Dancers make their sport look easy with graceful moves set to lovely music in soft pink leotards and tidy hair buns. Behind that grace can be a world of hurt.
Recently I read Sophie Aker’s “The Beauty of Ballet” blog about home remedies for dancers’ aches and pains, especially on the feet. She calls these “old granny’s advice.” I bet they work, but some of them made me chuckle:
- For corns, lay a slice of fresh garlic on the affected spot every morning and evening, or try smearing pork fat on endangered areas as a preventative measure.
- For cuts, sprinkle cayenne pepper to stop the bleeding (ouch!) and place the membrane of an onion on the wound as an antiseptic.
- To speed healing of wounds, use honey, which has natural antibacterial properties.
- For inflammation or stub injuries, use the outer leaves of a cabbage and flatten them with a rolling pin to get the juices flowing, then apply to affected area with a bandage.
- For muscle tension, put a hot mashed potato in a bag and compress on the tense muscle.
- To warm cold feet before dance, soak a pair of socks in salt water, place them on the feet, then cover with a second pair of dry socks; this encourages circulation. When feet are warm, remove socks, wash and dry feet, and they will be ready to dance!
Today’s dancers, including my own daughter, might hem and haw at the above home remedies — probably too smelly (garlic and pork fat?) and the salt water sock idea is inconvenient. But a pair of foot warmers or foot warmer pads are convenient, must-have tools for every dancer. Microwave for heat and apply to cold feet and sore muscles before and after class. Store one in the freezer for inflammation and pain relief. Maine Warmers Comforting Creatures can also be heated or frozen and are fragrance free, reusable and oh so soothing!