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    Top 5 Things I do to Deal with Pain as a Dancer

    Hello fellow dancers, glad you clicked on this article! We all know, no matter what style of dance, this sport can be very hard & dangerous for our bodies.

    From aching feet to sore backs, we all experience discomfort. I am learning ballet…and all dancers know that ballet is high up there for styles of dance that put so much stress on your body & force your muscles to work outside of their comfort zone. 

    Today, I’m going to talk to you about 5 things I do to soothe some of that pain, especially in your feet. 

    **GirlSpring does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

    Tiger balm

    Tiger balm, tiger balm, tiger balm! I cannot suggest this enough. Tiger Balm is basically like IcyHot. It’s consistency is like Vaseline, but a bit firmer. The ingredients — camphor & menthol bring blood to the surface that generate a warm sensation, which distracts your brain from the pain. However, it is crucial that you rub a bit of it on your forearm, wait a day & see if your skin becomes irritated. If any reaction comes, do not use it again. It is also very dangerous to rub tiger balm on burnt, inflamed, irritated, red, dry, warm skin, so be careful. Do not apply before your skin will be exposed to hot conditions (warm showers, sauna) or after using heating pads. I like to rub this on my ankles because that is where I get the most pain. 

    Credit:  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323771 

    Feet Ice Bath 

    You can never forget ice baths for your feet! Fill a bucket with a 1:1 ratio ice & water. Submerge your feet in & relax! It is recommended to do this for only 10 minutes. More than that time limit can cause more harm than good. I love doing this every once in a while, it  Doing soothes sore muscles & lowers the pain in my feet. And fun fact: doing this method is proven to bring up your mood!

    Credit: https://oti-oncologytraining.com/2017/10/10/stimulating-the-immune-system-with-icy-water/

    Massagers

    All dancers love massages! But if your sibling bluntly refuses to give you one, no worries, here are some tools you can use by yourself.

    • Gua Sha – Gua Sha is a traditional healing method from China. If you’re not familiar, it involves moving a piece of Gua Sha across the surface of your skin, while lightly pressing down. This method is great for muscle stiffness & sorting out knotted areas. I highly encourage you to watch videos on how to use gua sha on your legs & feet. If you guess & just randomly move the tool across your skin, you could possibly harm yourself. Apply some oil or foot lotion on your skin (helps the tool glide across easily) & go to town! Remember to keep the tool flat & don’t press down hard. 
    • Fascial Gun: I really like this massage gun. It comes with many attachments you can attach onto the gun. There’s also many levels of vibration! I like to use this on my calves because they get really tight & this helps loosen everything up. 

    Roll 

    As dancers, it’s very important to roll out your muscles. I personally use a tennis ball or some small ball & roll out my feet, calves, & thighs. I sit down & place the tennis ball under my foot. Then, I put most of my weight onto the ball & rock back & forth, allowing the ball to massage the sole. Sometimes, I will put a ball under my calf & roll it back & forth. Doing both of these methods helps sore muscles & free tense fascia. To help turnout, I will lay on my side, place the tennis ball right under my hip (more towards the back) & roll forward & back.  Remember to breathe! 

    I also love a tool named a Core Massage Roller.  I use it to massage in Tiger balm or just to warm up my muscles. I got mine from TJMaxx but there are also some on Amazon! 

    Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMGNYcsbOns

    https://www.danceadvantage.net/performance-week-dancer-hacks/

    Heating Pads

    Don’t forget the heating pads! Applying warmth to areas that hurt make your blood vessels bigger, which enables more blood & oxygen to come in. And blood circulation = relief & loosening & that results in a happy dancer! 

    Credit: https://www.verywellhealth.com/foot-warmers-comfort-people-with-arthritis-189397

    Hair Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush

    Hair is so important when it comes to dancing. We have no choice but to leave it down because having it up helps you balance. Unfortunately, having your hair in a tight ponytail & bun for hours can seriously hurt, especially when you have thick hair that is very heavy. The first thing I know I want to do when I finish practice is to let that bun loose. But, ever since I have been using a hair scalp massager, most of my pain has been relieved. My brush has silicone bristles that work for me, but different materials can deliver a harsher massage & vice versa. I just massage my scalp with this for a few minutes & it honestly feels like you’re in heaven. As a bonus, it’s also made to shampoo your scalp nicely, amazing to get rid of all that hair spray & gel build-up. 

    Well, that’s that! I hope you learned a few new things from this article! Dance is a beautiful art, and despite all the discomfort we experience as our body adjusts, we wouldn’t trade it for the world.