Cupping Therapy. A Bunch of Hooey?

This passed Labor Day weekend wasn’t a feel ‘amazing’ weekend for me.  Thanks to Advil, and prayer I made it through.  I was anxiously awaiting my acupuncture appointment today because I was getting cupped for the very first time!

Cupping Therapy What is Cupping?

cup·ping
noun
noun: cupping
  1. (in Chinese medicine) a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.

How does Cupping work?

Initially it pulls blood into an area. The tissues get saturated with fresh blood while the vacuum pulls stagnant blood out of the area. You can see this in the hickey like appearance that is typically left behind. You may very well look like you made out with an alien.  You may have a black and blue appearance that isn’t painful.

As new blood is forced into the tissues around the cups the body will begin to develop new blood vessels.  This may be why cupping can cause a lasting effect. As the new vessels form they will have the capability to feed the tissues with nutrient and oxygen.

Something else happens early in this process as well. It is called sterile inflammation. Now many hear the word inflammation and think it is a bad thing. After all we take anti-inflammatory when there is pain and swelling so inflammation must be bad, right? But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Inflammation is the first line of healing. The body releases white blood cells, platelets, fibroblasts and other healing chemicals to promote healing. When the vacuum occurs it causes separation of the different layers of tissue which can cause micro trauma and tearing. The healing chemicals I mentioned above get released and stimulate healing.

My Experience

Some would say this is a bunch of hooey, and I admit, my eyes rolled on this form of Chinese medicine a few years back when I heard about it. However, let me let you on a little secret…..

When you have zero luck with Western Medicine, and refuse to go too far in their drug induced web, you start to look for other avenues, and depending on your desperation you try anything! Like Cupping, Acupuncture, NUCCA, Lymphatic Drainage Massage and some go to the best Physician out there, our God.  Which is where I have gained more strength from in my journey.

Not wanting to make this into a huge spiritual post, but I must give credit where credit is due. My God is amazing! My faith walk in all of this has grown tremendous leaps and bounds.  I am so thankful and joyful, many people don’t see how I could be joyful and thankful.  However, I say, start reaching out to God, and you too will be filled with so much love you will truly be amazed.

It’s like complaining doesn’t even exist in me any longer. Sure, I can get a fleeting thought of doom and despair; however I am so quick to turn that thought into something joyful and happy.  Your tongue can either bless you or curse you. What you say becomes your reality, and this girl refuses to live in a doom and despair reality.

I was a little unsure how it was going to feel. I mean, I went on WebMD and Googled like crazy.   I did my massive internet search, so I was already at Expertise Level in Cupping Therapy within 5 mins.

WebMD MEME

It wasn’t bad, and actually pretty relaxing. Except I was laying on my boobs weird, and well that didn’t feel too hot. I didn’t know if I could move or not, so I stayed still for 15 mins trying to think of a white sandy beach, and a cute cabana boy taking my drink order.

On a serious note, I went in there with pressure and pain in the left side of my head to my ear.  Nagging and very familiar.  Almost immediately after placing the needles around my ears and the cups on my back, I was free from pain.  My constant drainage had also seized.  Praise God and Thank you, Dr. Baker at Balanced Body!

Towards the end of my session I became the weirdo client. I had strategically put my phone in my back pocket for a ‘cupping selfie’.  Since, I quickly realized it wasn’t very comfortable to move, I could not do my shame free selfie.  So, I did what any normal blogger would do who wanted to document their first cupping session.  I asked if the assistant would take my photo before she took off my torture devises.

Pride?  What pride?

She was happy to do it, and if I heard her right I was the first client to ever ask for her help in a cupping photoshoot.

Here I am in all my cupping glory!

cupping therapy cupping therapy cupping therapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cute huh?

I was welcomed with these horrifying photos when I decided to do my research on cupping therapy.

cupping therapy

Is there a body under all those cups?

cupping therapy

This dude looks like he wrapped himself in bubble wrap. Almost makes me want to push him down the stairs just to hear the popping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have any of my readers tried cupping?  How has it helped you?  Leave a comment I would love to hear from you!

Much Love,

BLOGSIGNATURE

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Still Fine at Thirty-Nine

The title is a bit too much, but I wanted something that rhymed, and I even wanted it corny. Yes, I was actually going for corny.

