Recovering from a sports related injury

Frequently, when engaged in repetitive or strenuous activities, we incur minor injuries. There are some easy steps you can take on your own to help you heal more quickly and return to your normal activities.

First 72 hours:

Rest. Take it as easy as you can on the area of injury. Stop doing the activity that caused the injury and try not to participate in any activity that exacerbates the pain and inflammation.

Ice the area of injury. Apply an ice pack, do ice massage, or an ice bath depending what is most appropriate for the area. There are four stages in cold therapy: Cold, Burning, Aching, and Numb. It is important to allow yourself to go through all four stages to minimize swelling and pain. If possible, do this several times the first 24 hours, treatments should be a minimum of two hours apart.

Compression. Apply an ACE bandage or similar dressing to the injury if possible, be sure not to apply too tightly or cut off circulation. If you experience throbbing, loosen the dressing.

Elevation. Raise the injury (if possible) above the level of the heart to relieve inflammation.

After 72 hours:

If the swelling and pain have diminished you are ready for contrast therapy, which is the alternating of heat and ice to the affected area. If you are able to submerge the area, either in a sink or buckets, use a contrast bath. Fill one sink or bucket with ice water and the other with hot water (be careful no to burn yourself), then dip first in the cold, then hot, then cold again. It is important to START AND FINISH with the ice. The same is true if you are using hot and cold packs as well. Here are the general recipes:

Packs:

HOT : ICE : HOT

5 min 10 min 5 min

Baths:

HOT : ICE : HOT

30 seconds 2 minutes 30 seconds

Seek professional help. If you pain is intense or unbearable,or there was any trauma to the head, go to a doctor to rule out any serious injury. For less serious injury such as strains and sprains, seek the help of a sports massage therapist or physical therapist who is trained in injury rehabilitation. These professionals can help you relieve pain, heal more quickly, and prevent future injury. They also will be able to guide you with your own home self care.

In addition to these steps after pain and swelling has begun to decrease begin very gentle stretching of an injured muscle and/or careful strengthening of the muscles that surround an injured joint.

Food Allergies and Deprivation

I recently got a food allergy test done and found out that I have a high sensitivity to all dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt etc.), Eggs (both the yolks and whites), Almonds, and Wheat and Gluten.  After the shoke wore off, because I love eggs and almonds!  I reluctantly took these items out of my diet for about a month and found that my constipation went away (I have always been chronically constipated, since I can remember) and I felt more energetic and alert.

Here are the changes that I made to my diet:

1) switched from almonds as a snack to cashews and walnuts

2) stopped eating eggs for breakfast and in salads, instead make chicken sausage, turkey bacon and grilled chicken

3) I have moved from cows milk to soymilk, I tried the tofu cheese and would rather just avoid cheese all together than eat that imitation cheese. Currently, I eat minimal amounts of feta or goat cheese sprinkled on a salad here and there.

4) Now this was the toughest, eating gluten and wheat free.  I found subsitutes, such as the gluten free pizza crusts at the farmers market, rice pasta, and Nana’s gluten free cookies (yum).

I have to admit that even with all of these great subsitutes I still struggle with the feeling that I am depriving myself of certain foods.  I think the feeling is more acute since I just returned from a 6 day vacation where I ate a lot more junk than I typically do, just because it was much easier than making everyone adjust to my food allergies.  I was in a new environment and not sure where to shop etc.

I could easily feel that I was much more tired, sluggish and foggy the whole time I was on vacation.     Now that I am back home to Colorado and back to my normal diet wheat/gluten, almond, dairy and egg free, I am feeling much better and more energetic, but I have to admit that I miss the vast food choices that I had on vacation.  Even dispite the tiredness it caused.

I know that this is all a mental state, I know for a fact that I am certainly not deprived of food or water, despite my allergies I can still eat a very wide range of foods that are readily available here in Colorado.  I still get frustrated that I have to think so much about what I put in my mouth.  I suppose this the typically American in me, that wants the convience, ease and speed when I eat.  I know that since I have been more aware of what I put in my body, I have been forced to slow down to think and plan in advance what I will be cooking and eating for myself.  If I don’t plan well and get hungry, I feel deprived as I drive past all the places where I can’t eat.

