Weekend Update: Aerial Yoga, Acupuncture, Cryotherapy & More!

It’s been a while since I last posted, and a LOT has happened! After coming back from California, I had a sinus infection that lasted over 2 weeks! Between being sick and taking the last 2 weeks off from running (WHAT?!), I found other ways to fill my time that were less stressful (I can’t NOT be productive, it’s just not in my blood to be ;)).

So to start off – I have peroneal tenonitis. I don’t know how, and the only thing I can think that could have caused this is 1) my shoes, and 2) upping my mileage too quickly. I ran 9 miles the weekend I got back from San Francisco, and the next day I my foot started to bother me while teaching 2 yoga classes in the morning, and a 2-hour handstand workshop in the afternoon. By the end of the day, I couldn’t even put weight on my foot. It literally came out of nowhere! So, with less than 1.5 months before my half marathon, I couldn’t walk, and had no idea why. Cue panic.

DCIM100GOPROG0331299.

Take me back to running in Sunny SF!

So what did I do? Research like crazy, begin LOTS of stretching and rehabilitation, and stopped running immediately. The peroneals are actually these skinny tendons that run up the outside of your calf. The tendons connect to a bone on the outside of your foot, which is exactly where I had my pain. Most people have pain around their ankles, but mine was closer to where the tendon attaches. [Tendonitis generally occurs due to weak/tight calf muscles, running too many miles too soon, running a lot of hills/uneven terrain, or bad tennis shoes.]

Thinking I wasn’t going to be able to run in the NYC Half marathon, I tried several different methods to try to heal up my foot as quickly as possible:

  1. Stop running & stretch the peroneals, using a lacross ball to loosen up the calf/legs (so.painful.)
  2. Do Cryotherapy (Basically standing in a freezer that’s NEGATIVE 170 degrees for 3 minutes). Some of the benefits of cold therapy are increased muscle recovery, increased energy, and reducing inflammation.

ohio cryotherapy (2)

After stripping down to my underwear and putting on 2 pairs of gloves & socks, I got to hang out in a freezer for 3 minutes. Definitely not the most enjoyable experience, but a ton of athletes use it, so I was down to try anything to help my foot!

ohio cryotherapy gahanna

Freezing my buns off

3. Acupuncture: I’ve done this before, but with no results. However, I found someone who does more of dry-needling – a liiiitle more intense, where the needle goes deeper into the muscle to release myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues. Definitely painful. Definitely worth it. After just 2 sessions, I’ve noticed relief in the tightness of my tendon, IT band pain on my left knee gone, AND increased energy (bonus!). I go for my 3rd session tomorrow morning, and I’ll be continuing this a few times a month (or at least until my race is over!). Thanks to Jess who blogged about her acupuncture… so glad I gave it another try!

4. Rolfing: Treatment is described as a “holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organize(s) the whole body in gravity.” (Wiki) I did this about 1 year ago – you can read about it here and here and here – but decided I needed a refresher. My hips have been super tight and out of whack since august, and no amount of stretching or chiropractic adjustments have been able to help. My first appointment consisted of working on the feet & lower legs – breaking up scar tissue & working with the soft tissue. Def not a pleasant experience, but I’m really hoping that these sessions will be able to bring relief for this tendinitis, as well as help my hips/lower back. More to come on this!

5. Sports Doctor – I had x-rays done, just to be sure nothing was broken. My dr gave me a brace & an anti-inflammatory, and said to just continue with cross training. I also didn’t need physical therapy, and I should be fine (my foot was starting to feel better after ~ 1 week). So Good News!!

In my time off, I did cross training like cycling & surreal stride to keep up with leg strength & cardio. I also decided to try Aerial Yoga – this requires a bit of thinking, as you have to figure out what part of your body is in the hanging silks when you are moving around… but it was a lot of fun!

Nina Elise aerial yoga

Upon walking into the room, there are special-cut yoga mats on the ground with silks hanging from the ceiling.

Yoga on high ariel yoga

The best part was Savasana – the instructor gave you a little swing – wrapped up in your silk – and it felt like you were hanging over a lake in the mountains. It was so peaceful!

nina elise yoga on high aeriel yoga

So after all this madness, and after all these different treatments for my tendinitis, I finally began running again – 2 miles this past Saturday, and 3 on Monday. I only had a bit of uncomfortable feeling the first mile or so, but after that, my foot felt fine. So fingers crossed I can finish training & run the half marathon in NYC!