So here I am, another year older.  Not just another year older, but also the last year of my 30’s!!  I’ve had a lot happen in my 30’s, but this isn’t the post about the decade.  It’s the post about the year.

I don’t get down too much on having birthday’s yet. I am still a young girl at heart who wants flowers, cake, ice cream, surprises and presents! I want what most people want, to feel special on their special day. After all, it is a celebration of life.  As many of us know it is short, and can be taken away at a moments notice. So, why not do great things for a birthday?

I still enjoy birthdays.

That being said, this birthday will be without cake or ice cream!  Yeah, I am heartbroken too! I loooooove cake with a vengeance!  Icing especially, but until I get better it looks like sugar is off my plate.  However, I have had a plus side to this. I’ve lost 6 dress sizes since last December and 30 lbs.  I didn’t realize what a chunker I had let myself get.  If you have read the About Me section in this blog you will see I had a problem with sugar. I’m surprised I wasn’t over 200 lbs!

I am a firm believer that sugar is addicting. It was the one thing I had the hardest time quitting.  It took a sickness to happen TWICE before I said enough was enough.  Yeah, like once wasn’t enough!  I’ve always been the stubborn one, and had to do it my way.  Look what it got me!

Here I am looking back on the year of 38, and even though I have had amazing things happen like moving back to Omaha.  I am ready to jump into 39.  I say, to bigger and better things!! I’m still believing for my miracle.  They happen everyday, and why not to me?

You know people say “Another year older and another year wiser”.  Looking back in my years, I am trying to think how many years I got wiser.   I don’t think I got any wiser for the greater good…to share all my ‘wiseness’ to the masses of the people! Heck, I can’t even do 4th grade math! So, if we are talking wisdom in math, well that boat left me high and dry, while scratching my head trying to figure out what just happened.

Still fine at thirty-nine

 

This past year has taught me more about growth, than I ever dreamed. I guess it finally took me 39 years to grow up! The growing up I am talking about is spiritual growth.  I was such an infant for 38 years in my walk with God.  Oh, how I thought I knew how it worked. I am amazed how little I did know. Even though it took most of my hearing, not able to see or walk straight, and the occasional flutters of dizziness.  I FINALLY see it, but I still have so much more to learn.

I finally have the ears that hear, and the eyes that see that is written so many times in the Bible.  Looking back, if I had not have the second ear hemorrhage back before Christmas I may not have grown into the person God needs and wants me to be.  It’s very possible I could have continued to eat crap, and set new personal record on ass size, and possibly be moving on when I needed to sit back and wait.

Now, do I think He did this to me to teach me this?  NO! Not a chance! He doesn’t work or teach us that way.  Everything good that happens is from Him, not the other way around.   I finally opened myself up to Him and became stronger in my walk so I can face the challenges that have laid and will lay ahead of me.

Do I still have days where I want to scream and ask Him ‘WHY!?’  Oh, you bet! However, I don’t.  I change my heart fast, and then go straight to praising Him and sometimes I raise my hands up and sing.  Which, He may wish I wouldn’t.  My singing voice is like a cat in heat, it’s daunting!

still fine at thirty nine

Another year older, and I am living a totally different life than I had before.  I am wiser, thinner and still fine at thirty-nine!

still fine at thirty-nine

Down 30 lbs and 6 dress sizes!

Happy Birthday to everyone on their special day, whenever that may be!

BLOGSIGNATURE

I’m Do Overing!

I am ready to get back the motherhood and the life that was stolen from me for almost 3 years.  My last set back was 8 months ago, and I’m saying enough is enough!

I’m getting back in my photography game, and loving it. I did not realize how much I have missed it!  I’m focusing on building my website, portfolio and blogging more and doing it right. Oh, how I have missed writing!  It’s almost like a do over.  Yeah, I’m ‘do overing’ the last 3 years of my life.

I think the turning point for me was when I attended my 20th High School reunion. It was a couple of weeks ago, so I have gotten over the fact that 20 years have passed by.  In a couple of weeks I will be in my last year of the 30’s.  I’m actually ok with that because I am ready for bigger and better things in my life.  That will be for another blog post.

