I hope your Winter is nice and quiet and boring. It’s ok. This is a time when all of nature is resting. Opposite to the bustle and fury of Summer. If we could keep that gas pedal down all year we will certainly exhaust our health and shorten our lives. So, ease off the pedal. Sleep a little more. Relax into the quiet of the season. Stare out the window for a bit. Don’t do, plan, or analyze. Or a least do less.
We should protect our body in the cold air as well. When we are exposed to cold, our muscles and tendons contract and the blood is squeezed out and sent to our core for heat and nourishment. They lose flexibility. This is easily noticeable when we walk outside in the cold and our whole body clinches up (especially around the upper back and neck). So, stay warm, not hot, just warm. I remember my mom always saying, “wear a coat”, but a good scarf is also highly recommended. Avoid wearing workout clothes in the cold air, they are not designed for this season. Save them for a more active season.
If we try to maintain our activity levels we held in the Summer we may also damage our joints, muscles, and tendons. Muscle and tendon tears take a long time to heal. Our joints are stabilized by their health. If we have been diagnosed with a tear or our joints have lost their integrity (meniscus tear, bone-on-bone, ACL tear, etc.) the healing time can seem like forever. Winter is a time we should rest these areas and not challenge them with extra activity and cold exposure.
Acupuncture can help decrease inflammation and stimulate blood flow using your body’s own healing mechanisms. There are only few ways to regrow some of these tissues. Lucky for you, I’m on the case!
The first supplement is MSM. At 1 gram a day, MSM works to decrease inflammation and increase flexibility providing healthy blood flow.
It also provides sulfur for the production of Collagen, our next tool.
As we age, our body produces less and less collagen. Collagen is a structural protein for making connective tissues (muscles, ligaments, bones, and tendons). Without going into the science, it is an easy way to build up our tissues.
Warding off bone loss, muscle loss, and joint pain, you’ll want to get this in daily at 5g-30g daily. Less amount for maintenance, more for targeted pain. Of course, tendons and ligaments are specialized tissues that took your whole life to build. Recent injuries are much easier to treat than chronic ones or ones under constant strain. Results will vary from person to person and take time to rebuild.
There are several Chinese herbs that treat muscle strain and tears. They are highly effective and only dispensed by licensed practitioners. They are prescribed with specific considerations for each individual and go much deeper than pain. Often, they target the root of your health as well as reduce pain and improve function. Combined with regular acupuncture treatments, they are an amazing way to regain mobility. So, come in and ask us how we can get you moving better, shake out the cold, and build your whole system up so you can enjoy our beautiful Spring here in the Willamette Valley!
Until next time,
Bryon Leverman Lac