Soothing Joint Pain Without Medication

Joint pain can really limit our ability to participate in the activities we love, and often take for granted until we aren’t able to do them anymore. Joint pain is typically cause by a form of arthritis, and can limit our mobility. Luckily, there are some great natural remedies that can soothe your pain naturally, making it easier to participate in the things you love.

joint-soak

Epsom Salt Soak

Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral that has been used to get relief from pain for years because of its high levels of magnesium. To soak, simply add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to a large bowl of warm water, stir it and soak your joints for at least 1 minutes.

shutterstock_193533122

Olive Oil Massage

A main compound in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) called oleocanthal inhibits inflammatory enzymes COX-1 and COX-2, just like Advil or aspirin does. The study showed that 1 ½ tablespoons is equal to 200-mg of ibuprofen. Make sure the oil is extra virgin olive oil or “cold-pressed.” The ripeness of the olives at the time they were pressed determines the levels present. To massage, rub some olive oil (about 1 TBSP) onto your joints 2-3 times a day and gently rub.

essential oils

Essential Oils

Peppermint and eucalyptus have analgesic, or pain-relieving, properties. They are very cooling oils, and can temporarily soothe your discomfort. To use, blend 5-10 drops of both eucalyptus and peppermint oil together, and then mix into 1-2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil (known as the “carrier” oil). You MUST dilute the essential oil or it may irritate your skin. Be sure to keep your blended oil in a dark glass bottle out of direct sunlight to maintain potency.

ginger-turmeric

Turmeric & Ginger

Turmeric is a bright yellow herb that has been used in cooking, dyes and Ayurvedic medicine in India and China for 2,000 years. Turmeric has recently drawn attention from Western health practitioners for the treatment of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Please note: turmeric can cause side effects, specifically thinning of the blood, so please consult a practitioner before starting this herbal treatment. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends combining turmeric with ginger for natural relief of inflammation. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce swelling and stiffness. Take both herbs together in capsules at the same time, or make a tea, brewing a one-inch piece of each herb in two cups of boiling water for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the herbs and add honey or stevia to sweeten if desired.

By using some of these readily available natural remedies, you can support your body and help soother your pain without the use of medications. Treat your body well, and it will treat you well in return!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Treating Corns Naturally

Corns like calluses develop from an accumulation of dead skin cells on the foot, forming thick, hardened areas. They contain a cone-shaped core with a point that can press on a nerve below, causing pain. Corns are a very common ailment that usually form on the tops, sides and tips of the toes. Corns can become inflamed due to constant friction and pressure from footwear. Corns that form between the toes are sometimes referred to as soft corns.

Some of the common causes of corn development are tight fitting footwear, high heeled footwear, tight fitting stockings and socks, deformed toes, or the foot sliding forward in a shoe that fits too loosely. Soft corns result from bony prominences and are located between the toes. They become soft due to perspiration in the forefoot area. Complications that can arise from corns include bursitis and the development of an ulcer.

There are very simple ways to prevent and treat corns. You should wear properly fitted footwear with extra room in the toe box (toe area). Avoid shoes that are too tight or too loose. Use an orthotic or shoe insert made with materials that will absorb shock and shear forces. Also avoid tight socks and stockings to provide a healthier environment for the foot. Try to steer away from corn removing solutions and medicated pads. These solutions can sometimes increase irritation and discomfort. Diabetics and all other individuals with poor circulation should never use any chemical agents to remove corns.

Essential oils can be a very effective way to treat corns naturally. One of the most popular oils for treating corns is tea tree oil. To use, dip a cotton ball in tea tree essential oil and cover the corn. Secure the cotton in place using gauze or a bandaid. After approximately 2 hours, remove the cotton and clean the corn with a soft tissue. Re-apply a fresh cotton ball soaked in tea tree essential oil over the corn. Repeat the treatment at least 3 times a day for two months.

mens-slipon

Buy Men’s Casual Slip-ons with high toe-boxes: Here

cork-slipon

Buy Women’s Slip-ons with high toe-boxes: Here

Mens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Men’s orthotics: Here

Womens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Women’s orthotics: Here

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Creamy Broccoli Slaw from PaleoPorn.net

This side dish is another awesome option to bring to a picnic or BBQ this spring/summer. Super easy to throw together, but looks so refreshing and tasty!

