Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Update: Yoga, Chiro, Acupuncture, Rolfing, Eating Right!

I wanted to write a post updating on some stuff that I have been doing lately.  I have done a lot of research on scar tissue and connective tissue issues in the body that can cause an imbalance in a person's body mechanics.  Every injury or trauma our body experiences comes along with scar tissue that builds up and attaches to whatever is near such as muscle, tendons etc.  This causes tightness or pulling in muscles that can set our bodies off balance which in turn can cause chronic pain.  I am now 14 months post partum and have just recently found some things that have helped me with my back pain and overall stiffness and pain I have been experiencing.  I did an inventory of the injuries I have, and the surgeries that I have gone through.  I found out that there are multiple things that could be causing the issues I am having.  I have tried going to the doctor where I was given prescription pain killers that I never took because what is the point of masking the pain?  It is still there.  I am on a search to fix whatever is causing the pain.

First off I want to say how incredibly important I believe yoga is!  It is basically what I am using for physical therapy because I believe that it is more effective and cheaper!  I am doing stretches, muscle toning, and meditating all in one!  This alone has helped tremendously with the pain I experience throughout the day.

Second, I have been going to the chiropractor monthly.  He adjusts my whole spine and my hips (which seem to always be out of place).  I have a ripping noise in my right leg that occurs when I move in certain directions.  It is a really strange unhealthy sound.  My right leg is also stuck in a position that prevents me from stretching my inner thighs (adductors) as far as my left.  It is very uncomfortable and pretty frustrating considering I don't know exactly why it is like that, but I have my theories and I'm guessing it is linked to my tight psoas muscle (hip flexor).  That could have been caused by the high mileage that I ran for so long, and the failure on my part to stretch it back out after running.

Third, I will be trying acupuncture on Thursday for the first time.  From what I understand it helps relieve pain, and can open up points in your body to help with healing from the inside out.  I'm getting the full body one done, front and back.  We will see how it works out (I'm a little nervous about the needles).

Fourth, I was given a tip about a technique called rolfing.  It is a treatment that is done over ten sessions that is supposed to help align your body so that you can move with proper body mechanics.  I have been to two sessions so far and it is a little intense!  The only provider close to me is in Iowa City so I make the 1 1/2 hour trip every Saturday for the 1 1/2 hour session.  The first session was very interesting.  She worked a lot on my quads which are very bulky and tight.  I'm not going to lie, it was pretty uncomfortable.  I have very sensitive muscles which tells me that there is an issue.  You shouldn't be so sensitive that if someone applies light pressure to a certain muscle on your body that it makes you jump.  I was pretty sore afterwards, but I felt so weird.  It is hard to explain.  I was walking different…it almost felt like a glide.  My quads actually looked different in the mirror.  Instead of the bulkiness that I usually see they were…. less tone looking?  I don't know how to explain it really, but I measured myself and I was an inch and a half taller.  I was elated!  I have always told my husband that I feel like my body is smooshed, and that I should have been a few inches taller.  All of sudden I was!  The next morning I woke up free of pain.  The first session also released an emotional response.  I believe that every trauma, physical or emotional can lie dormant in the body until something provokes a release.  This definitely provoked a release that I have never experienced before.  I got out to the car and was trembling, confused, and sobbing.  Alex was worried!  I kept telling him that nothing bad happened, and that it was all so interesting and I really had no idea why I was crying.  The second session she worked a little more on my hips and it was a love-hate relationship.  She was getting her hands and arms into spaces that have probably never been touched on my outer hips.  For the rest of the day my hips felt so free.  I'm really excited about this treatment, and will be updating when the ten sessions are up.

Fifth, I'm eating right, loving life, and keeping an open mind!

I have a few reasons why I am diving so deep to try to correct my issues.  I don't want to be so stiff and sore that I can't play with my kids.  I don't want to be in pain everyday.  I want to be a healthy person.  I want to avoid another cesarean and experience birth the way it is meant to be.  I have a lot of work to do before my next baby.  I feel that if I try everything I can that I will either succeed, or feel a sense of peace if I don't that at least I gave it 100%.  We plan to try for baby number three sometime between the end of the summer and the fall.  I have gathered all of my contact numbers for the support team that I am building for the birth of baby number three.  I have my diet mostly under control to provide the best nutrition I can for my body and future baby.  All my plans are slowly coming together.

