Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Physical Therapy -- Is it worth it?

I used to ask myself whether physical therapy actually works. Here is my take on it:

There are a few different reasons for physical therapy (in my case). After chronic bursitis in my shoulders, along with rotator cuff tendinitis, bicep tendinitis, neural tension, dyskinesis, etc. All these issues became extremely painful to deal with. I had been going to a rolfer, acupuncturist, 3 different modalities of chiropractic, massage therapy, gua sha, etc. They seemed to help temporarily. But my quality of life was sorely affected. Finally, I was referred to a physical therapist.

There are many different types of physical therapists. One clinic I saw before, was Physicians Neck and Back Clinic. They used the Med-X (sp?) machines -- isolating your muscles and strengthening them. They have a pretty good success rate. But it wasn't for me. It caused me more pain (as it wasn't treating the problem and only focused on the back -- and they call my upper back "the neck" which bugged me, since in between my shoulder blades is NOT my neck). As it turns out the extreme pain in between my shoulder blades was affected by my rotator cuff -- it is all connected and I don't know how, but I will accept that is the case and move on (I am not in the medical field so I trust them on this).

I then went to a physical therapist's regiment of stretching and strengthening the right muscles... my rotator cuff muscles which are the sub scapularis, teres minor, infraspinadus and supraspinadus. I may have spelled some of those wrong. But strengthening those and stretching really did help my range of motion and my strength. But the pain did not go away, and it was on both shoulders. My right shoulder did have a very good result, it used to be the most painful of the two, but as it healed and consistently ranked on a pain scale, only 3-4 out of 10, it did not stay my biggest problem. My biggest problem was now my left shoulder. (This was also after getting a cortisone shot in both shoulders, it worked for a while, but then wore off).

Since I had been doing physical therapy on my shoulders for over 6 months by this time, and the pain was not gone, THEN, as a last resort, we decided to opt for surgery. By now I was seeing an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in shoulders.

Physical therapy was EXTREMELY important BEFORE surgery for a couple reasons:

1) There was a chance it could have worked -- therefore avoiding surgery!
2) It strengthened my muscles so that recovery AFTER surgery would be a LOT easier.

But, you have to remember that this is homework - - you can't NOT do your exercises and stretches. You have to be consistent and  do them frequently. Sure, it takes time. Right now I am spending about an hour and a half every day, total, on stretches and range of motion. Before my surgery I was spending at least 45 minutes on them.

So, now that we know the importance of trying physical therapy BEFORE surgery, let's talk about AFTER surgery.

This is very important. Even more so than before surgery. You have to be committed to this, or I suggest not even bothering with surgery and sticking with pain pills for the rest of your life.

I will use myself as an example. I had SAD (decompression surgery) and DCE (Distal Clavicle Excision) on both shoulders. Those are pretty simple processes and heal quickly. Basically, they remove your bursa, cut out any bone spurs, and cut off the end of your clavicle. Soreness can remain for months, but on my right shoulder (I am not even 2 weeks post op right now) I have full range of motion, and no "pain" -- just tenderness and soreness as a result of my bone being cut off, and my bursa removed. I expect soreness for the next month or so, going away gradually. Then, I will be 100% better in my right shoulder. Currently I am using my right arm to carry any heavy stuff I have to carry.

Almost seven weeks ago I had the SAD and DCE on my left shoulder (the bad shoulder) but along with that, I had a bicep tenodesis. They removed the longhead bicep tendon, and re-attached the little stub that was left, to my humerous bone. THAT was major surgery. As a result, I was in a sling for 4 weeks. I could only do basic pendulum and isometric exercises, and then the wand exercises a few weeks afterward. (Wand exercises ROCK for range of motion, by the way). Because of this, many of my muscles in this shoulder atrophied, and I lost a LOT of range of motion. Besides, my shoulder is still so weak I cannot hold my arm above my head for any length of time yet. So.. here is where physical therapy comes in. I seriously was afraid of getting a frozen shoulder. So I did my pendulum exercises from day one, although they hurt and weren't the most comfortable to do.

So the first reason why you need to do physical therapy for shoulders after your surgery is to avoid getting a frozen shoulder. The second main reason is that you can heal properly. I was told by my surgeon that the first month at least, after my surgery, would be worse than the pain before my surgery. I am now through that period, and the main pain associated with all this, is the soreness I am getting from my physical therapy. I started doing more stretching exercises, to get my range of motion back. There are some motions where it is SO painful I feel like my bone is breaking. But I am working through that. Every day, as I do my physical therapy, I go to the point of almost wanting to cry. Some days I think I am regressing. But overall, I can see how much farther I am able to stretch, and how much easier it is. Even if it is just a centimeter farther. That is improvement. It is slow going. I was told this would take 3-6 months MINIMUM. And strengthening really doesn't start until after 8 weeks... of course actually living it vs. just being told what to expect, is very different.. I wasn't prepared for the difficulty that physical therapy has become.

