One of the best parts of spring is the opportunity to finally start digging again in the garden. The seductive fragrances linger everywhere inviting you to step out, and witness the rebirth of this glorious season.
As many eager gardners know, starting early in the season tends to get chilly and with our passion for mother earth we tend to get overly enthusiastic the first few days. As we satisfy our desires to commune with nature, we unfortunately can be left with the aches and pains of this “sport” called gardening. Being crouched over flower beds, or digging up old shrubs,pruning back, and planting bulbs. For some of us we haven t been in this position for many months as the snow would ve made it inaccesible for us, and our body shouts back (sometimes screams) What are you trying to do to me!
Like any sport we haven t attended to for months, one must take it slowly. If you are crouched in one position make sure you take many stretch breaks to increase the blood flow. A very big contributing factor to the aches and pains is the cold and damp ground. Even though the sun may be shining, the earth is still quite chilly as well with the rain we receive on the west coast, very damp. In Chinese Medicine cold, and damp are two of the 6 excess that can be a pathogenic influence. The cold can invade the body surface, its congealing and slows things down, when cold moves in the warmth cannot reach the body surface closing pores producing stiff joints. Dampness alongside cold can compound the symptoms creating achy muscles. This of course does not stop the most avid gardener, prevention is key. Gardening “injuries” is one of my most common treatments in the spring. Following are a few precautions to take and some popular remedies to try in the event you find yourself with the “gardeners pains”
Warm up first, go for a little walk or do some gentle stretches to increase blood circulation. Dress appropriately, keep your lower back warm to avoid any chills sinking into your bones. Takelots of breaks, and hydrate yourself, gardening is hard work! Traumeel is a product that works wonders on muscle aches and pains, and can also be used propholactically. It is an inflammation regulator as well as an analgesic . It can be used topically and internally. It is not a nsaid, and is used for the relief of symptoms associated pain. Traumeel can be purchased at most supermarkets and is great to have on hand. It is safe to be used on children as well as adults and the elderly. AS with any topical its important to read instructions beforehand if you have any pre existing conditions. Once you are done for the day another great way to ease those muscles is a 15min soak in Epsom salts. The magnesium in the salt bath helps relieve stress both physically and emotionally and improves relaxation and sleep. Stress can lead to a reduced magnesium level in the blood resulting in the production of adrenalin. The magnesium in Epsom salts is absorbed thorough the skin and then binds with serotonin in the brain, helping you and your body to relax. AS well visit your Chinese Medical Acupuncturist! Have a session of hot cupping .Cupping can be effective for a wide range of ailments, including asthma, bronchitis, dull aches and pains, arthritis, abdominal pain, stomach ache, indigestion, headache, low back pain painful menstruation, coughs from excessive mucus and places where bodily movement is limited and painful. Mostly it feels amazing. When it is used with moxa for stiff achy joints the results are incredible.
Stay healthy, and enjoy your garden. 🙂