i went to the chiropractor today and had an amazing adjustment. she made some suggestions for things that i could do to help manage my injuries from last year. while we were discussing all the stretching and strengthening exercises, i was reminded of this really amazing procedure called a sitz bath that i'm going to do as my mending tonight.
it flushes out injury-related byproducts like lactic acid and helps to increase circulation in the affected area by rapidly opening and closing the blood vessels, which basically acts like a blood pump on speed. it really helps with swelling related to chronic injuries because it flushes out old crap and invites new, fresh blood in. aka relief. my right ankle has been the thing that's been affecting me the most lately, so i'm going to focus on that tonight.
if you want to try it yourself, here's how you do it:
1. take two buckets and fill one with water that's as hot as you can stand and fill the other with water that's as cold as you can stand. set them side by side, like this:
2. plunge in! submerge the affected area (elbow, wrist, foot, ankle, etc) into the cold water for 3 minutes:
3. switch buckets, submerging the affected area in the hot water for 1 minute:
4. switch back again to cold for 3 minutes, then hot for 1 minute, then cold for 3 minutes, etc., until approximately 20 minutes has passed. depending on the temperature of your house, you may need to dump some of the water about halfway through and refill with fresh water to ensure it's hot / cold enough.
5. elevate the affected area for 15-20 minutes to help flush the toxins...
...and bada-bing, bada-boom. done. it usually brings a lot of relief from pain and swelling. after only one session, i'm already feeling less tightness and congestion in my ankle joint.