I felt the first twinge of arthritis pain last winter. I could not believe that one knuckle on one finger of my left hand (I’m left-handed) could cause so much pain. Last winter, though, it was just an occasional twinge. This winter however, I had to find a new way to hold my coffee cup, and use two hands to manage the hens’ water pails.
On an exceptionally hard labor day, it would ache at the end of the day – this constant discomfort that felt like the knuckle needed cracked badly. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve tried to crack that knuckle these past few months. It just won’t crack.
When the pain comes on, I picture my mother’s and my aunt’s hands – both women struck with arthritis in their hands. I admit, until I actually felt arthritis pain, I could not fathom the pain those aged hands have experienced.
Not looking forward to a lifetime of pain, nor liking the idea of taking traditional pain medications the rest of my life, I started researching.
What are the natural options I have to manage this new ailment I have?
Acupressure: The GB 20 point is an overall pain-relieving point and is one of the 12 anti-inflammatory points. Use your thumb to press both GB 20 points, which are below the base of the3 skull, two inches out from the middle of your neck. Press for one minute, three times a day, daily.
Aromatherapy: Rosemary and chamomile are the scents to pair for arthritis relief. For the best relief, ad six drops each rosemary and chamomile essential oils to four ounces sesame oil. Massage into sore joints until fully absorbed.
For extra relief, add ten drops each of rosemary and chamomile to a warm bath and soak for ten minutes.
Diet/Nutrition: Ayurvedic doctors recommend adding spicy foods to the diet, like cayenne, cinnamon or dried ginger. Some studies have shown that a vegetarian diet is beneficial in helping lessen – or even eliminate – arthritis pain. When animal food sources were removed from the diet, many cases of arthritis have gone into complete remission.
Juicers recommend 2 glasses of blackberry juice a day, and note that pineapple juice is the only known source of the enzyme bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Foods to avoid include citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.
Vitamin C promotes healing, Calcium builds stronger joints, and B Vitamins can help reduce pain. Find and eat foods that provide more of these in your diet. You may want to consider taking Vitamin C supplements, because for arthritis, practitioners recommend 5,000 milligrams a day.
Massage: Gentle massage can help ease arthritis pain if you work around the affected joint, not directly on it. Make small gentle circles around the join for three to five minutes every day.
Hydrotherapy: Moist warm treatments are very helpful managing arthritis pain. Applying a warm compress for 10-20 minutes every four hours to relieve stiffness and dull, penetrating pain. Swimming or soaking in water heated to 85 degrees can also be effective.
For sharp, intense pain, a cold wet compress or an ice pack wrapped in a towel no more than 20 minutes at a time, every four hours. If the sharp pain dissipates to a duller pain after a day or two, switch to the warm compress.
Relaxation: Some alternative practitioners believe arthritis is an indirect result of hidden, unexpressed anger. Twenty minutes of stretching or meditation twice a day can help manage the pain of arthritis. For other ways to treat or manage anger, see this post.
NOTE: Gout is also a form of arthritis. For gout flare ups, stick with cool temperature treatments (especially ice packs), and pair rosemary oil with juniper oil instead of chamomile. For gout, juicers recommend juicing cherries and strawberries together.
For three years in a row, the blue birds have attempted to raise a family at the top of one of our porch fence posts. I say attempted, because the sparrows will not allow it.
The blue birds get to the point where they have the nest built, eggs laid, or even young born — and the sparrows attack. One year, I attempted to help guard the nest, but I could not be as diligent as the sparrows. Another year, I collected the young tossed ruthlessly out of the nest, and hung them in a basket nearby. The sparrow threw them out of the basket as well.
It’s traumatic. There’s a lot of chirping and squawking and commotion. Violence is violence – even if only the size of a sparrow. It’s a sad and terrible experience I share with them every year. It upsets me.
The blue birds try raise a family on our porch every year and every year, lose the battle.
Well, not this year.
This year I remembered ahead of time, and bought a “sparrow-proof blue bird house.”
I’m going to fill the space where the blue birds usually build their nest at the top of the post, and I’m going to mount the bird house right next to that spot. Hopefully, the blue birds will take to it, and hopefully the sparrow-proofing works.
I’ll keep you updated as spring progresses.
There is a trend in internet publishing, to copy an article written by someone else, post it on your own site or blog, put all the proper links in place to the original article, slap a bunch of your own affiliate ads around the piece, and call that writing.
