Hi guys! Welcome back to another installment of CXP Zen – apologies for the absence, but I’m back and ready to rumble! So, let’s get stuck in – I’ve got a quick ‘n’ easy one for you here…
Today’s post was sparked by the soreness derived from a recent workout; I went pretty intense with my Shoulder Exercises the other day (during a Full-Body Workout), and my Delts were left feeling pretty sorry for themselves the following day!
Now, I’m used to a bit of “DOMS” (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) – especially after Hypertrophy-driven training, but my Deltoids haven’t been blazed like that in a while. So, on top of my usual go-to’s that you’ve heard me go into detail about in other CXP Zen posts (namely the utilization of Massage, as well as of Hot/Cold Treatments), I have a secret weapon that does the trick every time!
If you haven’t heard of it already, let me introduce you to Tiger Balm:
This is a product I have been using for eons! I remember back in the days when I was playing Rugby & Basketball, competing in Track & Field, and Lifting to boot… I would regularly partake in up to THREE sports a day, *six* days per week! And on days when I was mega-sore from doing so much activity throughout the week, Tiger Balm would save the day!
Funny enough, it was my Mum who introduced it to me. I remember being home from School one weekend and just feeling like a thoroughly thumped punchbag… Mum sifted through the cabinet drawer and busted out this Topical Herbal Ointment.
A lot of people hear “Herbal Remedy” and shrug it off as being some kind of voodoo-esque malarkey; but seriously, this stuff warrants your attention (especially if you’re slightly skeptical about such things).
So okay, what is it? An ointment, sure. But what’s in the ointment, right? Well, a few things – a blend of “Active/Inactive” ingredients. What we need to concern ourselves with are the two primary *active* ingredients: Camphor Oil and Menthol Oil. The Camphor Oil is an extract (from the bark of the Camphor Tree), and among other things it is well-known as a potent Anti-Inflammatory. Menthol Oil is an effective Muscle Relaxant / Pain Reliever; so between the two, you have an awesome blend that is perfect for topical use (applied to the skin).
Here’s a statement from Tiger Balm’s site that sums up its proposed use:
‘One application gives you fast, warm, comforting relief for joint and muscle pain, stiff muscles, arthritis in the hands and joints, backaches caused by overexertion, and even backaches during pregnancy.’
Let me just describe what the ‘application’ feels like… When I applied their “Ultra” ointment to my shoulders the other day, it certainly felt very warm for the first several minutes, but then after, there was just a long-lasting, soothing feeling from the pain. The day after, I felt just grand! Aside from the sensation/feeling, there’s also a powerful aroma that is distinctive and pleasant (as long as you don’t mind aniseed/menthol-like scents).
One thing I will warn is that their “Extra” ointment (red in colour) can a) stain, and b) entrench your clothes with the smell of its waxy/oiliness (which – incidentally – has a cinnamon-based smell [unlike the other one]). The “Ultra” [menthol] formula [at least] does not stain, but can still permeate your clothing. I was definitely cognisant of this as I headed into work shortly after applying it; I could smell it through my work-tee all day long, and for *me* the smell isn’t a problem, but I’m hoping it didn’t offend the olfactory senses of my clients! (No-one mentioned it, so either they’re all just super polite, didn’t smell it, or don’t mind the smell).
I’ve got a funny story for you to just wrap up with here: I remember when I was living in South Korea, and I was doing about 15 (+) hours of Martial Arts per week (both Taekwondo and Hapkido) on top of hitting the gym; I wound up pretty sore one day and decided to venture out in search of some Tiger Balm. Now, this stuff originated in Asia (specifically China), so I didn’t figure it too far-fetched to find it in a local Chemist… I looked. I did not find. I asked… and oh my! The look of horror!! Now, I know all too well what a mistake it can be to *literally* translate in a foreign language… So, I guess asking for “Wax of Tiger” maybe sounded inappropriate or just downright crazy. Needless to say, I left empty-handed.
Anyhow, that’s it for today’s post – short and sweet!
So, next time you’re sore from a workout and in need of a little pain relief, perhaps forgo the Pharmaceuticals and opt for a more natural solution? (Consider consulting your Doctor if you have sensitive skin or any health condition[s] you feel may be affected by using this product).
I hope you’ve found this article useful. Be sure to check out the Recommendations page for other great products that can help with your Health & Wellness goals!
I’ll catch you in the next post! In the meantime, remember: Love Life, and Love Yourself!
Yours in Training,
Chris Atkinson | Master Personal Trainer, SDO