You work diligently and may forget to drink water. Here is a way to help you stay hydrated at work.

Health Hack: Find a aesthetically pleasing bottle. Fill it with tap water and sit it on your desk in a in eyes view. When you look at it and your body is thirsty it will trigger you to think about drinking. Have another bottle with filtered water handy or get up and go to the water cooler. Taking a many small sips throughout the day can help give the body the hydration it needs to keep you functioning well.

Stretch Daily

The water we drink needs help flushing the muscles. Stretching contracts and elongates the muscle fibers to help excrete metabolic waste and pull in water, blood and needed nutrients for tissue repair. Stretching also helps keeps our joints and skeletal system healthy. Creating space between the joints allows the cartilage and bursa to stay healthy by allowing blood and bursa fluid to enter the joint space. This allows your joints to move freely without pain. The tighter your joints are, the less movement you have and you increase the risk of muscle injury.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a great addition to your stretching routine. All you need is 5 minutes of rolling before exercise to stimulate blood flow and prepare the nervous system and 5 minutes after exercise to help stimulate waste elimination. Imaging pulling an inflated balloon on both ends away from each other. Then visualize someone compressing the balloon from the top and bottom. If this balloon was porous the air would start to seep out. Foam rolling compresses your congested muscle fibers and helps to excrete metabolic waste.

Call and ask about my personalized foam rolling class to show you how to use the foam roller properly for your best recovery.

Regular Sports Massage, Thai or Shiatsu

Getting Sports Massage sessions regularly:

Re-balances postural misalignment that contributes to hip, knee and foot pain.

Improves waste elimination to minimize muscle soreness

Improves joint health

Increases flexibility

Facilitates faster tissue healing

Increases athletic performance.

These are just a few benefits from Sports Massage. Regular communication between your nervous system, muscle and fascial systems will help your body run optimally and move better in your sport and in everyday life activities.

Thai and Shiatsu Massage is a compression therapy that can help eliminate waste and increase flexibility.

Give us a call to help you eliminate muscle and joint pain, help you move the way you were meant to move and play life at your best!

Reach Your Health Goals in 2019 with the 5-R's Method

Posted on February 5, 2019 at 1:40 PM

Last night I was listening to a video from John Assaraf (a behavioral and mindset expert) and he described this 5-R method for overcoming a problem that you may have from past fears or disappointments. I believe this method can set you up for success when you want to achieve a health goal, change a belief or reach a desired outcome that you envision for yourself.

When we set new health goals especially for the new year, we look at old failures and recall how we did not achieve them the years before. This sets us up to doubt ourselves. Also this can set us up to fear future change. If we expect losing weight or giving up our favorite foods will be difficult and cause us distress, we tend to make excuses and give up on our goals even before we make them.

This 5-R Method will help you create a framework to create a new thought patterns, gain confidence and retrain your bran for success! Let's get started.

The first R stands for Recognize. Become aware of your thought patterns. When you think of your new goal, recognize the negative thoughts or emotions that you have. Write them down so that your conscious mind is aware of these recurring thoughts. Getting these thoughts out on the table will help you see them and take action on each one to determine if it is helping you grow and succeed or if it is holding you back from achieving your goals.

The second R stands for Respond. Instead of reacting to these thoughts you can analyze these thoughts to see if they are helpful or hurtful. "Can I change this thought around". "How does this thought make me feel". "Can I change anything about this thought that is destructive".

The third R stands for Reframe. When you categorize a thought to be unhelpful or makes you feel fearful, ask yourself "how can I look at this from a different perspective". An example would be, If I was told as a young adult that I was fat and unattractive, what does that mean to me" Surely not everyone that sees me thinks this. "Could I be projecting this fear onto others and assuming that everyone thinks of me in this way?" Take each thought and look at it from a different point of view. We often perceive things to be worst than they are based on past negative experiences.

The fourth R stands for Release. When you have a destructive thought or an unpleasant emotion, can you release it? Meditation is one way to release these thoughts. When we sit in thought while meditating, we can observe our thoughts and control whether to keep this thought/emotion or to let it pass. Are you willing to let this thought pass to make room for positive thoughts that will serve you and help motivate you to reach your goal?

The last R stands for Retrain. Now that you have released unhelpful emotions and experiences, you want to retrain your brain to have different thought patterns, different responses to unwanted emotions and create new behaviors that will lead you to success. This changes the patterns in your brain so that the unhelpful thoughts come less and less. Each time you go through this process these negative thoughts and emotions have less power and new helpful thoughts develop to grow your confidence, lift your spirit and motivate you to reach your desired goals.

This process will help you take control of your thoughts and emotions and unleash the greatness that you have inside of you. You are the creator of your world so shape it as you wish. I give you much love this new year and I believe in your power that you have within you.

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