One of the reasons I finally decided to try barefoot running is that, on and off, I’ve had some foot and ankle problems, so maybe, through some barefoot training, I could strengthen the muscles, fibers, tendons, ligaments, and o on. Well, since I’ve just started and haven’t done much of it, the jury is out.
I’ve always been interested in holistic healing, trying to use natural remedies in lieu of pharmaceutically-created drugs. It’s been hit or miss, so, while a fan, usually I’m pretty skeptical. On some other blogs, I’ve read about arnica, which can be used to soothe aches and pains. I was intrigued, so I started looking into it as a possible path of relief.
: “Arnica (Ár-ni-ca) is a genus with about 30 perennial, herbaceous species, belonging to the sunflower family. The genus name Arnica may be derived from the Greek arna, “lamb”, in reference to the soft, hairy leaves. Arnica is currently used in liniment and ointment preparations used for strains, sprains, and bruises. Commercial arnica preparations are frequently used by professional athletes. A systematic review of clinical trials showed that arnica was no more effective than a placebo. With respect to the range of homoeopathic Arnica creams available on the market, these are generally formulated using the mother tincture rather than a dilution, and they therefore do in fact contain measurable quantities of the medicinally active substance.”
Quite serendipitously, Naturopathica contacted me to try out their Arnica Muscle Gel. I’ve been using it for several weeks on what feels like ankle tendonitis (admittedly not its intended use) and frankly, I’m amazed. It definitely has not healed the tendons, but it gives instantaneous relief, which is more than I expected. The sensation is like rubbing on a cool breeze, I kid you not, even with socks and long pants it felt like cold air was blowing across my ankle and heel. According to Naturopathica, the anti-inflammatory muscle and joint gel contains Arnica, Menthol and Magnesium to help reduce muscle pain and stiffness in overworked muscles. Featured ingredients include:
ARNICA: homeopathic treatment for muscles soreness, bruises and sprains;
WILLOW BARK EXTRACT: a natural source of Salicylic Acid and rich in tannins which helps to exfoliate skin and improve appearance;
MENTHOL: works to instantly cool inflammation; and
ZINC, COPPER and MAGNESIUM: multi-mineral cocktail supplies the necessary elements for healthy skin function.
So, skepticism aside, and possibly a placebo, but this gel really works. I’ll keep this around for times when I just can’t tough it out or when that coolness would give welcome relief. I would think this product would be the ideal thing to massage in after a more difficult workout or endurance event.
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Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Naturopathica. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give it a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.
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