Oh, and side note, I finally broke down and bought a scale.  I have decided to release the official number since I have had so many inquiries about it.  I now weight 143lbs.  That is 15lbs less than I weighed when I became pregnant with Brayve and also Glory.  A reminder for all of those out there that are on the weight loss journey I did this by eating right.  I do believe exercise is very important for overall health, but if you eat the right foods that your body needs you will be at a healthy weight for you.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My healthful revelation!

Today I went to subway after a dr. appt. because my kids are both sick and I have no groceries.  I went in not knowing what I wanted yet, and as I was standing there I was debating over my usual 6 inch sandwich or a salad.  If a person is on a diet what is the right choice that comes to mind?  A salad with a lowfat dressing right?  Well, I used to be that person who chose to eat healthy most of the time partly because I knew it was best for my health and partly because I was trying to stay or be "thin."  Can anyone else relate to this?  Today when I made my decision I can honestly say that it was 100% for eating healthy in order to be healthy.  I chose a veggie salad, and I wasn't thinking of how much better my regular sandwich would be.  I was thinking how yummy vegetables sounded at the moment and my  mouth started watering.  Then I asked about the dressing options.  When she told me my choices I realized that I felt really turned off by all of them.  My guess is that there is just too much sugar or fattening something or other my body just doesn't get a long with anymore, and instead of choosing none of them because they weren't light enough, I chose none of them because I actually didn't like them.  Amazing huh?  I then realized on the way home that I have been doing this for awhile now.  Don't get me wrong, I still eat some things that aren't the best for me, and I definitely have a sweet tooth from time to time, but my choices most of the time are pretty solidly healthy.  This is an incredibly freeing feelings.  I don't have to be miserable because I'm constantly dieting and choosing things I don't really want.  I can eat healthy because I want to, its easy, and therefore I can be healthy!
Now you all are thinking… great, glad its so easy for her, wish it could be easy for me too.  Or maybe some of you are right there along with me, and if you are awesome!  For those of you who are still struggling I will give you a little advice.  Keep in mind that it isn't easy, and yes it will feel like a diet at first and I know that sucks.  After I had Glory (my second cesarean), I talked to a midwife who gave me some great advice for the next time I become pregnant.  After telling her that I took a lot of sugar out of my diet when I became pregnant with Glory, and that I kept running/jogging/walking 3 miles 4 times a week she praised me for my move in the right direction but she gave me a better plan.  After hearing my history of sporting event choices, and bad behavior with sugar intake she suggested I not only cut out some sugar from my diet but almost all, and that I be gentle with myself when it came to exercise.  I decided to take a shot at it.  I stopped running, and started walking instead, and began yoga.  Then I took her advice on loading my diet with only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, lowfat dairy products.  I did that, and switched some things around like drinking coconut milk instead of cows, and buying organic fruits and vegetables.  I was eating sandwiches that consisted of the whole grain thins as bread, spinach, jalapeno hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, and banana peppers.  My breakfast turned into plain oatmeal with blueberries.  My snacks were things like almonds, or greek yogurt.  After a month of doing this without any stepping out of line it became easier!  I didn't crave sugar anymore, and i wasn't able to eat lunchmeat or beef.  It just plain grossed me out!  That one month was the hardest part.  Now I have added a few things back in here and there.  I will eat a cookie if I want one, or have some steak if I really feel like it.  The good thing is that most of the time I DONT feel like it!
Now, for the reason that I think holds all of this together like glue.  Before I became a mother I didn't 100% care about myself.  I thought I did, but when I look back on it and think about my habits and behaviors I honestly didn't.  After I had Glory I realized that my body was in a lot of pain, and I felt like a 26 year old in a 80 year olds body.  This is a very scary feeling for a new mother.  I decided that I needed to honestly care about myself.  I refuse to tan and now wear sunscreen, if I feel like there is something I need to go to the doctor for I actually go, I developed a positive outlook on life and dropped a lot of the things I used to stress about, and now I eat right and find exercise that is kind to my body.  I still hurt, but now I am on the road to feeling better.  I have some injuries that probably will never go away, but I can manage them correctly in order to preserve myself as long as I can naturally for the sake of my family.  My children are the most important thing in life to me, and I want to make sure I am here to protect them and love them as long as God lets me!  
Oh, and I'm building a yoga studio in my basement!