What It Feels Like To Reverse Your Scoliosis

Untwisting Your Scoliosis Is Now As Easy As Going For A Walk.

You read that right, my scoliosis is reversing. Since childhood I have been told and read that my twisted spine was going to get worse every year and while it has slowly progressed in a bad way and I do experience chronic pain, it hasn’t been as bad as they all said it would without surgery. That being said, there is very little hope or positivity in the journey of my scoliosis. 

A few years ago I started having a regular premonition that my spine was magically going to get better in 2018. While that magic has been me wearing a specialized exercise suit to make that a reality, my scoliosis has been getting better!  Instead of my spine getting 1-2 degrees worse per year as the statistics say my spine should get, my spine reversed 6 degrees during six months last year. 

Earlier this year I started using one of the latest innovations in scoliosis treatment, a Scoliosis Activity Suit.  I had been researching this suit for a while and finally decided to try it out based on the testimonials of other people with scoliosis who were wearing it.

This stand alone treatment checked all my boxes; it wasn’t spinal fusion surgery or drugs but a simple device that one wears when walking or doing anything active. What does it feel like to train your spine to untwist? It feels like a lot of things.

Number one, it feels good and it feels like hope. When I first walked in it, I could tell that it was working parts of my core that would not normally get activated from any other activity that I do. Walking felt easier albeit awkward at first. 

Next, it feels like a little bit of work. While walking may be easy enough, you have to ease in to how much time you spend active in the suit because it literally is like wearing an exercise machine for your spine. I quickly learned that if I wore it too long my deep spinal and ribcage muscles would be very uncomfortable or sore for a few days after. If I wore it just enough I would experience an overall decrease in pain, improved range of motion in my spine, and better sleep. 

The Scoliosis Activity Suit has been monumental this year in changing my spinal health. Although the suit has given me the most dramatic results, I would put my experience with the suit in a similar category as learning pilates and yoga; it has lifted and empowered me to move and take control of my health.  Plus, I can also take it anywhere with me. 

The very idea that all I have to do is put it on and go for a walk to not only experience relief in the moment but also for hours and days afterward is very positive for my mental health as well. I don’t have to wear it all day but the more I progress with it, the more my spine is being trained to unscrew from its very rotated position. 

Other challenges that have come up are similar to maintaining any exercise routine. Sometimes I find myself making excuses or skipping days so I don’t have to wear it. I’ve gone through phases this year where my use was very irregular (1-3 times per week) and I still experienced some benefits. 

Another honest challenge is that the suit makes me feel vulnerable in public. Like I am walking around with my disabilities showing. Then I remember that I am walking with ease, I get a little taller, and I don’t care so much what people see. Walking slow, in pain, or with a limp is much worse. 

I will say that the suit does sometimes make me feel athletic. I have come to  find it a most useful tool during hiking, walking, household chores, and extended activities that have you moving on your legs. It is definitely not a sitting suit.  

I have experimented by doing all sorts of activity in it such as yoga, pilates, strength training, walking, hiking, core/balance work. I don’t find it effective to wear the suit during my floor work but I usually do find it effective during cardio. I have felt the need to keep up with additional stretching and core/balance exercises, with or without the suit, to stay in tune with my body and keep a balanced movement routine.

 I’m not sure how far the suit will be able to straighten or de-rotate my spine. My double curved spine has been dwelling in the 60-degrees range for so long that going to a 40, 30, or even less of a degree still feels a bit like a pipe dream. I know there is potential for much more improvement but how many years will such a thing take if that is possible? Only time and my personal effort will tell. 

If you, or someone you know is looking for a treatment for scoliosis I highly recommend researching.

Seven Years of Weed Over Pills

Would you believe it has now been over 7 years that I have been using medical cannabis over pharmaceuticals?  It’s kind of a big deal and here are seven reasons why it has been so significant for me.

