Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for Muscle Cramp

Aromatherapy

Ease your aching, cramping muscles with a delightfully soothing rosemary lavender massage. To prepare the blend, combine 3 drops each of German chamomile, rosemary, and ginger; 8 drops of lavender; and a If ounce of almond or avocado oil. Massage the oil into the affected muscles after a relaxing, warm bath. For a different blend, try Roman chamomile, bay, peppermint, and safflower oils. Other beneficial oils include marjoram and clary sage.

Ayurvedic Medicine

In Ayurveda, muscle cramping and spasms are caused by excess vata, which is increased by cold, too much exercise, or poor blood circulation. An Ayurvedic practitioner may suggest massaging the affected muscle with oil of shatavari to relax the muscle fibers. He also may encourage you to soak your feet in hot mustard tea.

Bodywork and Somatic Pradices

Acupressure and shiatsu are excellent modalities to address cramps.

Chiropradic

Specific chiropractic adjustment (SCA) can be especially helpful in decreasing muscle cramps through active stimulation of the nerves supplying the muscles. Electro muscle stimulation and either moist heat or cold applications can decrease muscle cramps. (Moist heat application is typically used for chronic cramping; cold application, such as ice, is typically used for acute episodes.) The chiropractor may also perform or prescribe cross friction. A nutritional consult should be obtained in cases of chronic cramping. For example, patients Who perience chronic charley horses (cramping of the calf muscles) may be deficient in electrolytes.

Hydrotherapy

Try one or more of the following treatments:

Apply hot or cold packs to the affected muscle for 20 minutes several times daily, until symptoms subside. Some people prefer the hot moist heat; others do best with cool compresses.

Take a hot bath-either immersion or sitz-for 20 to 60 minutes as needed.

Use alternating hot and cold compresses twice daily. Apply a hot compress for 3 minutes; replace it with a cold compress for 30 seconds. Repeat the sequence twice. You can add vinegar to the hot pack if desired.

Take a relaxing hot shower

Try a neutral (body temperature) bath

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture Acupuncture cau be used to relax the muscle and improve the circulation of blood to the affected area. Different acupuncture points and meridians are accessed, depending on the specific musde(s) that need(s) to be treated.

Acupressure Acupressure can be extremely helpful in relieving muscle cramps and spasms. The practitioner usually applies pressure directly to the affected area, and also massages relate acupressure points to increase the flow of blood to the area and balance the person’s chi.

Chinese Herbal Therapy Muscle cramps may be treated with a decoction of corydalis (4 to 10 grams daily). Muscle soreness can be alleviated with Zheng Gu Shui, an externallinimeot designed to relieve pain and relax muscles.

Yoga and Meditation

Gentle, regular stretching using yoga poses can help ward off cramps, especially in the hamstring and calf muscles. Try the following poses: Head to Knee, Hero, Posterior Stretch, Spinal Twist, and Standing Angle.