When your body feels older than you are.

7 Jun

I had a couple of days of relief from fibro pain, and the, bam! It hit me again. I think it’s the weather change. It’s been nice and rainy here in my part of Texas. So, what do I do when my body feels older than it should? (Whether it’s chronic or not?) Here are a few tips:

1. Epsom Salt. Lots of it. Pour it in a bath and get in, or soak a washcloth in a sink full of hot water and epsom salt and apply it to the areas that are sore.

2. Eat something healthy and drink lots of water. Especially if you’re starting the day, drink plenty of water throughout, and start the day with a healthy meal to continue the trend all day. You are what you put in your body.

3. Moist & dry heat. Some people swear by ice packs, but I swear by heat. Ice packs constrict the bloodflow and muscles to numb the area, but in turn makes me hurt. So, I reach for a heating pad, or head to the shower to increase healing bloodflow and relax my body.

4. Aromatherapy. There are certain scents that are said to be energizing, like peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree. You could also use a relaxing scent, like vanilla or lavender. Put a couple of drops on a cotton ball, and swab your light bulbs, or put a couple of drops in your bath. You can even create sachets to put with your clothing, so that your favorite scent stays with you all day.

5. Yoga. Honestly, I’ve not been doing well practicing yoga lately (I need to find my motivation!) Yoga has helped me in the past, though, because it’s so easy to modify the poses to your ability level. It can be gentle or dynamic, depending on how you’re feeling, and it’s low impact, which generally means less joint and muscle pain. If you can barely get out of bed, just gentle stretching can help so much.

6. Breathe.  This is another reason I like yoga – it forces you to focus on your breath. If you find yourself tensing up, stop what you’re doing, face away from a stressful task or just close your eyes, and take 3 deep breaths. This is something my mom and I have done for as long as I can remember. Inhale for at least 6 counts, then try to make your exhale longer.

7. Visualization.  I’ll visualize while using breathing techniques before bed when pain is keeping me awake. A simple visualization is to picture a healing ball of your favorite color of light in the middle of your body. As you inhale, it grows, and as you exhale, it begins to spread. Do this until the light is covering your whole body.

8. Isometric exercise. They’re great to keep your muscles active, but also to relax you. Tense your muscles, starting in your feet, for a few seconds, then relax completely. Move to the next body part, your calves, and repeat. Move up into your thighs & glutes, then your stomach/back, arms & hands, shoulders & neck, even your face, and when you’re done, your muscles will feel less tense, and you may feel less pain.

9. Rest. Well, duh, right? Really, though, you know your body better than anyone, so listen carefully to what it needs. Don’t overdo your activities for the day, and practice two magic words: “no,” and “please.” Helping yourself by saying no to certain tasks is important. There’s no shame in saying you aren’t up to an activity; you owe it to your health. Asking for help is also hard, but it’s essential. You may also be doing a loved one a favor by allowing them to do something to help you.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

 

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