1. No Negative Side Effects

For the past 7 years I have missed out on the groggy, uncomfortable feelings of side effects that I was experiencing with prescribed medications for pain and inflammation.  I’ve heard enough first hand stories of people who have been using the very drugs that I was being prescribed seven years ago to know that I made the right choice to stop them and find something else. Each year that I am able to avoid pharmaceuticals and their compounding negative side effects on my body is another year that I am able to enjoy a better quality of life and focus on health.

2. Adventures in Cannabis

Over the past seven years my choice to create a long term pain management plan using pot over painkillers brought me an unusual education about the plant and entry into a thriving unregulated medical cannabis scene that led into this current regulated adult use industry. I am blessed to have also gained professional experience in the cannabis industry doing everything from content creation, blogging, social media, speaking, networking, events, sales, trimming, garden work, lobbying, and protesting.

3- Multiple Symptoms Helped With One Plant

7 years of using one single plant, cannabis, to regulate my body’s homeostasis.  I do use it multiple ways for multiple symptoms (pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, migraines) but whether I apply it topically or put fresh leaves in my smoothies it is all coming from various strains of the same non-toxic plant.

4- Cannabis Helps Me Focus On My Health As A Lifestyle

7 years of working on my health with a focus on prevention, nutrition, and happiness. I have always been a health centric person but having an alternative method to manage my chronic health conditions has opened me up to different options and allowed me to find helpful treatments like acupuncture, Bowen, and the Scoliosis Activity Suit. Cannabis has definitely helped me to positively manage my chronic condition and significantly slow progression.

5- Seven Years Of Paying For A Medical Cannabis Authorization

You didn’t think this list would all be flowers did you? I bring this up to shed light on the current system for patients in Washington State. For the past 7 years I have annually been going to a doctor and paying for them to write and process a medical cannabis authorization.  My initial regular doctor wouldn’t even talk to me about it. The state of Washington has been so backward that when they implemented adult legal use they failed to upgrade and include a functional system for supplying medical cannabis to patients. Having to maintain my authorization and also register with he state so that I can have some arrest protections, grow my own, or get a weak discount at some pot shops for non-medical grade products has not been helpful or adequate for filling my medicine needs. I look forward to sharing and supporting fixer bills to medical cannabis in Washington State with you as they come along.

6. Growing My Own

For the past 7 summers I have been utilizing the rights provided to me by my medical cannabis authorization and grown my own. I have to say that experiencing the plant from a gardener’s perspective has given me much insight into how I can use it. Growing my own cannabis has allowed to experience the health benefits of gardening, consume it raw in my diet, learn how to harvest/dry/cure, and experience how to turn this plant into therapeutic tinctures, topicals, and edibles, etc. Knowing how to do all of that has been incredibly helpful in dealing with the lack of products in stores and my MMJ budget. However, having such a small plant limit is inadequate for filling my needs. WA-wa.

7. Learning To Be NORML

It was brought to my attention at this week’s Norml Women of Washington meeting in Seattle that even after 5+ years into us having ‘legalization’ in this state, there are still 600,000 people per year being arrested for marijuana possession in this country. When I hear stats like that I am motivated to get more involved in educating lawmakers and others in my community to end the social injustice that is wrapped up with cannabis.

7 things I would say to myself 7 years ago…

1. Take it slow.  At first I thought I had to feel high for it to be therapeutic. The higher the better. LOL.

2. Unless directed by your doctor to use high doses, consume as little as you need rather than consuming a lot to see how much you can tolerate.

3. Get a good flower vaporizer and use it more than smoking it when possible. I say this because I have often found vaping over smoking flowers to be the most beneficial for immediate relief of ending or at least muting a migraine headache.

4. Try not to lick the spoon too much when you are making edibles. You might get too high and that might be uncomfortable for a few hours.

5. If you ever take too much cannabis and feel too high, you are still going to be ok. Sip on some lemon water while doing something that helps you feel calm.

6. Stay low key about your cannabis medicine use but share your knowledge as often as appropriate. Don’t be shy about sharing your story if it might help somebody else have a different option that may benefit their health too.

