Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gua Sha (the evil, wonderful tool!)

The tool that my massage therapist (chiropractor / ART ???) is using on my foot is called a Gua Sha, or maybe the method he is doing is called Gua Sha and this is one of the tools of the trade.  I'm not sure.  But either way, this is the tool he is using.  Below is an image of it (the item on the right).

The first day I believe he used it on the narrow edge, kind of like a knife, and rubbed it along the bottom of my foot (holy mother of bright rainbows!!!!).  The last two times he used the flat wide edge, like a plate.  That way is not quite as painful, but still hurts a ton (yes Mother, worse than childbirth, but thankfully not nearly as long).  I am generally a pretty tough chick and can suck it up if I know it's going to hurt, but I still have the odd tear sneak out and have resorted to things such as biting my arm, gritting my teeth, and even SINGING to avoid screaming out.  I do not sing in public!

After my 2nd appointment he suggested I try a different shoe and strongly suggest I check out Asics.  However, at my last appointment he told me hold that thought a little longer.  He said he wants to do some manipulation with my arches and then will give me some shoe recommendations.  He's trying to avoid me having to get orthotics which I really appreciate, and he doesn't believe that's the best route if we can avoid it.

He's also suggested that I back off the Bosu Ball classes I've been taking until we get things going well again.  I realized the other day that I've probably had the most pain during these classes than during any other type of exercise.  Which makes sense considering your foot is very, very unstable and the foot is prone to over-stretching the arch on the bosu.  However I'm clear to do any other types of activity as long as I don't see and increase in pain.

As such, and in honor of a few rare rays of sunshine .... I decided to go out for a run after work.  I've only got 10 days until my 10K run.  I'm calling it a run, not a race, because to me it is not a race. I decided to take my big dog and go out to my favourite trail.

As luck would have it, on my way home from work we got hit with a nasty little spring shower - complete with thunder and lightning.  I waited a bit, then drove out there, and ended up sitting in the car for about 20 minutes waiting for the storm to pass.

Eventually it did, and we managed a nice 6-7K run, with a rest and extended stretch session halfway through. It was nice.  While my feet felt good, my calves were noticeably tighter.  Will have to mention that at my next appointment.

Anyhow, it was a nice run and I felt good about it.  I also have a couple runs planned with friends this weekend too.  Love this feeling!



Fran said...

Sounds like you have a good doctor Heidi who's really helping you. But that piece of equipment looks painful, can't imagine how it must have felt.

Great that you were able to go for a run with your dog.

Hope your weekend was great.

Tamara said...

Ummmmm what's the spoon for?? :) K I honestly sat here thinking about that til it occurred to me it is there for scale.... please tell me I am right about that!

Sounds like your doc is pretty smart. Sometimes you just have to put yourself in someone else's hands.

Hope your weekend was full of great runs!