HEALTH TIP AND RECIPE OF THE MONTH

HEALTH TIP OF THE MONTH

THE 3 FASTEST HOME REMEDIES FOR SORE MUSCLES (THAT WORK IN 30 MINUTES) by Meital James.

natural-alternative-therapies.com

HOW TO NATURALLY RELIEVE SORE MUSCLES:

No matter if your sore muscles are the result of construction work, sitting too long, cold mornings, a bad mattress, accidental injury or exercising- I can tell you that you CAN relieve your pain and reverse muscle pain through simple techniques and home remedies- In 30 minutes.

What's Causing The Pain in Your Muscles?

Overuse, under use and misuse will all lead to sore muscles.  But even if you use your muscles correctly, you will experience pain. It's your body's way of rebuilding itself.

It's normal to have sore muscles after you work out, play sports or even do homework, especially if:

1.You've done an activity that you are not used to (like after everyone's first yoga class).

2. You've suddenly kicked up your exercise intensity levels.

3. Your job requires prolonged sitting, standing, or lifting heavy stuff.

If you are very physically active, changes in your exercise routine cause "delayed onset muscle soreness", which peaks within about 24 hours and then gradually gets better.

When you exercise or burn your muscles to exhaustion, tiny tears occur in muscle fibers. The body's natural response to these tears is inflammation.

Inflammation Causes Pain.

The fastest Way to Get Muscle Pain Relief

When a muscle is injured, no matter how tiny the injury may be, your body's reaction is inflammation.

Inflammation is your body's attempt of self-protection and is part of its immune system. It's your body's attempt to heal itself.

But, sometimes inflammation can cause further inflammation and become self-perpetuating.

At the same time, your body sends healing nutrients via your blood to your sore muscles, trying to "fix" the problem (and, strangely, to reduce the inflammation it initially created....).

The quickest treatment for sore muscles is to increase your blood flow to the injured area ( to get more healing nutrients and faster), while at the same time to reduce inflammation to the least necessary.

And achieving this fast sore-muscles-relief is simpler than you think.

Here are 3 home remedies for sore muscles, which focus on inflammation-busting and blood circulation boosting.

1. Sore Muscles Bath( 1-2 cups Epson Salts, 5-8 drops Birch Essential Oil) ( one cup Baking soda)

Experts say that direct ice- an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel- is best for immediate relief.

But it is only for applying right after activity. If it's been a few hours since your "extreme" activity- Heat is better, because it gets your blood flowing and boosts your blood circulation.

You can always just soak in hot water (not too hot though) for half an hour and relax, while effectively boosting your blood circulation and relieving your pain.

But you can boost your healing process by adding 2 more things to your bath:

1. Epson Salts- Tried and true, Epson salts (a cup or two) dissolved in warm water works wonders as an aching muscle remedy.

Epson salts are made up of Magnesium Sulfate, a natural muscle relaxant, which is easily absorbed through your skin and pulls excess fluids out of your tissues (and reduces inflammation). I also add a cup of baking soda to reduce the drying of skin from epson salts(Barbette here).

You can get the same benefits of Transdermal Magnesium by applying Magnesium Oil topically on your sore muscles. 

2. Essential Oils-A number of essential oils and essential oil blends can be very helpful as a sore muscle remedy.

I like to use doTERRA Deep Blue blend, which contains Wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, German chamomile, helichrysum and osmanthus.

Generally, Basil essential oil, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Lavender and Birch can be a great addition to your sore muscle soak.

Birch essential oil is recommended by many natural-living experts. Its benefits: Reduces swelling (edema), gives muscle pain relief, reduces inflammation and reduces pain from rheumatism.

Just add about 5-8 drops of your favorite essential oil or blend to your bath.

You can apply these oils topically. To use essential oil for muscle pain, add one to two drops of the essential oil into one tablespoon of a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil, and apply to the affected area.

2. Infrared Heating Pad

In my humble opinion(and experience), a infrared heating pad is the all-time best natural remedy for sore muscles (and the quickest.

Whenever I get to the point that I cannot pull supermarket shopping carts apart- I take out my infrared heating pad and lock myself in my bedroom for a quick relief.

If you do not know it yet, deep penetrating red light therapy is a non-invasive, side effect free and cost effective home pain treatment.

My infrared heating pad uses natural jade stones to emit deep penetrating light (at 880 nm), which penetrates to a depth of about 30-40mm (unlike unlike electric heating pads which only heat your skin).

It provides soothing heat (which is 100% safe-Neonatal care units use it to keep infants warm), boosts blood circulation and reduces inflammation.

