Soothe those aching muscles

Many people suffer from body aches and pains arising from exercise, straining, bad posture, or just simply fatigue, and don’t know how to relieve the discomfort. You don’t have to

  • PublishedFebruary 21, 2014

Many people suffer from body aches and pains arising from exercise, straining, bad posture, or just simply fatigue, and don’t know how to relieve the discomfort. You don’t have to suffer in silence, as there are ways to relieve such pains and leave you feeling and looking good.

There are many ways to help you recover from body aches and pains from the comfort of your home, ranging from ice packs to the more enjoyable tender loving care with aromatic oils, herbal baths and massage. Try some of these to ease the pain and make your life more comfortable.

Pack it with ice…

One way to soothe body aches is to cover the area with ice packed in a zip lock bag and pressing it on the spot for as long as you can bear the stinging cold. If you can bear it, you can also take a long cold shower or bath and finish with a soothing massage. But ice packs and cold showers are not everybody’s cup of tea and there are more comfortable and enjoyable ways to relieve pain.

Take a bath or shower using essential oils…

For indulgence and relaxation, nothing beats a long bath, but if you want to revive after a strenuous walk or tiring bout of exercise, a shower is more invigorating. Always bath or shower as soon as you can after a workout, exhausting work, or sport activity. Sweat can lead to blocked pores and trigger acne on your face and body, and also make recovery from exhaustion slower. It is more helpful if you try washing with some restorative essential oils such a lavender, lemon, orange and lemongrass, as these help to calm, regulate breathing and cleanse away metabolic waste, hence helping you recover faster.

For all-over-body aches and to relieve sore muscles after over-exertion, bathing in soothing aromatherapy oils or shower and bath gels that incorporate these oils will soothe and ease stiffness. You can find a whole range of pocket-friendly shower and bath gels in supermarkets. Check the ingredients on the label and ensure they are specifically meant to soothe aching muscles or relief stress. You could also buy concentrated aromatherapy oils from pharmacies and health stores and add a few drops to your bath water and soak in it for 15 to 30 minutes. You will need to use the right aromatherapy oils and in small doses as they are highly concentrated. Ask for help from a pharmacist or familiarise yourself with different aromatherapy oils and their healing powers. It will prove hardy to buy an aromatherapy book for reference.

Give yourself a massage…

Massage is an extremely effective way to ease tired muscles. You can go to a professional masseuse or do-it-yourself at home, or, even better, ask your partner to massage you. Use a massage oil (you can mix your own using a base oil mixed with a few drops of relaxing and healing aromatherapy oils) and sweep your hands with upward strokes towards the heart to encourage removal of lactic acid, which causes muscle aches. If you notice particularly sore areas, specific oils can help when rubbed directly on the spot.  The best oils for localised muscle pain are rosemary, ginger and black pepper. Rub the oils directly into the tender areas, or knead any sore points with your fist. This is a great technique for aching feet.

You will find several products in the market that can help ease muscle aches and pains. The potent blend of rosemary, lavender, marjoram and black pepper relieves painful joints, as well as muscles and minor strains, so look out for products containing these ingredients. For tired legs and feet, cool eucalyptus, spicy ginger and black pepper are excellent as they help with circulation.  Hot, puffy legs will appreciate a cooling menthol- based product. You can get various rubs containing these ingredients, for example, Deep Heat, which is popular amongst athletes and contains among other ingredients, menthol and eucalyptus. Ask the pharmacist to help recommend a product you can safely use at home after a shower or bath to sooth aching muscles.

Inhale to sharpen your mind…

A quick trick that works perfectly to relax your body and muscles is to inhale specific essential oils in the morning before heading out. This sharpens your mind and relaxes your body. This is also a great trick after doing an exhausting task such as exercise and fast sports. You can boost your concentration by adding a few drops of grapefruit, rosemary, mint or eucalyptus oils to a tissue or handkerchief and inhaling. Keep this in your bag and inhale all day long. These oils help to keep you calm and alert. They can also give you an instant lift when you feel tired and exhausted.
Published on January 2013

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