To say the least – it urks me. It’s cheating. If your entire blog is made up of you pasting pieces other people have written – that’s not writing. I’m not even sure it’s publishing. In fact – if the links to the author aren’t clearly defined — in my day, that was plagiarism.
However there are times when I am browsing the internet, when I come across a really well-written article that I think will help people really understand an issue. This article by Dr. Aviva Romm, MD is one of those pieces:
“Have you ever heard the term body burden? Body burden refers to the total amount of toxic chemicals in your body at a given time, or the amount of a single chemical, for example, arsenic, lead, mercury, or PCB to name just a few. Body burden has become a critical health and environmental problem. It affects us all and can cause health problems ranging from cancer and diabetes to infertility and autism. It affects all ages – even our babies before they are born.”
Toxic exposure is a concern for all of us. Please pop over to her web site to read her article, “Five Steps to Reducing Toxic Exposures for You & Your Family.”
About two years ago, a gardening mentor handed me something I had never seen before. A small round loofa – grown in her yard. How quaint, I thought, and brought it home and put it up to save for seed – somewhere.
I have not been able to find it since.
So this year, while perusing ebay one evening, I came across a listing for loofa plant seeds. Since this year’s garden plans include expanding the herb and flower garden for use in some bath products, little loofas seem to fit the theme. So, I bought some seed.
A vining plant, I’m hoping to plant the seed along the fence after the early peas have been harvested. If successful with them, I can use them to decorate the bath sachets I hope to make next winter. The seed I got off of ebay didn’t come with instructions, so I found several web sites that were helpful:
http://www.luffaseeds.com was very helpful, and inspired me to get them planted in trays right away.
http://www.seedman.com/loofah.htm surprised me, because I didn’t know there was more than one kind, and also had no idea which kind I had ordered.
This is one of the “new” plants I am trying this year, just for the fun of it. I’ll keep you posted as the season progresses.
It’s hard for me to believe I haven’t been smoking now for four months. To be honest, until I discovered the nicotine vaporizer, I had resigned to smoking the rest of my what I knew would be shorter life.
I didn’t go to the vaporizer store (an RV in Spencer) to quit smoking. I went to try something to at least help me cut down. I never imagined that I would set my cigarettes aside permanently, immediately. But I did.
I am quite aware that there are those who feel it’s a cheat. “You’re still addicted to nicotine,” they say, and it’s true. “You should just have quit cold turkey,” they say.
Some people just want to cut you down. Some people just don’t want to recognize any improvement.
But it is an improvement.
Long time smokers know about phlegm. It’s a part of the smoker’s life. But three days after I switched to my vaporizer, I didn’t have to go through the morning cough and hack routine. Within a few weeks, that routine was all but gone from my life.
Within a week, my sense of smell came back full force – and I began to realize just how much smokers smell like smoke.
Mid-winter, I realized Daisy was packing on the weight, and we started daily walks again. Usually, by the time we reach the end of the far field, I’m out of breath. But when we got there this fall, I was fine – and we kept right on going. Daisy seemed surprised to find we weren’t turning back as usual.
Apparently, each person has an ejuice flavor that works for them. Mine is Mocha Hazelnut, although I also use Burley Tobacco. Frank likes the Brandy, Whiskey and the tobacco. I once met a man who said only the chocolate/peanut butter worked for him, while another man struggled adapting to the vaporizer until he found the Turkish Tobacco flavor. Others like fruit flavors, or candy flavors. You have to find your own.
I read today that more than 700,000 U.S. smokers have reported switching to nicotine vaporizers. I often think if Daddy had the chance with a vaporizer, he might still be with us.
But no. Even though vaporizers have been around for years, their import into the United States was banned for years. Even now – all vaporizers are made in China, but the e-juice used in them is available from American sources.
If you’ve tried to quit smoking, or not… If you’ve tried e-cigarettes, gum, or other devices that didn’t help…. If you like smoking, but would like a healthier habit…. Try the vaporizer. It’s the way to quit smoking that smokers love.
You can purchase vaporizers and all kinds of flavors locally at Nimblefingers in Spencer (the RV in SavALot parking lot), and supplies and a few flavors are available at Talliesduck in Normantown. You can also purchase supplies on Amazon. I’ve provided a link to the vaporizers like we use below.