A little morning workout.
“Why am I so stiff and sore today?!
Hint: *MUSCLE FASCIA: (The slick tissue between the skin and the muscle). “Stuck” fascia is a key reason we (and our horses) become muscle-bound/sore and eventually lose our normal range of motion.*
Yesterday we received an email from Frances, a Therapeutic Body Therapist in SoCal. Her comments about NATURAL RELEASE Muscle Wash are terrific, and they also give us a chance to discuss how and why we become sore and tight.
Following Frances’s note, we have added some brief explanations about fascia, and its role in muscle soreness. Yes, we learned this in 9th grade biology, but I, for one, clearly need a reminder!
Here is Frances’s note: (She ordered six bottles of Natural Release and we asked her why.)
“Hi! The [Natural Release] product is great! It seems to melt layers of fascia that are stuck; breaks up the adhesions so wonderfully. So to answer your question, I bought it for myself and to give away a few bottles. I have some clients that need it very much. Also you should be seeing other orders from the south bay area. I’m telling a lot of people and I think the chiropractor I work for will be getting some soon too. Okay off to work. Have a great night. Frances”
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So below, lets learn about Fascia – and remember why we need to stretch! (borrowed from StretchCoach)
WHAT DOES MUSCLE FASCIA DO?
There are three main functions that the muscle fascia performs:
1. The fascia holds the muscle together and keeps it in the correct place.
2. The fascia separates the muscles so they can work independently of each other.
3. The fascia provides a lubricated surface so that the muscles can move smoothly against each other.
STRETCHING MUSCLE FASCIA
As stated above; when improving flexibility is the goal, the muscles and their fascia should be the major focus of your flexibility training.
When you are inactive for long periods of time, due to inactivity or injury, the muscle fascia starts to bind together. This prevents the muscles from moving freely against each other, and leads to a stiffness or tightness that limits normal range of motion and prevents freedom of movement. Regular stretching will help to keep your muscles and their fascia in good working order, and prevent your muscles and their fascia from seizing up.
If you have read this far, here are a few suggestions that we at Four Oaks have learned, and try our best to employ each day. They help!
1. Each morning stand in place with your hands at your sides. Slowly begin to twist your shoulders back and forth. Keep your arms loose, and they will sort of flap along with your shoulders. After a moment start to VERY slowly raise your arms as your shoulders continue back and forth. You will now look like a scarecrow in the wind. Keep doing this as your arms raise up. Eventually they reach the top, and then start back down until they reach your sides. You have now loosened every muscle in your upper body : Back, shoulders, neck, arms and waist. Even your knees and legs loosen up. (Learned from Kim Kizzier, Equine Massage Therapy and Beyond. Thanks Kim! It is an amazing morning ritual… even though it makes me look a bit daffy:-)
2. If you spend your day at a desk, stand up and move at least every 30 minutes. (It’s easy to get lost behind a computer for hours at a time!) Do ten knee bends or 10 toe touches, or ten jumping jacks. Even walking to the mailbox will help. The added benefit is that your mind needs the same rest as your body. Science tells us that the maximum length of mental efficiency without a break is 90 minutes. For most of us in is less than a hour. After that our brainwaves falter, and we simply can not work at peak level.
Okay, you should all be ready for a little stretch. Just Do It!
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** NATURAL RELEASE™ Muscle-Wash **
This site is the offiical site of FOUR OAKS FARM VENTURES, Inc, the makers of many international products since 2010.
Natural Release Muscle Spray/Gel
WHY IS THIS LINIMENT DIFFERENT?
Yes, if you or your horses have any kind of muscle stress, tendinitis, arthritis, or other soft tissue issue, you have surely spent a LOT of money on liniments while searching for relief. Of course you have tried all the menthol rubs (99% of all liniments in the store carry menthol as their “active” ingredient.) These work a bit….sort of….Maybe? Honestly, not really. Basically as soon as the sensation of heat goes away, so does the sensation of relief. Your senses of smell and touch can no longer be tricked.
