Tag Archives: Achilles

Aristolochia longa

Botanical Name: Aristolochia longa
Family:    Aristolochiaceae
Genus:    Aristolochia
Species:    A. longa
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Piperales

Synonym:  Long-rooted Birthwort.

Habitat:  Aristolochia longa is native to  Southern Europe and Japan.

Common Names: Long Aristolochia, Sarrasine

Description:
Aristolochia is a genus of evergreen and deciduous woody vines and herbaceous perennials. The smooth stem is erect or somewhat twining. The simple leaves are alternate and cordate, membranous, growing on leaf stalks. There are no stipules.

The flowers grow in the leaf axils. They are inflated and globose at the base, continuing as a long perianth tube, ending in a tongue-shaped, brightly colored lobe. There is no corolla. The calyx is one to three whorled, and three to six toothed. The sepals are united (gamosepalous). There are six to 40 stamens in one whorl. They are united with the style, forming a gynostemium. The ovary is inferior and is four to six locular.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

These flowers have a specialized pollination mechanism. The plants are aromatic and their strong scent  attracts insects. The inner part of the perianth tube is covered with hairs, acting as a fly-trap. These hairs then wither to release the fly, covered with pollen.

The fruit is dehiscent capsule with many endospermic seeds.

The root is spindle-shaped from 5 cm. to 3 dm. in length, about 2 cm. in thickness, fleshy, very brittle, greyish externally, brownish-yellow inside, bitter and of a strong disagreeable odour when fresh.

Part Used:  The root.

Constituent:  Aristolochine.

Medicinal Uses:  Said to be useful as an aromatic stimulant in rheumatism and gout and for removing obstructions, etc., after childbirth. Dose, 1/2 to 1 drachm of the powdered root.

Known Hazards:  The International Agency for Research on Cancer. Epidemiological and laboratory studies have identified Aristolochia to be a dangerous kidney toxin; Aristolochia has been shown associated with more than 100 cases of kidney failure. Furthermore, it appears as if contamination of grain with European birthwort (A. clematitis) is a cause of Balkan nephropathy, a severe renal disease occurring in parts of southeast Europe.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_longa
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/birthw44.html

Advertisements

Heel pain

Alternative Names: Pain – heel

Defination:
Heel pain is a very common foot problem. The sufferer usually feels pain either under the heel (planter fasciitis) or just behind it (Achilles tendinitis), where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone.

click & see the pictures

Even though heel pain can be severe and sometimes disabling, it is rarely a health threat. Heel pain is typically mild and usually disappears on its own; however, in some cases the pain may persist and become chronic (long-term).

There are 26 bones in the human foot, of which the heel (calcaneus) is the largest. The human heel is designed to provide a rigid support for the weight of the body. When we are walking or running it absorbs the impact of the foot when it hits the ground, and springs us forward into our next stride. Experts say that the stress placed on a foot when walking may be 1.25 times our body weight, and 2.75 times when running. Consequently, the heel is vulnerable to damage, and ultimately pain.

Heel pain is usually felt either under the heel or just behind it.
There are 26 bones in the human foot, of which the heel is the largest.
Pain typically comes on gradually, with no injury to the affected area. It is often triggered by wearing a flat shoe.
In most cases the pain is under the foot, towards the front of the heel.
The majority of patients recover with conservative treatments within months.
Home care such as rest, ice, proper-fitting footwear and foot supports are often enough to ease heel pain.
To prevent heel pain, it’s recommended to reduce the stress on that part of the body

Symptoms:
Pain typically comes on gradually, with no injury to the affected area. It is frequently triggered by wearing a flat shoe, such as flip-flop sandals. Flat footwear may stretch the plantar fascia to such an extent that the area becomes swollen (inflamed).

In most cases, the pain is under the foot, toward the front of the heel.

Post-static dyskinesia (pain after rest) – symptoms tend to be worse just after getting out of bed in the morning, and after a period of rest during the day.

After a bit of activity symptoms often improve a bit. However, they may worsen again toward the end of the day.

Causes:
In the majority of cases, heel pain has a mechanical cause. Heel pain tends to occur if a person has flat feet or high arches, is overweight, diabetic, wears poorly fitting or worn out shoes, runs or jogs on hard surfaces or has an abnormal gait.  Quite often the pain is due to a “spur” or extra bone growth.It may also be caused by arthritis, infection, an autoimmune problem trauma, a neurological problem, or some other systemic condition (condition that affects the whole body).

