Sunday, May 3, 2009

I AM SORE and learned something new! ROSEMARY - is not just a pretty name to dress up a chicken!

03 May 2009

Yesterday, a whole bunch of really ripped men with arms the width of my waist were working out at the gym at the same time I was. One of these hulky-types while giving me that "ha-you-couldn't-possibly-ever-do-what-we-do-look" - offered to take the HEAVY weights off of the seated calf-raiser rack so that I could use the machine. Well then, ego severely challenged and fully engaged in the defensive-injured-pride mode, I bravely "instructed" the "kind" Schwarzeneggar that I would be fine if he just left the last weight on there. This ofcourse meant that I did indeed - in a miraculous leap of self-confidence - upped the weight from my usual 10kgs to 20kg (just under 40lbs I think). I figured if I can use my 'superior' leg strength on the leg press machine to push 22.5kg's, this shouldnt be too bad yeah? Now while 20kg's might not sound that impressive to you, for me however, 20kg's (40lbs) is about 2kg's (4lb) less than half my total bodyweight. The moment I pulled the resting lever away I knew that I was going to completely cut off circulation and that in effect, literally trapped me in the contraption. Never-the-less, determined to put straight the incredible hulks, I gritted my teeth through a blood stopping 3 sets of 15reps ritual and well.....eventually had to get one of the staff to lift the machine off of me.

Today I cannot walk, walking causes pain - moving causes pain -I didnt realise that you could actually hurt where it hurts - just above the calf muscle, just under the back of your knee. I have never felt pain there before. I limped through the whole day, hoping that some kind of movement will ease the torture. Nothing doing!!! I then figured - this is all lactic acid buildup and busted out my ol' faithful Bicarb Bucket - drank it neat - yep just like that - still no relief.

Somewhere between February and now, my trusty bottle of Arnica Oil moved out - so I am somewhat in a fix! Okay, all problems have a solution I reckon - I decided to go through some home remedy/herbology books and found out the following:

  • It's probably too late to counteract muscle sprain stiffness now (a day later), but there are certain herby things in nature that will help with inflammation and lactic acid buildup. I need to get the blood vessels dilated in order to flush out the acid buildup - apparently cayenne pepper will do the trick, - but my question is - do I have to drink that or apply it? I am not sure Cayenne Pop would be a best seller (Cayenne Pepper and Bicarb cocktail anyone?)
  • Topical application of Rosemary will reduce inflammation. Apparently Rosemary has 4 anti-inflammatory properties and is easily absorbed through the skin.
  • I also read that topical application of mint, witch hazel and chamomile also help in relieving muscle stiffness and inflammation. From Amma (my grandma), I learned a long time ago - that clove oil is an anaesthetic.
  • So here is what I am going to do in desperation - it is nearly 1:00am - I am going to take a torch out to my garden and raid my rosemary, peppermint and chamomile plants. I am going to grind all these up in my coffee mill and then add the cayenne pepper . I am going to take 2 teaspoons of Epsom Salts, mill that to a fine powder and mix that up with a little bit of witch hazel and about 3 drops of clove oil to get a paste going. (FYI: Bathing in Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulphate) is great - baths often cos magnesium helps with achy muscles and cramps).
  • Now - I am going to mix this in with the herbal mixture.
  • Then I am going to apply the concotion to the backs of my legs and wrap it lightly with a bandage so that the herb bits are not all over the place.
  • And I am going to go to bed -
I will let you know tomorrow if this was helpful!

Report Back: 04 May 2009

I decided to leave out the chamomile in my little poultice, and make tea out of it instead. Chamomile helps you sleep.
  • NEGATIVE Clove Oil burns - quite a bit - kind of like how Cinnamon Oil does. POSITIVE smells fabulous (if you like that Chai Tea kinda smell). The next time I am in cold climes (it doesnt ever get below 17 degrees Celsius where I live) - I will remember to take a big bottle of Clove Oil with me - it warmed me up in no time at all. There was sort of a kind of instant relief - right when it started feeling warm, the pain started feeling less intense!
  • When I woke up and got out of bed, there was a wee bit of stiffness, but certainly not to the degree of torture I was in yesterday. By the end of the afternoon, I am happy to report the pain has completely disappeared.
  1. Never try to lift double the weight than you are used to, even if you really think Tankmuscle Man needs a coming down.
  2. Home remedy seems to have worked. Rosemary, Peppermint, Cayenne pepper, Clove Oil and Epsom Salts with a touch of Witch Hazel is my new favourite bruised muscle remedy.
  3. I will probably go a little easier on the Clove Oil.
  4. Next time I am cold, I will remember that Clove Oil warms me up.
  5. Chamomile & Chai tea will be boycotting my tastebuds from now on. They dont like to work together it seems, I will make sure that I keep them separated in the future.
That's it for today!


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