Self Care For The Legs & Feet

We use our feet and legs so often we don’t even realize how much we use them until they hurt. We often experience what’s called shin splints, or sore feet. If the shins are hurting the first thing to consider is a rest period, for a day or two. Simply stay off your legs. If it’s because of running and dynamic moves in the gym such as jumping, running, or pounding you could also try ice. Simply take an ice cube and start at the bottom of the knee and massage downward, all the way to the ankle and then back up to the knee again. As a rule for massage you always want to be sure that the ending stroke is moving toward the heart. Another thing you can do is give yourself a massage with raw African shea butter—my personal favorite. Work it deep into the shins, calves etc. Be sure your magnesium intake is also sufficient.

Foods that are high in magnesium include—dark leafy greens, nuts, fish, beans, avocados, yogurt, bananas, and dark chocolate. You can also mix raw African she butter and topical magnesium together. It’s a powerful combination. The topical magnesium may itch and sting in the beginning until your skin gets used to it. As far as the feet are concerned, soak them in hot to warm water and put about a handful of Epsom salt in the water. You can even put a few drops of tea tree oil and magnesium oil in the warm water for soothing. Again massage the feet with raw African she butter, and or topical magnesium. I also like biofreeze. All of these work well if it’s nothing serious. Something serious would be a crack or a fracture in the hip, femor, calf, or even the feet. A pinched nerve can also be considered serious.

About the feet, if it’s plantar fasciitis or piriformis syndrome you may require multiple self care regimens per week. I would even suggest daily. The symptoms of both plantar fasciitis and piriformis syndrome have been known to come and go and vary in discomfort levels. Again, stay off your feet, and if the hot hydro therapy treatment doesn’t work try ice. It will be uncomfortable on the feet but it’s very effective. Take a water bottle, freeze it, and when it’s frozen take it out of the freezer and step on it, rolling it from your the heel of your feet to the ball of your feet. For more extreme cases you might need to soak your feet in ice water! The feet have muscles in them too, and some of the time it’s just about muscle overuse and muscle repair. You can also wrap the feet in wet warm or cold towels for 5 to 10 minutes. Experiment to find out what works best for you.

Another thing is stretching and foam rolling. You have to. Muscles get tight, they start to pull on each other for support, and that’s how you get pinched nerves and minor ailments which can lead to an actual injury. Get a massage regularly at least once a month. If you can’t afford to go all out with an hour or 90 minutes at least get a 30 minute maintenance massage.

ANOTHER biggie that’s always over looked is DIET! If you are loading up on the sugar, especially the white sugar, your body is going to be more susceptible pain. Why? Because you may be experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of diabetes such as nerve damage, tissue decay, and muscle atrophy. Too much sugar in the diet is serious business. Consider a 3-7 day sugar detox, and see if the pain lessens. If it does, you know that a simple change in your diet will give you some relief. Find a herb specialist that can point you in the right direction. An acupressurist, massage therapist, and a chiropractor are great people to have on your self care team. If you need help in the gym you might even consider hiring a certified personal trainer to show you the ropes. The most important thing however is continuous self care and proper diet, but the above mention can help.

Here’s a spiritual/mental technique that you can also try when you are experiencing pain: Get quiet and preferably alone. Take several deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Identify the region of your discomfort. Continue to breath deeply in and out while you focus on that region. With every exhale imagine that the pain is leaving your body. Continue to do this until you feel calm and relaxed. Once you feel completely relax, blow in your own hands 3 times, and then place your hands on the area of pain. Gently tell yourself that you release the pain, and that you accept health and vitality. Visualize yourself healthy and active, happy and at peace. Make this technique a practice along with your other self-care routines. I hope this helps.

Peace & Blessings.

Nadirah

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