So, my turning point was leaving the house without “adult supervision”.  What I mean is usually my parents are in tow with me. Just in case I have a dizzy spell or my good ear decides it wants to behave badly in an instant.  I felt more at ease when I had someone with me that knew what I had been through, and what can occur at a moments notice.

Leaving the house without my natural security system was a bit unnerving, but I put my big girl panties on and dealt with it. I was very happy I did.  It showed me that I need to branch out, even when it is scary.

Doing that was a huge Walk in Faith moment for me.  Joyce Meyers says, if you are afraid, just do it afraid.  Have faith God will be there and know that He won’t forsake you in anyway.  He didn’t and He hasn’t.  Even on the days that were my hardest, the quickest way around my fear was to refuse it, and thank God for everything at that moment. I don’t care if you look at your circumstances, and you are falling faster than you can think.  Moments like that I thank God my children are well, the birds are singing, for any hearing I have left, I can be on the computer for an hour without getting dizzy, that I moved next door to my parents only months before the 2nd attack,  that I can walk, go to the bathroom without help, my family and friends. There is actually so much to be thankful for.  Once you find something small like clean water it is amazing what fills your heart.  Remember, a thankful heart gets God’s attention.  A complaining one binds his hands.

So yeah, I am do overing!   At times my body may feel like all it wants to do is quit, but that’s when I have to turn on my walk with faith and do things.  Even little things like laundry.  Do everything with God and you will be amazed at what your life ends up like.

Here’s to building my website and doing it right, more photography clients, complete healing and a bigger and better relationship with my God.

I'm Do Overing

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My Update! The Post I Have Been Waiting to Write!

I’m just going to go ahead and make this day all about blogging, with a little laundry in between. Taking full advantage of nap time!

So, this is the post I have been waiting to write for months, and now I can finally do it!  As most of my readers know my journey started in the beginning of September.  I’m not going to go into details, but feel free to catch up here 

For 6 months it has been such a whirlwind of emotions, questions, bills piling up, chaos and frustration.  Needless to say, our household was falling apart.

Everyday Chris is not at work, he doesn’t get paid.  You can do the math on how fast money was going out and nothing was coming in.  Stressful doesn’t even describe the pressure we (mostly he as he tried to shield me from it all) were under.

Chris was taking off work to take care of me and the kids, because I could do nothing but lay on the couch or the bed for a good 4-5 weeks.  Then when I could get up and do things, I had to be holding onto anything and everything to make sure I didn’t fall.  Carrying a baby was dangerous, but I managed when I had to.  Then it was uncertain when the dizzy spells would occur, five mins after I stood up, 30 mins after I stood up or maybe not for an hour or so.

I was living in complete Hell.  Taking medications that only made me feel worse plus the weight gain on top of the post pregnancy plump aka PPP, and having to give up breastfeeding.   Having to be dependent on someone, when you are dependent on their income, is never a good situation.  Chris was growing frustrated.  Not just because he knew what would happen if he didn’t get back to work soon, but because his wife was suffering from something that we had no answers for.

We have some great friends who helped us with dinners, being caretakers, to drivers and some family who sent a little green paper to help.  We are eternally grateful for all you did!

Finally, by December I could go days without a dizzy spell.  My balance was coming back too! Praise God, it was coming back!!  Balance is a very important component to living.   I was paralyzed, just not in literal sense.  I couldn’t walk, carry my baby, cook dinner, drive and there were times, especially in the beginning I couldn’t lift my head.  It had to be propped up on a pillow.  Months of this was depressing, nonetheless.

From what my doctor told me, the inner ear hemorrhage I sustained is mainly seen in patients that had trauma to the head.  I was asked repeatedly, if I had been hit and not remember it.   I told the nurse that the only way was if Chris beat me that night, and I never remembered it.  That nurse did not laugh, but I did get a smile out of my ENT doc.  I thought it was funny.

My ENT told me that once someone sustains an injury like mine, you do not come back from it.  The damage is irreversible.  I opted for the $1500.00 steriod shot in my eardrum in hopes it would bring back some hearing and hopefully my balance would follow.  I have about a 90% loss of hearing in my right ear.

