My Top 10 Natural Recovery Methods

My Top 10 Natural Recovery Methods

After I had surgery on my knee and ankle in 2013, I constantly felt sick for 2 months after. When asking my GP about it she said it was probably because I was so healthy my body couldn’t handle this amount of drugs. Apparently a common experience post surgery. She said to avoid taking anything that I didn’t need to take. So, I made the decision right then that I wouldn’t. Since then I have been using all natural recovery products because they have minimal, if any side effects. Whether it is training recovery or injury related I use a variety of the 10 methods mentioned in this article with some excellent results. Each one has the potential to affect individuals differently and therefore I recommend doing what gives you the best results for your specific goals.

1. Rocktape

Rocktape Australia

My Experience

Injury recovery
Increases ROM
Reduces pain
Reduces bruising

I have used Rocktape regularly since my surgery in 2013. My knee has definitely gotten the most benefit. It helps keep my kneecap in place as it has a tendency to pop out. I have also used it for proprioception in my feet, recovery from a quad tear and prevention of hamstring and calf tears. More recently I have also used it to help reduce bruising caused by an ankle injury. Rocktape is an essential natural recovery product to keep me training.

Is there evidence it works?

According to Rocktape, when applied correctly, its unique elasticity causes the skin to form convolutions and wrinkle. This decompresses the tissue immediately below the skin. It is believed that this has three main effects:

1. Fluid effect- improving blood and lymphatic flow in the taped area
2. Mechanical effect- improving the slide and glide between tissue layers
3. Neurological effect- altering the perception of pain and improving body awareness.

More info here.

Where to buy?

http://rocktape.com.au/ or click here to find your local retailer.

2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture

My Experience

Relaxes muscles
Improves sleep

Acupuncture has been an integral part of my natural recovery regime. I get it at least once a week, mainly for keep any muscular niggles under control to keep me training. I have also found acupuncture to be really helpful for boosting my immunity. Click here to see the difference between dry needling and acupuncture [2].

Is there evidence it works?

Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that uses a holistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes [1]. It focuses as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment. Check out the documentary below for the science behind it.

BBC Documentary – The Science of Acupuncture

Who does acupuncture?

Jade Dibblee at Next Level Health, West End

Jade is second to none. Book here or
Click here to find your local practitioner.

3. Bexters Soda Crystals

Bexters Soda Crystals

My Experience

Reduce Swelling FAST
Non-invasive

From just 1 overnight treatment I get excellent results. I have used Bexters Soda Crystals many a time when I dislocate my kneecap. When I had an adductor injury I also mistakenly left compression on overnight which resulted in significant lower limb swelling. By using Bexters Soda Crystals I had swelling back to normal by that afternoon. Natural recovery at its best and lesson learnt, I shouldn’t leave compression on overnight!

Is there evidence it works?

The soda crystals (calcium carbonate) have a property that withdraws fluid from the swollen area. Whilst known as a popular natural remedy, the advantages for use across a diverse number of conditions deserves further research. Check out this Published Case and these Testimonials.

Where to buy them?

Coles, Chemist Warehouse or
 
Online: https://www.bexters.com.au/
USE COUPON CODE: PRUE30 for 30% off

4. Compression

Eloflex Compression Bandage

My Experience

Prevents swelling
Pain relief

I wear compression tights regularly. However, I have found that using a compression bandage for injuries gives far better results as you can determine the amount of compression on the area. I have gotten pain relief from using this when I had an adductor strain. The difference was being able to hobble with pain (without the compression)and walk without pain (with compression on). Just be careful it’s not too tight causing swelling in the extremities.

Is there evidence it works?

Compression is a well known natural recovery method used to respond to acute injuries.

Where to buy?

Eloflex has given me the best success.

5. Elektra Magnesium Cream

Elektra Magnesium Creams

My Experience

Injury Recovery
Post workout recovery

I initially used Elektra Magnesium Cream to help alleviate pain in my ankle from arthritis. I have also used it to fast track natural recovery of an adductor strain and some hamstring soreness with great success!

Is there evidence it works?

According to Dr Mark Sircus, any athlete looking to gain strength, increase athletic performance and muscle mass should consider greatly increasing their magnesium intake [11]. This is because strenuous exercise may deplete magnesium stores. It’s often the case that an individuals intake is not sufficient for their optimal function [11]. Magnesium is an essential element that regulates membrane stability and neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal functions and is a critical cofactor in many metabolic reactions [4]. It’s no surprise why athletes and anyone exercising regularly are recommended to consider this product [11].

More info here.

Where to buy them?

Online: http://elektramagnesium.com.au/ or
Check for your local retailer here.

6. Moxabustion

Moxabustion

My Experience

Anti-Inflammatory
Relaxes muscles
Increases blood flow

Jade (my acupuncture therapist) uses moxabustion in conjuction with acupuncture to enhance healing from injuries and muscle relaxation. When she uses moxa with the needles I even often fall asleep, that’s how good it is! I also use moxa sticks on myself at home for any muscles or joints that are tight or sore.

Is there evidence it works?

Moxabustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing [3]. There have been a lot of successful trials completed to demonstrate the anti-inflammatory effect of this method [7, 13].