Heel pain is not usually caused by a single injury, such as a twist or fall, but rather the result of repetitive stress and pounding of the heel.

The most common causes of heel pain are:

*Plantar fasciitis (plantar fasciosis) – inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a strong bowstring-like ligament that runs from the calcaneum (heel bone) to the tip of the foot. When the plantar fasciitis is stretched too far its soft tissue fibers become inflamed, usually where it attaches to the heel bone. Sometimes the problem may occur in the middle of the foot. The patient experiences pain under the foot, especially after long periods of rest. Some patients have calf-muscle cramps if the Achilles tendon tightens too

*Heel bursitis  inflammation of the back of the heel, the bursa (a fibrous sac full of fluid). Can be caused by landing awkwardly or hard on the heels. Can also be caused by pressure from footwear. Pain is typically felt either deep inside the heel or at the back of the heel. Sometimes the Achilles tendon may swell. As the day progresses the pain usually gets worse

*Heel bumps (pump bumps) – common in teenagers. The heel bone is not yet fully mature and rubs excessively, resulting in the formation of too much bone. Often caused by having a flat foot. Among females can be caused by starting to wear high heels before the bone is fully mature

*Tarsal tunnel syndrome a large nerve in the back of the foot becomes pinched, or entrapped (compressed). This is a type of compression neuropathy that can occur either in the ankle or foot..

*Chronic inflammation of the heel pad—caused either by the heel pad becoming too thin, or heavy footsteps
Stress fracture – this is a fracture caused by repetitive stress, commonly caused by strenuous exercise, sports or heavy manual work. Runners are particularly prone to stress fracture in the metatarsal bones of the foot. Can also be caused by osteoporosis

*Severs disease (calcaneal apophysitis) – the most common cause of heel pain in child/teenage athletes, caused by overuse and repetitive microtrauma of the growth plates of the calcaneus (heel bone). Children aged from 7-15 are most commonly affected

*Achilles tendonosis (degenerative tendinopathy) – also referred to as tendonitis, tendinosis and tendinopathy. A chronic (long-term) condition associated with the progressive degeneration of the Achilles tendon. Sometimes the Achilles tendon does not function properly because of multiple, minor microscopic tears of the tendon, which cannot heal and repair itself correctly – the Achilles tendon receives more tension than it can cope with and microscopic tears develop. Eventually, the tendon thickens, weakens and becomes painful.

Treatment:
Treatment for heel pain usually involves using a combination of techniques, such as stretches and painkillers, to relieve pain and speed up recovery.
Most cases of heel pain get better within 12 months. Surgery may be recommended as a last resort if your symptoms don’t improve after this time. Only 1 in 20 people with heel pain will need surgery.

Rest:
Whenever possible, rest the affected foot by not walking long distances and standing for long periods. However, you should regularly stretch your feet and calves using exercises such as those described  in the pictures...>…..click & see

To learn more click to see :

Prevention:
Maintaining flexible and strong muscles in your calves, ankles, and feet can help prevent some types of heel pain. Always stretch and warm-up before exercising.

Wear comfortable, properly fitting shoes with good arch support and cushioning. Make sure there is enough room for your toes.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/181453.php
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003181.htm

Yarrow

.Botanical Name :Achillea millefolium
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Achillea
Species: A. millefolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: :yarrow  or common yarrow, plumajillo (Spanish for ‘little feather’),gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal

Habitat : Yarrow is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and North America. In New Mexico and southern Colorado.Yarrow grows from sea level to 3,500 metres (11,500 ft) in elevation. Common yarrow is frequently found in the mildly disturbed soil of grasslands and open forests. Active growth occurs in the spring

Description:
yarrow is an erect herbaceous perennial plant that produces one to several stems 0.2–1 metre (0.66–3.3 ft) in height, and has a spreading rhizomatous growth form. Leaves are evenly distributed along the stem, with the leaves near the middle and bottom of the stem being the largest. The leaves have varying degrees of hairiness (pubescence). The leaves are 5–20 cm long, bipinnate or tripinnate, almost feathery, and arranged spirally on the stems. The leaves are cauline, and more or less clasping. The plant commonly flowers from May through June.

click to see the pictures…..(01)....(1)..

