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Patricia Dates O'Brien
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The Thrill of Victory….The Agony Of De Feet…..

by Patricia Dates O'Brien
April 1, 2002

Ask Trish - April 2002



The Thrill of Victory….The Agony Of De Feet…..


Ok, ok, I know it's corny…but it's a perfect title for introducing this month's special column on products to make you (and your feet) feel better before, during and after the competition! (Whoever wrote the song, "I could have danced all night" obviously never danced all night in sweaty costumes and 3-inch heels….) Read on for some great alternatives to that travel-size bottle of Advil…

Sure, your sore muscles are a badge of honor, and a tribute to all your hard work, but anyone who has to travel home by sitting on a plane the next day can tell you that the tribute gets old pretty quick. My first helpful product is as old as the hills—literally. Legend has it that mountain climbers in the Swiss Alps, as far back as the 16th century, chewed on Arnica Montana, a yellow mountain daisy, to relieve muscle pain. A little more recently, Olympic athletes, like the 1998 French soccer team, used Arnica to relieve pain and speed the healing of cuts and bruises. Studies conducted by the Bioron corporation, a manufacturer of homeopathic products, have shown that Arnica is an effective antineuralgic—that's pain reliever to you and me.

Now, before you think I've turned into a flower-power dancin' hippie, today Arnica is available in convenient pellets that dissolve under your tongue, so you don't have to carry a bouquet of daisies with you to comps. Use 5 pellets, 3 times a day, to feel relief. Some even say to begin taking Arnica 1-2 days before a comp, to lessen muscle inflammation (Arnica pellets are available in health food and homeopathic stores everywhere, around $6, or at www.vitaminshoppe.com) Just make sure that you don't take too much—as with any homeopathic remedy, too much of a good thing can be toxic. Ask your health food or homeopathic store employee for specific product instructions!

Speaking of airplanes….anyone who has enjoyed food on a plane can benefit from my next product. American Health's Chewable Super Papaya Enzyme Plus Tablets not only has a pretty nifty name, but can see you through aftereffects of the "chicken" or the "meat" dish on the plane (last I checked chicken was a meat….but…oh, whatever…) They will also help with any strange hotel food: papaya fruit contains the enzymes papain and protease, which aid in digestion. The tablets are chewable, don't require any refrigeration, and also contain peppermint and chlorophyll, for better taste and better breath. (Available at health food stores everywhere, about $7, or at www.vitaminshoppe.com.)

Sally Beauty Supply's Heel To Toe Aromatherapy Spa Pedicure line is my latest favorite find. I'm wondering if they've hired a troupe of dancers recently, because they seem to have cornered the market on irresistible products for aching feet. Yes, they have the usual stuff: the salt rubs, the peppermint creams, the pumice scrubs….however, they are all a fraction of the price you would pay at, say, Origins or The Body Shop. As if this wasn't enough, Sally also carries fun stuff, like the Intensive Repair Overnight Treatment Socks. They're socks! But they are "specially designed socks," containing aloe vera, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and chamomile oils in their little spandex cells. You can wear them overnight for soft, well rested feet, or wear them between rounds for a foot pick-me-up.

After the competition, relax with Sally's Moisturizing Marine Foot Masque. You need a couple of old towels and 20 minutes—slather on the masque on both feet, wrap 'em and relax—the masque contains mineral clays, sea and botanical extracts, and menthol, and will leave your feet smooth and rejuvenated. Added bonus: if you have a cold or stuffy nose, you can sniff the bottle while resting your feet—better than Vicks VapoRub! (All foot care products available at Sally Beauty Supply stores—check www.Sallybeauty.com for store locations.)


Some of the Heel to Toe products



(This column has also been printed in April's Dance Beat newspaper.)



Ask Trish…to do your makeup at dance competitions! Trish's next makeup appearance will be May 1-5 at the Emerald Ball Dancesport competition, in Los Angeles, California. If you are going to the competition and would like to have your makeup professionally applied, please E-Mail Trish at TrishDatesOBrien@aol.com to set up an appointment.

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