Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Belly Cupping, Herbs and the Tears of Job

As I continue my healing journey, I kicked up the exercise routine again. Four mornings this week I went at six in the morning before work. I also took one lunch hour to go back to the gym and sit in the sauna for twenty minutes. I know the sauna is good to relax the muscles and detox. My foot hurts after the gym still, so I've been icing it and using the massager. It is definitely better after the six week rest I gave it, but there is still the inside of my foot above my flattened arch that still aches. The good thing is though, with some ice, the massager, and a short amount of rest, it feels better.

This week I went to my second acupuncture appointment. After a short talk about how I was feeling, Elizabeth put the acupuncture needles on my head, ear, hands, belly, legs and foot to help with my foot pain and weight. She left me this time for 30 minutes to relax. It was comfortable and peaceful. I listened to the soothing music and closed my eyes. After she returned and gently removed the needles, she did cupping on my abdomen for help with my weight issues. They weren't hot, and while she moved them around, I could feel a light suction. There was no pain, and no marks. 

I also asked Elizabeth about herbs for weight loss. She gave me a bottle of Chinese herbs called Poria 15 Formula. I'm to take two tablets 3 times a day. She also gave me a list of foods to try that will help resolve dampness in the body as well as excess water. I find it so fascinating to learn about how different modalities approach how to heal the body. Frog is one of the items to help resolve water. I think I'll go with celery instead! The herbs she gave me is supposed to improve digestion, increase elimination, aid in lipid metabolism, reduce serum cholesterol, phlegm, and water excess in overweight people. It helps with "damp accumulation in the lower and middle burner." Now isn't that a much nicer way to look at being overweight? I have damp accumulation! I love it, it feels like something that can be solved instead of judging myself over it. My body is not in alignment, but I can get it there!

Elizabeth also suggested I try Job's Tears tea for weight loss too. I left the session feeling pain free, relaxed, yet excited about adding the herbs, tea, and the various foods to my healing plan (minus the frog).

Job's Tears Tea

The next day I was signed up for a college tour with my son, so I didn't try the herbs yet, not knowing how they would affect me (especially the "increase elimination" part). After over an hour of walking and standing, my foot was in so much pain. The Motrin I took beforehand didn't help at all.  When we returned home I rested my foot but it was still sore the next day.

Along with healing my body, I'm also working on my mind and the spiritual, soulful aspects of my life. I am working on bringing more joy and purpose into my life. I'm creating the life I really want. Several years ago I was let go from a job and it left me fearful of being in that situation again. I worked awhile at another job not as an employee, but in a contractor position. When I was later hired by a wonderful company at a great salary, I was afraid to let go of the other job completely. So I still worked every Sunday at it telling myself it was a good thing, what was I doing on Sunday's anyway, and it was paying off my car.

Well the truth was, I was keeping the job out of fear, it was keeping me from working on my writing and my small businesses, and it was keeping me from spending more time with my family, relaxing, and having fun. Was it worth a car payment that my full time job could afford? Well I decided to let go of fear, and make some space in my life. I know when you let go of what no longer serves you, doors open. So I let go. I was originally planning on leaving at the end of the year, but the more days went by thinking about it, the more I wanted to go! So I gave two weeks notice, and admittedly, I still feel some fear, but I'm doing it anyway!

Til next week...

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern

Monday, November 5, 2018

Human Pin Cushion In Search Of Healing

To continue the healing with my foot, I made an appointment for acupuncture this week. It is something I have never tried before, but it does lend itself to the holistic approach I am employing to alleviate the pain.  I was curious to see if it works, and looked forward to the Friday evening appointment.

Thursday and Friday I got back to my morning gym routine. I went at 6AM to work my muscles and do lots of crunches to help shrink my belly. It felt good to be back, but honestly, my foot was sore afterwards. I continued using the massager and ice to alleviate the pain, and rested it as much as possible.

I'm on the fence about the new shoes I bought. The insole has an arch that seems to scrape against my foot. It's comfortable for a little while, but I have to switch those shoes with my old shoes that have the Good Feet Store insoles in order to have a consistent level of comfort. I wish my foot felt good all the time.

I know my weight is still a major factor in all of this, but I didn't have the best week honestly. I'm not gorging myself, but I haven't been listening to my body as I was. It's so easy, I'm not sure why I let it slide. But I know I will get back on track again, this is too important.

Friday arrived and I excitedly went to my appointment. Elizabeth is sweet and soft spoken, and well versed in all things acupuncture. We had a long consultation before we began, and I told her about my weight loss goals and the issue I was having with my foot.

Elizabeth decided to use acupuncture as well as cupping in my session. I have not tried either before, but decided to give them both a whirl. I was a bit uneasy about cupping because of the bruise-like marks it leaves on a person. I wondered if it was causing any harm to the body to mark it that way.  

I changed into a gown and hopped up on the table underneath a sheet. Carefully. Elizabeth began to put the acupuncture needles on me. There were maybe two that I could actually feel. It was a pinch, but nothing serious. I really was relaxed going into this. Between the soft music in the background and my positive attitude, I wasn't expecting this to be anything but helpful. She put needles into both my hands, my stomach, my forhead, my leg, and my foot. She lowered the lights and left for me to relax for 15 minutes. I felt a little pain in my foot for a short amount of time, so I lifted my foot, put it back down gently and the pain was gone. I closed my eyes and listened to the music until she returned.

While feeling like a human pin cushion, Elizabeth removed the acupuncture needles and asked how I felt. So far so good!  Next she had me flip over and brought out the cups. She started with glass ones and I could hear her light the flame inside two of them. She placed them on the bottom of my back and it felt like it was burning me. She noted aloud, "yes, those will leave a mark." I wasn't surprised! What did surprise me later, was that it didn't feel like a burn at all. If I had not felt that or looked in the mirror at home, I never would have known they were there. Normally a burn hurts for a awhile after and is sore, these didn't feel like anything at all. So, supposedly the marks are from unwanted toxins being pulled to the surface from the suction the cupping creates. Cupping is a treatment that can help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.

After using the two glass cups, she switched to silicone which were gentler. I didn't hear her lighting them, she put oil on my back and used them to glide around my back while the cups provided suction as she went along. It was kind of like having your back vacuumed. It was moving the lymph around which is also good to release toxins. 

At the end Elizabeth put magnets in my ears to help alleviate food cravings. She said they'll probably come out in the shower.

I left feeling relaxed and my foot was pain free. Will I try it again? Of course! I'm going back next week. Elizabeth is going to provide more acupuncture and cup my belly! I forgot to ask her about herbs, so we'll see what she advises next week.

See you soon...

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern

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