This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Too much time on bleachers means I need to get out the castor oil!

This is not my idea of comfortable seating

Softball season is finally over.  20 games.  Each game lasted about 2 hours.  20 practices.  Each practice lasted 2.5-3 hours.  I spent nearly 100 hours this spring sitting on bleachers.  This would not have been such a problem had I been faithfully practicing yoga and therefore stretching my hamstrings, lower back, and shoulders appropriately.  Unfortunately the words "faithful" and "yoga" cannot be used in the same sentence right now.  "Sporadic" and "rushed" are more accurate descriptions which is why I'm paying for it now with a sore lower back, hamstring pain, and shoulder pain.  The hours spent sitting hunched forward, hands on knees and neck craned upward have really taken their toll and now I'm having to play catch-up to stretch my muscles.

Castor oil can be found in most pharmacies and all natural food stores

So that brings me to castor oil... (I really do have strange segues, don't I?)  I love castor oil packs to relieve sore muscles.  Castor oil combined with heat will increase circulation, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation.  I learned this technique from the naturopathic doctor I consulted to help me heal after brain surgery.  This is what you do: soak a piece of flannel (I used a scrap from an old pair of pajamas) in castor oil and place it on your skin where you need pain relief.  Cover the flannel with a towel and then put a heat source over the towel (I use a heated up sock filled with rice, but you can use a heating pad, hot water bottle, whatever).  Keep this compress in place for 20 minutes.  The great thing is that you can place the castor oil soaked flannel wherever you need it, it works quickly and lasts a long time, it's dirt cheap to make, it's completely "green", you can't possibly overdose on it, and it's safe for children and pets.  You can even re-use the flannel again and again if you put it in the refrigerator between uses!  (In addition to lemon peels and cream of tartar in odd places around the house my family has also gotten used to strange objects wrapped in wax paper in our may want to warn your family should you choose to do this).

After you remove the pack your skin may be a little red from increased circulation and heat and it will definitely smell like castor oil so you may want to gently wash the area with cool water.  Use this treatment as many times as needed and I guarantee you will feel relief.  I've read a couple of places that pregnant women should consult a doctor before doing this so you may want to check with your physician if you're not sure if you qualify as a pregnant woman (ha ha ha I crack myself up, I really do!)  Remember: I'm not a doctor (though I did play one once at the gym, but that's a whole 'nother story...)

I'm experimenting with rubbing a little eucalyptus essential oil mixed with almond oil on sore muscles and will let you know how that works once I have the amounts figured out.


Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

What a great tip. I wish that alternative health practices would take off and become more mainstream. There is a lot to be said for trying these techniques before resorting to over the counter meds.

Beth said...

I completely agree. If the castor oil doesn't offer the relief you need at least you don't have to worry about harmful side effects and potential drug interactions. A lot of times the simplest cure is also the best.