This summer has definitely been one of changing weather patterns for us, here in the Berkshires. Many more of those dreaded "dog days of summer!" And not as much yield from my garden as I would have liked, nor even as much as I had last year. In addition, I have had lots of people asking about swollen feet and ankles, and having allergy issues that you’ve never experienced before. Makes you think a bit about climate change, for sure.
Whether you believe in global warming, or simply that we’re experiencing cyclic weather changes, we do need to know how to take care of the physiological changes this hot weather is causing in our bodies right now, so here are some tips:
Swollen ankles and feet should always be checked by your doc first in case there’s something going on other than normal fluid retention.
Fluid retention can be uncomfortable, and if you have a job where you need to stand for several hours a day, can become painful. So, take a load off! Seriously, find a couple of minutes each hour where you can sit. If possible elevate your feet while you sit. Most definitely, when you get home from work, spend 20 minutes sitting with your feet elevated.
Also, flex and extend your ankles whenever you think of it, or set an alarm to remind yourself to do it several times a day. Bend your knees into a mini squat as often as you can, too. Any type of light exercise for your feet helps. If you have to stand, try moving one leg at a time while standing.
Legs up the wall yoga pose is fabulous for relieving swelling, in addition to its other benefits.
Before bed is a good time to soak your feet and ankles. Soak for about 20 minutes, in a cool bath filled with Epsom salts, to relieve the pain associated with swollen feet. Pick up a one-pound bag of scented Epsom salts from CVS, Target, or Costco and use the whole bag. You’ll feel so much better afterward!
Magnesium supplements can help with inflammation, as well as pain and cramping, and a host of other symptoms, so make sure that you take a supplement. It’s difficult to get enough magnesium from the food we eat, so taking a good quality supplement is recommended. If you don’t like the effect oral magnesium has on your bowels, Dr. Carolyn Dean (the magnesium expert) has developed a formula for a cream, which I use, and it’s fabulous! Not only are my leg cramps gone, but my skin is healthier where I rub the cream as well! Here is a link to her cream.
Now, if you happen to be dousing your food with salt, cut down please. Too much salt in your diet causes fluid retention.
You can also use compression stockings – just make sure that you don’t get a pair that is too tight for you. Start with the lightest version and see how you do with those. And NEVER wear tight fitting shoes!
As far as seasonal allergy symptoms, the best way I know how to cut down on those is to take a tablespoon of local honey each day for six months. It does take the whole six months, so if you start now, by spring you’ll see results. I have recommended this to hundreds of people and most have seen great results if they stick with it. Remember, however, that bees pollenate flowers only, so if your allergy symptoms are from pine pollen, this may not help you.
Here’s another exercise that’s good for your feet.
Try at least a couple of these recommendations, as the more that you do to reduce your symptoms, the quicker you’ll feel better.
Best of Health,