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (8oz) bag of organic broccoli slaw
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
coarse ground sea salt, to taste
extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Add broccoli slaw, tomato, avocado and zucchini to a large mixing bowl.
Add balsamic vinegar, season with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to combine and taste to check for additional salt.
Split between two plates and serve.
Enjoy! :)

Creamy Broccoli Slaw

Using Foot Massage To Soothe Your Cranky Baby

Babies typically respond very well and almost immediately to reflexology techniques. It’s effective, natural, safe, and based on the principle that certain reflex points found on the feet and hands correspond to specific organs, muscles, bones and body systems.

By applying gentle pressure to particular areas in the feet, blockages can be released to restore the flow of energy within the body. This can help soothe a cranky baby or even immediately relieve tummy pains or constipation.

You can begin using reflexology at birth, and it can be used as a valuable tool for parents to calm their children in a loving way while bonding with each other. Reflexology can be used as a natural healing technique for acute illnesses as well as part of a preventative maintenance program for overall good health.

I have gathered some tips below on using reflexology with infants from http://naturaltransition.com. 

 Finding time for reflexology

Babies get wiggly and it can be hard to find a time when baby is happy to be still to have his feet played with.

 For young babies you can try working on your baby:

  • As part of your massage routine
  • While asleep
  • While feeding
  • While rocking
  • In a carry pouch

 With older babies you can also:

  • Play this little piggy went to market or round and round the garden while pressing the relevant parts of the foot. A few presses here and there and you have a reflexology workout that is a natural extension of a fun game
  • During bath time

How often should you use reflexology?

  • For a specific chronic problem such as reflux or eczema, once a week for three to four weeks is the best way to start out. Results can then be maintained with bimonthly or monthly treatments.
  • Reflexology can also be used to maintain good general health, as an extension of your regular daily infant massage.

How to do reflexology

The basic formula of a reflexology treatment is simple.

  • Relax and bring blood flow to the foot with a quick warm up
  • Find the relevant reflex area
  • Apply a technique- Experiment with different techniques and find what works for you and your baby. This is likely to change as your baby gets older.
  • Continue technique application until symptoms stop or recede to an acceptable level. For more chronic conditions you can apply reflexology techniques consistently three times a day, symptoms or no symptoms. The goal is to break up the stress pattern. Over the course of several weeks, you should see improvement in any longer lasting symptoms.

 Popular techniques

These are techniques used by reflexologists mostly when working with adults. While these techniques are also valuable tools for working with babies and young children, as a parent working with your baby it’s  fine to invent your own techniques. The most important thing is to stimulate the appropriate reflex area and to alternate stimulating techniques with more relaxing ones. To improve the accessibility to specific reflex points you can use one hand to gently hold the toes back.

Relaxation techniques

Use stroking and milking massage strokes on the feet at the beginning and the end of the session as well as in between the stimulating reflexology techniques. This helps to take the intensity out of the session.

You can also make up you own relaxation foot massage, the more natural it feels to you, the more relaxing it will feel to your baby.

Stimulating techniques

Thumb Walking  

This technique helps to consistently hit the reflex points every time and is used by reflexologists to cover larger reflex points. This is the best way to massage the intestinal reflex area.

You can practice the thumb walking technique as outlined below and or watch the instructional video that follows.

Step 1: Grasp your thumb at the second joint. Bend and unbend the first joint.

Step 2: Rest your hands on your leg. Now bend your thumb at the first joint. Unbend it. Proceed to bend and unbend your thumb, taking small steps forward with each bend and walking down your leg.

Step 3: Now rest your fingertips on the surface of the arm. The thumb rests of the under side of the arm. Holding your fingers in place, bend and unbend your thumb on your arm. As you unbend your thumb, take a small step forward. Practice “walking your thumb” in a forward direction.

Your fingers stay in place until your hand is stretched uncomfortably. Reposition the fingers and keep them in place as the thumb again “walks” forward.

Step 4: Maintaining the position of your fingers, lower your wrist slightly. Do you notice your thumb is now exerting more pressure? Now drop your wrist lower. Do you feel even more pressure?

