It’s been weeks since I’ve had acupuncture, and old aches and pains are now resurfacing during the pandemic.
In this week’s session of “Processing the Pandemic with Heart-Head-Hands,” I realized I wasn’t alone in having these sensations. Our conversation turned to shared back pains and how we’re supporting our bodies while staying at home and missing bodywork.
Because many of us are dealing with similar questions of how to soothe aches and pains, I’m sharing what’s supporting me now. I link to past blog posts, which provide explanation and resources.
1. Using this “self-parenting checklist” to remember must-haves on a daily basis.
I recently updated this self-parenting checklist, modified from “Parenting Myself 101,” as a way to plan and prioritize daily care. Feel free to download and create your own checklist for daily reminders.
2. Prioritizing this gentle yoga practice (entirely on the floor, with slow movement and meditation).
This “Gentle Yoga Practice for Healing” is my favorite for calming nerves. Somehow my body always feels better after taking the time (~25 minutes) to do it.
3. Using heat throughout the day, especially when sitting.
“Today Healing Looks Like …” sitting and lying (curling up) with both a heating pad and hot water bottle for many hours: both during the day and at bedtime—and often with castor oil on my belly and low back. And taking warm Epsom salt baths, too.
4. Adding essential oils to Epsom salt baths and on the body.
This “Minimalist Guide to Essential Oils” gives an overview of why and how I use essential oils, including to boost moods, aid digestion, and breathe more deeply.
5. Drinking herbal teas, especially chamomile and peppermint blends.
Along with drinking vegetable broth and being more mindful about my eating, I’m relying on warm teas, including this “Wellness Tonic.” I know that my digestion is related to my emotions and physical aches and pains, and warm teas seem to steady the whole digestive process.
6. Doing this short yoga sequence for releasing neck and shoulder tension.
My neck and shoulders feel better after doing this short practice (~7 minutes of movement, all while seated). Truly, it’s “Gentle Yoga for Releasing Burdens,” and I’m needing to release a LOT these days.
7. Remembering remedies that relieve pain and soothe the body, including use of a foam roller, castor oil, homeopathic balms, TENS unit, cupping set, and Reiki.
“My Journey with Back Pain” has taught me that many healing modalities work well together and can be combined.
During this time of increased stress and strain, I’m getting creative with what’s possible. This means doing less and spending more time soaking in magnesium-rich bathwater. Doing less and “talking with my body” through guided meditation. Doing less and getting curious about what my body is signaling—and why.
I hope some of these strategies may be supportive for you, too. And I repeat the mantra that’s comforting me now: “May I care for myself with joy and ease.”
This post is written by Beth Godbee, Ph.D. for Heart-Head-Hands.com. For related posts, you might try “Heart-Head-Hands: A Journal Prompt for These Times” and “My Journey with Back Pain.”
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