And for me it works in 30 minutes-Every time.

And, you can find my review for the top 2 infrared pads-Here.

3. Self-Massage

If you can afford regular massage sessions-Great Go for it. I cannot, but it doesn't mean that I can's get the same benefits DIY-ing it at home.

Massage boosts your blood circulation, gets your blood moving all over your body, and helps reduce the amount of cytokines the body produces, which play a role in inflammation.

A self-massage tool can be an unbelievably fast remedy for sore muscles. Sometimes the pain relief is immediate.

If your sore muscles are caused by muscle knots (muscle fibers that contract, but don't release, causing tiny cramp and "knots"), a self-massage tool (like the Theracane or Body Back Buddy is a necessity for you.

If your muscle pain is not pin-pointed, you will find great relief through a trigger point foam roller like the Grid Foam Roller

How to Prevent the Muscle Soreness (in the First Place)

You've heard the unofficial definition for Aerobic exercise, right?

   "Aerobics: a series of strenuous exercises which help convert fats, sugars, and starches into aches, pains, and cramps."

No,I am not saying you should prevent muscle aches from exercise by not exercising. For the movers and (butt) shakers, sore muscles are a part of life.

But there are ways to prevent sore muscles, especially if it is becoming a chronic problem for you.

1.  Vitamins and Minerals-Lack of minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium are often associated with ongoing muscle soreness.

Through my research I've found that adding Magnesium, either through your diet/supplements or through Transdermal Magnesium, can minimize achy muscle occurrence.

Low levels of Magnesium in the body can lead to general muscle aches and muscle cramps. You may want to consider  high quality supplement, but you can start by including magnesium-rich foods in your diet.

Some of the top food sources for magnesium are molasses(1 Tbl. of blackstrap molasses in a glass of water daily), squash and pumpkin seeds, spinach, swiss chard, cocoa powder, black beans, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and cashews.

As for Transdermal Magnesium, which is considered the most effective way of absorbing Magnesium, you can do the Epson Salt baths regularly, or apply Magnesium oil before and after your activities.

2. Tart Cherry Juice-The Science Daily article "Cherry Juice Reduces Muscle Pain Induced By Exercise" sites a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which found:

"There was a significant difference in the degree of muscle strength loss between those drinking the cherry juice blend and those taking the dummy mixture....Muscle strength even improved slightly after 96 hours in those drinking cherry juice."

You can generally find tart cherries available fresh in season or frozen, but tart cherry juice concentrate is available year round.

3. Watermelon juice- If you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of a fresh watermelon and drinking it before your next activity/workout. This contains about one gram of I-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain. (Source).

One study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.

Bottom Line

Please don't tell my husband and kids, but sometimes I do absolutely nothing about my sore muscles-At least for a couple of hours.

That's because I have found a secret bonus: It's a great excuse to take a little vacation in my bedroom and definitely the best way to get a good massage from hubby.

But generally.....

No matter if your muscles are sore from doing house chores, trying to get buns of steel or from your strenuous job, you can get fast muscle pain relief by yourself at home, in 30 minutes-Using these home remedies for sore muscles.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Greek Style Zucchini Pancake Appetizers or Entree 

Source: Smith and Hawken Gardners' Community Cookbook

These pancakes are wonderful, the feta cheese adds a tangy flavor.

Makes about eight 3 inch pancakes or 5 large.

Finely grated carrot, wilted shredded cabbage, mashed potatoes, peas, lentils or chick peas can also be turned into croquettes.

3 cups shredded zucchini, skins and all

1/2 tsp. salt

2 large eggs, beaten

3 TBL. all purpose flour

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

butter, for frying

Garnishes, such as yogurt or sour cream, fresh or dried oregano leaves, lemon slices, salsa.

1. Toss the zucchini with the salt and let stand in a colander for 1 hour at room temperature to sweat out the moisture.

2. When ready to cook, squeeze the zucchini with your hands to get rid of excess moisture without wringing it dry. Place in a medium bowl, add the eggs, flour, and feta, and mix well.

3. Melt about 1 TBL. of butter in a heavy saucepan or griddle, enough to coat the bottom generously. Fry the zucchini mixture in small pancake-size amounts over medium low heat until dark golden on both sides, about 5 minutes all together. Transfer to paper towels to drain and continue with another batch until all the pancakes are fried.

4. Arrange the pancakes on a serving platter and garnish as desired.

Note: A shot of ouzo, Limoncello, or MInt Liqueur might also be welcome.