And, each time I am given new exercises, to do along with the previous exercises, I wonder where I am going to find time to incorporate it all into my hectic schedule. Luckily I have found that I can do some at work, in my office, while I am on a conference call or on a webinar, or during lunch or break. Sometimes it also feels like I go 3 steps forward just to take 2 steps backward. But I AM coming along.

I also sometimes regret not doing these physical therapy exercises sooner, I look back and figure maybe I didn't really need to be in a sling for 4 weeks... letting my muscles atrophy. But the more I read about a bicep tenodesis I realize that I NEED to allow my bone to heal. There are two screws holding the muscle in place right now. A fall or an accident or me trying to lift something heavy when I am not ready, could ruin the whole surgery and give me a tenotomy (where they just cut the tendon and you end up with a popeye bicep). That would be very bad. I am about 5 weeks away from when I am considered a "successful healing". (It takes 12 weeks for the bone to heal, they told me). I am glad I didn't screw it up.

So, while I am still in physical therapy, and have been for the past 8 months straight, I am very thankful for my decision to continue with it. DON'T GIVE UP. LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY. If they tell you to ice your injury 2-3 times per day, then DO it!! Icing sucks in Minnesota in the winter time, for sure. But Thankfully it has been warm this past summer, and by the time winter comes along I plan on being healed :)

My goals are to be fully healed in my right shoulder by the end of October. There is a ligament on the top of your shoulder that attaches the acromium and the clavicle... well, that might be sore for up to 6 months, I was told!! Sore or tender... but I already feel so much better I am thinking that will be completely gone by October. That will be 6 weeks for my right shoulder. Then I can start some strength training for all my shoulder and upper back muscles!!

My goal for my left shoulder is to have complete range of motion back by the end of October. I know that is almost 5 weeks away, and seems so far out, but I have to have goals that I can accomplish. And, since I will be starting some simple strengthening exercises, I think I will be able to do a lot more with it by then as well (i.e. carrying bags of groceries, etc). Then, by December 23rd, I want to be considered fully healed so that I can start strength training, kickboxing if I want, etc. That also is the day that I leave for my Panama vacation, and I want to be able to kayak, etc. That is almost 4 1/2 months from my surgery, and it is 100% do-able!

Yes. Physical therapy is worth it. In just a few more short months, I am going to be pain-free -- a total different quality of life. I am so excited about it. Lots of peaks and valleys throughout the process, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

Thursday, September 23, 2010

6 weeks post op from bicep tenodesis left shoulder / 1 week post op from S.A.D. and D.C.E. in right shoulder

First, I have to say that my right shoulder, 1 week post op, is doing amazing from the subacromial decompression and distal clavicle excision. I have full range of motion and although I still feel tenderness and soreness when I do certain movements, I am still amazed at how quickly I feel better. It is wonderful. After my experience with my left shoulder, and how extreme that pain is, I just feel so good that my right shoulder is better than it ever has been! Woohoo! Even 2 days after surgery my range of motion was better than it had been for years!! This is something to be excited about. It was the easiest surgery I had, with a quick recovery. I am already doing all the physical therapy for that shoulder, that I have been doing for 6 weeks on my left shoulder, with no pain at all!

Now, on to the left shoulder. It is 6 weeks today since my surgery. I had the subacromial decompression and distal clavicle excision, like I did on the right shoulder, but I also had a bicep tenodesis. Basically, they removed about 3 inches of my long head bicep tendon, and then re-attached the muscle to my humerous bone with 2 screws. That was the major part of the surgery. It takes about 3-6 months to recover, and maybe up to 12 months to get the strength back.

So I am 6 weeks post op, as I mentioned. I was at the physical therapist yesterday (my first appt since my surgery LAST week on my right shoulder, but after he looked that over and had me perform different arm raises, etc. he disregarded that shoulder and focused on my left). He gave me 2 new stretches to do. These are killers. I mean, PURE AGONY. I thought I was doing well, but yesterday was my first time second guessing myself. It didn't feel good at all. One of them, is an additional wand exercise (AAROM) I searched for a picture online but couldn't find one, so we can just use our imagination. The first wand exercise (ROM) that is agony for me is the one where I take the wand (broomstick, etc) and hold it horizontal behind my back with both arms, hip width apart. Then I have to pull it up my back, as my arms stretch. My right arm is fine, but my left arm is very hard to do. I had tears streaming down my face when I first did it. And, this morning when I did it before work, I actually felt so sick that I thought I was going to throw up from the pain.

The next exercise is where I am laying on my left side with my left arm bent at the elbow at a 90 degree angle, my fist up, my triceps laying on the ground, out to the side. Then, I take my other hand (my right hand) and grab my left wrist, and slowly try to get it to the floor, toward my feet (not toward my head, I am not supposed to bend it that way, yet or maybe ever). I think I can barely get it to go 2 inches. It is extremely painful.

