The Restoration Solution – Practical Recovery Methods for a Busy Lifestyle

restore (r-stor, -str) v 1: return to its original or usable and functioning condition; “restore the forest to its original pristine condition” [syn: reconstruct] 2: return to life; get or give new life or energy; “The week at the spa restored me” [syn: regenerate, rejuvenate] 3: give or bring back; “Restore the stolen painting to its rightful owner” [syn: restitute] 4: restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken; “She repaired her TV set”; “Repair my shoes please” [syn: repair, mend, fix, bushel, doctor, furbish up, touch on] [ant: break] 5: bring back into original existence, use, function, or position; “restore law and order”; “reestablish peace in the region”; “restore the emperor to the throne” [syn: reinstate, reestablish]

Yes, that is a common dilemma and one of the primary reasons that restoration tends to be neglected by many in our society. Russian and Eastern European lifters actually plan for restoration in their 창원출장안마. periodization scheme. In North america, however, we concentrate so much on training that recovery gets overlooked. In fact, Russians do three semesters on massage and restoration (in Kinesiology or Physical Education courses. ) Guess how much we do here?

According to Siff, “it is not simply the temperature of a given modality, but also the level of difference between hot and cold temperatures, and the time spent at each temperature which determine how one should use contrast methods. ” He claimed that this strategy worked very well with Russian lifters and he also used it quite successfully with his American athletes.

Picture Tate (a very big guy) and I (not quite as big! ) jumping from an 8-foot deep Jacuzzi with handle bars on the side to hold you up (this allowed for complete submersion as well as decompression of the spine) to a swimming pool where we did a few laps. Might not sound like a big deal but consider that the Jacuzzi was set at 110 degrees Fahrenheit (yes you read that right) and the pool at 62 degrees Fahrenheit (in the winter, Siff used to get his athletes to roll in the snow! ) Talk about contrast! And this was all done after midnight. Needless to say, we slept like babies that night!

For contrast showers, Charlie Francis recommends 3 minutes hot as you can stand followed by 1 minute cold as you can stand repeated 3 times to work best. This is performed once or twice per day. It is important to cover the whole body, though, including the head. Although in the past, Siff has pointed out that showers with shower heads located only above the body do not adequately heat up or cool down the lower parts of the body, not all of us own a deep Jacuzzi and pool so a shower will have to do.

It comes from one of the forefathers of modern bodybuilding, Angelo Siciliani better known as Charles Atlas. Did you know that the excessive heat from a hot shower can lower your sperm count? In fact, the Aztec Indians used this as a form of birth control (don’t ask). Anyway, Charlie recommends finishing off your shower with cold water. Allow the cold water to flow from the solar plexus onto the genitals. The belief was that these areas contain the highest concentration of nerve endings, therefore, the cold would stimulate the nerves, which in turn strengthened the entire nervous system. “Stimulate” is certainly the operative word here. I can attest to its effect since I’ve been doing this for some time now. It takes a little getting use to but it sure is an eye opener!

At least once a week you should address the myofascial system. An excellent way to accomplish this is (… dare I say it… ) yoga. Now do you have to necessarily put aside time to stretch? No, I don’t think so. I think you can kill two birds with one stone. Why not stretch while watching television? The average American watches over four hours of TV each day. You can easily spare an hour of that time to stretch a bit.

A great way to restore collapsed arches and get a nice stretch for your quads, for instance, is to sit on your heels. This is part of the hero pose in yoga. See how long you can last. Practice other poses during this time and make watching television somewhat healthy and productive.

The yoga will help to improve flexibility and enhance recovery, but if there is another positive, it’s relaxation. It never fails, when we finish our session and she puts me through her little relaxation phase, I am out! The second that happens, the GH spike is equivalent to that of falling asleep at night! Believe me, when you are running around all day long, you need a moment to unwind and I’ve found that yoga can help.

Mark is considered the athlete’s secret weapon. Suffice it to say, he is a soft-tissue specialist extraordinaire with a number of tools in his toolbox including frequency-specific microcurrent (FSM), Erchonia cold laser therapy, active release technique (ART), myofascial release, articular pumping, muscle activation technique (MAT), proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), active-isolated stretching (AIS), electrostim acupuncture, and the list goes on.

I’ve written about the value of ART many times. I’ve seen it clear up a number of nagging injuries in a single session. It can restore function, reduce (and even eliminate) pain, significantly improve flexibility (i. e. range of motion) and strength in just one session. In fact, it can even increase muscle mass. Bill is one of the best ART practitioners in Toronto.

Vlodek Kluczynski is an osteopath, physiotherapist and massage therapist in one. This guy is unbelievable. I visit him on occasion. His work tends to complement that of the practitioners mentioned above. One word of advice if you ever decide to experience a treatment from Vlodek, bring a small white flag and a popsicle stick to bite down on!

The point of listing all these guys is that you should be proactive and find a practitioner in your area that performs soft-tissue work. Don’t wait until injury happens to visit one. Go as often as you can afford – once or twice a month should be doable for most people (many health-care plans will cover treatment as well – max out your limit if you can. ) Not only will it improve your recovery and performance, but it will definitely reduce the likelihood of injury.

Once a week (usually the night of a heavy leg workout) I sprawl out in our massive bathtub for around 20-30 minutes. I do this about an hour before I go to bed. Actually, I make a complete restoration soup out of it. The recipe involves Epsom salts, Celtic or tropical sea bath salts, a mixture of solution drops from the Garden of Life Clenzology kit, and finally an aromatherapy concoction of lavender and chamomile. I simply keep pouring everything until the “taste” is just about right!

  1. Epsom salts (i. e. magnesium sulfate usp) – you want to dissolve at least 500 grams (equivalent to 2 cups or 500 mL) in a bath of hot water (the more, the better. ) I say “at least” because if you can afford more, then do so. Also, “hot” means tolerable not “sear the skin” hot – the former will help you fall asleep (it’s actually the cooling process once you get out that induces sleep); but the latter will require a trip to the hospital and perhaps some skin grafts?

When magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin, it draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, is a natural emollient, exfoliator, and much more. One word of caution though, do not take an Epsom salt bath if you have high blood pressure or a heart or kidney condition.

  1. Celtic or tropical sea salts are not just for eating! Adding these salts to a warm bath will help to draw impurities out of your skin and invigorate the water and your body for that matter! Salt baths also help with aches, pains and sore muscles, such as those associated with arthritis, muscle injury, and weight training.

Note: Try adding a pinch of tropical sea salts and squeeze half a lemon to your water. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces and you will notice a profound difference in your energy levels in mere days. It takes some serious discipline to drink that much water on a daily basis, but doing so can provide anabolic and anticatabolic effects. The water will help lubricate the gut; the sea salt will aid digestion (by stimulating HCL production); and the lemon will reduce acidity. All this will enhance recovery and improve performance in the gym!

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