September 9, 2018

An All Natural Way to Relieve Aches and Pains - High Sierra's Organic Hemp Oil Muscle Rub

If you knew me from Juilliard, you'll remember me as the dancer slathering on lotion at every free moment to massage my feet and ankles - sometimes even in the middle of academic classes. [haha] Dealing with acute back pain and ankle stiffness during my entire dancing career, topical pain relievers, trips to the acupuncturist and chiropractor has been a part of my life since as young as I can remember. Name the top 10 pain relieving muscle rubs in the mainstream market and I've probably already tried them - twice.

But in all seriousness, in 2007 during the height of MY personal topical pain reliving usage, a talented high school athlete died from overdosing on a synthetically produced anti-inflammatory found in BenGay, Icy Hot, Tiger balm, Salonpas... [the list goes on] Not to mention that even used in small, safe amounts, sports creams are still acutely toxic and not recommend for children, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding - warning signs.

Since then, I've looked for natural ways to condition my body for optimal performance, to prevent injuries, and relieve pain - from arnica gel, epsom salt baths, acupuncture and massage therapy, to mindfully stretching, and eating a healthy diet. 

Speaking of natural, High Sierra is a local company based in Lakewood, SoCal [an hour drive from where I grew up!] and they specialize in organic muscle rubs to aid aches and pains. Their Organic Hemp Oil Muscle Rub is formulated with all natural ingredients plainly listed, free of toxins and chemicals, made in small batches to ensure freshness, and packaged in the USA. They are an animal loving, cruelty-free company, donating to dog rescues each month, and their logo features Sierra, their adorably white and fuzzy Berger Blanc Suisse!

Made with Ingredients you can read - Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Hemp Oil, Shea Butter, Menthol, Beeswax, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Eucalyptus Essential Oils.

Essential oils have been long used for medicinal purposes for their anti-inflammatory properties and as a mild pain reliever. In this rub, the menthol, tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus oils are blended together to relax muscles and to bring relief to sore and tight muscles. Among all the topical creams I've used in the past, I would say that this balm - in its texture, smell, application, and performance - reminds me most of Tiger Balm, which also uses mostly natural ingredients and Chinese essential oils to bring temporary relief.

High Sierra's Organic Hemp Oil Muscle Rub, paired with strategic icing/heating, manual massaging, and using a foam roller, gave mild relief to my sore muscles.

I'm not a medical doctor and I'm not in any way saying that one particular product or therapy will miraculously bring healing - especially if you're dealing with pain that is associated with a chronic injury or with bone structure. And I wouldn't say that this balm took away my joint and back pains or healed my ailments, but it did lessen muscular aches and quickened recovery time so that I could be on my feet ready to dance the next day.

My self care routine typically involves rolling out and a good muscle rub down before and after classes/rehearsal - and this balm in tin form is super portable and easy to carry around in my dance bag. Taking a little bit of the balm and using the salve to deeply massage my particularly stiff areas - ankles, knees and back - before class gets my circulation flowing - especially helpful for early morning rehearsals. And after class - after cooling down with some stretches and rolling out with my favorite roller - the nut/seed oils in the formula make it easy to gently manipulate and massage soft tissues to reduce muscle tension, promote circulation, and maintain suppleness in my ankles, calves and knees.

With that being said, retailing at $40 for a 2oz tin, this all natural balm can seem a bit expensive in comparison to conventional muscle relievers found at your local pharmacy. So I'll leave it up to you to decide if it's worth a try. But personally, this balm has been a good aid in my daily self-therapy and I'll continue to happily use it until it runs out. Perhaps I would be interested in trying their CBD oil rub next!

*Thank you to High Sierra Brand for providing the Hemp Oil Muscle Rub for this review.

All images © 2018 Grace Song Photography

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