What are the upsides of not falling prey to this phantom deprivation I feel?

#1 I feel so much better, less sluggish and more energetic

#2 I am more regular, which is super important for my overall health and body

I know in the long term I am doing such a great thing for my body and mind.  I just need to re-frame my thinking from deprivation to longevity and good health.  I also have to remind myself that mainstream corporate America does not have my best health and nutritional needs in mind.

I am going to watch the new movie out called Food, Inc. this Friday about what has happened to food in America.  Should be interesting.  Maybe my next blog will be on it.  Check it out:  http://www.foodincmovie.com/.

Here is to your health and wellness.  If you are interested in finding out your own food allergies Dr. Tiffany Binder our Naturopathic Physician can do the test.  Call 303-357-9355 to schedule 15 minute appointment to get your blood drawn for the test, and once the results arrive she will review them with you personally to discuss how they might be affecting your health and lifestyle and what you can do to improve your energy and vitality.

To eating well.

In Health,
Sharon

What is True Wealth?

This question came up when I was talking with one of my girlfriends today.  She made a great statement, “my wealth and my worth are not tied to what I produce or what I consume.”

This really made me ponder the question, “what is true wealth?”

I think for many American’s it means doing well at your job, moving up the ladder, making good money and emassing more material possessions: the house, a car, big screen television, I-pod, I-phone, summer house, the boat, etc. etc.

In my twenties, I was very consumed with building material wealth in my life and now that I am in my mid 30s I believe that true wealth is based on how you feel on a day to day basis.   Do you feel good about yourself? Do you trust yourself to live an authentic life that reflects your values and beliefs? Are you doing things that feed your soul?

Living a truly wealthy life filled with abundance and joy requires that you also live simply so it frees up your time to do things that you love, to learn new things, to take new adventures and to spend time with people that feed you.  When I thought more about wealth I came up with 3 categories which I feel can define the level of wealth a person’s life.

  1. Freedom- the freedom to make choices with your time, your health, your money, your lifestyle, your friends, your community, and your life.  Without freedom of time, you lose the ability to learn and research things that are important to you so you can make good choices for yourself and your family.
  2. Health- to be energetic, and to feel good.  To not do things out of guilt but to come from a place of pleasure and desire.  To love your uniqueness and to nurture your body
  3. Happiness- to smile, laugh and be grateful every day.  If you feel happy, at peace and content with yourself and life this is the greatest form of wealth available to you.

What is your definition of true wealth?  Are you on the right path?

Here is to living a wealthy and abundant life.

In Health,

Sharon

Finding Balance in Todays World

The one thing that I have become totally committed to in the past year is simplifying my life.  I found that I was feeling like there were not enough hours in the day to get all the things that I needed to get done done.  So what was the solution?

For me it was simplifcation, on all levels of my life.

1) My House~ the first thing I started doing was going through everything in my house and asking myself is this useful and functional or does it provide some type of asthetic value and beauty for me?  If the answer was no to both of those questions it went into the donation box.  I had to do it quick before i changed my mind.  I started with my closet with clothes, went to handbags, scarves and jewerly, then books, magazines, bedding, and kitchenware.  Finally I have gotten around to getting rid of my microwave after reading all the articles on how hazard it is for your food and health.  go to : http://www.twitter.com/wellnessdenver to see my tweet that did that linked to the article.

2) My social activities~ I know you are thinking how do you simplify your social activities.  Very simply, you stop talking to people that drain your energy and constantly demand your attention and you spend more quality time with those that feed you and make you feel good.  If you like to entertain like me, I stopped being such a perfectionist when I entertained and allowed my friends to help out.  Such as community dinners potlucks, and to accept clean up help at the end of the evening, to give myself permission not to have a perfectly clean house.  I also make sure that with each social activity I do, I plan down time after so I can recoup.  I have also learned not to overbook myself and over commit to too many social activities.

3) My technologies~ The advent of the cell phone, voicemail, laptop and internet were all put here to make our lives easier.  But they also need to be managed.  Especially with new social networking sites such as facebook, twitter, my space etc.  I try to limit the times I check e-mail, voicemail, and participate in social networking to 2-3 times per day for 30 minutes at a time.  I have 2 e-mail addresses, one for business and friends (that I check 2-3 times per day) and another for all of those e-mail newsletters, promos and non time sensitive items (so I check and read these at my leisure or not a all if I choose).