.….(2)......(3)....…(4).……...(5)..…..(6)...

The inflorescence has four to 9 phyllaries and contains ray and disk flowers which are white to pink. The generally three to eight ray flowers are ovate to round. Disk flowers range from 15 to 40. The inflorescence is produced in a flat-topped cluster. The fruits are small achenes.

The plant has a strong, sweet scent, similar to chrysanthemums.

Varities:
The several varieties and subspecies include:

:Achillea millefolium subsp. millefolium A. m. subsp. m. var. millefolium – Europe, Asia

*A. m. subsp. m. var. borealis – Arctic regions

*A. m. subsp. m. var. rubra – Southern Appalachians

*A. millefolium subsp. chitralensis – western Himalaya

*A. millefolium subsp. sudetica – Alps, Carpathians

*Achillea millefolium var. alpicola — Western United States, Alaska

*Achillea millefolium var. californica — California, Pacific Northwest

*Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis — North America

*Achillea millefolium var. pacifica — west coast of North America, Alaska

*Achillea millefolium var. puberula — endemic to California

Cultivation;
Achillea millefolium is cultivated as an ornamental plant by many plant nurseries. It is planted in gardens and natural landscaping settings of diverse climates and styles. They include native plant, drought-tolerant, and wildlife gardens. The plant is a frequent component of butterfly gardens. The plant prefers well-drained soil in full sun, but can be grown in less ideal conditions.
click to see

Propagation:
For propagation, seeds require light for germination, so optimal germination occurs when planted no deeper than one-quarter inch (6 mm). Seeds also require a germination temperature of 18-24° (64-75°F). It has a relatively short life in some situations, but may be prolonged by division in the spring every other year, and planting 12–18 in (30–46 cm) apart. It can become invasive.
click to see
Chemical constituents:  up to 1.4% volatile oil (composed of up to 51 % azulene; borneol, terpineol, camphor, cineole, isoartemesia ketone, and a trace of thujone), lactones, flavonoids, tannins, coumarins, saponins, sterols, a bitter glyco-alkaloid (achilleine), cyanidin, amino

Medicinal Uses:
Medicinal Properties: * Anti-inflammatory * Antibacterial * AntiCancer * Antiperspirant/Deodorants * Antirheumatic * Antispasmodic * Astringent * Bitter * Cathartic * Depurative * Digestive * Emmenagogue * Febrifuge * Hypotensive * Insect repellents * Nervine * Styptic * Vulnerary .

Yarrow was once known as “nosebleed”, it’s feathery leaves making an ideal astringent swab to encourage clotting. Yarrow skin washes and leaf poultices can staunch bleeding and help to disinfect cuts and scrapes; taken as a tea it can help slow heavy menstrual bleeding as well. 79 80 Yarrow is a good herb to have on hand to treat winter colds and flu; a hot cup of yarrow tea makes you sweat and helps the body expel toxins while reducing fever. 81The chemical makeup of yarrow is complex, and it contains many active medicinal compounds in addition to the tannins and volatile oil azulene. These compounds are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and help relax blood vessels. 82,83 Yarrow should be on every man’s short list of remedies since the herb makes itself useful for everything from brewing beer to a hair rinse to prevent baldness.

Chinese * Colds * Cuts & Wounds * Dysmenorrhea * Hypertension * Menorrhagia

Traditional Chinese Medicine:   In China, yarrow is used fresh as a poultice for healing wounds. A decoction of the whole plant is prescribed for stomach ulcers, amenorrhoea, and abscesses.

Known Hazards:
In rare cases, yarrow can cause severe allergic skin rashes; prolonged use can increase the skin’s photosensitivity. This can be triggered initially when wet skin comes into contact with cut grass and yarrow together.

In one study, aqueous extracts of yarrow impaired the sperm production of laboratory rats

It should be avoided  in pregnancy, as it  can cause allergic skin reactions in sensitive people who suffer from allergies related to the Asteraceae family. Moderation is the key to safe use, the thujone content can be toxic over an extended period of time

Other Uses:
Several cavity-nesting birds, including the common starling, use yarrow to line their nests. Experiments conducted on the tree swallow, which does not use yarrow, suggest adding yarrow to nests inhibits the growth of parasites.

