Ask Chuck: How Do You Spell ....Relief?

July 28, 2011 at 2:28 a.m.

By Charles Colson

I have trouble with pain in my neck and shoulders often. Usually vibrators give me relief. Is it true that I should be cautious of the length of time that I use the vibrator?

Most definitely. It is amazing how vibrators can relax tension from sore muscles when used properly. The length of time for use is extremely important. For example when concentrating on one specific area, never use a vibrator more than 15 minutes at a time. After this length of time it can easily reverse its purpose. On more sensitive areas use the lower speed for best results. It is equally important to remember not to ever apply a vibrator on the temples. This will not make you nor medical personnel happy because of its dangerous effects. Simple solution....don't force the work of the vibrator. Allow it to operate normally and at its own pace and pressure.

Have you heard that Epsom salt is good for pain ... or did we just imagine it?

Don't worry whether you imagined it or actually works in relaxing muscles. Fill the tub with warm water and dissolve at least 2 cups of Epsom salt. Lie back and relax for at least 30 minutes and shower off. You too will think ...what happened?...I feel much better.

I have heard that hydrotherapy is soothing to the muscles. What is hydrotherapy?

To put it simple, hydrotherapy is exercise under water. For example, whirlpools and swimming pools give us the opportunity to perform water aerobics. It is excellent for proper blood circulation, arthritic problems and totally unwinding. For chronic pains, you can massage your muscles by using warm and cold water from the shower. Simultaneously switch from warm to cold water. Always remember to begin with warm water and end with warm water. Notice I did not mention hot water. The muscles do not need to be shocked to get results. This comfortably allows the muscles to contract and expand. Don't doubt it, try it out.

Being a licensed massage therapist, do you know of a simple remedy for making ice packs?

Smart question. Yes, there is a simple recipe to make a durable, lasting ice pack. Whether you prefer a large or small ice pack, the formula is a three to one ratio. Therefore use three parts of water to one part rubbing alcohol. Freeze in sealed freezer bags over night. Its ready to use the next morning. When it thaws, simply refreeze it. Keep in mind, only leave on 40 minutes and off for 40 minutes. You'll love it.

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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