Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saving the Pits One Swipe at a Time

Hey gals (and guys!) that sweat... what are you putting on your pits? I know you already know this but I'm throwing it out there again. Our armpits share space with our lymph nodes which are small, roundish little clumps of tissue that are part of our lymphatic system. Our immune system works in conjunction with the lymphatic system to stop bacteria, viruses and disease from spreading throughout our bodies. The problem is that we sweaty beasts often don't think about the fact that we are putting toxic substances right at those sites so that we do not offend others around us at the gym. 

For years I have been dabbling with the name brand deodorants as well as the more "natural" brands as well. I have spent oodles of time standing at the store and smelling which one I liked best. Which one would make me smell like a fresh meadow whilst running on the treadmill? Or maybe like rain in the meadow while pushing weights over my head. All this vanity to smell good sweating and never really understanding what I was doing to my internal functions. 

Now that I'm older and wiser and dialed in to my health a bit more, I am on a mission to remove as much junk from my environment as possible. (Working really hard on healing thyroid issues!) My sister in law introduced me to a roll on and I'm here to say it works. Naturally Fresh fights off odor with it's mineral salts. It is hypoallergenic for us sensitive folk, paraben/pg free and fragrance free. It's extremely cost effective and easy to find at many stores. Keep in mind it will not keep you from sweating which is ok- that is our body's way of cooling down and we don't want to plug up our pores with antiperspirant! 

Note that the product definitely keeps those pits from smelling fowl but does take some time to dry before putting on a shirt! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Breaking Free From the Pack. Me, Myself and I

I am a total socialholic. Is that a word? No?! It should be.

I am energized by people, sweat, motivation, and camaraderie. But sometimes it's good to head out by yourself and breathe, think, pray, meditate- whatever it is that your soul needs. Plus one of the benefits of going solo is that you can stop and snap pics and admire all the beauty around you without making someone have to pause their Garmin. :)

And while definitely not a pro at going out by myself fully in zen mode (I listen to fitness/health podcasts- a whole separate blog post to come!), I'm working my way there. Today I'm headed out for a short run and will go without the headphones and spend some possibly uncomfortable miles in my head alone. Decompression, people. We all need it. Namaste.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dry What!? My New Obsession With Needles

I have been on a warpath to get rid of pain in upper left back for the past two and half months. No big deal really- it only hurt to breathe, run, lift, sleep and move. You get my point. Certain I broke a rib, the x-ray showed differently. I had massages. I had an adjustment from my chiropractor and manipulations from a D.O. I took way too much ibuprofen. I took natural anti-inflammatories that cost a fortune. Heat, ice, arnica, I did it all. And then I met the needle man.

On my way in to see a new physical therapist, I really didn't expect much. I knew they would say that I had movement issues. I knew being in a boot for weeks threw me out of whack. I thought they would give me some fascia release exercises and send me on my way. 

Now for the good part- my PT evaluated all of the above and then recommended that we try dry needling. A method used for the management of musculoskeletal pain. Sure, can't hurt (ha ha) so we started. The thin filament needle goes in unnoticeably and stimulates a healing process of of soft tissues (fascia, muscle trigger points, tendons and ligaments) which will lead to pain relief and a healthier physiology overall.

Three or so needles in I was like "I can barely feel it" and then some trigger point spots revealed a whole new freaky leaping source of wow. When I had enough of the achy, crampy feeling, we stopped. The pain was instantly better where the needles had gone and a sneeze shortly thereafter proved it. I didn't wince or tear up like I had for months. I went on with my day and could feel pain in the spots that hadn't been touched. I couldn't wait to go back for more and finish it off. The following week I went in for round 2 and now I'm a junkie. Hooked. A believer! 

Many people have asked what the difference between dry needling and acupuncture is. My PT explains it as acupuncture is designed to work with meridians in the body based off of Chinese medicine whereas in dry needling a similar method is used to aid the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Singing it's praises, I couldn't be more thankful to have relief! I would love to hear how this has helped other athletes overcome both injury and plain old chronic pain. If you have tried it, please share!