You have goals. Accomplishments you want to achieve, whether in business, or in health. You have no time for injuries or lingering pain. You've seen the Physical therapist, the Chiropractor and/or the Massage therapist. The treatments help for a time, but sooner or later you need to see them again because of the same re-occurring injury, or a new one. Why is this? There are most likely multiple answers to this question. I hope to answer it with my top tools that I use to continue my own body's healing response and also to prevent further injury (Note: the following links are to the products I have personally used and are affiliate links).
Getting adequate sleep is of utmost importance for the body to heal. Many of today's technological advances have us staring at screens for up to 12hrs a day, maybe even longer. The blue light that these screens emit is about 6500 kelvin. UV sunlight (midday) is around 5500 kelvin. That means we are being exposed to more light by staring at our screens than at the sun! This light prevents our bodies from secreting melatonin (the sleep hormone), thus we are losing our ability to cue sleep. These blue light-blocking glasses have made a huge impact on my body's ability to sleep. Best part, it's super affordable.
2. Trigger Point Therapy
After a good massage I like to continue working on weak areas with plenty of trigger point therapy using foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and massage bars. Foam rollers come in all shapes and sizes. You can choose ones that are smooth or special trigger point rollers. Pick the one you can most tolerate and let 'em roll! Lacrosse balls and the massage bar work in the same way, but add more precise work rather than all over.
No, not that white tape you use when you have a sprained ankle. I'm talking Kinesiotape, or RockTape. This special adhesive allows your body to continue to move in it's proper range of motion as you go about your business. It is latex free and lasts about 3-5 days on the skin. If you have an allergy to Band-Aid adhesive, you may have a slight reaction to the medical adhesive. Best to use a small piece and test out your toleration first. Quick tip: remove in hot shower, or with coconut oil (or other oil).
4. Epsom Salts
Epsom salt helps to reduce swelling and aches and pains. It all has to do with the magnesium. I use this particular brand with menthol and essential oils to encourage my boy's natural restoration abilities.
5. Drink Water
This one seems obvious, but it's still important to mention. Our bodies are 70% water. We should be drinking enough to help our body function optimally. A common tip is to drink when thirsty, however, when living in extreme heat climates the body may not be able to signal thirst as readily. Thus, I try to stick to drinking half my body weight, in ounces, in a 24hr period.
6. Body Mechanics
This is probably my most avoided tip by clients. Not because it's invaluable, but because it is the hardest to follow through with. Your body mechanics, or posture, will either strengthen your muscles or weaken them. Sitting (or even standing) for long hours every day is not how our bodies are designed to function. One of the best tools in helping me practice better posture was reading Dr Kelly Starrett's book, Deskbound. This book is full of amazing tips and illustrations on how to combat the popular deskbound posture, and truly "stand up to a sitting world."
There are so many ways we can continue the good work that manual therapists have done for our bodies. The key is to help continue to heal after we receive their treatments. These are just a few of the ways I have been able to keep my body improving between each treatment.
Have you found other ways to help your body continue to heal after manual therapies? Let me know below your tips!