This is what I know to date.  Doctors still do not have answers for me.  I was seen by a number of doctors, to only tell me “I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for you.”  Do you know how frustrating that is?  Spending hundreds of dollars for initial first time visits to specialist after specialist, thousands on testing and to get a ‘we don’t know’.  Every doctor I saw was more than kind.  They worked with me, stumped and obviously wanting to help.  They just couldn’t understand why.  I saw an Oncologist that I spoke to for a total of 15 mins, and had to pay close to 800.00 for that visit.  Seriously?  I had hope though.  I thought if I had to pay that much, he would have some sort of news the next time I saw him with the results in my blood work.  I was thrilled the next time I saw him!  I was thrilled to find out I did not have cancer or some horrible blood disorder.  After he told me that, he showed me my blood work.  Most was normal, but I did have a few numbers that were borderlined.  I cannot remember what that was off hand, but I found out I wasn’t dying.  YAY!  “Now what?  What is your answer for me?”  I asked.  He said he had no clue.  I cannot remember how many other doctors I saw before him, but I remember I was crushed to not know why this is happening to me.  As the money quickly ran out, and the patience grew weary.  I wanted to see another doctor, like I wanted more dizziness.

I was finished.  Done.

I learned I couldn’t plan anything.  I had to do things as I felt that day, in that moment.  Because it would all change in an instant.  After not getting any direction from the doctors I saw, I started to pay attention to when my dizzy spells would hit me.  Not to go into too much detail, but I learned it was based on my cycles.  Then I looked back to the first awful day where my life changed.  It was on my first day, of my first cycle from having Sophia.  I was breastfeeding her, so hormones were all over the place as it was.  Every month, BAM I would be hit with debilitating vertigo.  So bad, I couldn’t move.  One moment I would be fine, the next I would be collapsed on the floor vomiting having my son go get daddy, or the neighbor or anyone.  I started to take notes, on every single day during a months time.  It would take me days to recover from the vertigo.  The dizzy spells would last anywhere from 5-10 days.  More days Chris had to take off of work, or arrange his schedule.  Then the overwhelming exhaustion, so bad it took everything I had to get out of bed.

I did not want to be left alone, ever.  I ran so many ‘what if’s’ in my head it was ridiculous.  I was scared.  There were many moments I would be in bed, and a pain would shoot through my head to my ear and I thought that was it.  Or, pains shooting through my neck to my brain, and thinking any second a vessel is going to burst and kill me instantly.   I was afraid I was having some sort of relapse that would kill me.  I began to think the doctors over looked something on my MRI scans and I was really dying.  I would tell Chris if he was up late working, to check on me throughout the night, and to ALWAYS make sure I was still alive before he left for work in the morning.  I did not want my children to find me in my bed, dead.  I went over emergency plans with the kids in case I collapsed when daddy was at work.  How to use a smartphone, and to run to the neighbors.  I prayed all the time.  Even when I was frustrated and angry, my mom would tell me, just pray.  So, I did.

Which leads me to what we did.

Chris is a certified FDN (Functional Diagnostic Nutrition) practitioner.  What is that?  As I am writing a book as it is, here is an explanation on that.  He put his certification into practice on me back in November.  We ran a hormone screen.  (His whole thing is body function, as a whole, and not to try to identify one thing.  Our bodies are a linking system.  Everything is linked.  Such an example is something as simple as tooth pain, it can be a result in an upcoming heart attack.) We found out my body had bottomed out, hormone wise.  Basically “presenting” as premenopausal, and at Stage 2, Adrenal Fatigue.  My body has never been regular.  I didn’t think much of it, that was ‘normal’ for me.  I have never been like clock work, so after the 3rd child I think my body just crashed.   The hormone balance was so out of whack that the other parts of my system then tried to compensate, or that’s the way I understand it.   I cannot say it is a direct link to my inner ear hemorrhage, but the fact that it happened when it did, it is the closest thing to an answer we have.  To follow the FDN model of D.R.E.S.S to restore function in my body I had to address those very things-Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction and Supplementation.  In which case, I have only done a few of them.  For the stress reduction that is a work in progress….I cannot get rid of Chris,  ya know. 😉

