Qi Healing and Accupuncture

jay-and-jennNorth of Palmer, Alaska and two miles up Soapstone Road, I found this amazing healing center. The past two weeks I have been so much more comfortable and optimistic than I have felt in months. The QI HEALING/ENERGYWORK SESSIONS WITH JAY AND JENN, coupled with an acupuncture session with Kevin and Sam immediately following,  seem to have helped my condition more than anything else I’ve tried. I don’t want to be too optimistic, but I think I may have finally found the path to true wellness.

The QI healing experience is a little like fully clothed massage, gentle chiropractic and rolfing all rolled into one. I like that I am a very active part in this process and yet I also have the opportunity to just relax and let them use their healing hands to find and manipulate places in my body that have been wound up for months and sometimes years. Each time they get the muscles to relax and release, I get a rush of tremendous relief. It’s a very comfortable, and rewarding experience that I would strongly recommend to anyone with chronic pain that is truly looking for a natural solution.

I hope to start taking weekly classes with them soon to learn more ways I can help my body heal.

I think the combination of the Qi Healing session to relax and open up the joints, tendons and muscles, followed with acupuncture to clear any plugged pathways, is allowing my body the opportunity to get back in alignment and heal. Now we will see what time does.

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Qi Healing

Last week I discovered the power of Qi Healing. After making a trip to visit my grandchildren, I returned home in more pain and crippled than at any point on this journey.

I have been told, I will know when it’s time to replace my hip because I’ll be ready to cut off my leg from the pain. I reached that point in early August. I couldn’t even bend over and pick up my socks. I decided to make another trip to visit my acupuncture specialist to see if they could help. They did. It wasn’t really dramatic, but it did make it so I was at least able to function again and felt a lot of relief. They suggested I visit Seven Sages Healing and try a Qi healing and bodywork treatment. And so I did.

The treatment lasted about an hour and involved two QiGong masters working on me simultaneously. I’m blown away by the vast improvement that resulted right away. It has been a week and I’m still improving. I will be sure and keep you posted on the progress from this old Chinese Medicine practice that has me smiling and feeling optimistic again.

Well this didn’t work

After trying the BioD Restore, followed by three Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy injections, suggested by Dr. Peterson at the Algone Medical Center, I found little to no relief and my right hip has continued to degenerate to the point of  stiffness and chronic pain. I’ve continued my own research and discovered a number of clinical trials now underway for these types of injections. So far it’s all very discouraging.

I’ve noticed my walk (gate) changing to compensate for the severe pain and feel discouraged at best. Things seem to be going from bad to worse.  Every day I ask myself, is this journey worth taking or should I just give up and go for a complete hip replacement. I’m tired of the pain and wondering if there is anything else I can do to help relieve this situation.

I do know my left hip that I had treated with my own stem cells harvested from my bone marrow has improved dramatically and no longer bothers me.  So why not just go back for another treatment on my left hip?

Well there are many reasons. First is the cost. It’s about $6,000 per treatment and insurance won’t touch it with a 100 foot pole. So the cost is a big factor. Second is the invasive process involved in harvesting the stem cells. There is risk and it really isn’t an easy process. But admittedly, it’s a lot less invasive than a full joint replacement.

So for today, I will keep searching for a solution and doing my best to reduce the pain through natural therapies including avoiding eating sugar and junk food that fuel arthritis.

If someone asks me if I would recommend Algone, I would say NO. I’m going to stick with Healthlink in California where I did actually receive relief and the treatments were only mildly painful. The treatments at Algone were horrible and extremely painful without any benefit. Just my experience. I’ve talked to other patients from the clinic and they had the same negative experience I had. I do see they are now stating they are a Regennex clinic but when I went, that was not their thing. Makes me wonder.

Life Detour

20150829_204953
The night before surgery. Michelle, my daughter; Michael and friend Arian.

For the last two months life has taken a crazy turn. In mid August my daughter called in tears. Her husband Michael was sick and getting worse. He’d not felt well for months but this was reaching the point where she was watching him die and it terrified her. She’d been so strong and optimistic up to this point but suddenly it was more than she could bear. I recommended she take a deep breath and get really assertive with the doctors. “You need to make them understand how serous this is. Or take him to the emergency room where they will do something for him.”

