Just because the world is focused on a virus, doesn’t mean that all of the other health issues we all experience just magically disappear.
My neck still tweaks out, my shoulder bothers me, and that darn rib keeps catching my breath at the most inopportune times.
I’m sure you’re somewhere in the same boat: reflux, skin issues, irritable bowel, back pain, headaches, allergies, knee problems may be somewhere in your reality.
While many health care practitioners can’t work or are concerned for their own safety and are choosing not to work, we all still need support for our health.
While I’m not able to reach out and magically relieve your pain for you, I DO have some tips for you so that you can do your best at home.
I practice variations of all of these tips that I’m sharing, personally, and they’ve all helped immensely.
I do admit, that I’ve been coaching my husband through simple adjustments for me, since my back spasmed up so severely in Mexico, that I couldn’t walk. No amount of yoga was going to help me through that. However, there is SO much that you can do, that I’m pretty sure will help relieve some of that inflammation and pressure for you.
When moving through your day, consider these points:
- Watch your posture while using your smart phone. What’s now being called ‘Text Neck’, serious damage can be done to the muscles and ligaments in the back of the neck and upper back over years of looking down at tablets and smart phones.
- When using these devices, practice bringing them to eye-level, so that your eyes are looking straight ahead and keeps your neck and upper back from rounding forward.
- When sleeping, lie on your back. I know, I know….I hear hundreds of times ‘I can’t sleep on my back because of sleep apnea’. I get it. That’s another post. If you really can’t sleep on your back, make sure that you’re using pillows as props for between your knees, behind your pelvis so it doesn’t twist forward or backwards, and one under your head so that your shoulder isn’t crunching up.
For some good support pillows try ones from Heal Pillow.com They’ve got a great selection for side sleepers. For back sleeping, I recommend one of the pillows from the above website, as these curvy pillows help to correct and maintain the natural neck curvature.
- When sleeping on your back, your body is able to adjust and heal, without putting added pressure on joints and organs. I get the best night’s sleep on my back. HOWEVER, if you have MORE back pain or sleep apnea, obviously, please do what you need to do to take care of yourself. I just encourage folks to back sleep.
- Sit up straight. Your mother probably told you this, like mine did. I never was able to. Now, I’m working really hard on it. Practice sitting while grounding your pelvis into the chair, pulling up and in on your pelvic floor muscles and navel. Ideally, you want to drop your shoulders down and back, followed by tucking your chin just a bit and then imagining a string coming out the top of your head and pulling toward the sky to lengthen your spine.
- Drink water. I’ve literally seen, before my very own eyes, a lady increase the range of motion in her neck by drinking a glass of water. Water and breath are our mainstays, as living beings. Water helps to increase blood volume, increase electrical impulses along nerve pathways, and helps to detoxify cells. I suggest that people fill up a water bottle at night, the equivalent of about 75 ounces of water (give or take depending on the altitude in which you live, and your body weight), and make sure it’s gone by the end of the next day. Take it with you, wherever you go.
- Move daily. Include exercise like yoga, running, walking, swimming, aerobics, bike riding into your daily routine. If you’re not able to make extra time, make every movement count. For example, instead of bending at the waist to get something on the floor, squat.
Take regular breaks from the computer and get up and do some jumping jacks or yoga stretches or do my ‘desk yoga’ video. Whatever you decide to do, make it a habit throughout the day. It helps to warm up the muscles, oxygenates your blood and moves your lymph, which is the carrier for waste products, and just generally makes one happier due to the release of endorphins. I’m really loving Madfit workouts. I’m doing these daily, for a 10-15 minute pick-me-up and ab and arm workout
- Use my online courses. I have 2 available currently. The ‘Create Your Roadmap to Health‘ takes the mystery out of ‘how to get started’ and gives you a super base to relieve pain and to increase your energy. I highly highly recommend these! They’re less expensive than an appointment with me, and you’ll get soooo much information, that you can reference for the rest of your life. They’ll tell you everything that I would tell you!
- Eat Well. Your are what you eat. What you eat and what you don’t directly effects how you feel. Eating a plant-based diet that is low in animal products and grains can make an incredible impact on your pain level.
Recipe for this week
Dr. Arjan’s Kale Salad
My nanny, Kirnjot Kaur was a raw foodie when she was taking care of Charanjeet, when she was a baby. I’d come out of my office, and she’d have these beautiful dishes made up for me to enjoy.
This kale salad is an adaptation of her recipe (or maybe it’s actually hers….I just can’t remember since it’s been so long), and my daughter and her friends still adore it. We make it when kale is abundant, as it is now.
I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!
- 1 bunch curly or dino kale, washed and dried
- 1/2 of a small red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3 pinches salt
Make the dressing in the bottom of a medium sized bowl by mixing together the olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Chop the kale finely and put into the bowl. Add sesame seeds and onion. Toss well until leaves are completely coated. If dressing isn’t covering all of the leaves, or it just tastes too weak, make another batch of the dressing. Depending on the size of your bunch of kale, this amount of dressing may not be enough. You want to make sure you have enough dressing to cover the bitter taste of the leaves. I want to make sure you LOVE this salad!