I have a long history of discomfort due to tight, locked, and/or spasming muscles in my back. Yet today was the first time I tried taking homeopathic arnica montana to relieve the pain. Much to my surprise, it worked quite well.
In my early twenties, my back was a tapestry of interwoven layers of clenched muscles, frozen and unrelenting, making it painful even to turn my head. I found a talented massage therapy student (she’s now a Master of Chinese medicine) who worked on my back for years, sometimes as often as twice weekly, allowing me to lead a life where I could work around the pain most of the time.
In the beginning, she would knead and massage one side of my back, sometimes using implements to get to deeper layers, and then switch to work the other side. By the time she finished the second side, the first side would be knotted again. After more than five years of regular massage, my muscles would respond to the touch and release easily. I am a believer in the power of massage.
Not to mention the power of touch and its emotional and physical benefits. As a single woman during that time, my massage therapy appointments might have been the only touch I received regularly.
Now, as a working mother in my forties, I can’t get into a professional massage as often as I might like. This episode came on slowly, its roots, I believe, in my foolish shoulder bag full of water bottles that I shouldered for four hours through the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on Labor Day. I felt the dull ache all week and tried to strech out my back when I was warm from my Jazzercise workout. But it wasn’t enough.
Then I work 3 1/2″ heels on Sunday afternoon when a girlfriend and I took our daughters out for tea. Big mistake. As soon as I got home, I headed for the bed and a heating pad on my back. Sunday night was sleepless due to constant spasms, despite a best effort back rub from my husband. Monday was a bed and heating pad day, combined with the frustration that I couldn’t get an appointment with my current massage therapist for eight more days.
That night my son ran the handheld messager over the spasming area, giving me a bit of temporary relief and a slightly better night of sleep as a result. Still, I awoke and was driven from bed several times from painful back muscle spasms.
This morning (Tuesday), my son took one look at me and said, “Mommy, you need the back massager again.” He gave me a round before leaving for the school bus, but within an hour the spasms were back. That’s when I thought to use arnica.
My husband had used the Weleda Arnica massage oil on my back, but I hadn’t thought to take any homopathic arnica internally. I dissolved a 30C pellet of homeopathic arnica in 2-3 oz. of purified water, stirred it, and took one teaspoon underneath my tongue. I kid you not, within five minutes I could feel a little bit of the tightness in my back release.
Fifteen minutes later I placed another teaspoon of the water underneath my tongue. The relief continued to spread. I took three more doses over the next three hours, amazed at how much better my back felt each time.
With homeopathic remedies, which are safe for everyone, including infants, though pregnant women might not want to take arnica, it’s important to have a clean mouth and not have food or drink for 15 minutes pre- or post-dose.
While I don’t feel like the arnica completely eradicated the knotted muscles, at the very least it paused the spasms and has made me feel more comfortable until I can get to the massage therapist.
You might find it worth a try.