Regardless, the main reason for doing this race is to raise money for St Jude – so I will still be making the trip out there, and plan on hitting my goal of raising $1,500! (You can donate here :)) Also – I’m putting on a Yoga charity event – I’ll be posting more details soon, but you can sign up here! It’s a donation-based yoga class at a brewery.. can’t go wrong with that 😉

What has everyone else been up to? Have you ever tried acupuncture, rolfing, or cryotherapy?

Healing

Since I have started on this spiritual journey the past few years, I have always felt like I have had this block. Like I am meant for greatness, meant to do something big, but I don’t know HOW. And I used to blame situations, other people, my past for my current life. Then I learned that I am responsible for my life, no one else. Just because I don’t make that much money, haven’t traveled the world, or found my passion in life doesn’t mean I can blame my past, or other people, for getting me here. I am responsible. Every day I wake up, I decide who I am. Who I am going to be. Who I want to be. It can be terrifying, especially if you don’t know what you want. Or even worse, trusting yourself to become the best you can be.

With my recent surgery, I had been faced with pain, physical limitations and fears. Pain from the holes drilled in my bones, limited to laying on my back and not being able to bend my knee for a week straight, not being able walk, rehabilitating, and fear that my body would not heal the way it should. I put my trust in my doctor, my physical therapists, medicine – to make sure that I would have a successful surgery and be back 100% by the end of the year, if not sooner. And then I remembered – what about me? Why am I putting all of my trust in other people, other things, to help heal me? Of course I needed to trust them to a certain extent… but I also didn’t trust myself. I was setting myself up for failure, not trusting my body to heal well on its own and using other people/things as a excuse in case something went wrong.

All of my life, especially after college, I lost faith in my body. I had anxiety, stomach problems, was exhausted, and couldn’t think. I always assumed there was something wrong with me, with how my body functioned. I tried everything, acupuncture, natural medicine, essential oils, doctors… I still had problems. Why wasn’t anything helping? Was it the food I was eating? Was I over exercising? Was it candida? Parasites? Allergies? Why can’t my body function right?? Recently, someone said to me: Nina, what if there isn’t anything wrong? All of these things you have tried to “fix yourself”, your body doesn’t need them? And then it hit me – I have always been putting myself down, never trusting my body to heal itself. I was blaming my body for not doing its job, when in fact, I had been in control of it all along. I was my own bully, and my thoughts were the root of the problem.

So I decided. I decided that I was going to take responsibility for my healing. I was going to be positive, trust my body to heal and love every minute of this painful surgery. Because if I didn’t, who would?

After my surgery, I had thoughts flood in – what if you got an infection? What if your body rejects the graft? What if, what if, what if? And i stopped them. I began saying nice things to myself. I started thanking my body for healing, for being so strong. I was grateful. My boyfriend thought I was crazy – I would sit and talk to my knee, telling it how wonderful it was and how I loved it for healing so quickly. And I felt amazing. Every time I had a negative thought or found myself dwelling on something negative, I replaced those thoughts with what I was grateful for. And guess what – it worked. My knee is healing, there was no infection, I was able to walk without crutches after 2 weeks, walk with no limp after 3.5 weeks… My swelling has decreased in my knee to the point where I can bend my knee to 138 degrees already… Incredible! And I am proud. I am so proud of my body, of myself, because I was able to take control of this seemingly terrible situation and turn it into a positive moment in my life.

I have not complained once since my surgery – I have taken control of my thoughts, which aren’t just helping my recovery – they are also affecting my life. I look at people, situations, almost everything with such a different perspective. I am in love – with how easily my thoughts can change, and how I can shape my day with just one simple switch in perspective. I am in love with this experience of rehabilitation, because without it, I wouldn’t be able to reach my goal of running another half marathon in less than a year. I am in love with how I can take control of my thoughts and my life, instead of putting the blame on other people.

Stepping back, I now see how this one experience has been such a huge stepping stone in clearing this “block” in my life. And who would have thought – that block was me.

So to anyone and everyone reading this – what is your block? Is it your thoughts? Yourself? Have you been blaming others for what has happened in your life or for the way things have turned out? I challenge you to take a step back – take a deep look at yourself, evaluate your thoughts – and don’t forget to tell yourself how wonderful you are today.

Grow

-My mother

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