Last night when I arrived home, there was a birthday package waiting for me. I checked the return address and was excited that it came from Morgantown, West Virginia, home of my soul-sister, Elizabeth of BlissBlissBliss. Elizabeth and I have shared a beautiful friendship for 19 years and I could probably write a blog post about the things I have learned from her and ways that she and her family have enriched my life, but that isn't the project for today! Today's post is inspired by last night's phone conversation and our discussion of homeopathic remedies, yoga and pain management.
As I opened the surprise box, I snapped some photographs and texted them to her, along with my first reactions to her gifts, in an effort to share the experience. Elizabeth has a knack for gift-giving; everything is chosen and packaged colorfully with such thought and love, and it's always a treat for the senses to receive a gift from her. There is usually a lot of colorful, pretty sparkly goodness and oftentimes good smelling items as well. Included in my present were a couple of personal items, some tea from Elizabeth's own kitchen, and a book by Jack Kornfield from her library. This was extra special to me. I opened the book to this page and sent the picture to E.
2)Whatever we cultivate in times of ease, we gather as strength for times of change.
The first quote reminded me that I probably should not shop for a new
Fall wardrobe right now and felt kind of like motherly advice and somewhat nagging- ha! Still it is good advice and timely. The second really resonated with me and made me smile. It made me happy for myself that I know how to have a good time and appreciate being in the moment. I reflected on what I do during "times of ease" and made a connection to sowing seeds for a garden. It was reassuring.
Sending photos and texting was a fun way to share a moment long distance, but soon we grew tired of typing on tiny keypads and just called each other. During our conversation, E asked what all I was doing for my shoulder, and I listed some of the remedies/therapies I'd been practicing. I realized that I forgot to list these in my previous post, so I'm adding them here now.
1) I've been laying on this spiked bolster, made by Lotus, NY. I first saw an ad for a similar product in Yoga Journal a few years ago, but it was a towel/meditation mat covered in these plastic spikes. The idea is that you lay on it and, as in acupuncture, the nerve endings just below the skin are stimulated, releasing endorphins into the blood, stimulating blood circulation and increasing intake of oxygen. I LOVE this thing! It's super weird, and slightly painful upon first contact, but it totally relaxes me when I lean into it. This pillow has helped my insomnia. I lay with the bolster running the length of my spine, and have found it to be an instant sedative. Sometimes I lay on it under my low back, stimulating the kidneys and digestive organs, and I feel like it helps me to detox. Sometimes I put it right around my hurt shoulder and I feel like that is helping because it's sending fresh oxygen to those muscles. But overall, I like this bolster because it feels good and instantaneously clears my mind.
2) Rolling a tennis ball between my back and the wall*
It's remarkable how deeply I can massage my own muscles with almost no effort. I am saving so much money and blasting out all of the huge knots in my back by standing against the wall, with the tennis ball under my shoulder blades and slowly rolling up and down by bending my knees. This is a practice I'd like to incorporate into the restorative yoga classes I teach.
*bonus points because I do squats at the same time, multi-tasking getting more exercise into my day!
3) Arnica Gel: I'm not sure if this is working because on the tube the directions say that it is good for fresh injuries, and mine is old, but I figure it doesn't hurt!
4)Vitamins C, E and Zinc: I read somewhere online that these vitamins would help to speed the healing of tendons, and strengthen bones. While I am already taking a multi, fish oil, liquid vitamin B, and D on the recommendation of my GP (to keep my thyroid in check), I thought I would try to supplement and see if that helps too.
and the 5th item that is helping me to heal is the act of sharing love with good friends, family and animals, whenever I can.