Natural Release Muscle Spray/Gel has no menthol, no alcohol. It creates no heat, and there is nearly zero smell. (It can be used under saddle, wraps, and clothing)
WHAT’S IN IT AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
The all-natural water-based ingredients are:
- Dead Sea Transdermal Magnesium
Buy the SPRAY Here Buy the GEL Here
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Everybody knows that magnesium releases muscle and soft tissue. This is why we take magnesium supplements to help prevent and stop leg cramps and body stress. The form of magnesium in Natural Release is truly transdermal. This means it penetrates the skin, getting down into the deep tissue, going to work in minutes. This form of Mg is also a carrier. So it carries the arnica and eucalyptus inside with it. These ingredients helps reduce inflammation and pain associated with stressed muscle and tendons, arthritis, tendonitis, etc.
Natural Release is labeled for animals, but people are finding it incredibly helpful for their personal use. Sore backs, thrown-out neck, knees, plantar fasciitis, and pretty much any soft tissue stress.
Massage therapists use it in their practice to release soft tissue before they go to work, making the massage easier to perform – and more importantly, less painful for the client.
Speaking of “use before,” Natural Release is not only intended to be used as a muscle release after a hard workout, but even more importantly to be used “Before” you ride?
- Does your horse have a tweaked hock or stifle?
- Do you have to do a 30 minute warm up to loosen him up before you can start working with him in the ring?
- Does he balk when you are tacking up because his topline or sacrum is locked.
- Is his stride short and choppy.
- Does he fight the bridle because his poll or TMJ is clenched and ridged?
Natural Release will make a difference in all of these situations.
For more info, review this WHAT IS NATURAL RELEASE video or Log on to:
The Natural Release Page
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On this page you will find Testimonials (we particularly like the full story-length stories), and a “What is it and how is it different” Video. (We will continue to update these as they come in.
To find the All-Natural Ingredient list and read the complete product details you can go to the Gel Order Page or the Spray Order Page (The gel and spray are the same product, just a different viscosity.)
Here are some reviews from customer emails we’ve received; a few from Instagram/FB; and others from some of our favorite Animal Health e-commerce sites’
Aug 3, 2022 – Sherry Ferrell-Esquivel – FB post
I bought it for my horses, but I use it on me! It’s wonderful! I have old whiplash in my neck, so everytime I overdo, it’s painful and gives me migraines. Spray it on, pain is gone. Have a pulled tendon in hip, difficult to ride spray it on rub it in and I have no pain when riding! Love it!
8/2/22 Sheri Moon – FB post
This stuff is amazing. Used it on my horse that had a limp on her left front leg. Used the spray twice a day. In three days the limp was gone. I use the gel on my knee. It relieves the pain where I can cross my legs and have no reaction. I just ordered a bigger bottle last night. Wonderful. I told my friend about it and he ordered a bottle of gel for his hip.
Kathy A Cribbs
Haven’t tried on my horse yet as it doesn’t get here before I left for a race. But, I did use it on my arm and hand and in about 3 minutes I could straighten my arm and make a fist. I have RA and lots of inflammation this worked great
I have now bought the gel.I also tested it on myself and had my husband try it.He agreed that he got almost instant relief with the spray so I am convinced.I will rub it into my horse as you suggest.Thanks
7/14/22 Erica Twigg Moore
I would like to let you know last night my mare was having a bout of gas colic ( I beleive) She was very swollen across her top line and sucked up in the stomach, and she was leaning back stretching , not wanting to walk. I applied a good abount of Natural releif gel on her back and her stomach, she started licking and yawning, about 30 minutes later she was walking freely and drinking water. whew, this stuff worked great glad I had it. Thank You sooo much for such a awesome product.
April 11, 2022 Janet Kaufman (posted on Facebook)
I must say The All Natural Release may be my new best friend. I sprayed it on my retired 26y/o OTTB. He’s tight all over so it didn’t matter where. . Immediately he started to release. I thot “what?? That was so instant” I repeated the process and again the same response. So I went to horse #2. I sprayed his glutes and rested my hand there. Then to the shoulder. Not only could I feel the response I could see the release happen. On to horse #3 for another affirmation of the product’s legitimacy. It did not disappoint and it works without my help!! While I did do some bodywork after I sprayed,
u do NOT have to!! Plus it helps the horse be more agreeable. And I love that its a natural product. If ur other thrush product works this good then u guys r tops in my book!!!