Its essential oil kills the larvae of the mosquito Aedes albopictus.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achillea_millefolium#cite_note-49
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail120.php

Enhanced by Zemanta

Achilles Tendon Inflammation

Definition :
The Achilles is the tendonous extension of two muscles in the lower leg: gastrocnemius and soleus . In humans, the tendon passes behind the ankle. It is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body. It is about 15 centimetres (6 in) long, and begins near the middle of the calf, but receives fleshy fibers on its anterior surface, almost to its lower end. Gradually becoming contracted below, it is inserted into the middle part of the posterior surface of the calcaneus, a bursa being interposed between the tendon and the upper part of this surface. The tendon spreads out somewhat at its lower end, so that its narrowest part is about 4 centimetres (1.6 in) above its insertion. It is covered by the fascia and the integument, and stands out prominently behind the bone; the gap is filled up with areolar and adipose tissue. Along its lateral side, but superficial to it, is the small saphenous vein. The Achilles’ muscle reflex tests the integrity of the S1 spinal root. The tendon can receive a load stress 3.9 times body weight during walking and 7.7 times body weight when running.
CLICK TO SEE..
Although it’s the largest tendon in the body and can withstand immense force, the Achilles is surprisingly vulnerable. And the most common Achilles tendon injuries are Achilles tendinosis and Achilles tendon rupture. Achilles tendinosis is the soreness or stiffness of the tendon, generally due to overuse. Achilles tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon) was thought to be the cause of most tendon pain, until the late 90s when scientists discovered no evidence of inflammation. Partial and full Achilles tendon ruptures are most likely to occur in sports requiring sudden eccentric stretching, such as sprinting. Maffulli et al. suggested that the clinical label of tendinopathy should be given to the combination of tendon pain, swelling and impaired performance. Achilles tendon rupture is a partial or complete break in the tendon; it requires immobilization or surgery. Xanthoma can develop in the Achilles tendon in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia.
click & see

Achilles tendon, which feels like a very painful sudden kick in the back of the ankle and needs urgent repair. Inflammation of the tendon, or Achilles tendonitis, is more common.

Symptoms:
•Mild pain after exercise or running that gradually gets worse
•Localised pain along the tendon during or a few hours after running, which may be quite severe
•Localised tenderness of the tendon about 3cm above the point where it joins the heel bone, especially first thing in the morning
•Stiffness of the lower leg, again particularly first thing in the morning
•Swelling or thickening around the tendon
There are several conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as inflammation of a heel bursa (or fluid sac) or a partial tear of the tendon. You should see your doctor to confirm what’s causing your symptoms

Causes and risk factors:
To help prevent another attack, it’s important to know what triggers Achilles tendonitis in the first place.

Triggers may include:
•Overuse of the tendon – the result of a natural lack of flexibility in the calf muscles. Ask your coach about exercises specifically to improve calf muscle flexibility, and ensure your running shoes cushion the heel fully
•Starting up too quickly, especially after a long period of rest from sport – always warm up thoroughly
•Rapidly increasing running speeds or mileage – build your activity slowly, by no more than ten per cent a week
•Adding stair climbing or hill running to a training programme too quickly

•Sudden extra exertion, such as a final sprint

•Calf pain

Diagnosis & Tests:
The doctor will perform a physical exam and look for tenderness along the tendon and for pain in the area of the tendon when you stand on your toes.

Imaging studies can also be helpful. X-rays can help diagnose arthritis, and an MRI will show inflammation in the tendon.

Treatment :

Treatment of Achilles tendonitis depends on the severity of the injury and whether you’re a professional sportsperson. Treatment includes:

•Rest, to allow the inflammation to settle. Any sport that aggravates the tendon should be sped for at least a week, although exercise that doesn’t stress the tendon, such as swimming, may be possible
•Regular pain relief with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
•Steroid injections
•Bandaging and orthotic devices, such as shoe inserts and heel lifts, to take the stress off the tendon
•Physiotherapy to strengthen the weak muscle group in the front of the leg and the upward foot flexors
•Surgery (rarely needed) to remove fibrous tissue and repair tears

According to reports by Hakan Alfredson, M.D., and associates of clinical trials in Sweden, the pain in Achilles tendinopathy arises from the nerves associated with neovascularization and can be effectively treated with 1–4 small injections of a sclerosant. In a cross-over trial, 19 of 20 of his patients were successfully treated with this sclerotherapy.


