As told to Caitlin Carlson

Recovery means something different for everyone. It could be that you’re recovering from an injury or simply that you’re taking care of yourself after a workout. In this series, we talk to people in our community about how they recover—plus, what their fitness routine looks like, when they feel most alive, and more. First up, Mab & Stoke founder, Christina Mace-Turner. 

On the Injury: 

I was in my late 30s, working a fast-paced job as an executive at Apple, when a snowboarding accident left me literally on my back. But it was a week later, as I was sitting at the kitchen table, when a single big sneeze blew out three discs, resulting in pain so severe I had to walk with a cane. This wasn’t my first experience with back issues—even in my teens I’d pull out my back while playing sports relatively regularly—but it was definitely the worst so far. This was when we were launching the App Store and I had an hour and a half commute each way to work.

On finding temporary relief: 

I tried everything—OTC painkillers, stretches, seeing a chiropractor—to get rid of the pain without having surgery. But alas, I ended up under the knife which provided temporary relief—until a premature flight to Japan counteracted a lot of the surgical benefits. 

On workarounds: 

Fast forward a few years during which I changed jobs (I started at Flipboard) and once again turned to working around the pain. Everything you shouldn’t really be doing, I was doing to my back—bi-weekly cross country flights and a three-hour daily commute, for example. But it was an overzealous bootcamp instructor that tipped things over the edge. I remember him saying to me, ‘Keep going! Keep going!’ And it was like, bang, bang—searing pain and I blew out the same disc in my back and had to have surgery all over again.

On looking back to go forward: 

Plant medicine was nothing new to me—I was introduced to it as a child by my mother. But, I didn’t make the connection that it might help with this extreme pain in the back. Luckily, I found an osteopath—Seth Linn, D.O.—who unlocked me from my pain and changed the course of my life. What I learned from Seth is that all of the inflammation from my gut had actually gone into my back. His recommendation was to change my diet and do a daily series of core exercises. That’s when I circled back to the plant medicine knowledge I learned as a child. I came up with a celery-ginger-turmeric-lemon juice and had it every single day. Meanwhile, I tried an elimination diet to determine what I was consuming that could have been contributing to inflammation. That led to me to cut back on gluten long-term. Between the diet changes, daily juice, and continued work with the osteopath, 80% of my pain dissipated. 

On finding long-term solutions: 

Recently, though, I felt the aches return. To avoid ibuprofen, I decided to formulate an anti-inflammatory herbal substitute. The resulting blend was so good that I decided to package it up and offer it to everyone—in the form of Mab & Stoke’s new Recovery Sticks.

The Recovery Sticks have now taken the place of my daily juice as it’s the same thing, just way more potent. Because the Mab Sticks have a really good amount of CBG (a non-psychoactive cannabinoid), turmeric, and ginger, the big guns of anti-inflammatories are all in there. That means it’s great not just for helping you manage pain, but also for preventing flare-ups in the first place. Because I’m taking Recovery and I also have the Recovery Cream, I don’t have to worry about the consequences of being active, being my most full self. My hope is that anybody who is just trying to improve their performance will be psyched to take it.

What I Tried: 

  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractor
  • Elimination diet
  • Osteopath
  • Celery-ginger-turmeric-lemon juice
  • Mab & Stoke Recovery Blend
  • Core exercises
  • Surgery

What Worked: 

  • Elimination diet
  • Osteopath
  • Celery-ginger-turmeric-lemon juice
  • Mab & Stoke Recovery Mab Sticks
  • Mab & Stoke Recovery Cream
  • Core exercises

Pro Tip: Try moves like side planks and bird dogs to strengthen your core. 

Pro Tip: Work with a nutritionist or doctor to design the best elimination diet for you. You’ll want to reintroduce just one food at a time.

Pro Tip: Mace-Turner recommends adding a Recovery Mab Stick to your electrolyte water for a one-two post-workout recovery punch. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or information provided are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.