Sore muscles are common place for most people. Whether its from sports or working out at the gym, an injury, sleeping funny or long hours at a desk, in front of a computer screen, we all get tight and sore from time to time.
As a Massage Therapist I see this all the time (Its pretty much the basis for my whole job!). While a massage can help or even fix the issue, sometimes a massage is just not possible when you need it.
Here are the things that I do and recommend my clients do to ease tight and sore muscles:
1.) Foam roller: me and my foam roller have a love/hate relationship. Its a hurts-so-good kinda feeling.
2.) Epsom salt bath: the mix of moist heat and the magnesium can do a lot to loosen sore muscles and help you to relax - which is usually a big part of the problem!
3.) Stretch - Stretching can help ease the pain and lengthen the muscle to ease the tightness and soreness. Its very important to not only stretch the muscles that are sore to ease the pain, but to also stretch the muscles that are opposite to the problem area - they are often pulling the other muscles causing them to be in pain. For example: if the pain is in-between your shoulder blades, stretching your chest - mainly your pectoral muscles or pecs for short - will often help get to the root of the problem. If you sit too much and your hips are sore - stretching your quads can help ease your hips and lower back.
Move - My favorite ways to move to help ease muscle pain is definitely swimming followed closely by yoga and pilates, but in the end, the most important factor is that you enjoy it and it doesn't cause you more pain to do it. Walking, going for a run or going to the gym are all great options too, Whatever you can do to ease stress and move your body will help decrease muscle issues.
Essential Oils: Many essential oils have properties to them that help decrease muscle spasm, decrease inflammation and decrease pain. Just to name a few: peppermint, wintergreen, eucalyptus, copaiba, black pepper, cedarwood, lavender, Black spruce, cinnamon, cassia, ginger, lemongrass and clove all have different properties that can help with muscle and joint pain.
Warming Muscle Rub:
Don't get me wrong: I love Doterra's Deep Blue muscle rub! Its amazing with a cooling and refreshing tingling sensation. But sometimes that just doesn't get me the results I'm looking for. This muscle rub has a warming sensation and really heats up the muscles instead of cooling the pain. Think of it as a gentler version of Tiger Balm. This muscle rub is a great way to ease the muscle tightness and pain, in a quick and convenient body butter.
A couple of random things to mention:
- If you're shea butter is grainy in texture before you start this recipe, you will not want to use it because your final recipe will be grainy.
- Because this is a warming essential oil blend you will want to use extreme caution if using a heating pad after using this rub - it may heat up a little too much and cause a skin irritation.
- We are using A LOT of essential oils in this recipe. If you have sensitive skin, you make want to use less.
- You will want to wash your hands after applying this butter as transferring it to, lets say, your eyes or worse, a much more sensitive place, is not fun. (Yes, this is from personal experience - it is not a fun accident to do to yourself)
To make this recipe as simple and quick as possible, I've chose a cold process method for a whipped body butter type consistency.
Shea Butter 27 grams
Arnica Oil 12 grams
Corn Starch 6 grams
Vitamin E 0.2 grams
Eucalyptus 12 drops
Copaiba 12 drops
Black pepper 8 drops
Black spruce 8 drops
Ginger 6 drops
Clove 6 drops
Get the Essential Oils here!
1.) In a small, narrow dish, measure the shea butter. Using a fork, mash the shea butter until it is in small chunks, no bigger than pea size.
2.) Using a handheld mix master, whip the shea butter until it is a smooth, even whipped texture with no grainy-ness.
3.) Add in the Arnica oil and blend with the mix master until uniform in texture.
4.) Add in the corn starch and fold in with a spatula until loosely combined. Finish blending with the mix master until completely incorporated. Make sure to scrap the side down 2 to 3 times to ensure all ingredients are evenly mixed in.
5.) Add in the Vitamin E oil and Essential Oils and mix in with the mix master.
6.) Let the mixture settle (it will firm up slightly after a couple of hours). Mix with a spatula before placing in your chosen container.
Apply a liberal amount of rub to sore, aching muscles. Re-apply as needed.