Two days later she called to say they were in the hospital and a team of doctors had given them a diagnosis. “Michael, we know what’s wrong,” one of the doctor’s on the team rushed in his room to tell him. “You have endocarditis plus a 6 cm aneurysm in your aorta. A bacteria has invaded your heart and attacked the aortic valve 20150916_074128which turned out to have a birth defect. You need heart surgery. We have to replace the aortic valve, arch and other main parts to your heart to repair the damage caused by this bacteria. The problem is we don’t know exactly what the bacteria is. It looks like staph but acts like strep. We are going to start you on the most potent antibiotic known to man and run cultures to try and figure this out. Until we know more, you will need to just stay in the hospital because one sneeze at this point and you could die.

Michelle told me the hospital is 45 minutes from the house, they have 20 chickens, a dog, a cat and a bunch of creepy crawling things there were raising for the chickens. She was having to drive back and forth twice a day and the stress was wiping her out. She had a friend that was helping as much as possible but the entire experience was taking a terrible toll on her.

I knew what I had to do. I put everything in my life on hold, harvested everything I could from my garden and caught a midnight flight flew to Arizona to help my daughter out. It had been two weeks since I’d had my stem cell treatment and I was still struggling. Things did feel like they were improving a little but I was still suffering from a sharp, aching pain at night. I would often wake up with my leg locked in place and have to fight through excruciating pain to get it moving again. But I was able to move well enough I knew I could make this trip.

Once in Phoenix, I rented a car and went straight to the hospital to see the kids. I arrived as one of the infectious disease doctors was telling them more of the details of what they were up against with this surgery. It all sounded terrifying and dangerous but we had to have faith. He was in good hands and stood a good chance of surviving because of his age and otherwise good health. He was a big, strong boy before this bug took him down. The doctor was confident they could help him and ensure he had a long healthy life ahead of him. All I could do was pray they were right.
20150827_172812A few hours later, My daughter led me back to their new house they had just bought and moved into before Michael collapsed. She opened the door and there were unpacked boxes everywhere. She quickly gave me a tour, showed me my room and then oriented me to the dog, cat and chicken feeding instructions. Then she introduced me to the meal worms, crickets and baby chickens she was incubating in a back room. I wrote a few cryptic notes while she took a
shower, packed up some things she needed at the hospital and got ready to go back to the hospital. At least now she knew I would take care of things at home and that was one big worry off her mind.

20150905_175545After she was gone I collapsed in bed and slept for several hours. Over the next week I spent my time unpacking and organizing the house into a home. I took the dog for walks every day, which helped keep my legs moving and healing, got to know the chickens and enjoyed the time being able to help the kids and rest myself.

Finally the day came when the doctors felt confident they had the bacteria under control and were prepared to go forward with the surgery. It was an anxious day and Michelle, her friend Jenny and I kept our minds occupied watching Hero’s Six and sending positive vibes out to the universe.  At last the nurse came out to tell us everything was going well. They had 20150902_143707not had to freeze Michael to protect his brain as they had originally thought,  but rather used his femoral artery as a bypass so the surgery was going to be a lot shorter than the eight hours they had prepared us for.

An hour later the cardiologist who preformed the operation came out and told us Michael was doing well and was now in recovery. The surgery had gone well and he was going to be fine. He was just going to have an audible tick and have to take a blood thinner the rest of his life. No problem. Things we all agreed could be happily lived with.

It was another 10 days before Michael finally got to come home. And that didn’t last long because his heart went into afib and he had to go back for another five days before they got him back in sync and stable enough to try going home again.

I’m super happy to report that I was able to spend 2 weeks with my son’s family in Tennessee and when I got back to Phoenix, Michael was showing signs of health again and doing well. He continues to heal and we are all so grateful he survived and has the opportunity for a happy, healthy, productive, amazing…future. We have much to be thankful for.

An unexpected discovery

On Tuesday, August 4th, 2015  I received an unexpected phone call from Dr. Peterson at the Algone Pain Center. He asked me to do him a favor and research a product and treatment known as Bio D Restore. What I discovered has led me on an unexpected and exciting journey.

The use of stem cells treatment and stem cell therapy, and more specifically, FPT Therapy (Flowable Placental Tissue), is an exciting new science that provides some very promising treatment options for a variety of conditions.

