HEALTH WISE Persistent night cramps are often caused by poor circulation and are a double menace because they disturb a good nights sleep, so give a thought to the old-fashioned solution still in use today of strapping a small magnet to the most susceptible limb before retiring at night. However, if night cramp is the rule rather than the exception it is advisable to seek professional advice.
Stomach cramps are frequently caused by eating in an unnatural position or whilst in a state of tension and can be particularly painful and frightening if the victim is convinced that something worse is wrong.
The pain of cramps should not be underestimated. Some stomach pain suffered by women is no more than a form of cramps yet will send the afflicted to bed with a hot-water bottle and a glass of hot milk until the pain subsides, whilst children are appalled at the ferocity of a stitch which is a cramp in the side caused by excessive running and for which the only cure is to drop to one knee with the forehead touching it.
Generally speaking, a cramp is an instant but temporary protest from the body at being overexerted. However, if it persists it may indicate a dietary deficiency. Vitamins including C, D, E and
B12 and the minerals calcium, magnesium and salt are all very necessary to ensure a smooth-moving body. Athletes frequently suffer from cramps caused by a salt deficiency created by excessive sweating.
Relaxing Rubs and Poultices
Tincture of myrrh If rubbed directly into the muscles or sprinkled on to a hot, damp cloth and laid on the limb will bring quick relief.
Essential oil of cloves Seven drops of this spicy aromatic oil added to I teaspoon of sunflower oil and massaged into the length of the muscle is warming and comforting.
Essential oil of camomile A few drops diluted in 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and rubbed into the painful area of the neck and upper shoulder has a relaxing effect.
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