Wednesday, July 13

The Downside of Aging

It’s happening. My joints pop and crack like fireworks on Chinese New Year as I descend the stairs every morning. No longer can I deny that I’m getting older.

As if that wasn’t enough, last January I hurt my right hip.

In an effort to change up my workout routine I started using the elliptical machine. My body was clearly not built for that type of back and forth motion. After two weeks my hip told me to stop, but because I’m an idiot, I continued exercising assuming it would just work itself out. Good plan.

By the end of February, my hip voiced its objections loud enough that I was forced to stop using the machine. But it was too late, the damage was done.

I began a steady regiment of ibuprofen and hope. Not the best treatment plan but like I said, I’m an idiot. You’d think that since I write about health and wellness every week I would know when to seek medical attention. You’d think, right? But living in the Internet age I use Google as my doctor and Dr. Google said I probably had bursitis or tendonitis. Either way, ibuprofen, ice and rest were the standard protocol for care.

Fast-forward to early June. I’m popping ibuprofen like an addict, my hope has faded and the pain is now radiating down from my hip to my knee. It took six months, but finally it was time for action.

Since June I’ve been under the expert care of a massage therapist at The Advanced Wellness Centre and, oh my God, what a difference. My flexibility is coming back and the pain has subsided. I even hiked over four miles this past weekend through Shenandoah National Park, a feat I didn’t think I was going to be able to accomplish.

Most people think of massage as a luxury, a pampering experience you only do on vacation. But research is proving that massage is a real healing therapy.

Even the Mayo Clinic acknowledges that while more research is needed, studies have found massage helpful for:

  • Stress relief
  • Managing anxiety and depression
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Blood pressure control
  • Infant growth
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Boosting immunity
  • Cancer treatment 
Given my recent experience, I now make massage therapy a regular part of my health and wellness plan. 

For more information on the benefits of massage click here.

Finally, don’t be like me. If you're experiencing any persistent health issues talk to your physician. As much as I love Dr. Google, she's no match for face-to-face care.

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