I was inspired to write this in the last week or so after spending a week in New Orleans. Needless to say we had a ton of fun. My favorite part of the trip was that we walked everywhere we went. A beautiful, old, walkable city she is indeed.
So with all this eating and walking (hopefully a wash), after 4 days or so I noticed that the shoulder pain that I notoriously have every night laying in bed was completely gone.
Was it due to stress reduction from being on vay-cay? Perhaps. Or at least this was my initial thought. So I went merrily on my way, walking probably upwards of 2-4 miles each day. I did yoga at the local (and amazing) Swan River Studio on Canal Street three days also. Consistently - NO shoulder pain.
So here's my hypothesis:
It's the daily walking that did the trick for my shoulder. Despite the traveling, poor eating, not taking my supplements as regularly as normal. Wow - Walking? Really?
Each day that I've been home (5 days in a row now), I've skipped the yoga studio. Mostly because I was busy with family for Mothers Day etc., and playing catch-up up from being out of town.
For the last 5 days, I've walked, daily. I did at least 2 walks per day for 25 minutes each. A couple of those days I walked twice that length of time. The walking has provided the circulation and movement that makes my shoulders feel happy when I lay my head down at night. They've always taught me at school that wherever there is lack of oxygen in the body there will be pain. More oxygen to the shoulders = Less Pain.
For months on a nightly basis the pain has been formidable in my right shoulder. A few times I even slept on my Spoonk for lack of a better option. The pain would not allow me to rest! It feels so nice to have a reprieve. I'm going to keep walking, add the yoga back in and I think this is a nice balance for me.
Here's what else may help for shoulder pain, tension and insomnia:
Magnesium taken internally: (I like Natures Sunshine Products) They are easy to swallow, 250mg tablets. I take 4-5 per night and a few in the day too - BUT THAT'S ME. If you get loose stools you know you've had too much magnesium. If that happens, take less. Magnesium decreases tension throughout the body, helps you sleep, decreases anxiety and stress, helps you absorb calcium from the rest of your diet and also encourages regular, easy to pass bowel movements.
Magnesium Rich Herbal Infusions (herbal tea) such as: Oatstraw Herb (steep overnight and drink a quart first thing in the morning). GREAT for pumping the magnesium. Do it morning for a week, you'll sleep and poop like a baby. Also Peppermint, Chamomile and Red Raspberry is rich in magnesium and other minerals.
Lastly, yoga. Yes, yoga helps. It doesn't solve all the problems of your life and health, but I feel like it helps me to get closer to the answers, bit by bit. There are a million shoulder opening moves but here are a few that I love.
Do these along with a few cat-cows, 5-20 breaths in downward dog and perhaps a fish pose or bridge pose to open up your shoulders. Breath into the shoulders while you hold the postures. Softening your entire body the best you can as you hold the posture. One of the key points of yoga is to try to maintain strength and softness in your postures. We must have both to be healthy.
A few final thoughts.
If you work a desk job - change the way you do things. You are worth it! For the sake of your children, your significant other, your pets or your parents, do it. You'll feel better, live longer and be happier. You can do it!
- Move your body every two hours. No if's ands or butts. Yes, I intentionally spelled it wrong.
- Breath more consciously. If you are stressed and you catch yourself holding your breath, take 10 deep, slow breaths throughout the day.
- Try to laugh more - it seems unrelated, I know. But indulge me. Go to youtube and find some funny shit to laugh at. It WILL alleviate stress, enhance happiness, and even decrease the severity of pain.
- Take breaks from your laptop, your phone and all your electronics. At least an hour a day. Put the technology down my friend, it's ok. Give your brain a break!
- If you aren't sleeping well, having at least one bowel movement per day, area suffering from chronic pain and don't want to get on drugs, call me. I can help you with this. I do phone consults and I'm happy to chat with you free of charge for 15 minutes. I do charge $35 per half hour thereafter.
Say SEE YA, SHOULDER STRESS!