7. Grow your own and expand your gardening knowledge from those who can not only grow impressive cannabis but also their own organic fruit and vegetables.

Here is to seven more, as needed.

Four Month Results From Wearing A Scoliosis Activity Suit

Four months in the suit and what has happened to my spine is nothing short of amazing. The results so far are what I was hoping for but truly not expecting to be possible, this is scoliosis after all.

To be very honest, I’ve been having a tough couple of weeks with my scoliosis activity suit. I really haven’t wanted to wear it, I have not been walking as much as usual, and I was even questioning if there is much benefit to using it during pilates and yoga which is all I have felt like doing.

I know that the suit is working for me but I also know that the most beneficial way to see results is to walk in it or use it during exercise that is weight bearing and standing on the legs. That being said, this week I learned that it can be worn different ways for how you are using it. For example, you can remove the tension bands during longer periods of sitting or standing and put them on for moving activity like walking, cleaning the house, gardening, dancing, etc. Learn more about the suit.

The most exciting result, besides decreased pain, is that I’ve grown taller! Today my height was measured at 5’0″ which I haven’t been since, well, maybe ever. Usually I measure around 4’11.5″ (the .5 is important!!) Now, on top of feeling more open and generally in less pain, I’ve grown taller! What this really means is that my spine has untwisted enough to significantly measure the difference. I’m so jazzed about such a positive result!

On another awesome note, I recently learned that one of my friends also got a Scoliosis Activity Suit. She is unique in that she has also had multiple spinal fusion surgeries in her teens. Her results so far are that she feels the benefits from it such as her back feels more open. How about that?! She also mentioned having a lot of fatigue when she wears it.

I totally relate to the fatigue. Working the deep spinal muscles that haven’t seen that kind of action in a long time, if ever, is exhausting. So, I guess the lesson we have learned thus far is to take it slow. Ease into wearing it at first and listen to your body when it needs rest. Know that every time you put it on it can help, even if it may seem insignificant at the time.

To date, the Scoliosis Activity Suit Experience has been a very positive one. I am so grateful to have found something that works so well!

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who helps people with scoliosis and chronic illness to utilize natural food and lifestyle to reduce pain and create a healthier quality of life.  To request a conversation please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

What Kind Of CBD Oil Should I Buy?

Have you been shopping for CBD lately? There is definitely a growing supply of CBD products popping up on store shelves and the internet daily, proving to be confusing and overwhelming for many when figuring out what to purchase. There is lot of misinformation out there and with the cannabis and hemp industries literally developing as the laws are being written, it can also be challenging to keep up with current regulations.

The conversation around CBD concerns me because of all this misinformation and the fact that people shopping for CBD are generally only doing so because they are trying to improve their health. I have been prompted to write this post because of the regular conversations I see online about CBD oil and because I keep having people reach out to me asking what kind of products they should look for.

Earlier this week I read in the news that 52 people in Utah had become sick from a particular CBD oil, brand name ‘YOLO,’ that was not actually CBD but rather toxic synthetic cannabinoids. I find this extremely alarming that so many people were sickened from unscrupulous, greedy assholes trying to cash in on the CBD cash train. It was one thing to learn that all of those people had gotten sick from taking this product and it was another thing to learn that those same people purchased and took a product that apparently did not even have an ingredient list on it. While I know that a large portion of people never look at the ingredients of the things that they take into their bodies, I still find it mildly shocking.

Also this week, a scoliosis facebook group (Scoliosis Warriors) that I follow had somebody in it asking if it matters what kind of CBD oil they buy for their pain. Somebody else in the group literally answered that it did not matter, they were all the same. That is what we call a stupid fucking answer. Pardon my cuss.

Here is a short list of things to consider when shopping for CBD products.

  1. Read the ingredient list on the label. You should be able to identify everything on the ingredient list and if there is no such list, put that shit back on the shelf.
  2. Where did the CBD come from? CBD is an extracted compound from the cannabis sativa plant, from both marijuana and hemp cultivars. Currently a large portion of the CBD being sold in the US is extracted from industrial hemp, medical marijuana, or is imported CBD from the unregulated hemp markets of Asia and Europe. One concern about imported CBD is the potential for heavy metals and pesticides. You will hopefully be able to find this information from the product company’s website if they have product education and testing information available. Every good CBD product has been tested for potency, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals, and microbial mycotoxins.
  3. How was the CBD extracted and why does it matter? Is it a full plant extract (often called ‘full spectrum’) Co2 extract, ethanol extract, or hydrocarbon extract?  The most ideal for consumption are CO2 and ethanol because they are generally regarded as safe and leave minimal residue behind. If it has been taken all the way to an isolate, it is possible that it was also extracted with chemicals that you may prefer to avoid on a daily basis. Look for full plant extract over an isolate to get a greater benefit from the whole plant. By the way, you may have to really dig to find this info. Check out the website of the brands you are shopping for to see what kind of education they can provide you about their products. Also note that CBD companies will sometimes call it ‘hemp oil’ to avoid throwing up red flags from authorities.
  4. What forms is it available? Oral tincture? Topical? Bath Bomb? Vape? How you take it depends on what you need it to do. I personally prefer an oral tincture taken in the day time because it is longer lasting when digested, more ideal for my symptoms, and I find it to be a little energizing and uplifting. I like to use an infused topical for after shower time, massage, and before bed. Then there is the CBD bath, when taken before bed provides the ultimate relaxation and sleepy time remedy. Vaping- Although the vape pens are great for immediate effects and easy dosing, I don’t vape so much because I’m not a fan of the majority of vape pens. A lot of them are cheaply made or use cartridges filled with a blend of CBD mixed with propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, MCT, etc . My gripe with all of these is that they are not proven to be guaranteed safe but have studies showing the protential for lipid pneumonia (popcorn lung). Plus I don’t feel much benefit from vaping CBD- but everybody is different so try what will work for you.
  5. Is it really legal in all 50 states? No, but this is where it gets confusing. As of the writing of this blog post, the USA federal government still declares CBD to be a Schedule 1 substance. That being said, it is up to the individual state that you live in to make local rules if CBD can be grown, processed, and sold to medical patients and/or the public. It is not legal for every state to ship or receive it interstate, although it is common to see ads from companies saying it’s legal to ship in all 50 states. Be wary of these claims! The laws are ever evolving so I suggest talking to a lawyer versed in cannabis legislation and really doing your local homework so you understand the laws around the products you buy and consume. Also, let your politicians know that you will support them if they support progressive cannabis legislation. This was released the very next day after I posted this. See? Hard to keep up with!
  6. What if the CBD products have a small amount of THC? Bonus. Some states will allow for products that have less than 0.3% THC in them to be sold in mainstream stores or with a medical cannabis authorization, such as the CHABA law in Washington State. These products, even though they have a very low level of THC and are non-intoxicating, are more desirable for pain and inflammation, and utilize more of the cannabis plant. Whole is better than one part. Look for terms like ‘whole plant extract’ or ‘full spectrum’ used on the label, this indicates the potential for a small amount of THC or other beneficial cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, CBC, +30 others. Personally, I would seek this type of product out over one that is more highly processed to only have CBD.
  7. What is an appropriate serving size and how many mg of CBD are you getting?How much you take totally depends on your body, your health issues, and why you are taking it in the first place. I’ve seen super small servings per mL and I’ve seen 4000mg servings designed for horses. While there is no such thing as a reported case of somebody overdosing on CBD, it is worthy to note that when taking  medicines or supplements of any kind you want to take only as little as necessary but also have access to as much as needed. It is your job to figure out what is the best serving size for you. You will need to experiment because some people do well with a small amount while others may need a lot more. Start slow and keep a journal to guide you along this journey.

Please share in the comments your CBD shopping experiences, good or bad! What have you found that works and what have you found that is total garbage and hasn’t worked at all? Thanks for sharing!

