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Ice Baths Are Not for the Weak!!

My running partner, Lauren, and I have had some pretty tough training runs over the past few weeks…so under the advisement of her boyfriend Zach, Lauren stepped into an ice bath for her very first time! As she told me today on our run…it was the absolute worst experience ever! I had to giggle as I know the pain all too well! Few can handle the ice bath, but those who do benefit!

(Photos of me in my own ice bath today; as well as Lauren eating pizza to make the time go by faster in hers!)

Here’s why:

The general theory behind this cold therapy is that the exposure to cold helps to combat the microtrauma (small tears) in muscle fibers and resultant soreness caused by intense or repetitive exercise.

  • After a workout, your body needs to “repair” itself to prepare for the next training session.
  • It does so with the help of blood vessels that bring oxygen to your muscle tissue while removing waste products of exercise — the most common being lactic acid.
  • Too much lactic acid build-up can cause your muscles to function poorly and will often lead to fatigue.
  • An ice bath will immediately reduce swelling while flushing lactic acid out of your body.
  • When you sit in an ice bath — or when you rub a cup of ice on the muscles you just trained — the cold causes your blood vessels to tighten.
  • This helps drain the lactic acid out of your tired muscles.
  • When you get out of the bath, your muscle tissue warms back up, causing a return of oxygenated blood to help your muscles recover.

So next time you are need of some relief for your sore muscles, try out your very own ice bath. Directs as follows:

  1. Pick up at least two or three 20lb ice bags
  2. Fill bath up with cold water about 50%
  3. Dump in ice baths
  4. Jump in yourself and force yourself to stay in there for 10 minutes
  5. Tips: Go in fast…the slower you do it, the longer it takes for your legs to go numb. Wear a sweatshirt or towel on your upper body to keep you warm / bite when you need to scream!
  6. Have fun!!!

Way Back Wednesday: Maccabiah 1997 to Maccabiah 2017!

2017 marks 20 years since my first Maccabiah experience. I went to the 1997 World Maccabiah Games as a young, naive 15 year old looking to run fast and win in the Junior Track & Field competition…Now 20 years later, I am going as an experienced 35 year old competing in the Open Half Marathon field.

A lot has happened in 20 years (and I mean a lot) but one thing is the same: Running still makes my heart skip a beat…always!

I’m Going to Stick a Needle In Your Leg & Set it On Fire!

Yep…You heard me right! And your reaction was probably similar to mine…but the needle was actually going in my leg, as was the fireball! Let me explain…

Acupuncturist Carlos Restrepo has been treating me since 2012 when he hired my PR agency (BlueIvy Communications) to market and bring media attention to his new acupuncture practice in Boca Raton. As a good professional, I tried out his services – acupuncture for stress, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and much more!

The results were immediate. Lingering injuries that I thought would never go away as well as new aches that were effecting my training  were finally fixed. Now I’m definitely not a “magic” believer…but these needles seemed to be working! Was it the increased blood flow, the movement of the Qi, or something else?

Fast forward five years to this summer. I’ve been dealing with a sore and downright painful left achilles tendon since July of last year. It started hurting while training in Colorado and hasn’t let up since. Carlos started working on my achilles with acupuncture needles in May and the pain eased up. While I could feel the tenderness in my foot…I was able to train and complete runs. That was a win for me in itself.

Carlos, however, wanted more improvement. That was when he broke out the “fire balls” or Moxibustion as the professionals call it.

Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences.

And it worked…after one treatment, my achilles was 50% better and after two treatments, the pain GONE. Now to be fair, every once in a while I feel the tightness in my calf and ankle area (usually after a deep stretch or hard workout) but all-in-all I run pain free. This magical Moxibustion sure did move my Qi!