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Posts Tagged ‘pain’

Forget things that go bump in the night and monsters under the bed, my biggest fear is waking from a deep sleep with an excruciating Charley Horse, which is what happened to me a few days ago. This occurs randomly every few months. The pain proves almost unbearable as it takes several minutes for the spasm to release. So why do some of us battle this type of leg pain while others have never experienced even one (aka my husband)?

According to the National Institute of Health, a charley horse or muscle spasm can occur in any muscle in the body. Several of my family members endure back muscle spasms. Mine have always been in my legs, and for some reason, usually my right leg. Although my spasms attack at night only, many people, including some of my favorite athletes, experience a charley horse while exercising or performing some sort of physical activity.

Several different causes bring on the dreaded charley horse, including overworking or injuring muscles and working out while low on fluids or certain minerals like potassium. And there you have it . . . I’ve upped my fitness routine over the past two months. While I drink excessive amounts of water, on certain days I can tell it’s not enough. Dehydration and low potassium levels prompt my wicked leg pain. While I’ve read quite a bit about bananas helping to eliminate or lower the occurrence of leg cramps, I don’t find this to be effective.

I know I’m somewhat dehydrated because my lips and skin are dry, and I crave water at night. So in an effort to reduce my number of nightly visits, I’ve upped my water and potassium intake. I can already feel a difference, noticing only a slight sore spot where the spasm occurred. Sports drinks also help replenish nutrients lost during a hard workout—keeping a few bottles around the house is a good idea.

Finally, know your body. A few days before the charley horse, I had a tightening in one of my leg muscles. It was not a cramp but tightened, like a light spasm, at random times throughout the day and night—sometimes while working out or stretching and during down times, reading in bed. In retrospect I realize it was my body’s way of sending signals of what was to come. We hear it all the time, listen to your body. Mine certainly forewarned me about the dangers lurking around the corner.

As with any type of health related issue, if pain persists, make sure you see a health professional immediately.

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Guest Blogger of the Month: Olya Turcihin

I have suffered from sciatica for about three years now. At one point, I had to go to the emergency room because the pain was so awful. Finally, a dose of morphine was able to alleviate the pain, but only for twenty minutes!

On and off, the pain ebbs and flows depending on the day, the weather, my activity and my mood. Yoga has definitely helped me to make my body stronger and more flexible to withstand and sometimes erase the pain. My chiropractor also is a life saver and pain reliever.

And then, this past weekend, I learned about reiki acupressure points. Helping my friend after surgery, a mutual friend came over to offer his reiki services. Before he began, he explained that reiki pressure points can release toxins and help in the healing process by sending life energy (also known as reiki) through the acupressure points.

My research of reiki revealed that “energy blockages” whether from stress, trauma, or an injury, can be traced to the root of all health problems. Your energy flow affects how you feel, how you think, and how you breathe. Just as negative thoughts can block your energy flow, positive thoughts can increase your healing energy. When the body’s life-force energy becomes blocked, various emotional imbalances and physical symptoms also result. These energy blockages occur at the acupressure points. Through a variety of acupressure methods ranging from light touch, tapping, to simply holding the points, the body’s life energy is able to flow and rebalance.

As Jay, our reiki practitioner moved us through the points located on our hands and arms; we slowly moved down the body until we got to our feet. We held the points down with thumbs and/or fingers and applied firm, steady, stationary pressure. To stimulate the area we applied pressure for only four or five seconds at a time.  I was able to tell when I hit the point, as the area was tender, and a weird kind of energy flowed through the point.              

Jay asked us to find the point on our ankles right underneath the ankle bone located midway between the inside of the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. The sensation was unbelievable! He described this point, K3, as the only spot in the body that connects bone and muscle. An amazing sensation ensued throughout my entire body, an energy that coursed its way right to my pained lower back!  I have been applying pressure to this point regularly and I actually find that my pain has subsided in the last week.                                                          

Acupressure points, just one more tool in my arsenal. The foot, an incredible tool to the health and well-being of your body! Give it a try…

Bio Olya Turcihin was born in Switzerland, lived in Turkey as a baby and then moved to NYC at the age of three, a true New Yorker. Olya Turcihin earned her BA in English Literature from Binghamton University, SUNY. She currently lives and works in NYC, where photography is her passion. Her photographs have recently been included at the Crest Fest 2011 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and a group show at The End’s Northside Open Studios Launch Party Show in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Her interests range from yoga, film, gallery hopping to volunteering her time to photographing art within the five boroughs of NYC for Artseeka, a new social platform for sharing and discovering art. You can follow Olya’s photographic journal at olya turcihin photography and Olya’s Urban Journal.

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