These are only the beginning.  Simplifying and living a simple life is something that requires daily commitment and consciousness.  I just try to notice when I am feeling off track and take some time to reflect on how and what I have been spending my time on and if it is valuable to me and adjusting from there.

Here is to you living a simple and abundant life.

In Health,
Sharon

Connecting to your desires

This week I have been feeling uneasy, distracted, complacent, and disoriented.   Whenever I feel like this it is hard to motivate myself to work, or really do anything for that matter. While there is a little voice inside my head that berates me for not working enough, that I “should” be working.  There is this other part of me that won’t allow me to do things if I don’t desire to do them.  If I can, I try to give myself permission to take some down time to just think, reflect and write; slow down.

Today, I spent a quiet day at home and after some reflection had the inclination to write on our blog.  With no other intention but to enjoy the act of writing and sharing my thoughts and ideas.

I found this great article written by Joan Borysenko on patience and time that I tweeted about earlier on twitter:  http://twitter.com/wellnessdenver

Real patience requires the willingness to let life unfold at its own pace and reveal itself to you. This willingness, in turn, requires mindfulness.  Mindfulness requires plenty of space and down time.  A luxury that our society has taken away from many of us.

Next time you are feeling uneasy, stressed, impatient, agitated.  Don’t stuff these feelings away with busyness, because they will only get louder.  Take some time down time for yourself, to just think and write.  You will be amazed what can come up.

Here is to a summer of nice quiet solitude.

All my best,

Sharon

Pulled Muscles and Denver Sports Massage

OK this is tough to admit, but until I reached my 30s I never worried about pulled muscles and stiffness. I mainly got massages at The Wellness Center for stress relief, even though we specialize in Denver sports massage.

Well today, now 35 is a totally different story.  I find I have to stretch every day or I start getting stiff and if I don’t stretch throughout a workout, then I am almost positive to pull something.

Just recently I started playing ultimate frisbee, with my boyfriend who is a die hard frisbee player.  Just last weekend after many dives, jumps and collisions he was forced to stop because he was in so much pain.

He was as stiff as a board and in a lot of pain.  Here is what what you should do right after you experience an acute injury or pulled muscle:

#1 Immediately after an acute injury or pulling a muscle, ice and elevate the area follow the good ol’ RICE acronym (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION).

#2 Get Acupuncture, Acupuncture is great right after you injury yourself (within 48 hours).

#3 Get some Arnica, you can either apply it topically or take it orally.  Either is great post injury and if you have any bruising (available at any local health foods store).

#4 After a few days of ice, rest and elevation the inflammation should be down and  getting a massage (3-4 days after the injury) would be a good idea to break up the muscle tissue and get you back into tip top shape.  Not everyone all Massage Therapists are the same, to do the most effective Denver sports massage requires an additional skill level that not all Massage Therapists have.  Call us today and we will get you in with the appropriate therapist for your specific needs.

My next blog will be on sports massage and sports injury.

Update from the owner, Sharon Hwang

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe it is already June!  If you live in Denver we are getting lots of rain right now!  We need it.

I hope you enjoy this blog.  I have a tendency to ramble but will try to keep these short and sweet.

All is well at The Wellness Center.  We are slowly moving into the world of blogging and social networking.  It has been a process to learn about tweeting, facebook, YELP.com, blogging but we are getting there (only 6 months later!).

We are on facebook and twitter.  If you want to check us out:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glendale-CO/The-Wellness-Center/164164830037

Twitter – http://twitter.com/wellnessdenver

The Wellness Center is Starting to Get more Tech Savy

Welcome to The Wellness Center blog, this is a work in progress and will be a new thing for all of us to learn but we are excited.  I have been talking about doing a blog for The Wellness Center for the past 8 months and here we finally are.  Yippee. 

Spring is also on the way we are looking forward to our group cleanse starting May 2nd if anyone wants to join us. 

Look forward to blogging and stay connected.

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