Five Reasons to Tape It Up

I have my shares of aches and pains. My biggest issues are arthritis in my neck and knee. Every day there’s something that hurts on my body. I’ve tried more things than you can guess to make myself feel better. Whenever I go to the chiropractor, she always tapes me up.

At first I didn’t know what she was doing. She’d ask what color I wanted, and then put tape on my knee or top of my shoulders. I eventually figured out that the tape made my pain go away. And, that’s how I was introduced to sports tape (also called kinesio tape). Sports tape is different than traditional athletic tape in that it’s pliable and allows for full range of motion.

If you watched the Olympics you saw a lot of taped up athletes. This tape was developed in the 1970s, but really came into prominence after the 2008 Olympics. Arms, legs, shoulders – athletes had all kinds of body parts taped up. And I’m sure you were thinking, “Does that really work?”

My experiences with sports tape has been positive. Whenever I’m taped up and people see me they always ask, “What is that?” I try to explain the benefits of sports tape:

– Sports tape works with the contours of the skin. It moves with the skin while it supports, unlike a brace which supports, but doesn’t move with the skin.

– It treats injuries externally. There’s no need for medication or injections.

– The tape can be used for hundreds of common injuries.

– Using the tape lets you recover from an injury while still remaining active.

– It’s lightweight, comfortable, waterproof, and sweat proof.

I’ve never used sports tape myself at home, so I was really excited to receive a sample of a sports tape called KT Tape. It’s endorsed by the beach volleyball player Keri Walsh. I’ve watched her many times, and have often noticed the tape on her shoulder.

KT Tape provides muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. It’s lightweight, but can be worn in water. KT Tape creates neuromuscular feedback that inhibits or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This results in support without bulk and restriction.

The tape looked great, and how could you go wrong with bright pink (it comes in ten colors). It was time to tape up the family. I taped my knee, I taped my son’s shoulder (he’s a swimmer), and I taped my husband’s knee (which was suffering from a few too many racquetball games). I considered taping the dogs, but I managed to control myself.

The consensus among those wearing tape in my house was that everyone felt better. The shoulder and the knees showed improvement when they were taped with KT Tape.

Out of the three of us, I’m the only one who has worn other brands of tape, and I was definitely impressed. Compared to other tapes I’ve worn this one was more comfortable. I didn’t even realize I was wearing it. It stayed on through a workout and in the shower.

The tape was easy to use thanks to the instructions and videos on the website. There’s instructions for every body part you can think of.

My husband said he liked using the tape better than other things he’s used, like cremes, because it was subtle and unnoticeable. And my son the swimmer said, “It’s very effective.”

If you have any aches or pains, you need to try this tape. It’s available at a wide variety of stores as well as online. For more information go to KT Tape

This is one sticky situation that will make you feel better!

How to Keep Gluten Out of Your Rice

Lately things haven’t been going well with my “operating system”, which is a polite way of saying I’ve been having gut issues. The doctor told me flat out to avoid gluten.

The first thing I did after hearing this was to take a look at what I eat. I’m one of those weird people who love to eat dry cereal as a snack. My two favorites are Rice Crispies and Cheerios. I thought I was safe with those – a rice cereal and an oat cereal. But on a hunch, I googled both of them to see if they contained gluten.

What an eye opener. Both cereals have gluten in them!

I was stunned. Gluten in a rice cereal? How could this be? But, barley malt is an ingredient in Rice Crispies. And what about my Cheerios? They contain wheat starch. It turns out nothing is safe, even Frosted Flakes contain gluten, Tony the Tiger, say it isn’t so!

I started to panic. If these two food that I thought were “safe” contain gluten, where else is gluten hiding?

If you’re trying to avoid gluten, these are some food that seem safe, but aren’t:

-multi-grain or “artisan” tortilla chips or tortillas
-cheescake filling (may contain wheat flour)
-eggs served at restaurants (some restaurants put pancake batter in scrambled eggs and omelets)
-pre-seasoned meats
-salad dressings and marinades (could contain malt vinegar or flour)
-soup (cream based soups are often thickened with flour)
-french fries (batter may contain wheat flour)
-gum (some companies use flour to coat the gum so it doesn’t stick to the wrapper)
-soy sauce
-mustard (some contain wheat flour)
-instant coffee (gluten is used as a bulking ingredient)
-pickles (some are made with malt vinegar)
-flavored potato chips (wheat flour is used to distribute the flavor on the chips)
-anything with carmel color (it’s usually made from corn, but sometimes it’s made from malt syrup)

Reading labels is a must when looking for gluten at the grocery store. Obviously you’ll look for words like barley, brewer’s yeast, rye and wheat. But gluten also goes by aliases like malt (made from barley) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

Keep in mind that when a product is labeled “Gluten-Free” that may not mean it’s 100% gluten-free. There may still be traces of gluten in it. As long as those traces are very small, it can be labeled “Gluten-Free.” Remember gluten is gluten. Wheat-free doesn’t mean gluten-free. Gluten is also found in rye and barley.

Eating a gluten-free diet takes a little time, but once you know what to look for, it’s a easy as making a sandwich with lettuce instead of bread. Now that’s gluten-free!