Prognosis :

Conservative therapy usually helps improve symptoms. However, symptoms may return if activities that cause the pain are not limited, or if the strength and flexibility of the tendon is not maintained.
Depending on the severity of the injury, recovery from an Achilles injury can take up to 12–16 months.

Prevention:
Prevention is very important in this disease. Maintaining strength and flexibility in the muscles of the calf will help reduce the risk of tendinitis. Overusing a weak or tight Achilles tendon makes you more likely to develop tendinitis.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/achilles.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles_tendon
http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/001072all.htm

Learn the Art of Self-Massage

Relax Yourself

CLICK & SEE
Massage helps reduce muscle tension and stiffness in numerous ways, including increasing blood flow to your muscles. Some research shows that regular massage may also boost immunity by stimulating the production of white blood cells. Massage helps you relax and improve your mental energy. It may also make you more productive at work.

One University of Miami study found that a brief self-massage at work reduced stress and boosted job performance. After a 15-minute massage, workers were more alert and could complete math problems faster and with more accuracy.

Fortunately, you have your very own massage therapist with you at all times — your hands! “Most people practice the art of self-massage without thinking about it, whether they are rubbing their forehead because of a headache, scrubbing themselves with a loofah sponge in the shower, or rubbing their feet after a long day,” says Anna Walsemann, a yoga and Oriental healing instructor at New Age Health Spa in Neversink, New York. “These are all simple and natural self-massage techniques.”

You don’t have to take a class to give yourself a proper rubdown. In this article, you’ll get the advice you need to reduce tension from head to foot — within seconds.

1. Every morning and evening, hammer out the kinks. Using your fists, gently thump the outside of your body, starting with your legs and arms, working from top to bottom. Then move inward to your torso and thump from bottom to top. “Pummeling your muscles and bones will help strengthen the body, stimulate blood circulation, and relax nerve endings,” says Walsemann. When done in the morning, this self-massage technique will waken and prepare your body — and mind — for the day ahead. When done before bed, it calms down the mind and beats out the stress and tension of the day. One warning: If you’re taking any kind of blood thinner, such as Coumadin (warfarin), avoid this one; you could wind up with bruising.

2. Rub your belly after every meal. Most of us do this instinctively, especially after overeating. Place one or both palms on your abdomen and rub it in clockwise circles. This is the same direction food naturally moves through your intestine, so your circular massage will help to stimulate digestion.

3. Rub yourself down before and after exercise. Massaging your body before your stretching, cardio, or strength training increases blood flow to the muscles. Massaging your muscles after exercise may help encourage waste removal and speed muscle recovery. Before exercise, use a pummeling motion with your fists to bring blood flow to your leg and arm muscles. After exercise, rub along your muscles with your palm or fist, moving in the direction of your heart.

4. Give your hands a massage every day — whenever you put on lotion. Start with the bottoms of your palms by clasping your fingers and rubbing the heels of your palms together in a circular motion. Then, with your hands still clasped, take one thumb and massage the area just below your other thumb in circular motions, moving outward to the center of the palm. Repeat with the other hand. Then release your fingers and use your thumbs and index fingers to knead your palms, wrists, and the webbing between your fingers. With one hand, gently pull each finger of the other hand. Finish by using your thumb and index finger to pinch the webbing between your other thumb and index finger.

5. Roll on a tennis ball whenever you feel tight. If your foot feels tense, stand with one hand on a wall for support and place the arch of one foot on top of the ball. Gradually add more body weight over the foot, allowing the ball to press into your arch. Begin to slowly move your foot, allowing the ball to massage your heel, forefoot, and toes. Note: If the tennis ball seems too big for your foot, try a golf ball instead.

You can also lie on the ball to get at that hard-to-reach spot between the shoulder blades or to soothe tension in your low back. For tight hips, sit on the ball, wiggling your booty around and holding it in any spot that feels particularly good.

Get on the Ball
6. Fill the bottom of a shoe box with golf balls and stick it under your desk at work. Whenever you need to take a trip to podiatric paradise, take off a shoe and rub your foot over the golf balls.

7. Whenever you take off a pair of high heels, sit on the floor and give your calves some attention. Elevating your heels all day long can eventually shorten your calf muscles. To release them, sit with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Grasp one ankle, placing your thumb just above your Achilles tendon. Press your thumb into the bottom of your calf muscle, hold for 5 seconds, and release. Move an inch up your calf and repeat the pressure. Continue pressing and releasing until you get to your knee, then switch legs.