05/13/22- FB post – LisaRae Ventures –
Absolutely works! Just got mine this week and used it on areas where my girl is always tight and tense. Within minutes she was yawning, stretching her neck out, licking and chewing while lunging! She willingly and smoothly performs transitions from trot to canter with very subtle cues now. This makes our time together so much more productive and so much more fun. Definitely a game changer for us!!!
6-1-22 – FB Post LisaRae Ventures (SECOND COMMENT 2 WEEKS LATER
“FYI… I got very desperate this evening when my filly dropped to the ground as I was leading her across the arena. She tried to roll, but I wouldn’t let her. She immediately put her head down, closed her eyes and sighed. I thought she was gone! Long story short… She had no upper gut sounds so I gave her a shot of banimine. 30 minutes went by and still no sounds. It was hard to keep her walking.
Being desperate, I decided to spray the area over her upper gut. I’m not even exaggerating when I say within five minutes she began yawning, blowing out her nose and walking like nothing was wrong!! I could hear a few upper gut sounds and lower was more active. I sprayed a few more times over the next hour, and both upper and lower gut were very active and noisy.
I’m guessing she just had gas colic, but I seriously believe that getting her muscles relaxed with this product help speed up her recovery!!! I know I’ve never seen banamine get these kind of results this fast! Can’t 100% claim this product was the accelerator, but it would take a lot to convince me it wasn’t!!!! Just happy my little girl is okay 😍
Christine Cuipylo 6/14/22 FB Post
I just received my Natural release spray. I have no idea what I did but I had a muscle that cramped up good. No amount.of ibuprofen was helping and none of my rubs. I put some Natural release on it several times yesterday and the pain is gone. I was able to get on and ride my horse. So Humbull and I will be sharing. Great product and customer service!
Amanda Gilbert 6-11-22 fb post
This stuff is absolutely amazing. I have a draft horse with a very stiff neck and about 5 mins after rubbing this on she practically melts.. starts yawning, licking, and chewing and you can see the tension drop out of her body.
6-11-22 Norm Kenny – Natural Release – Messenger
I am in total shock about how well this worked on my upper back and neck. Within minutes I felt relief. More than any other topical I’ve ever used including, bio freeze, CMD DMSO! Very pleased.
My horses will have to get in line
- Shannon Sipes Clendon 5/28/2022
Love love love this stuff! I have a horse that tends to get tense and it takes forever to get him working over his back and relaxed. I forgot I had some of this and then ran across an ad…. So I dug it out of my tack room, and applied to his top line, sacrum, hamstrings, and then the neck up to the poll and even his cheeks/TMJ. Tacked him up and warmed him up per our usual routine, and I had an amazingly relaxed, supple, elastic horse. I repeated the same process for my next two rides just to see if it was a fluke…. Nope! Wow. I finally found the magic formula to get him relaxed and working over his back straight from the beginning. Amazing stuff!!!
I ordered this after having such success with No Thrush. The first time I used it the relaxed response was so immediate I was sure it couldn’t be from the spray. We used it before riding. Then a few sprays after. Tried it a few more times with the same results. Last night I used it with some Masterson techniques and even my super stoic, high headed always-on-alert rescue dropped his head,, was swaying, and had the biggest yawns i have ever seen!!! He was so chill I could have probably jumped on him! He even turned and moved to show me where he wanted some spray. Still don’t understand how it works but my horses sure love it!! Just bought the biggest size bottle.
FEB 23, 2022 Annie Schack (posted on FB)
“I just got this [Natural Release] one week ago. I’m going to have to have both knees replaced. I’m trying to hold off having the surgery for a year. I got this and no more pain…it is a game changer!! I’ve already recommended it to two others, and both got a squirt from me first and they were sold…and was totally blown away…good stuff
- Karen D Florey House – FB post 5/27/2022
I had a chance to use the sample you sent along with my last order of the spray, my horse kicked out and his foreleg hit me square on the elbow jamming it! I remembered I had this and applied it afterwards and before bed for the soreness, next morning a little tender but 100% better!
THANKYOU for a great product!
5/22/2022 FB post
I got a sample of the Natural Release a while back. Tried it on my horrible tennis elbow and couldn’t believe how well it worked. I keep it in stock and use it often for myself and my equines. Great products.
