I’m injured. It was a simple enough move, but it had a dramatically-bad result. Nothing gory, by any means, but devastating to someone like me who loves working out. I had a list of questions for the doctor the next day and they all focused on when I could workout again. Her answers were not comforting. I have to give it time. That translates into patience which is something I don’t have a lot of. But one thing I’ve discovered about myself is that if I have a plan…and that plan includes something I can do…I can handle time (i.e., waiting) a little better. Does that make me sound like a control freak? Hmm, I will have to think about that some more.
So here’s what I’ve developed. I call it My Holistic Approach to Healing an Injury. Yes, I like my plans to have a name…it’s like I’m a walking Oprah Magazine or something!
I love playing tennis, but this recent injury has sidelined my career. I guess Serena can take a breather while I’m in recovery, but here’s my plan for A Fast and Speedy Recovery!
- Hello, Doctor! I know at times there is a clash between Eastern and Western medicine. And oftentimes I feel equally frustrated with both. Do you know how many animals are on the endangered species list because some “healers” in Asia think ground up body parts causes long life? On the opposite side of the spectrum, how many physicians will talk to patients about a cure for diabetes or heart disease rather than just putting them on a regimen of drugs to “manage” their conditions? I think it’s best to find a place in the middle. I respect the science behind medicine that has taken us to dramatic life-extending improvements while at the same time embracing a more holistic approach to healing that leads to improved well-being. This is why I begin my healing journey with a visit to the doctor’s office. At least there the doctor can assuage my fears intensified by reading 100 website posts at 1 am telling me that pain in my lower leg can be a rare form of calf cancer. Does everything have to lead to cancer on the internet?
- Phytochemical Binging. For me healing means giving my body as many plant-based foods as possible. There are lots of whole foods that have an anti-inflammatory effects, reduced muscle cramping, and other healthy benefits. I focus on these. Examples include blueberries, grapefruit, avocados, broccoli, and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. That doesn’t mean I live like a monk. But it does mean opting for air-popped popcorn as an afternoon treat rather than crackers and having a handful of walnuts with a bit of dark chocolate for dessert rather than a piece of cake.
- Green Tea. There are a lot of healing benefits to drinking green tea, including lowering cholesterol, reducing cancer risks, and increasing fat burning capabilities. Did I just say fat burning? I think I did. I can lose weight by drinking green tea? Set me up an IV please! But, of course, it’s not that easy. Nothing ever is. It seems like weight loss is one of those areas that still needs some testing. Oh well. I will continue drinking green tea in the meantime because of the other health benefits!
- Fun Music. I created a new playlist with “fun” music to keep my spirits high. I plan to listen to it regularly as I’m healing to help keep my spirits out of the dumpster. Ok, Abba, it’s time to get to work!
- Hydration – lots of water. I’m not the first to say this and I won’t be the last – drinking water is important! I try to begin my day with a small glass of water, no ice and then repeat that several times throughout the day.
- Modern Medicine. My doctor prescribed it and I’m taking ibuprofen, although not to the same dosage as was recommended. I’m hoping a little Advil, combined with my anti-inflammatory diet will be the key to a faster recovery time.
- The Cold Shoulder. Or a cold calf in this case. It’s another doctor-recommended cure and I’m following through by applying ice packs to the damaged area a couple of times a day. Again, the goal is to decrease inflammation. Who knew inflammation could be such a bad thing!
- Sayonara Sugar! Study after study implicates sugar as a lead culprit in inflammation (there it is again)! So to help my body heal, I’m trying to eliminate as much as the refined stuff as possible. I still add a little bit of agave nectar to my afternoon salad dressing (Yes, I prefer making mine fresh), but I’m keeping the white stuff to a minimum. That means being a little creative in fixing my sweet tooth. There are plenty of ways for naturally sweet desserts, such as one of my favorites, Date Balls!
- Meditating Mamma! I’m taking in my daily dose of meditation as a way to calm my frustrations and bring on the healing! I don’t have the most patient way of being so meditation helps. And I’m really digging this new site, Get Some Headspace, with daily meditation guides, some done in as little as 10 minutes! I think the results are working. When I went in to the doctor’s office the day after my injury, the nurse responded how impressed she was with my low heart rate and blood pressure. I credit that to the meditation. Of course, the healthy eating and exercise helps too.
- Feel the Heat. When I’m ready, I’ll apply heat before beginning some stretching exercises to help get my injured muscle ready for regular activity again.
Yes, what my doctor said is true — my injury will require time in order to heal properly. But by taking these steps, I hope to use that time wisely and provide my body with everything it needs to heal in all the right ways.