My diet was horrible during and after my pregnancy with Sophia.  If it wasn’t caked with sugar I didn’t want to eat it.  As most of you know white sugar is poison in itself.  I’m not going to go into all the nutrition part of it, but realized my diet had to change.  I retain a lot of water during my cycles, so much so, it can look like I am 6 months pregnant.  Perfect!  After lots of note taking, I noticed on my ‘fat days’ my head feels so full, especially my ears.  The pressure is horrible, and that is when my hearing is the most sensitive.   So, going back to the inner ear hemorrhage being linked to my cycle, it’s not unlikely it burst because my body was too weak and too out of sorts, that the extra water weight could set something like that off.

What did I do?  After testing, first thing I did was I started on Bioidentical Hormones.  Why not just take synthetic hormones?

Bioidentical hormones are plant based and work with your body to fix itself for the long haul.   Sort of like a reset.  To reteach a path way and not necessarily replace it.  They are structurally identical to the hormones in your own body.  They match your own individual hormonal needs, as the synthetic uses a more “one size fits all’ approach.

Synthetic hormones are chemically based compounds that are not identical to what the human body produces. In which case can have some crazy side effects.  I always laugh when I hear of birth control ads on TV,  Heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, weight gain (which I DO NOT need more of) and other things are just some examples of things I would like to avoid. As in this 10 year NIH study that was shut down after 5.5 years because the benefits did not outweigh the risks.

Bioidenticals tend to take longer to notice a change, especially in this quick fix society.  In fact, I came very close to throwing in the towel.  I think people can only take so much of things.  However, I truly believe God’s hands were on me and keeping me patient.  If he wasn’t I would have gone mad long ago.  Chris and I would get into arguments because I would tell him, it wasn’t working and I needed a quick fix NOW!  Patience is a virtue I tend to not possess.  There is a prayer that I have heard, and said many a times.  God, please give me patience and give it to me NOW! He always showed me who was in control, and would show me small blessings every now and then, usually when I needed it the most.

Second was cleaning up my diet.  As part of Chris’ FDN certifcation he also runs tests on food sensitivities.  I haven’t had this done yet, but because I was so desperate to get off this vertigo whirlwind I would do anything.  That meant drastic changes.  I cut out sugar, wheat, dairy, eggs, alcohol and peanut butter.  Oh man!  Sugar and dairy were my 2 hardest things to get off of.  Every day I had 2 green smoothies which consisted of Kale, celery, carrots, apple, lemon, and parsley.  I thought I would spit it out once I drank it, but it actually was not bad.  It even got better as I went days without sugar.  I was retraining my taste buds.  That was another God thing.  I couldn’t have done it without Him.  I was actually doing better at surpassing the goodies than Chris was.

Lastly, exercise.  The very thought of showering put me into a lethargic spiral, so how in the world was I going to exercise?!  I didn’t until just recently, like a couple of weeks ago.  One thing I haven’t fully recovered from is the constant over stimulation I feel when I leave small spaces.  Things that I can just now do, 6 months after: Going for walks, going to stores (Walmart, Grocery stores, department stores, anything like that), being with big crowds.  The over stimulation I feel is something I cannot quite get the hang of explaining.  I guess the only way I can explain it is, this is how newborns must feel.  And, since we cannot remember what it feels like to be a newborn, you may not really get what I am saying.    I go grocery shopping when I know Chris is coming with me.  I have to push the cart or the feeling of falling over is too great.  Not that my body can’t stabilize, but the feeling is great.  Again, I don’t know how to explain it.  Chris still does the grocery shopping for me, in all reality I just don’t think I am there completely to do it by myself, yet.

March was an exhausting month.  Chris’ dad died of cancer March 16th.  We drove back to Omaha a few days before and was gone for over a week.  While all this happened, I got off my schedule.  The eating schedule, sporadic hormone taking, no exercise and back to sugar and all things bad.  Not only was it exhausting it was stressful.  Driving straight through to Omaha with 3 kids, 1 who hates to travel plus the death of my father-in-law, and then getting news my dog at home is dying and I had to put her down while I was away.  I figured I was up for some major sickness.