- Feb 18, 2022 Dee Stotts (posted on FB)
“I got my order today and raced out to my girl with the Natural Release (we have tons of snow so haven’t used the No Thrush yet) within 20 minutes she actually put weight on her hind hock. Something she hasn’t done in a long time.”
- Nov 12, 2021 By myequlife via Instagram
“My daughter woke up sobbing last night because couldn’t walk, her growing pains in her legs were so bad. I rubbed the Natural Release on her and within 5 minutes she was asleep!!! Thank you Four Oaks Farm!”
- Jan 20, 2020 Amnada Smith – Barrel Racer via Facebook Review
I tried Natural Release for my barrel horse that has been having stiffness in her poll and TMJ area. She also gets a little sore in her lower back. I have been told by my bodyworker to massage her poll to keep it from getting stiff. well, this was a task. She didn’t want me touching her poll and it literally felt hard to the touch behind her ears. I tried the muscle wash and after about 10 min she let me work on her poll and you could feel the muscles were less stiff and had softened. I am sold!
I have been using the Natural Release for years on me and my husband. This is awesome stuff. I use it on a lot of sore areas of our bodies. Shoulders, back, legs and neck. I have found it relieves muscle tightness and cramps. I highly recommend this for both human and horses. For my horse I have used it for his back and hocks. It just works!!
- February 15, 2019 by Katy B.Very effective product
“Was VERY effective on our horse with muscle strain in his back. He has gone from a painful “Lawn ornament” back to a solid mover apparently pain-free. Love the product”
- Nov 6th, 2021 Heidi K.
“The Natural Release is my all-time favorite. Use it immediately after you fall off and you are no longer sore, use it on your achy joints or pinched nerves! You can rub it on your horses’ legs, on their back, stifles, hocks, knees and shoulders before your ride to loosen them up, and then to relax them after. Both you and your horse will feel the difference almost immediately.I try everything until I find my favorite products, ones that I cannot live without, and stick to them! These are must-haves in my tack trunk, down by the arena, in my medicine cabinet at home & the cross ties at all times!!”
- May 9, 2018 by Patti P. (CA, United States)
“Works wonders for tired/sore muscles and arthritis”
Works Wonders for Horse and Human! I first purchased this for my horse, but it never made it to the barn initially. I tore my rotator cuff and bicep. My order had just arrived so I thought, if it’s good enough for my horse, it’s good enough for me. Oh my goodness! I used it both before and after surgery. It relieved pain almost immediately, and helped with swelling and bruising. I have used it on my horse with equally great results! He had a torn tendon and has some arthritis in his stifles and hocks as well as some ringbone in his right front. This has worked wonders both on swelling and his level of comfort which is most important to me. I love that it doesn’t have the menthol heat or odor! My grandson used it on his horse who had fallen and had a bad muscle tear in her hindquarters with equally wonderful results. Recently, the day after baling hay, some of the barn workers were complaining of sore muscles in their arms and across their shoulders. I suggested that they use the gel which they did and expressed almost immediate relief. Now, if anyone complains of sore muscles or neck, they say, “Go get that stuff that Nancy has. It really works!” I am now “gifting” people with a bottle to use both for their horses and themselves! I am a nurse, so I recognize the benefits of the ingredients; I also am quickly leaning toward natural products whenever possible instead of loading my horse, and myself, up with drugs and chemicals. This product REALLY WORKS! Thank you Four Oaks Farm! Oh, and by the way, the customer service is awesome! Questions are answered quickly and the product is usually shipped out the same day.
- May 17, 2021 Received via email
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making this product. I originally purchased this for my horse 2 years ago because he was so body sore. Because of his sensitivity to everything under the sun, naturally (like the good horse mom I am) I tried it on myself first. Glad I did. I have a facial and neck spam that I have been treating with this product that has greatly reduced my requirements to see my neurologist for 14 botox injections into my neck, back, and face.Well even better, I have been using this now on my thoroughbred who is starting to feel better in his body. This is a horse who has made chiropractors gape their mouths with his neck issues, he has exhausted the best of bodyworkers and almost killed 2 veterinarians attempting to acupuncture him. I am also a CVT for the past 20 years and I have never seen such dramatically positive results with any type of product like this. Here is a video that shows how much muscle relaxation he’s starting to find and trying to open up the neck that has been deemed too locked to adjust and his thoracic sling syndrome issues.
