I finally have taken the plunge: I bought a new bike and have signed up for a 40-mile charity ride in June. I don’t actually think I can do it, given the flaccid state of my muscles right now–it's just six weeks away. But I’m going to give it the Compton try. Since diabetes is rampant on my family tree, the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure is a cause I can embrace enthusiastically.
When I lived in Santa Fe several years ago I rode my bike regularly (100+ miles a week) and was in the best shape of my life. But that was then, this is now. Now, my body is quick to tell me how much things have changed, especially in my right thumb and knee, which would just as soon I found a nice recliner and confined my movement to the occasional shamble to the fridge for a beer.
However, I am made of stronger stuff than that, so I refuse to give in. And besides, I have some important assistance to make those complaining muscles and joints quiet down and line up with my agenda.
My latest favorite assistance is Little Moon Essentials’ “Asana Kisser,” which is a salve that smells like health to me. It's composed of organic ginger and cayenne, wintergreen, camphor, lavender and menthol in a nice sesame-oil and beeswax base, which makes it go on easy and disappear quickly without feeling greasy. It isn’t magic, but it definitely has extraordinary healing power. It makes a huge difference in my ability to lean on handlebars for mile after mile and then to work those nifty little shifters strategically placed for thumb-and-finger operation.
I’m not kidding about this, and it isn’t a paid announcement. If you have joint or muscle pain, as in hands that hurt or joints that are stiff, GIVE IT A SHOT. I don’t know if it would be effective for seriously bad arthritis, but I can tell you that my thumb has given me so much trouble from time to time that I’ve worried I won’t be able to type (and then I immediately fall into doomsday fantasies about what I’d do for a living if I weren’t able to work a keyboard, so actually, it’s been good for my mental health as well, since I no longer have those worries.)
I’m also greatly assisted by regular visits to my friendly neighborhood practitioner of Zen Bodytherapy, which isn’t massage, but is a “structural realignment,” and sometimes feels like it sounds. But it works to loosen up the connective tissue that literally has my body in a bind.
With the combo of body therapy and Asana Kissers, I’m good to go.
Some of my other favorites for dealing with aches and pains are not necessarily new to me, but they are dependable and effective stalwarts: Boiron’s arnica gel, available at natural health stores, Nature’s Inventory Back Soothe and Neck & Shoulder Rub and HealthSonix’s ZingiberRx Joint and Muscle Cream. Again, they might not be magic, but as far as I’m concerned, they might as well be.
And let me repeat my mantra, just in case Constant Reader has forgotten: You don’t have to be stuck with stuff. Just because you have some body aches and pains or other medical problems, you don’t have to get stuck with them. For most of our common maladies, there are ways out, and often they involve a combination of body work, massage, diet, supplements and some of the absolutely great herbal products that are available now.
I could just go on and on …