I was waiting for the massive hit of vertigo any day.  Any hint of a clue it was coming I popped a pill.  Charting my symptoms and all, I found out even the slightest temperature change can set me into a dizzy spell, if it was either during ovulation or the start of my cycle.  I waited and waited.  I would get bits of a possible feeling, and then it would go away.  I was armed and ready.

But…

It never came!  Now being in April, and just getting off of a messed up cycle, I did not have 1 dizzy spell!  NOT ONE!!!!  I felt what has become the normal changes in my hearing, my ear pressure, and my ear ringing was back, but the vertigo never followed!  I cannot tell you how huge this is, people.  HUGE!

Six months of this crap, and hopefully it is gone for good.  God is good.  I have prayed and prayed for this, as well as my mom and many other people prayed for me.  Prayer in numbers is amazing,  just amazing!

I’m just now getting back to my old routine, so kicking out sugar, dairy and wheat for good.  No doubt in my mind that had as much to do with it as the hormone therapy.

On my recent walks, the walks do not seem to be as bothersome as before.  I don’t feel as over stimulated as before.  I hope to one day start running again, but I cannot do anything that bounces my head.  It is very uncomfortable, and I haven’t tested if it will put me into a dizzy spell lately or not.  It’s not important enough for me to find out right now.

Finally, I am enjoying photography again, and well as being a mother.  I couldn’t tell you how many times I wanted to just go to bed and not deal with anyone or anything.  It’s finally coming around, and I cannot be any more grateful as I am.

I knew this would be long post, but in reality how could it not be?  This is a big thing for me.  Thanks for sticking around and reading it.

365Project Day 16 ~ My Nightly Rounds

My nightly rounds.

It consist of checking in on all the kids.  Placing hand upon the backs or stomachs, waiting for that little rise.  That sweet breath.  The calming effect it has on me.  Children sleeping, sweet innocence.

I’m sure every mother and father, from past to present has that thought of “What would I do without them?” I think about that a lot.  Especially when all the violence has occurred in the passing years/months/days, esp involving young children.  The Sandy Hook shooting, had me in tears for weeks.   I couldn’t see a half mast American Flag without losing it.  I remember watching Schindler’s List many years ago, and the vision of the little girl in the red coat is forever burned in my memory.  To know those things happened to not just adults, but to children…babies even.  Now, just a couple of days ago, the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  Seeing the face of that little boy, Martin Richard that feel victim to the bombings.  I will never understand the evil that it takes to consume someone to do such horrible acts.  What a waste.  Why?  Those poor parents that had and have to go on.  All I can do is pray for them.  Daily reminders of what they once had, what was stolen from them.    As simple as dropping your kids off at school.  Taking for granted their delays in getting ready, or the fuss they give for not wanting to eat their protein.  Even on my worst mornings, when kids are fighting, milk is spilled and once again we are running late…I always remind myself, Who cares!  We are still blessed to be together.  We are never guaranteed any moment in life.  I try and embrace every stressful moment with them.  Because, you never know, that morning is maybe all you get.

I did not mean to make this a depressing post.  Just a simple sight of sleeping children, still feet and closed eyes, opened my eyes to  remember to thank God for my blessings.  I pray every night with my kids and I pray every night when I go to bed.  I pray for their safety, their future spouse, to know God and to always follow Him.  Sometimes, when I lay in bed, I just have a conversation with Him.  I just let everything out.  For me, it is better than any therapy that I could ever pay for.  If you stop talking long enough, and listen you will be surprised at what will come to you.  God being your life isn’t just about religion, it is about your relationship with Him.  It’s such a testament I live every day.

That’s why I have my nightly rounds.

Last night, as I checked on Sophia.  Her little feet were beckoned to be photographed. Her nightly ritual was again completed, the taking off the socks.  I took that opportunity and rushed to my desk to get my camera.  The photos I took were done fairly quickly.  I did not play with controls.  My heart raced every time I clicked that shutter.  “Will she wake up?” A pressing concern I had due to her unwillingness to actually go to bed last night.  I shot anyway, I couldn’t resist.

The end result, she did not wake up.

IMG_0663ed

AV mode, f3.5 1/13 ISO 800 28-135mm @ 28mm

On camera flash, bounced off wall.