OH, we also love the no thrush powder too.”
Adrienne A., CVT
- EQUINE – LOCKED UP SACRUM – Condensed from lengthy Facebook post on February 23 2016 (NOTE: Vets and chiropractors had recommended euthanasia due to this extensive muscular problem.
“….Last Wednesday (January 13th, 2016) was the first application of NATURAL RELEASE. I did it in the evening before tucking her in for the night. I sprayed her lumbar area, plus her entire left hindquarter from her lower back, over the rump, and down to her hamstring. It was mainly her left side that was the problem. I massaged the product into her fuzzy winter coat, ensuring that the product got all the way down to the skin. As I rubbed the product in, I could feel her tense, tight muscles. It felt like I was rubbing Granite. I covered her with durable turnout sheet for the night before I left.
The next morning I arrived and pulled off her sheet. I grabbed the NATURAL RELEASE bottle and stepped to her rear end to check her muscle tone to see if there had been any improvement.As an endurance rider, I am very familiar with how to check muscle tone. Basically, you stand at the hind end and use the heel of your hand to press on the hamstring area. As you press down and release, the muscle should bounce back. Ideally, the muscle should feel like Jello. Endurance horses are graded “A” down to “D.” The looser the muscle, the better the score on your vet card. The previous evening, Maggie would have easily scored a “D” for her rock-hard muscles. Her right side was more normal and probably would have scored a “B” or so.
So after I pulled off her sheet, I pressed against her left hamstring. I carefully watched her ears since tight muscles can be quite painful and a horse in pain will often kick out when you apply pressure. I pressed and released. The muscle yielded to pressure and bounced back! I was in shock and awe. I pressed again and released, thinking it must have been a fluke. The muscle bounced back again! I then started pressing all over the area that I had treated and the rump and lower back muscles yielded easily to my pressure.
I called Tobi over. “Feel my horse’s butt! She isn’t cramping!” Tobi came over and felt it. She agreed that the muscle was loose. In fact, we could find little difference between the left side and the right side. I continued to press all over the left side of her hindquarters, amazed at the difference one application had made. I started laughing! Maggie turned her head to look at me and my laughter abruptly changed to tears of joy. She was suddenly able to turn her head to the left! Completely to the left! Her nose was at her girth area as she was staring at me with both eyes facing me!
One application of NATURAL RELEASE had not only loosened up her hind end, but it had done what two chiropractic visits had failed to do: loosen up her neck to the point where she could flex laterally to the left with ease. And I hadn’t even applied it to her neck! But since everything is connected, I am now guessing that the “neck problem” was directly related to her hind end issue.
I decided to skip doing multiple treatments every day and instead decided to just do a single treatment at night before tucking her in. After the second treatment (done on Thursday pm, January 14th and checked Friday am, January 15th) there was no difference between how “bouncy” her muscles were on either hamstring. By Saturday morning (January 16th) her left hamstring was actually far looser than her right! So I went ahead and started applying the product to her right side as well. By Sunday morning (January 17th) her whole hind end was so loose and healthy that any endurance vet out there would have given her an “A+” on muscle tone! And that was after exactly four treatments!….”
Sheri D – Facebook post.
- BACK PAIN: Email Received – April 2016
“OK, I’m impressed. I had a monster knot in my back this morning when I woke. It was one of those that make you walk crooked. My wife had already left, so I couldn’t ask her to lend me some thumbs. The little sample bottle of NATURAL RELEASE that you sent with our order was in the medicine cabinet. I tried to give it go but couldn’t reach the spot back there. Just out of reach. I wandered out to the barn where my wife keeps the big bottle we bought. This has a sprayer. Still unable to reach, and unable to massage it in without help, I leaned over and gave a couple of sprays and let it dry. By the time I got in and fixed a cup of coffee the knot was gone. I felt a tiny lingering tug where the knot had been, but I had to mentally search for it. By the time I reached work, I had forgotten about it completely.
Tonight I told my wife about it, and she asked me to get some more. While I was on your website I saw your email, figured I’d say thanks. So…. Thanks. My day was better than it would have been.”
Mike K. Gillette ,WY April 2016
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