Self Care & Taking Time Off

I am the first one to suggest to people that if they're feeling exhausted, if they're sick beyond just a head cold, and if they're injured, that they take time off working out, and focus on healing. So why was it so hard to listen to my own advice. Two weeks ago I went to an incredible Rolf inspired bodyworker, because I had been having shoulder pain that led to neck pain. Mind you, this shoulder pain had been going on for months, and I just kept pushing my body, and my mind past it, which is why it found its way to my neck. I finally found myself so uncomfortable working out, and even just laying on the couch that I reached out to David Thatcher, who founded the Thatcher Method

The Thatcher Method is a Rolfing inspired form of bodywork. Like Rolfing, the Thatcher Method concentrates of structural and fascial tone imbalances that run in and through the bodies connective tissue. Unlike Rolfing the Thatcher Method is not restricted to a series of 10-12 pre-ordained sessions, but instead is taylored to meet the unique needs and challenges of each individual client. The work is deep, intense, painful and very worth it.

It was an hour long session, and it hurt, but it was the foam rolling kind of hurt. So while he worked away, I was struggling to focus on my breathing, because it hurt so good. I knew that I would find relief after, and I knew this was exactly what my body needed. At the end he knew exactly what was wrong with me - strained supraspinatus, which is a muscle in the rotator cuff. The muscles surrounding were overcompensating, which is why I was having a ton of neck pain. He said if I continued going the way I was going, I would surely tear it. And I absolutely do not have time for that - being that my job as a personal trainer and kickboxing instructor, requires my body. I'm not able to just sit at a desk and continue to work. Before I walked out he told me not to pick up weights, or work upper body. He advised me that it would be okay to run, or do air squats, and abs, but that was all. I was sore for a couple of days after, but the next day I felt good so I decided to run on the treadmill and do a booty and leg workout. Bad idea. I felt terrible the next day, and decided that I would take the next two weeks off, like he said, and not workout. So while I continued to teach and work with my clients, I did not pick up weights, and I modified a ton of the moves, barely touching the bag with my left fist or arm. 

To get the inflammation down, I went to the store and picked up ground turmeric and turmeric tea. Did you know that although it's traditionally used in indian dishes, it's a powerhouse ingredient, and has a ton of health benefits? The benefits below have been found on Tone It Up.

  • Curcumin is the active compound of turmeric that has been linked to many health benefits. 
  • Inflammation has been linked to increased risk of diabetes and cancer. But studies have found that curcumin helps block those inflammatory pathways by inhibiting a molecule called NF-kB.² This compound promotes inflammation, so by blocking it, curcumin helps decrease inflammation and your disease risk.
  • Studies show that curcumin decreases the effects of chronic stress, allowing you to deal with stressful situations more easily.³ And BONUS: it can even boost your happiness vibes!4
  • Curcumin has been found to increase levels of BDNF, a type of brain “growth hormone.”5

I also started taking Agilease, which is a supplement from Young Living.

Especially beneficial for athletes, as well as middle-aged and elderly people who may experience a natural, acute inflammation response in their joints after exercise, AgilEase™ is a joint health supplement that’s perfect for healthy individuals who are looking to gain greater mobility and flexibility through the reduction of inflammation.

We used unique and powerful ingredients such as frankincense powder, UC-II undenatured collagen, hyaluronic acid, calcium fructoborate, and a specially formulated proprietary essential oil blend of Wintergreen, Copaiba, Clove, and Northern Lights Black Spruce—oils that are known for their joint health benefits. Take AgilEase to support joint health or as a preventative measure to protect joint and cartilage health.
— Young Living

I try to have at least one cup of tea every day, with a drop or two of lemon essential oil. As far as the ground turmeric goes, I have been making Mango Turmeric smoothies daily. I found the recipe on Tone It Up, and was a little hesitant at first. Turns out, turmeric and mango is pretty good. I also added black pepper, which I barely tasted, to it because a compound in ground black pepper called piperine helps increase absorption of curcumin in your body by up to 2,000%! I felt the inflammation going down, and felt better for a couple of days. As soon as I stopped taking them daily, the inflammation returned. 

So listen to your body, your Drs, and friends. Don't push yourself to the point of injury, if your body needs rest, just rest. Believe me, these have been a tough two weeks, especially when a lot of girls I know started a workout challenge, and I was ready to give it my all, but I know in the long run, this rest will benefit me more than pushing my body will.