The amount of pressure you apply is controlled by lowering or raising the wrist. Leverage is thus created by an interplay of fingertips, wrist and thumb tip.

Step 5: As you practice the thumb walking technique on your arm, try to exert a constant steady pressure. This is most easily achieved by effective use of leverage as described above.

Note: The contact of the fingernail may create a comfort problem for the person with whom you are working. Be aware of the fingernail marks you may be leaving. If you are concerned about comfort or if you have long nails, use the flat of the finger or thumb to exert pressure or use a different technique.

Reflexology as a maintenance tool for your baby’s health

Used in this way reflexology can help your baby’s body to heal itself by detoxifying, relaxing and balancing it.

This routine can be used on a daily basis and can help to detect and even treat imbalances before your baby experiences any symptoms.

The reflex area for solar plexus is the foot’s number one point for relaxation.

Gently press your thumb there while holding around the foot with the rest of your hand.

Make small circular movements until you feel a subtle “let go” from your baby, almost like an exhalation.

Do both feet simultaneously.

Step 2

Start by the arrow on the right foot and press a little bit with your thumb. Stay a moment and try to feel the area. Are there any small irregularities just under the skin?

Massage the area gently, and move up slowly, feeling each and every little bit of the area until you reach the end of the pink color on the left foot. It can be repeated several times if your baby doesn’t protest; this will stimulate the colon and the bowel movements.

Step 3

The kidneys belong to the eliminating system of the body; they filter the blood.

Massaging the kidney points can be a great stress-reliever.

Start at the top on the right foot where the kidney area is located and massage gently for a while, then move down along the ureter and end up at the side of the foot where the bladder is situated. It is not visible on the picture, but the bladder area begins exactly where the green color ends.

Massage lightly, one foot at a time.

Step 4

You might hear a little cough when you start massaging the lung area.

Start from the bottom of the area and work your way up.

Massage one foot at a time.

Step 5

End your massage with the sinuses. These areas should be caressed. Put all your love into the massage and softly press on each toe.

If your child has a cold, this could help release mucus and clear the head.

If you feel like continuing, then massage other parts of the foot. This is the time when the two of you are sharing a deeply relaxing and loving experience. It doesn’t matter so much if you do it right; what matters is that you both enjoy it.

DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE CONSULTING WITH YOUR PODIATRIST, DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THIS SITE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, INFLUENCE TREATMENT OR CURE ANY FOOT OR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS NOR IS IT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SERVICES OR ADVICE OF A PODIATRIST, PHYSICIAN, OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN YOUR STATE IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO YOUR HEALTH.

How To Get Strong, Sexy Calves

There’s nothing sexier than a great dress that fits just right, but it’s even sexier when your calf muscles look strong and sculpted too. I’ve compiled some simple activities and exercises you can do to sculpt beautiful, toned calves so you can rock your skirts and dresses with confidence this summer.

Fortunately, there’s not a lot of extra work required to build your calf muscles. Your calf muscle size and shape is largely determined by genetics. However, there is a lot you can do to improve the strength and muscle tone in your calves.

When you’re vertically positioned during exercise, it will maximize the benefits for your calves. Many of the best calf “exercises” are common activities you may already do as part of your every day life, such as running (especially uphill), hiking, climbing stairs and dancing.

Outside of everyday activities, there are also some calf specific exercises you can do to help strengthen your calves.

  • Calf raises: Stand on one leg holding a weight in one hand. Take one to two seconds to lift your heel off the floor as high as possible. Lower the heel back down to the floor more slowly, taking four to six seconds. Repeat until your calf is completely fatigued, and you can no longer complete the full range of movement.This move emphasizes the eccentric or lengthening (lowering) phase of this exercise to induce more muscle growth. Perform this exercise two to three times a week, never on consecutive days.
  • Plié Jumps: You can do plié jumps with your feet together or apart, your toes turned out or straight ahead.  Just keep your knees pointed in the same direction as your toes when you land and push off.  Plié jumps do not require a deep knee bend. They are quick jumps, with a relatively shallow bend at the knee. The focus is on rolling through the foot on both take off and landing.Take off proceeds with the release of the heel, followed by the ball of the foot, and concluding with a final push of the toes off the floor. Landing is just the reverse: toe, ball, heel. If you are doing it properly, you will barely hear yourself land. Once again, do these until you are fatigued. From workout to workout, alter the degree of toe turnout and the width between your feet
  • Ankle Alphabet: While seated on the floor with your knees up, elevate one leg in the air and begin writing out the alphabet with your foot. Alternate between feet, as well as tracing the alphabet in lowercase and uppercase letters. Do this exercise three times on each side.