Stem cells have the amazing ability to develop into various different cell types, such as a muscle cell, blood cell., cartilage..  Adult stem cells can differentiate or divide into the specific cells they want to specialize in.Biodrestore

The majority of stem cell therapies utilize adult stem cells that can be extracted from your own adipose fat tissues or bone marrow. This is called adult stem cell therapy. There are inherent downsides and risks with both of these procedures. Age is a factor because of natural cell aging, lifestyle, and eating habits, as well as exposure to toxins in our environment. Therefore as we get older, these stem cells tend to be less viable. There are also surgical risks associated with adult stem cell treatments, which involves extracting the stem cells from bone marrow.

In comes Bio D Restore. These are age zero stem cells harvested from amniotic fluid.

According to Bio D Restore, these new cells are very young and they have not been exposed to environmental toxins or affected by aging, therefore they work much more effectively. They also possess a natural scaffolding (extracellular matrix) that can assist in the regenerative process and have also been found to be a rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, hyaluronic acids, and essential growth factors.

BioD is one of the leading authorities in utilizing stem cells to unlock the regenerative potential of the human body. Their innovative procedures take advantage of the unique biologic properties of placental tissues to enhance clinical outcomes. They are committed to developing safe and effective solutions utilizing key points such as:

  • Infectious disease screening requirements that meet or exceed all FDA requirements
  • Accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB)
  • Products that meet the criteria of FDA, 21 CFR 1271, Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act
  • Protocols and procedures have been developed to meet or exceed all applicable industry standards
  • Over 25 patents applications filed for their products or proprietary processing techniques
  • All potential donors are pre-screened during an examination of pre-natal medical records and test results.

So after reading and researching all I could find, I made the decision to try this new treatment. The big advantages I see include:

  1. The cost – This treatment is $1,500 vs. $6,000 for the treatment I had done on my left hip.
  2. The pain – No need to pound into my iliac crest and harvest the stem cells.
  3. The time involved. Instead of three or four days for the first stem cell, procedure I had done, this takes a few minutes.
  4. The recovery – I am not required to stay off of the leg, only restrict all activity for two weeks. Then slowly begin to resume low-impact activities like cycling and swimming over the next 10 weeks. Full recovery is expected in 3 to 18 months.

Enough reasons for me to decide it’s worth a try. So on Wednesday, August 5th, I went in for the procedure. I have noticed some difference but I’m sure it’s too early to expect much. I have had no negative reaction to this procedure so at this point, I’m very pleased with my decision and looking forward to a bright, pain free life. I’ll be sure and keep you posted!

Algone Pain Relief

Today I met Dr. Peterson at the Algone Pain Relief Center and he said after looking at my MRI, he would like to order x-rays to see if I have developed a bone spur or some other condition that is causing this set back. He also recommended I consider a PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)  treatment to boost the healing on the left hip. I also spoke with Dr. Cohen at Healthlink Medical Centers and he concurred and also recommended I try adding Curcumin and Tumeric to my diet. I’ve been including these things for a few months now and do find the inflammation is easing up. I’m hopeful that I can find relief from this cycle I seem to be caught in and hopeful I’ll have good news to share soon.

greenhouse

 

Acupuncture to break the cycle

After several months with a downward trend, I finally decided it was time to try something different. Although my left hip is generally doing well, because my right hip seems to be failing, the left hip is complaining. It’s become difficult to sleep at night and just to get through the day without pain. My massage therapist suggested I try Acupuncture. She recommended the Alaska Center for Acupuncture and I had my first treatment yesterday. I did feel pain relief right away and was able to sleep for the first time in several weeks. Encouraging but also not a miracle cure by any means. My doctor told me this would be the case and that it takes patience and time to see real long-term benefits.

We talked a lot about the importance of healthy eating and what that actually means. I’ll do a blog post just on the nutritional aspects I’ve learned. But my acupuncture doctor did commend me on avoiding sugar and processed foods and sent me home with two Chinese herbs to help with joint health and pain relief . These include Ox Bone (for joint health) and Bamboo Pearls (to help with pain.)  I’ll keep you posted on my progress and experience with Acupuncture.

I can tell you it was not painful beyond a couple of pin-prick sensations and left me feeling relaxed and hopeful. The doctor is out of town for a few weeks so tomorrow I’m going to the Algone Pain Intervention Center to see if they might be able to help me with a more permanent solution.