Photo Credit: Ruth Cronin – photo taken by Jen Cummings at Maple Fest

As the weather becomes gorgeous and sunny more and more of my running patients are coming in to the clinic.  I have “regulars” who frequent my treatment tables looking for Bowenwork.

Although Bowenwork has been an overlooked or hugely misunderstood choice for many people, especially athletes.   Those who I like to call lucky, that have come to receive Bowenwork have had incredible results and sometimes even improvements from before the “fill in the blank” injury.

I actually have a gentlemen that comes for 3-4 visits, 1 week apart and then takes about 3-4 months off.  He returns when he feels he needs his “tune up”.  Runners and any extreme athlete are different in that even though we manage and improve their injury, they don’t stop.  So… in easy to understand terminology, they continue to re-injure themselves.  I have obvious mixed emotions about this because I am a trained, educated medical provider BUT… I am also a past and kind of sort of present day athlete.  So, I get it!

 

Thankfully my running patients also have a pretty good knowledge of their bodies.  They know when they need to come see me before a pain pattern sets in.  I have had at least two that I can think off of the top of my head that actually have taken my Introduction to Wellness in YOUR Hands course.  They have used their newly learned moves on themselves, on the go, and after their runs.  If you want more info about these valuable intro classes check it out HERE.

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Photo Credit: Rene Bates photo taken by Stacey Bates

I do have to say that my running patients that participate in marathons give me the most challenge as they usually come in and say something like this “I have this (fill in the blank) injury could you help me so that I can run in the (fill in the blank) marathon in 3 weeks”.  Eeeek a whopping 3 weeks… that might sound like a long time to some but when you have had an injury it doesn’t just reverse itself overnight.  Our body needs some time and the right modality to help it on it’s way to full balance which will give optimum performance.  I have to say to date, I have yet to miss a marathon runners deadline!  Phewwww

Runners utilize many muscles during running but the major muscle groups involved are the Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastroc and Soleus, Gluts, Hip musculature and don’t forget about that very important Core.  ( By the way I am BIG on core stabilization and strengthening in everyone especially my athletes!!).  Making sure that these muscle groups are in a balance between optimal strength and flexibility will allow runners to perform at their very best.

 

Sneakers

Besides the obvious tips to strengthen and stretch properly and to make sure you have proper running footwear that works for your unique body… take a look at these not so obvious tips I wanted to share with you.

 

1.  Hydration:

Well you may think that is obvious.  Yes,  you are correct however, grabbing the coolest new flavor of a popular sports drink may not be your wisest choice.  The amount of artificial flavors and chemicals in these drinks is really disturbing to me.  Consuming water is a fabulous way to hydrate but sometimes you might need to replenish yourself with some true cellular hydration and get some minerals back into your system.

 

Try this natural gatorade recipe:

20 ounces of water

1/2 tsp of sea salt (my favorite is himalayan sea salt)

Juice from one lemon

1 tsp of honey or stevia to sweeten (optional)

 

Another way to re-mineralize is by drinking 4 ounces of coconut water

2.  Resistance training:

Try running on an incline or hill running.  Increasing the lower extremity musculature will improve running performance overall.  “Hill running is resistance training for runners”, Dallas-based running coach Chris Phelan to Runner’s World in 2004 [Source: Cooper:  Upward Mobility]

Other exercises such as body weight squats, one legged squats and bridges are other ways to improve the musculature used for running.

 

3.  Magnesium:

Using magnesium oil on your tense musculature especially at night time can help.  I like using Ancient Minerals but I am sure there are other good brands out there.  Sometimes magnesium oil can sting if you have sensitive skin.  I would suggest using a carrier oil to reduce the possibility of the stinging feeling.  I use coconut oil for myself and my kids.  Magnesium can also be relaxing so I like to spray the bottom of my feet at night.  Regardless of whether I have tight muscles or not.

Another way I like to absorb some magnesium into my body is taking an epsom salt bath.  I typically bump it up a notch and turn it into a “detox bath”  and I hand out this recipe to my patients:

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4.  Flexibility:

If a muscle is always contracting in a shortened state it will begin to stay that way.  Remember when someone told you “if you make that face it will stay that way” when you were a kid making a funny face.  Well, maybe this is nothing like that but it made me think of it.  If you continue to allow your muscle fibers to be in a shortened, contracted state it will make it harder for it to elongate or stretch out.  This is a very simplified answer to a potentially complicated explanation so just take my word for it.  It is so incredibly important for you to stay flexible in all of your musculature especially your lower extremity musculature.  But do not forget about your trunk and arms too.  A great way to get some flexibility into your life is to try out some simple yoga moves.  You do not have to twist yourself up into a little pretzel to perform yoga.  There are many forms of yoga from restorative to hot yoga.  Simply finding a few yoga moves that you can handle could be fun and you may surprise yourself.

Since I am not a yoga expert and actually just barely a yoga beginner…  I encourage you to google yoga poses for runners and check out some of the great articles that have been written.  I just tried a few moves and actually felt a little boost of energy after a spinal twisty move!  Good stuff!  I plan on implementing more yoga into my life and into my practice!

 

5.  Bowenwork:

  And of course I saved the best for last…. (I know I know, I am biased)

Bowenwork Low Back circle

I can not stress to you enough how important it is to get and keep your body into a balanced state.  Your body should be in harmony especially when you are demanding such high performance outcomes from it.  Bowenwork can reset the body and stop the pain cycle.  Bowenwork can help eliminate pain and inflammation in the body.  When you continue to run you are continuing to cause micro injury to the body.  Bowenwork can help reduce that.  As I mentioned earlier I have had tremendous success with multiple patients that run and even marathon runners.  It’s been challenging and exhilarating at the same time to work with these particular patients.  Often times we work on areas of the body that they never would have thought that would help.  Working the neck and TMJ areas and even the shoulders have helped their running performance.  And of course the obvious hamstring and lower leg procedures.  I have had some of my happy runners pass my business card along while they were running on a trail, no kidding!  If you haven’t already I would seriously consider searching for a Professional Bowenwork Practitioner in your area.  Trust me!

 

 

If you are in my area give us a call at 802-782-8547 or check out our little website at www.elitehealthandwellnessvt.com for more information!

 

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Photo Credit: Sarah Gonyeau and Matthew Gonyeau during the Sap Run Relay – photo taken by Tracey Pelkey

Happy Running to you All!

 

Nicole Circle Head shot Spring white background

 

Nicole Tatro, MSPT, PBP, AI, INHC

Elite Health and Wellness

248 North Main St, Suite 2

St. Albans, VT  05478

www.elitehealthandwellnessvt.com

802-782-8547

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