So, how does one go FROM THIS:
Evil- I mean Superstar Dr. Malo stitching me up last week...
As soon as you experience an injury you must take immediate action to control the inflammatory response. You know the RICE drill:
Rest - this means YOU. Take a rest day cause it will pay off in spades down the road. A week off today can save you 8 weeks of suffering on the couch later. This seems to be the hardest part for any athlete but once you learn the hard way you will never make this mistake again. Think long term.
Ice - 20 on 10 off as needed
Compression - you saw the tensor bandages on my leg. Not only does this provide comfort, it will help control swelling, increase venous return and decrease pain.
Elevation - again, to decrease swelling and discomfort.
Seems too simple? It is! But it is still the best way to control inflammation and limit trauma in the first 24-48 hours following an injury of any kind.
Contact your recovery team immediately to book a treatment the week following injury. I believe in a comprehensive approach. Personally I use 3 main therapies: Physiotherapy- Ascent , Acupuncture-CV Acupuncture and Massage Therapy- Harbourview. Each plays a unique and important role in my health and I have a great team that I trust to take excellent care of me.
When dealing with an injury I use Physio most often for assessment/diagnosis and acute treatment. I use acupuncture in conjunction for increased circulation & speed of healing. But I also go for acupuncture after hard bouts of training and in preparation for A races to help boost my overall energy, health and 'chi' as they say... I go to massage post race to speed up my recovery so I can get back to training hard and to work out longer term musculoskeletal issues.
Michelle Hughes of CVA torturing - I mean treating me this week:)
Those who know me know that I am a strong believer in healing through visualization and positive intention. This is where I contribute to the plan and go to work on my own form of therapy...the power of the mind...your thoughts directly control your emotions, your hormonal responses and your body's systems. Never underestimate the power of the mind!
If you believe you will get better, you will.
If you believe you can heal, you will.
I practice visualization every day just before bed and during acupuncture treatments. There is nothing complicated or fancy about it. All you need to do is visualize the healing process occuring within your body. The more detailed you can visualize the better so get an anatomy book out if you need to. Here is one of my visualizations to give you an idea:
First I picture myself filling with bright, positive healing energy...so full that it is bursting out in rays from my body.
Next I imagine a bolt of lightning ripping through my body and completely crashing the system. Disrupting the entire unhealthy/injured body.
Then I imagine healing energy rebuilding my body from the feet up. I picture bright light, with stars and cool stuff but you can picture whatever you want.
Finally I imagine myself completely healed, pain free and doing what I love to do...running strong up a mountain to claim the peak. Strong, pain free and happy!
That's it! If you can stay focussed (that is the hard part) it only takes a few minutes.
You visualize the perfect race. You know how your thoughts or others actions can affect your mood. You know if you set your mind to something you can do it but if you quit in your head your feet quit too. You already know how powerful your mind is so put it to work on your recovery too!
Negative thoughts are useless.
Positive thoughts can only help not hurt so be sure to include them in your healing plan along with more conventional treatments.
Of course, sleep more, decrease stress, drink tonnes of water and eat only vibrant vital foods to support your healing.