Sunday, July 5, 2009
Joint Pain: How To Fast-Track Your Healing
Fortunately Bikram Yoga goes a long way toward healing and soothing joint pain. Not only can regular Bikram fight off the day-to-day damage we inflict upon our poor bodies, it can actually start to break down old calcium deposits and heal long-term injuries. In fact, most people have noticed a loosening of their joints couple with some welcome pain relief after as little as two or three classes.
If joint pain is an issue for you then there are two very important things I'd encourage you to do on a weekly basis.
1. Continue to practice Bikram as often as possible in order to ensure the progressive loosening of your joints.
2. Give those creaky joints a helping hand with optimal joint nutrition.
So what sort of foods are good for your joints? The short answer is anything that's a whole, unprocessed food. But we can get a little more detailed than that. Firstly, it's crucial that you minimise sugar or sugar-enhanced foods in your diet. Your body has what we call a Totem Pole of priority when it comes to where to send good nutrition and how to deal with sugar and other toxins. Your joints aren't critical to your survival, so they're at the bottom of the pole. Not only does this mean that good nutrition heads there last (all the more reason to eat well at least 80% of the time), but it means that any sugar or junk you do eat is likely to hit your joints long before it gets anywhere near your vital organs. I've had clients who eat extremely well notice creakiness in their knees almost immediately after indulging in a piece of cake. Imagine the effects of daily sugar intake on your joints.
If cutting something out is the first step, then adding something in is definitely the second. Foods high in Omega-3 are not only crucial for a healthy metabolism and immune system, they actually reduce all inflammation in your body, and can therefore have an immediate and positive effect on reducing joint pain. Fish, of course, is well known for it's Omega-3 properties, but did you know that it's mainly the fattier, oilier fish which have this quality? Choose salmon, herring, sardines, mackeral, and any other fatty fish. Don't worry about your weight - this is the good fat, it helps you to burn stored body fat. There is a catch - most fish these days is quite toxic with mercury and is often genetically modified. For this reason I'd suggest a good supplement such as Melrose Omega-3 from fish oil (mercury free). Omega-3 is also found in flaxseeds and in walnuts, as well as in grass-fed organic beef (yes, it has to be grass-fed and organic for the good fats to be present).
If you're allergic to fish and you can't stand beef, then you still have a few options. All smart fats will assist toward joint repair and recovery, along with a plethora of other great health benefits. The smart fats (aside from Omega-3), are organic saturated fat from animals, eggs - especially the yolk, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil.
Back pain, neck pain, knee pain, ankle pain - you'll be amazed at just how quickly they fade when you're sweating it out regularly and fueling your body with the right foods. Of course supplements have their place, but you can sure have a massive impact with the medicine that Mother Nature provides you.
Food for Yoga. Food for Life.
Do you have any natural food tips for keeping your joint pain in check? Please leave a comment, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you're keen to learn more about getting the most out of your body then visit me on my regular blog, BodyIncredible.com. It's all about how to feel and look amazing both inside and out through correct nutrition and lifestyle.