Elbow Injuries? Holistic Remedies May Help
Have you heard elbow injuries can be some of the most difficult to recover from? If you’ve had an elbow injury and are experiencing complications, this article is for you.
Holistic Modalities for Elbow Injuries
Typically, elbow injuries are treated with surgeries, mechanical hardware, prescription medications, and physical or occupational therapies. If you’ve tried many of those conventional treatments but are still experiencing issues, you might consider holistic remedies.
Here are three holistic practices you can use for elbow injuries.
After my bike accident and surgery, I was sent to occupational therapy (OT) to get my arm moving. Elbow injuries are often treated with OT, in order to regain functional range of motion.
At OT, my therapist asked me what my number one goal was, in terms of recovery. I immediately responded with, “To get back to practicing yoga!”
Well, I did as I was told. I attended OT three times a week and did my at-home exercises hourly. It was a lot of work! With time, I became frustrated by the lack of movement. And, despite the OT sessions, I continued to have increased pain.
So, I decided to complement the Western medicine treatment with yoga practice.
You might be thinking, “Isn’t yoga difficult for people with elbow injuries?”
Great question! Some poses, yes. I wouldn’t recommend people with elbow injuries jump right into tricky postures like crow, plank, or downward facing dog, which are weight-bearing poses.
However, there are many easier postures that people with elbow injuries can do. The other great thing about yoga is that you can use props to assist you in getting into the pose.
I am a huge advocate for the use of yoga blocks. I pretty much use a yoga block every single time I practice yoga. Blocks can help you reach the ground or other places that you might not be able to reach, because of your elbow issue.
Yoga can ease tension, relieve stress or anxiety, and improve strength. Practicing yoga, on a regular basis, can support people with elbow injuries to feel more at peace with their body.
Prior to my bike accident, I had heard about qigong, but I wasn’t a regular practitioner. After my injury, my entire worldview changed regarding qigong.
Qigong is something that any of us, with elbow injuries, can do. Gosh, I was able to practice qigong more easily than I was yoga, at times!
Qigong is gentle. It is a set of flowing movements that link breath, exercise, and energy.
I dove deep into qigong because I couldn’t hold myself up with my injured arm. In qigong, you don’t ever have to put pressure on your arm. You stand through the entire practice and easily flow through movements.
Qigong also can reduce stress, decrease chronic fatigue, and improve the immune system. As I have come to learn, living with elbow injuries can greatly tire us out. If the elbow is hurting all of the time, the rest of the body jumps in to try to help. Over time, this becomes exhausting. For me, qigong greatly improved my energy levels throughout the day.
Another awesome holistic modality that doesn’t put pressure on the elbow is reiki.
During a reiki session, you literally don’t have to do anything but lie or sit down, relaxing through the healing practice.
Reiki is a healing modality that can support relaxation, improve sleep, and reduce chronic pain. Reiki can be done in-person or remotely, which is an added benefit since people with elbow injuries cannot always drive to appointments.
Some people continue to feel skeptical about reiki. I know when I first heard of reiki, I sure was! Being a highly analytical person who tends to want to know how or why something is helping or hurting, I didn’t understand the abstract concepts that reiki practitioners generally talk about.
So, what did I do? Well, I tried out a session for myself. The first time I tried reiki was over ten years ago. At that time, I was experiencing pain in my foot from marathon training. Well, I don’t know how it happened and I guess I never will… but after my session, my foot pain was significantly decreased!
Why do I tell you this story? Well, reiki might help with elbow injuries. I’ll tell you this… it won’t hurt. Reiki has never been shown to have a harming effect. Sure, maybe you don’t see any results at all. But like me… it doesn’t hurt to try!
Why not experiment with reiki yourself to see if it improves your elbow issues?
Ready to ease your elbow pain? Check us out and come join us!
About the Author: Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, HNB-BC is a board-certified holistic nurse, registered yoga instructor, and reiki master.
Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bull.