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The countdown is *officially* on. Need something to distract yourself from the long-awaited season eight premiere this Sunday?
Whether you’re loyal to Jon Snow or looking to channel your inner Mother of Dragons, here’s a list of workouts (and wellness activities) that your favorite Game of Thrones character would kill for, if they weren’t all fighting for the Iron Throne.
Infrared Sauna: Heat under pressure
Clearly, this daring dragon mom can handle a little bit of heat, so she’d feel right at home during a session of infrared sauna therapy. While most people can only handle 30-minutes at a time, we’d be willing to bet Daenerys wouldn’t break a sweat for hours. It is known.
Cryotherapy: Winter is here
While Jon Snow might know nothing about heat, he’s all too familiar with the cold. Whether he’s treating injuries from venturing North of the Wall or needs to release a few endorphins for that constant brooding, cryotherapy is the solution.
HIIT: Power & control
Determined to win at any cost, this truly badass babe would be all about a good HIIT class. Extra disciplined, yet filled with inner rage, she could sweat it out while holding a glass of red wine, rolling her eyes at you for falling behind.
Kickboxing: Train like a northerner
When she’s not fighting as a Faceless Man, the youngest Stark is all about high-intensity. Independent, adventurous, and unique, it’s clear her workout of choice would be something as intense and fierce as kickboxing.
Personal Training: A wise workout
With a quick tongue and razor-sharp wit, this son of Tywin Lannister knows all the things. The character with the most intellect and sage advice, we *definitely* want him guiding our next personal training session.
Meditation: Find your zen
How did Bran become the Three-Eyed Raven? Meditation. JK, it’s magic but IRL we’d like to think he achieved guru status when it comes to inner stillness.
Bootcamp: Strong & agile
House Lannister keeps it lean. Whether he’s fighting Daenerys and her dragons or taking a long journey with Brienne, bootcamp is the perfect workout to keep the Kingslayer crushing it all winter (and summer) long.
Barre: Damsel in distress no more
The eldest Stark daughter might have been all about a blowout in her early years, but heading into season eight, we’ve been introduced to a whole new Sansa. Cool, calculated, and confident. Basically, don’t get on her bad side. We think the Lady of Winterfell would fit in nicely at a barre class, tucking ever so precisely with the ultimate control and patience.
Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years.
Why is this?
While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer.
So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:
“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.
More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time.
Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.
Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.
With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better.
“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest.
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all.
I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.
One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.
So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury.