Feel the Heat – Something of Use

Kozi Neck Shoulder Wrap $50.95 – click for the original site.

Years ago, dievca picked up this Kōzi Neck & Shoulder Wrap in TJMaxx on clearance for $12. It sat in its box for a year or more until dievca realized that heat really helps her aches and pains.  Ever since that moment – its been in heavy rotation.

The wrap is handcrafted using natural herbs and grains to relieve stress, tension, cramps, and muscle discomfort. You can microwave (2 minutes) or freeze for instant therapy. dievca has ice packs, so she hasn’t frozen the wrap.

$50.95 + shipping seems to be a really high price for the wrap – so dievca found it elsewhere for a better price – if you are not choosy about color: Click here for chocolate, lavender or plum at $16.43 +shipping.

There are other shapes available, but this one hugs the neck and upper back nicely – then you can wrap it around a calf, knee /hamstring or sit on it for lower back or glute issues. dievca wouldn’t go for another shape. she doesn’t have the room for multiple pieces.

It’s been really great on text neck/computer neck. And a good option for Aftercare.

cryotherapy and thermotherapy

Ice is for injuries — calming down damaged superficial tissues that are inflamed, red, hot, and swollen. The inflammatory process is a healthy, normal, natural process that happens to be painful and more biologically stubborn than it needs to be. Icing is a drugless way of dulling the pain of inflammation and taking swelling down a bit. Examples of use: a freshly pulled muscle or a sprained ankle.

Heat is for muscles, chronic pain, and stress — taking the edge off symptoms like muscle aching and stiffness, which have many causes including overuse and arthritis. Chronic pain, especially back pain, often involves lots of tension, anxiety, hypervigilance, and central sensitization. Comfortable heat can soothe a jangled mind and nervous system.

Heat therapy is an effective remedy for back pain because it boosts circulation, which then allows nutrients and oxygen to travel to joints and muscles. This circulation helps repair damaged muscles, relieves inflammation, and improves back stiffness. Any type of heat therapy can help relieve back pain.

 

 


Sole Searching – Something of Use

Rolling the foot with a ball is an exercise you can complete on your own as a way to massage and stretch the bottom of the foot and the plantar fascia making it much less likely to become irritated.  A ball can help to improve flexibility and range of motion of the ankle.

The type of ball to be used is open — what do you have at home?  A softer ball is easier to start with and you can work your way up to a lacrosse ball or a golf ball.

Put enough pressure on the ball to get a deep massage. You may feel some soreness, back off if you feel any pain.

Try it… Sole Searching
Remember the ball loosens up stiffness in your sole’s muscles, joints, and connective tissues.
How to do it:
1. Circle the ball under your heel with some pressure.
2. Slowly roll your foot from heel to toe through the middle of the foot. Repeat for 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Roll the ball side to side so the ball crosses your arch. for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Curve your toes around the ball to open up the phalanges and metatarsals. Help with your other foot if needed.

Repeat with your other foot.


Coffee – a discussion: the good, the bad…

Why Coffee Keeps You Awake

Caffeine acts on a chemical in your brain called adenosine. An increase in adenosine levels induce sleep and the longer you are awake the more adenosine you have in your system. Caffeine binds to the molecules of adenosine reducing its sleep-inducing effects.

Typically, the half-life of caffeine is around four to six hours, meaning that four to six hours after consumption, about half of that caffeine is still in your system.

Coffee can affect healthy sleep cycles by increasing your arousal frequency — how many times your brain wakes up each night.

However, some studies have begun to debunk this claim. It often depends on the individual. If you have had a cup of coffee every evening for twenty years, you may not have trouble sleeping.

What Research Says About Coffee Consumption

Coffee appears to affect everyone differently. Some people get headaches and restlessness from a simple cup of black coffee. Others can drink multiple espresso shots without noticing much of a difference.

Part of this stems from tolerance. There are many different variables that come into play when discussing tolerance: age, weight, sex, consumption, type of roast, etc.

Coffee can give you a temporary mental and physical boost. How it impacts you depends on how much you consume and the source. There is a big difference between drinking one or two servings of black coffee every day and making multiple trips to Starbucks for a Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino.

Research shows that daily consumption of caffeine in coffee, tea, or soft drinks increases daily sugar levels by nearly 10%, boosting their risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Just adding cream and sugar to your homebrewed coffee could quickly skyrocket to over 200 calories per serving.

A Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Mocha, for instance, has 580 calories, 22 grams of fat and 75 grams of sugar. A plain cup of brewed coffee? Two calories, no fat, and zero carbs.

Other issues

Acid Reflux:  Caffeine causes the gastroesophageal sphincter to relax, which allows acid to enter the esophagus.

Not for children: Small amounts of caffeine, equivalent to one cup of coffee, increased children’s blood pressure. And to compensate for the rise in blood pressure slowed their heart rates.

Osteoporosis: There is some evidence showing that moderate to high coffee consumption (more than four cups per day) is linked with calcium loss and fractures.

Drinking Coffee Can Be Good For You

Coffee is linked to a positive mood, alertness, and an overall increase in mental function. Coffee consumption habits may even reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

What are the nutrients in coffee?

A single cup of coffee contains:

  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
  • Manganese and potassium
  • Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3)

Coffee shows more antioxidant activity than green tea. There is some evidence that coffee may lower the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

A number of studies have suggested that consuming caffeine can reduce your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.  Coffee drinking has beneficial effects on the liver, including reducing the risk of death from liver cirrhosis, decreasing harmful liver enzyme levels and limiting liver scarring in people who have hepatitis C. And researchers found that those who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day had a 20 percent lower risk of developing melanoma than people who drank decaffeinated coffee or no coffee.

Caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer. It fights fatigue, strengthens muscle contractions, reduces an exerciser’s perception of pain, and increases fatty acids in the blood to support endurance. The belief that coffee is dehydrating doesn’t have much interference with exercise if it is consumed at a reasonable level.

Enjoy Your Coffee Like Everything, in Moderation

Thank you to Jonah Malin via Medium, wiki, Rush.edu and nih.gov