Incorporating these calf exercises into your exercise routine will help you to create strong, beautifully sculpted calves that you will love!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

 

German Potato Salad from BravoForPaleo.Com

This week, I am featuring another BBQ/picnic favorite…potato salad! Here is a healthier twist on the traditional mayo-laden potato salad. Plus, this incorporates bacon…so…yum!

Ingredients

2.5 lbs potato (red or russet)
6 pieces of bacon
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
3 Tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoon green onions, chopped

Instructions

Scrub the potatoes well. Place in a large pot and add water just to cover. Heat to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when punctured with a fork.

Drain the water, and cube the potatoes into approximately equal size.

Meanwhile in a nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, flipping occasionally, until crispy. Remove bacon onto a plate with a paper towels, pat dry and crumble the bacon. Leave bacon grease in the skillet.

Add the vinegar, dijon, salt and pepper to the bacon grease. Bring to a low boil for 1 minute, then add garlic, stirring. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl mix the cubed potatoes, crumbled cooked bacon, bacon dressing, rosemary, olive oil and green onions. Serve hot or cold.

Whole30 German Potato Salad

What’s Your Arch Type & How It Affects Your Feet

Your arch type affects the way your foot functions. It affects not just your feet, but also your knees, your back and more. In order to properly support your feet, it is important to know your arch type, so you can be sure you are using the proper footwear and orthotics to prevent pain or injury over time.

 low

LOW ARCH (FLAT FEET)  

Approximately 20% of the population has low arches. Low arches are more flexible and tend to roll inwards and over-pronate.  Typically, imprints or iStep scans for your foot type show almost your entire foot. Low arches are often biomechanically imbalanced and can make your feet more susceptible to common foot problems such as heel pain, arch pain and plantar fasciitis.

The good news is that the right footwear and foot orthotics can help you achieve proper body alignment, prevent injuries and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

 mid

MEDIUM ARCH

Approximately 60% of the population has medium arches. Medium arches are often biomechanically efficient but still can be susceptible to common foot problems such as heel pain or ball-of-foot discomfort.  Typically, imprints or iStep scans for your foot type show approximately half your arch area with a well-defined forefoot and rearfoot.

Your feet are always on the go and will greatly benefit from some extra cushioning, shock absorption and support.  The right footwear and foot orthotics can help you achieve proper body alignment, prevent injuries and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

 high

HIGH ARCH

Approximately 20% of the population has high arches. High arches are usually classified as supinated and are more rigid than other feet. Typically, imprints or iStep scans for your foot type show mostly your heel and ball-of-foot, with very little in the arch area.

When we walk or run, our feet absorb most of the impact and shock.  With high arches you have less surface area for absorbing impact and you place excessive pressure on your rearfoot and forefoot areas.  This can make you susceptible to foot conditions such as heel pain, ball-of-foot pain or plantar fasciitis.

The good news is that the right orthotics can help fill in your arch cavity to disperse the shock, and provide the cushioning and alignment needed for you to prevent injuries and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

To find the orthotics that are right for your specific arch type and lifestyle, click here.

To find an iStep dealer and get your FREE personalized foot scan, that will help you identify your arch type and the appropriate products to coordinate, click here.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has been used by many cultures fore centuries as a way to reset the body and brain, release stubborn fat/impurities and improve overall health. In modern society, we have come up with a variety of ways to utilize intermittent fasting, depending on your lifestyle and goals.

Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  • Improves your body’s cellular cleansing system
  • Healthy aging: my help to extend your life expectancy
  • Improves brain health
  • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Can reduce insulin resistance, which can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Assists you in losing stubborn weight and belly fat
  • Improves the function of your cells, genes and hormones

Technique #1: Skip A Meal: Sometimes we get into the habit of eating on a schedule, and eating out of habit rather than hunger. For this technique, either plan to skip one scheduled meal a day OR skip a meal if you’re not feeling hungry. Listen to your body and it’s clues.

