I was standing there over the stove, cutting roasted chicken for the kids’ dinner. NBD, right?
Right. Until all out of nowhere, my left trap and neck muscle started cramping hard, and I suddenly had a kink in my neck like you wouldn’t believe. You know, the kind where you can’t even turn your head.
Sadly, I’ve always been predisposed to muscle tension in the back, shoulders, and neck area, and since I’ve been training those areas pretty heavily over the last month-and-a-half, it wasn’t all that surprising. Disappointing, but not surprising.
I’ve found that there are two things that really help my muscle tension tendency: massage – I utilize a Thera cane for self-massage – and a good muscle rub.
They work great when I use them, but when you’re feeling pretty good, it’s easy to put maintenance on the back burner… until you’re not alright anymore, and suddenly, you’re trying to work out the kinks again. All. Day. Long.
Anyhow, all of that is a bit ridiculously long introduction to my go-to muscle rub of late. It combines my personal favorite essential oils, as well as ginger and cayenne powder. I didn’t have ginger essential oil handy, or I probably would have tried that.
The kicker with this rub, is that it’s non-greasy. You know how much I love to put aloe vera gel in my personal care items, particularly in my homemade baby lotion, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it serves as the base for this particular recipe.
Now personally, I order straight, unprocessed aloe vera gel, and it’s pretty runny – runny enough that I can easily shake the ingredients together before I use it after they equally easily settle out of the gel while sitting in the refrigerator.
If you use a stiffer gel, such as the kind you can get in the Walmart beauty department during the simmer, the ingredients would probably stay mixed better, and you’d have a genuine gel – whereas mine is more of a thick liquid.
In any case, this rub works fabulously as a post-workout relaxing rub. All the ingredients work together to relax, invigorate, and increase blood flow to the area on which it is applied.
Fortunately, after ample amounts of this rub, and a good shoulder and neck massage from my hubby (who happens to be a certified massage therapist – I win ladies!), I can once again turn my head to answer when one of the kids holler, and life ain’t half bad. 😉
Non-Greasy Relaxing Muscle Rub
- 1/2 cups aloe vera gel
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
- 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil*
- 10-15 drops lavender essential oil*
- 10-15 drops wintergreen essential oil*
- 1/2 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract (preservative)
- Mix all ingredients together and mix, or shake thoroughly.
- Store in an airtight container (I used a squeeze tube, which you can order here) in the refrigerator.
- Shake before each use.
- Apply liberally – this stuff is really good for your skin!
Recipes everyone can make!
Nourish your body with ingredients you already have in your kitchen!