Arthritis, Stress and Stretching



When I found this Reader’s Digest article, I was laughing out loud while reading. I just so can relate, I guess. I’ve always been convinced that the osteoarthritis symptoms are brought about by stress, mostly and of course, on top of not enough mobility these days.

The said article is recommending, from stretching like a cat to letting things go — in order to have a better  quality of life despite arthritis. The tips are general relief for tensed body, but is good for arthritis as well.

Let me enumerate the highlights:

1. Stretch luxuriously like a cat.

Stretching loosens the muscles, helps your blood flow, relieves your bones and joints, and refreshes your spirit. For a person with arthritis, stretching is as healthy a habit as you can develop.

2. Laugh, be happy.

The obvious reason is that humor relieves the tensions of everyday life. But not so obvious are the physiological effects of a good laugh. Feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins are released when you laugh that ease pain and improve attitude. Plus, laughter stimulates the heart, lungs, muscles, and immune system.

3. Cut your to-do-list into something achievable. Yes, even if that means cutting your errands into half. That way you feel better with your little accomplishments.

We know we’re not going to get everything done that we want to in a day. And yet so many of us wake up with a set of expectations for the day that are grand beyond reason. Be fair to yourself: Make your task list reasonable, and achieve it.

4. Use hot water. Need i say more?

Upping water’s temperature soothes and supports the joints. The heat brings blood to your joints, muscles, and skin, flushing you with nutrients and relief. And the calmness of a soak in a tub or Jacuzzi makes life just seem better.

5. Use comfortable pillows and bed mattresses.

A bed that is firm but luxurious, that makes you say “ahhhh” when you lie down, that gives you the comfort you need for a great night’s sleep, is a wonderful investment for your health and your joints.

6. Create you own midday sacred ritual. Like having coffee or tea in peace and quiet?

Whatever it is, take 5 to 15 minutes each afternoon for a personal break. Getting out of the intensity of everyday life for a short while is beneficial, both physically and emotionally. And by making it a constant ritual, you relax yourself merely by the knowledge that it is soon arriving.

7. Massage, massage, and massage. I’ve mentioned several times how massage can bring relief to both the muscles and joints.

A good massage is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The muscle and joint relief will be substantial.

8. Find inspiration in the beauty of nature. Always brings relaxation, right?

In exploring the optimal workouts for athletes, researchers are beginning to believe that the best training method is to exert for a short period and then rest, rather than doing prolonged periods of exertion. It’s a theory that is applicable to all of us, particularly those with arthritis. Walk a few minutes; then relax a while. Clean for 15 minutes; then take a break.

9. Be still and let things be. Especially those that are just beyond your control.

If you are a human being, then certain truths are inevitable: The government is wrong; half your relatives are crazy; there’s never enough money; work is unfair; you’re surrounded by crazy drivers. You have a choice: Let it get to you, or don’t let it get to you.

Great tips right?! My favorites are: stretching like a cat, massage, massage and massage…and of course (even if most of the time hard to do) letting things be.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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