Technique #2: Shorten Your Eating Time Frame: Condense your time to eat each day into a smaller time frame. Rather than allowing yourself your wake time to eat, fit all of your food into a 4-7 hour stretch during the day. Once your 4-7 hour window has ended, you are officially fasting until the window begins again the next day.

Technique #3: 2 Meals A Day (AM/PM): Condense your meals into 2 meals for the entire day, one in the AM and one in the PM. For instance, you are only eating breakfast and dinner each day.

Technique #4: Full Day Fast: After dinner ends, you fast for the next 24 hours, not eating again until dinner the following evening, or even breakfast the morning after. This can be done on a weekly basis as a way to continually reset the body.

When you’re fasting and utilizing a specific window of time to eat, be sure not to use that time to stuff your face. You should only eat until you feel satiated, and be sure to eat clean, whole food meals. If you fuel your body with junk or processed food after fasting, you are doing your body more harm than good.

Many people have started utilizing Bulletproof coffee as part of their intermittent fasting regimen. It’s a good option to help support the body and keep you feeling satiated while you’re not eating. There are also other teas and programs that incorporate supplements on the market that can support you during a fast.  These can help to make the cleansing process more enjoyable and help you to continue to incorporate fasting as part of an extended lifestyle plan.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

What’s Causing Your Ball-of-Foot Pain?

Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote a painful foot condition in the metatarsal region of the foot (the area just before the toes, more commonly referred to as the ball-of-the-foot). This is a common foot disorder that can affect the bones and joints at the ball-of-the-foot. Metatarsalgia (ball-of-foot-pain) is often located under the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads, or more isolated at the first metatarsal head (near the big toe).

With this common foot condition, one or more of the metatarsal heads become painful and/or inflamed, usually due to excessive pressure over a long period of time. It is common to experience acute, recurrent, or chronic pain with metatarsalgia. Ball-of-foot pain is often caused from improper fitting footwear, most frequently by women’s dress shoes and other restrictive footwear. Footwear with a narrow toe box (toe area) forces the ball-of-foot area to be forced into a minimal amount of space. This can inhibit the walking process and lead to extreme discomfort in the forefoot. Other factors can cause excessive pressure in the ball-of-foot area that can result in metatarsalgia. These include shoes with heels that are too high or participating in high impact activities (like running) without proper footwear and/or orthotics. Also as we get older, the fat pad in our foot tends to thin out, making us much more susceptible to pain in the ball-of-the-foot.

The first step in treating metatarsalgia is to determine the cause of the pain. If improper fitting footwear is the cause of the pain, the footwear must be changed. Footwear designed with a high, wide toe box (toe area) and a rocker sole is ideal for treating metatarsalgia. The high, wide toe box allows the foot to spread out while the rocker sole reduces stress on the ball-of-the-foot.

Unloading pressure to the ball-of-the-foot can be accomplished with a variety of footcare products. Orthotics designed to relieve ball-of-foot pain usually feature a metatarsal pad. The orthotic is constructed with the pad placed behind the ball-of-the-foot to relieve pressure and redistribute weight from the painful area to more tolerant areas. Other products often recommended include gel metatarsal cushions and metatarsal bandages. When these products are used with proper footwear, you should experience significant relief. I’ve posted some links to products below that you may find helpful in eliminating metatarsalgia.

mens-slipon

Buy Men’s Casual Slip-ons with high toe-boxes: Here

cork-slipon

Buy Women’s Slip-ons with high toe-boxes: Here

Mens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Men’s Customizable orthotics with metatarsal pad: Here

Womens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Women’s Customizable orthotics with metatarsal pad: Here

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

The Best Crockpot Chicken Roaster Ever

Usually, when I make chicken or any kind of meat in the crockpot, I find it comes out pretty dry. This recipe is really easy, incredibly delicious, and most importantly very moist! Creating the platform on the bottom using carrots helps to lift the roaster off the bottom of the pot to allow the juices to drip and simmer. Just throw it in the crockpot in the morning and you will have a complete meal waiting at dinner time. Click below to watch the video for this simple recipe! Enjoy!