As you may have read in earlier posts, I suffered a pretty serious disc herniation in my lumbar spine. Conservative treatments didn’t provide relief. I tried physical therapy, chiropractic, TENS, ultrasound, therapeutic lasers, heat, icing, waiting, massage and finally epidural steroid injections. Nothing could help the debilitating pain going down the leg. Conventional pain killers don’t seem to help nerve pain. When something is pressing on that sciatic nerve, there is nothing that will relieve the pain. There is no way to convey what the pain is like. I could use words to describe the pain, but nothing can translate the non-stop crippling pain. This type of pain affects your whole system–spiritual, emotional and physical. Think of people you know that are in this kind of pain. They can’t concentrate, they are emotional and vulnerable. Think about attending a really loud concert and then it never ending..in fact going on for months and you can’t get relief from the loud sound. Maybe that describes it.
In either case, I opted for the microdiscectomy. Immediate relief from that crazy pain. I wondered what surgery pain was going to be like. It’s nothing compared to crippling sciatic pain. For those who are about to have the procedure and are worried about the surgery pain like I was, you will be given some pain killer to make it through the first few days. Just take the pain killer. You’ll just feel a little sore. But it’s a totally manageable pain with specific boundaries. You’ll be stiff for a couple weeks but everyday..I mean every day brings measurable relief.
There will be some aches and pains here and there that resemble the sciatic pain–mostly in the evening when you’re tired, but it goes away quickly. Any doctor will tell you it could take weeks if not months for the nerve to heal from the trauma of being pressed on for so long and then getting freed up during surgery. Don’t worry about it. It will take weeks to get back to normal. No bending, lifting or twisting for 6 weeks and restrictions on how much you can lift etc. Every doctor will have a different recommendation or approach, but it’s best to take it really slow and just walk for the first few weeks.
Recovery will take time and you will need help. The worse part is having patience because you won’t be able to do things for awhile and battling feelings of loneliness and helplessness. Just keep thinking about when you’ll be up and running better than ever!
Here’s what I’ve been taking to speed up healing based on research and some common sense:
Collagen powder mixed with frozen fruit 1 to 2 times per day
Emergen C (has vitamins and minerals besides vitamin C)
Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate/MSM combo
Theanine (to help with mood)
Grapeseed extract with CoQ10
B complex vitamin
Grass Fed dairy
Cod Liver and Cod Liver Oil
Now obviously I can’t have all of this everyday, but I’m taking as much as possible.
Walking vs Running?
Check out this article from Time–it says that walking is similar to running with regards to health benefits such as reduction of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. However, when you read the article, walking is almost TWICE as good as running. Not JUST as good as:
Here’s what the researchers found:
Running significantly reduced the risk for being diagnosed with hypertension by 4.2% while walking reduced the risk by 7.2%
Running reduced the chances of having high cholesterol by 4.3% and walking by 7%
Running lowered risk of diabetes by 12.1% while walking dropped the risk by 12.3%
Running reduced coronary heart disease risk by 4.5% compared to 9.3% for walking.
You can read the whole article here.
The way I read this, walking is almost 2x as good as running for hypertension, almost 2x as good as running for high cholesterol, just as good as running for diabetes, and again 2x as good as running for heart disease.
So forgot running. I feel that too much running increases inflammation in the body and breaks it down.
Go enjoy your walk!
Believe it or not, there’s a very simple way to raise testosterone naturally and reduce cortisol. You don’t have to ingest anything nor do you have to take any injections! You can raise your testosterone levels by merely assuming a “power pose” for 2 minutes. Power poses are natural postures you assume when you feel dominant or powerful. For example, standing with your fists on your hips or with your arms in the air like a victory pose. The research proves you can boost testosterone by only doing this!
Here’s a awesome video of Amy Cuddy speaking about the research:
If you find yourself hunched over, collapsed or submissive, you’re not only feeling low, your cortisol levels are higher than they should be and your testosterone levels are low! Don’t do it anymore! Straighten up and take up space. As Amy says in the video, “Fake it till you make it!”.
Btw, I didn’t know that you can feel happier by faking a smile too. Very interesting.
I’m a big believer in the power of the mind to influence our bodies and our circumstances. Affirmations are a powerful tool to help focus intention and help create the reality you want. Here’s a cool animation for a great website people use to send themselves free reminders via e-mail or text message. Here’s the video:
It’s important to be aware of your habitual thoughts. Images in the mind can trigger a cocktail of chemicals into your bloodstream. As mentioned in the e-book, ‘Beautiful Thinking’, some women will release oxytocin if they think about a hungry and crying baby. It triggers an instinct to nurse. Growth hormone release has been linked with positive emotions. The other day, I realized that the opposite must also be true. If we imagine bad things happening (the typical worry wort) we must be flooding our systems with bad chemicals. If we become addicted to imagining the worst outcome or brooding over what happened or what could have happened, it’s like having a diet heavy in junk food..or worse. We depress our immune systems with chronic bad thoughts.
How simple it is to simply choose to have some positive thoughts..daydream! It will extend your life. Create happy thoughts like you would take vitamins. Our bodies create the chemicals and tonics we need. We don’t have to get substances from the outside. The Beautiful Thinking ebook may seem very simple or very obvious, however it’s probably the single most important thing you can do for great health and to stay young.
Do we really need to age or are we ‘hypnotized’ into believing we have to get old a certain way? Interesting thoughts to ponder. In the meantime, take some time to send your cells and organs some beautiful mental images.
Here’s a very cool e-book with a simple program you can follow to activate your mind’s ability to influence your body chemistry to create a state of lasting health, youth and beauty. It’s a simple idea leveraging things we already know about the power of the mind to regulate our hormone levels, muscle performance and immune system. Everyone knows about Norman Cousins and the power of laughter. Everyone knows about the use of mental imagery by elite athletes. Did you know that practicing a skill and mentally lifting weights will make your muscles stronger? Did you know you can secrete more testosterone by certain visualizations? This book gives you simple ideas you can use everyday for a week to align your mind with your body. Try it!
David Seidler, the man who wrote the screenplay for ‘The King’s Speech’, healed his bladder cancer in two weeks using the power of his mind. He visualized a healthy bladder for hours a day. Two weeks later—no trace of cancer. Read the amazing story right here!
You read it on Tonicquest!!
Sometimes you need to be your own cheerleader, coach or best friend. This site DailyNudge aims to help you do just that. You can configure daily or regular electronic reminders or nudges to be sent to your inbox or your cell phone. How is this helpful? Send yourself encouraging messages to stay on track for your goals. It’s amazing how we easily drift to autopilot during the day and our minds and emotions drift to our comfortable patterns. This is great if your normal patterns work for you..that is if you naturally believe you are healthy, happy, successful, wealthy, etc. However, if like many of us, you are a work in progress, then you need some cheerleading and coaching. Send yourself a personal message at 2pm, for example, to remember to relax, center and be mindful. It could be anything like eating better, visualizing a goal, smiling, or something more mundane like file that TPS report. The best thing is it’s free and I feel it’s a great tool.