Feeling Your Best Before and After Competition:
Now that you are only a few days away from the next Skinnyman Triathlon, you may want to consider a few techniques of getting rid of those extra aches and pains before and after you participate. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Arnica oil is an anti-inflammatory and pain relieving oil that is used for muscle and joint pain. It can also be used on injuries to the soft tissue such as bruises and sprains by reducing swelling. Arnica has also been found to prevent muscle stiffness and reduce pain when applied before and after training. By using the arnica on the site of an injury, it will help to stimulate the area with blood which in turn forces a faster healing time. Simply massage the oil externally on the skin before and after workouts.
Castor oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant oil that has been used for centuries for its numerous healing benefits. Castor oil packs can help to reduce adhesions in the abdomen and sacral area, as well as, any lingering muscle soreness or bruising. To make a castor oil pack, massage the castor oil on to the skin, cover it with a small towel, wrap saran wrap over the towel, and finally place moist heat on top. The saran wrap and towel will help to insulate the area and the moist heat will help to relax the muscles further. Use this technique 3-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes.
Epsom salt baths are very effective in dealing with muscle soreness, joint pain, arthritis and to reduce inflammation. Epsom salt is high in magnesium which plays an important role in muscle control and electrical impulses. Magnesium levels have dropped significantly in our bodies due to changes in agricultural farming and our diets. If you have an allergy to sulfur, are pregnant, have high blood pressure or suffer from cardiovascular disease, Epsom salt baths should be avoided. Place two cups of Epsom salt into your bath and soak for 12 minutes, 3 times a week.
Finally, do not forget the benefits of massage and acupuncture to rid yourself of not only any aches and pains but also those pre-race jitters. You have invested so much time and energy into getting in the best physical shape, why not take the time to prepare yourself mentally as well. Good luck on race day, have fun and look for the CNY Healing Arts massage team to assist you after the Skinnyman!
Erika Lutwin, BS, LMT at CNY Healing Arts in Syracuse,NY