By Emma Maaranen
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I celebrate this day by spoiling myself in mind, body and spirit. This year, in addition to reading my favorite academic journal in a cozy coffee shop, ski touring in a secret stash of powder and concluding the day with a fantastic home-cooked meal, I am going to add a little fire to the mix. How? I have recently been introduced to embrocations. Embrocations are topical preparations that increase circulation in muscle tissue, and are staples in the world of European cycling and Nordic teams. They are rubbed into muscles before a warm-up to enhance the process and keep blood flow to hard working tissue during training or competition. Most embrocations use capsicum, the heat agent in chile peppers, to do the job. I have been playing with JTree’s Full Heat Embrocation on my calf muscles before running and skiing to support these muscles as they recover from a bout of tendonitis. I have found that the embrocation is letting me train just a little harder at this stage of my healing than I would normally expect. I have also been using it on my toes before a long cold day of riding chair lifts to keep my feet a bit warmer with great success. I’m excited to see how it may help me avoid cramping on long cycling days this spring. Because I’m now obsessed with these little spicy creams, Focus Bodywork is now carrying JTree’s Full Heat Embrocation. So, this Valentine’s Day give a little love to your hard working muscles, and add a little spice to your workout.