HEALTH TIP AND RECIPE OF THE MONTH

HEALTH TIP OF THE MONTH

TENNIS BALL SELF MASSAGE      by        saveyourself.ca

Some creative tips on using tennis ball to self-treat muscle knots and myofascial trigger points. A tennis ball is simply a handy tool that you can use in the self-treatment of knots in your muscles, technically known as trigger points. Too many trigger points is known as myofascial pain syndrome. 

The basic idea of tennis ball massage

The basic idea of tennis ball massage, or any massage with any kind of ball, is simply to trap the ball between your body and something else: usually the floor, sometimes a wall, another body part, and a few other creative options.

Everything else is a variation on this theme!

The therapeutic goals of tennis ball massage

The goal of tennis ball massage is to achieve a "release" by applying just the right amount of pressure: enough to do some good, but not enough to irritate the knot. The sensation should be clear and strong and satisfying, what we call "good pain." If you are wincing or gritting your teeth, you need to be more gentle. You need to be able to relax.

Once you have adjusted yourself to achieve the right pressure, relax as much as possible and wait for the sensation to fade to about eighty percent of the original intensity. This is the "release"-a change in the physiological state of the tissues, or a 'melting" of the knot. This can take anywhere from ten seconds to several minutes.

Where to massage with your tennis ball

Tennis ball massage is usually the most effective in the muscles of the back and the hips. Many other locations are awkward (especially for beginners), and you may find it difficult or impossible to apply consistent pressure.

Lie down on a tennis ball, placing it in approximately the right location. You do not have to be precise. "Explore" by moving slowly and gently, until you've got just the right spot.

Tips and tricks for longer lasting trigger point release

Trigger point massage often provides only temporary relief. Here are some basic tips and tricks to help make it last as long as possible:

◆ Treat only a few knots at a time, starting with the worst spots.

◆ Use heat in conjunction with treatment.

◆ Avoid fatiguing the muscle for about 24 hours after treatment.

◆ Move and stretch the muscles after the release of each knot.

Why tennis balls work for trigger points

A knot or trigger point is a clenched patch of muscle tissues. The nerve that controls the muscle is firing too quickly, and the tissue is full of waste molecules produced by the "revving" tissue.

Pressure probably has two main therapeutic effects on muscle knots: it creates a small, local stretch that tends to inhibit the motor nerve and/or seperates sarcomeres to the point of breaking the visious cycle of spasm, and it deforms the tissue and literally squashes stagnant tissue fluids out of the area.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

FRESH TOMATO SOUP        by      about.com

This is the best fresh tomato soup recipe I have ever come across! It reminds me of the tomato soup that my mother, brother and I devoured in Rome, and walked for miles to relocate the restaurant. This recipe is a delight because you do not have to skin or seed the tomatoes. I made a few changes which I will note in the recipe following. Also, you must use fresh basil and thyme!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

◆ 2 TBL. olive oil

◆ 1 onion, diced

◆ 2 cloves garlic, minced(I double triple or quadruple the garlic depending on the cloves) needs more than 2 cloves.

◆ 6 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and chopped ( I use slicing tomatoes that I have in my garden. Just substitute a good slicing or flavorful tomato). I also do not seed the tomato.

◆ 4 ripen Roma tomatoes, chopped ( I use a paste or a meaty sauce type tomato. It does not have to be Roma). 

◆ 1 tsp. salt

◆ 1/8 tsp. white pepper (black is fine too)

◆ 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

◆ 2 TBL. butter

◆ 2 TBL. flour

◆ 1/2 tsp. orange zest (I omit)

◆ 1 TBL. minced fresh basil leaves⎨I blend the basil and thyme in the blender⎬

◆  1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Preperation:

In heavy saucepan, heat oil and cook onions and garlic until tender. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and stock, and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain soup through a fine strainer.(I do not strain the soup but blend it in the blender after it has cooled 15 minutes).

In clean saucepan, melt butter and add flour; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato mixture; cook and stir until thickened.Add remaining tomato mixture and cook and stir with wire whisk until mixture is hot and slightly thickened. Stir in orange zest, basil and thyme leaves, and serve.