Digger’s Back and Runner’s Knees

A photograph of a bee near a flower with pollen on its legs.

Well this is more like it; or at least Saturday was!

Sunshine, no arctic wind and everything buzzing with Spring. Literally buzzing; my bees are out and about at last! They’re returning to the hive laden with pollen, probably collected from all the daffodils that have suddenly sprung up, and my beautiful soft pussy willows are humming with bees too.

My clinic has been just as busy! Still lots of painful necks and shoulders, and still lots of signs of being run down after a long Winter; lingering coughs, recurrent colds, eczema, labyrinthitis, shingles and fatigue.

A couple of new conditions cropped up last week, and both of them do tend to be about at this time of year.

The first is low back pain from enthusiastic digging in the garden, and the second is last minuteknee and calf pain in people lining up to do the London marathon!

I’m a great fan of preventative medicine where possible.
Chinese Medicine has a strong tradition of preventing problems before they start, and it’s one of the many things that I really like about it’s sensible approach to health.

So… digging and what to do before a marathon….

Generally it’s a good plan to try to remember to treat gardening like any other form of strenuous exercise, particularly at this time of year when the sun shines and we suddenly see everything that needs sorting out from the Winter plus everything that needs getting going for the Spring.

I’m the worst culprit for this, but try to pace yourself. Take lots of breaks to stretch and rest and top up on food and drink. Start gently and well wrapped up and don’t try to dig over every bed in one morning!

With the marathon it’s different with every runner, but there does seem to be a bit of a theme in the last week or two of muscles tightening up as they receive endless anxious focus. It’s a good idea to try to relax and unwind a bit. Gently stretch, gently walk, find a swimming pool or Jacuzzi or both! Be a bit careful with deep massage at this stage, If all the trainings gone well then you can be reasonably sure that you can get round as long as you don’t do anything unusual in the last few days that might cause injury.

The first nettles are showing up in my garden and I’ve made my first batch of nettle soup packed full of iron! It’s a perfect anti viral and most of the ingredients should be around; the last leeks, garlic and onions from last year, a potato or two (I cheated and bought some, I’ve only just planted my potatoes out!) and fist-fulls (gloved fist-fulls?!) of new nettle tips.