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who helps people with scoliosis and chronic illness how to utilize healthy food and lifestyle to reduce pain while improving their sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function.  To request a consult please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

The CBD Bath Bomb Experience

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The tea is brewed, music turned on, and the lights are turned down low. As the tub fills for this special bliss bath, I sprinkle in spoonfuls of Lavender and CBD infused epsom salts. The smell pushes my first relaxation button. Yeah, I’m about to relax, on purpose. 

I sink into the hot water and almost instantly take a big sigh. I am here and nothing else matters right now. My only mission is to relax and stay in here for at least 20 minutes to let my skin absorb CBD and magnesium from the salts. A timer was thoughtfully set in case I think I need to be doing something else before my 20 minutes is up.

I take a few minutes to settle in, breathe, and relax. This is holistic self care at its best. Tension and chaos start melting away.

Getting CBD through the skin is one of my favorite delivery methods for using cannabis. I don’t have to eat or inhale anything, my skin does the job for me. 

As the bath continues, I’m all scrubbed up and now just waiting for the timer to go off. It is time to take it to the next level of relaxation. Add meditation. I remind myself that I have no where else to be that is more important than right here and focus on my breathing to relax and tune in a little bit more. Before too long I am able to find that bliss point where my body goes into full relaxation floating mode. Hurray! Making it to this bliss point feels like a real accomplishment since I was feeling so wound up when I got into the tub. 

The timer goes off and I celebrate my ability to relax for 20 whole minutes by lingering in the tub for another 10. I’m no longer in a rush to get out of the tub. With finger tips that look like raisins from being in the bath so long, I pull the drain and lay there while the water gets lower and my skin is exposed to the colder air.  I get out of the bath feeling warm and good to the core that I have done something so nice for my body and being. I proceed to crawl into bed, fully relaxed, and and sleep soundly until sunrise.

Did you catch all the benefits of this bath?

Physical and mental relaxation, great sleep, absorbing CBD and magnesium (among other beneficial herbs blended into the bath salts) through the skin. After the CBD bath, my body is in less pain and feels rejuvenated. Amazing.

Bliss can be found in a hot tub full of infused water.

Peace. 

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach to people seeking natural ways to feel healthy and get support as they manage scoliosis or chronic illness. To enquire about working with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

My First Scoliosis Activity Suit Experience

Last week I purchased a Scoliosis Activity Suit (SAS) from the Scolismart Clinic in Michigan. The SAS is a relatively new invention and is designed to be used during exercise and activity to de-rotate and strengthen a scoliotic spine.

I made the trip to a clinic in Tacoma, WA and was fitted for a suit with Dr. Tim Joy. He was very positive, enthusiastic, and possibly the most educated professional I have ever talked to in person about scoliosis. We ordered the suit together online and it was sent directly to me from Michigan with instructions and a DVD.

When I initially opened the box and tried the suit on, I was hit with a rush of emotions that took me a few minutes to process. Getting the suit was a very emotional event for me and my spine. I had to work through the familiar but generally repressed feelings of how much scoliosis sucks and how hard it is to stay motivated when you are in pain and limited on treatment options.

This is definitely a new positive option for my severely twisted spine plus it is a treatment on its own and works during activities and exercise, something I already do.

Although at first the suit felt very awkward to wear, I would soon feel it work to create new muscle memory in the spine by gently harnessing the body’s natural torque pattern during movement. It’s only been a week but since using the SAS, I have felt stronger and more balanced during and after exercise and noticed my spine is more relaxed and open at night. I’m excited!

I’ve decided to openly share and document this experience online for the next three months on my YouTube channel because I know others may benefit by knowing more about what this option is like for twisted spines.

Thanks for coming along to share this experience with me! Please leave me questions or words of encouragement in the comments. I appreciate them!

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who trains people with scoliosis and chronic illness how they can improve sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function to live full and hurt less.  To book a consult with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com