8. Fill a tube-style athletic sock three-fourths full with uncooked rice, tie off the end tightly with a rubber band, and stick it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove the sock and rub it up and down your legs and arms for a gentle, soothing hot massage. Leave the sock filled with the rice; you can use it over and over. You can add spices to the rice if you wish to have a pleasant scent while massaging.

9. Use your hands to heel your neck. Once an hour, take a break from staring at your computer and clasp your fingers behind your neck, pressing the heels of your palms into your neck on either side of your spinal column. Massage the heels of your hands up and down in slow, deliberate motions. Then place the fingers of your right hand on your trapezius muscle along the left side of your neck just below the base of your skull. Press into that muscle, tilt your head to the left, and rub downward until you reach your shoulder. Repeat three times, then switch sides.

Finish by stretching your head back so the top of your office chair presses into your neck just below your skull. This also stretches out the front of your neck, which tends to get tight during deskwork. Hold for 20 seconds.

10. Open your sinuses with some finger pressure.
If you have clogged sinuses due to a cold or allergies, rub them with your index fingers. Start just above your brow line. Place your finger pads just above your nose, press down and rub outward, tracing your brow line as you go. Repeat two or three times. Then place the pads of your fingers below your eyes and to the sides of the bridge of your nose, rubbing outward and moving downward with each stroke. Now use your thumbs to massage your cheekbones, making small circles starting at the center of your face and moving out toward your ears. Finally, place your thumbs on your temples and massage them in small circles.

11. When your eyes feel tired from staring at your computer screen all day long, give them some heat.
Rub your hands together vigorously until you feel the skin on your palms begin to warm up. Then cup one hand over each eye, feeling the heat from your hands relax your eyes.

The Rubdown
12. When your feet are sore after a long day of standing, take off your shoes and socks, wash your feet, and give them a rubdown. Sitting on a comfortable couch or chair, thread the fingers of one hand through the toes of one foot, spreading out your toes and placing the palm of your hand against the bottom of your foot. Use your palm to gently rotate the joints of your forefoot forward and back for one minute. Then remove your fingers from your toes, hold your ankle with one hand, and gently rotate the entire foot with the other hand, starting with small circles and progressing to larger circles as your ankle warms up. Switch directions, and then repeat with the other foot.

13. Give yourself a bear hug to relax away shoulder tension. Cross your arms over your chest and grab a shoulder with either hand. Squeeze each shoulder and release three times. Then move your hands down your arms, squeezing and releasing until you get to your wrists.

14. Rub lavender oil onto your feet before bed. Lavender-scented oils are available at most health food stores. The smell of lavender and the gentle massaging motions you make as you work the oil into your feet will help you to unwind. An added bonus: The nightly oil treatment softens and hydrates any rough, dry spots on your feet. Once you’re done with your massage, put on a pair of socks to prevent the oil from rubbing off onto your sheets.

15. After tennis, cycling, rock climbing, and other arm-tiring sports, give your arms a pinch. Place your right arm across your chest with your elbow bent. Reach across your chest with your left arm and pinch your right arm’s triceps, near the shoulder, with the thumb and index finger of your left hand. Hold for a few seconds, release, then pinch again an inch lower on the arm. Continue pinching and releasing until you’ve made your way to your elbow. Then pinch your right arm’s biceps near your armpit and work your way in the same way down to the elbow. Then switch arms. This will release the tension in your muscles and help improve blood circulation.

16. When you have a headache, stand up, bend forward from the hips, and place your forehead on a padded chair. The chair will gently place pressure on your head as you relax in the forward bend. Hold about 30 seconds. When you rise, sit down and spread your fingers through your hair, making a fist. Gently pull the hair away from your head. Hold 2-3 seconds, then release. This stretches the fascia along your scalp, releasing tension. Continue to grab different clumps of hair all over your head, working from the top front of your head, progressing to the sides, and then to the back of your head. Once you have grabbed and released your entire scalp, return to work, feeling refreshed.

17. Keep a tennis ball on your desk and squeeze it regularly. The squeezing motion helps rejuvenate tired fingers and hands, and strengthens your hands for other self-massage techniques.

From: Stealth Health