Who can do moxabustion?

Book here with Jade at Next Level Health, West End or Click here to find your local practitioner.

At home I use this one: Smokeless Moxa Sticks
Sign up to their newsletter and get 10% off your first order!

7. Traumeel tablets

Traumeel Tablets - Anti Inflammatory

My Experience

Anti-Inflammatory
Reduces Pain
Injury Recovery

I use these whenever my health professionals recommend that I take an oral anti-inflammatory. It’s a homeopathic alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Is there evidence it works?

The components of Traumeel help to create a balance between pro-inflammation and anti-inflammation to allow your body to recover more efficiently on its own [10].

More information here.

Where to buy?

Health Food Stores – Healthy Life

8. Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom Salts

My Experience

Pain relief
Relaxes muscles

Especially in the winter I find that my ankle get sore from my arthritis. I use epsom salts for natural recovery in a foot bath for at least 20 minutes for pain relief/prevention from any soreness after track sessions. If I had a full size bath I would use that instead to get full body benefits. My feet always love me again after a good soak.

Is there evidence it works?

Bathing in the warm water should have an effect on relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow that should therefore encourage faster recovery. There are many medicines used transdermally and the magnesium from Magnesium Sulfate Heptahydrate found in epsom salts is also said to be absorbed through the skin which can help replenish stores post exercise. I have also recently been introduced to Elektra Magnesium Chloride Flakes which are awesome too!

Where to buy?

Local Supermarket
Health Food Store

9. Cupping

Cupping

My Experience

Myofascial release
Increases blood flow

I have my own cupping kit and use it to release tension especially in my calves.

Is there evidence it works?

There has been evidence to support myofacial trigger points to help with recovery[6]. Cupping is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine and there is abundant research demonstrating its affect in myofascial release [5].

Where to buy?

Book with Jade at Next Level Health here. or Click here to find your local practitioner.

You can also purchase kits from San Acupuncture Supplies.
Sign up to their newsletter and get 10% off your first order!

10. Arnica

Moxabustion

My Experience

Reduces bruising

I have used the arnica oral spray as pictured for natural recovery after having surgery to help remove bruising in my ankle. Thankfully I haven’t had any significant bruising since then!

Is there evidence it works?

Arnica can be used in a spray, tablet or cream. It has active chemicals to assist in reducing bruising [8, 12]. Many trials have been done showing that Arnica is successful in reducing bruising [8, 12].
*If taking orally, ensure the potency is safe for oral consumption.

Where to buy?

Health Food Stores – Healthy Life

 

Is your favourite natural recovery method not listed? Comment below, I would love to hear from you!

 

DISCLAIMER: The benefits listed above are based on my personal experience and like any product you should consult your physician prior to using to ensure they are safe for you as an individual.

*Heads up! This article contains affiliate links 🙂

Reference List

1. Acupuncture.org.au. Acupuncture. 2015. Available at: http://www.acupuncture.org.au/Health_Services/Acupuncture.aspx. Accessed October 2, 2015.

2. Acupuncture.org.au. Acupuncture. 2015. Available at: http://www.acupuncture.org.au/Health_Services/Dry_Needling.aspx. Accessed October 2, 2015.

3. Acupuncturetoday.com. Moxibustion. 2015. Available at: http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/abc/moxibustion.php. Accessed October 3, 2015.

4. Bohl CH, Volpe SL. Magnesium and Exercise. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2002;42:533-563.

5. Chirali IZ. Traditional Chinese Medicine Cupping Therapy. Thirdition. ed. GB: Churchill Livingstone; 2014.

6. Irnich D. Myofascial Trigger Points: Comprehensive Diagnosis and Treatment. 1st ed. Edinburgh: Elsevier; 2012;2013;.

7. Jiang J, Wang L, Bin X, Ling H, Song X, Wu H. Anti-inflammatory: effect mechanism of warming-dredging in moxibustion. Zhongguo zhen jiu = Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion. 2013;33:860.

8. Leu S, Havey J, White LE, et al. Accelerated resolution of laser-induced bruising with topical 20% arnica: a rater-blinded randomized controlled trial. The British journal of dermatology. 2010;163:557.

9. Russell BJ, Philip J. Topical calcium carbonate soda crystals for refractory cancer-related lower limb edema. Journal of pain and symptom management. 2014;48:e1-e2.

10. Schneider C. Traumeel – an emerging option to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the management of acute musculoskeletal injuries. International journal of general medicine. 2011;4:225.

11. Sircus, M. Transdermal Magnesium Therapy: A New Modality for the Maintenance of Health. Bloomington, USA. iUniverse; 2011

12. Stevinson C, Devaraj VS, Fountain-Barber A, Hawkins S, Ernst E. Homeopathic arnica for prevention of pain and bruising: randomized placebo-controlled trial in hand surgery. JRSM. 2003;96:60-65.

13. Tang Z, Song X, Li J, Hou Z, Xu S. Studies on anti-inflammatory and immune effects of moxibustion. Zhen ci yan jiu = Acupuncture research / [Zhongguo yi xue ke xue yuan Yi xue qing bao yan jiu suo bian ji]. 1996;21:67.

 

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