Well, I will do these exercises/stretches at least 2 times a day (more, if possible), and see where I am on Monday, when I have my next appointment. I WILL be taking pain killers through this next week, I know it. I cannot believe my body would produce this much pain for simple stretches. I am just weak from pain fatigue, and sometimes feel like I want to give up. BUT I WON'T !!!! I am in this for the long haul.

I will report back how I am doing next week. I sure as heck hope it is better than this week!!!!

Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

Monday, September 20, 2010

update on shoulder surgery - day 4

Today is my first day back at work, and I am sore. Very sore. I think I over did it yesterday with chores and exercises. But, it isn't necessarily a bad thing... I am just going to be a little more lenient tonight on the things I am going to be doing. I still have excellent range of motion, better than before my surgery. I still cannot scratch my own back with either arm. I didn't sleep well last night due to a few factors, but tonight I will make up for it!

My stress level is kinda high today. I have an appointment with a lawyer tomorrow, which will cost me $250. Just to try to get out of paying the $1,100 my HOA is trying to assess me for THEIR lawyer bills since my tenant wants to sue them. And I have been having a lot of maintenance issues at my properties. I just want to finally get out of debt, and I was hoping this was the year to do it in, but now it may take me until mid next year. Well, maybe by April I can. It depends if I get any taxes back or not. I definitely hope I don't have to pay. I know that is 7 months away, but I have one more balance on a credit card to pay off. Granted, it is at a fixed 1.99% interest rate, and it was for grad school, but I still hate owing money.

I just need a vacation. I know that I have been taking days off of work, for the three surgeries I had in the past 2 months, but I don't call those relaxation vacations!!

I can't wait for Panama. Three more months.

Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

Saturday, September 18, 2010

bicep tenodesis vs. subacromial decompression surgery - my story

Who am I: I am a 35 year old somewhat athletic, woman. I am healthy. Except for my chronic pain.... here is my story of the surgery on both of my shoulders. Enjoy, comment as you see fit, ask questions, etc. Thanks!!

5 weeks ago I had surgery on my left arm. I declined to have a block, although the anesthesiologist said that about 90% of the patients do request a block. The OS went in planning on doing a subacromial decompression (SAD) and a distal clavicle excision (DCE or DCR). She said there was a 70% chance that she would do a bicep tenodesis, depending on what she found. She ended up doing the bicep tenodesis - I got about 3 inches of my longhead bicep tendon removed, and two screws to re-attach my bicep to my bone. That was the major part of the surgery, otherwise it would be minor.

Prior to this, I had been doing physical therapy. I was doing everything according to instruction. My left shoulder was NOT getting any better. I got a cortisone shot back in March, for both shoulders. It helped, but not fully. It helped almost completely on my right shoulder, but only maybe about 65% on my left. I found out that most likely is because of my bicep tendon... the cortisone shot is shot into your subacromial bursa, and it isn't able to affect the longhead bicep tendon.

So, I woke up from surgery VERY out of it. I was so groggy. my SO Steve took me home, and started feeding me my narcotics according to schedule. It hurt. I started doing pendulum exercises right away, and saw my physical therapist  6 days post op. He got me going on some other stuff, and off I went. The pain started lessening after the first week. But I have to say the first week was the hardest. The pain wouldn't go away, and I had to go to work. Since I wasn't allowed to take any anti-inflammatories, basically my only options were to take tylenol, or the narcotics. Well tylenol does nothing for me. And I can't take narcotics and go to work. So I suffered.

But I was healing fast. I did take ginger capsules, and used some arnica homeopathic stuff on my arm directly on the shoulder. I also took arnica 200c 2x a day for the first few days. At my post op appt 19 days after my surgery, the OS said that I looked as if I was 6 weeks out, vs. only 3 weeks out. YAY!! I was so proud of myself. I was so scared that I was going to pull the screws out of my bone, the first month that is something you have to be super careful about. So I kept my arm in the sling except to shower and dress and do my physical therapy. I did have a few episodes where I twinged or tweaked a muscle somehow and the pain was excruciating, but I was better in a day or so.

We had my right shoulder surgery scheduled just 4 weeks after this first one (we didn't know at the time whether it would be just a subacromial decompression on the left shoulder, which would have been fine... but since I had a bicep tenodesis with a 3-6 month recovery time, 4 weeks is just too soon). So we decided to wait an extra week. Why didn't we wait longer? Well, I  met my deductible this plan year, and everything was covered 100%, but it starts again Oct 1st, just a mere 2 weeks after my shoulder on my right side... This is the good part of high deductible health plans. It is great for people like me -- most of the time I rarely need to go to the doctor, and I don't take any prescription drugs that I have to have filled every month... I do a checkup, and that is about it. Well, On the flip side, if I do end up needing my insurance, I REALLY use it. This plan year I had 8 months of physical therapy (at least once a week) and 3 surgeries (the first one was a diagnostic laparoscopy for endometriosis... thankfully that wasn't the case, but they did find staples in my insides, even one embedded in my ovary, so hopefully the removal of those will help my cramps!). So I really used my insurance this year.

Now, at 5 weeks post op from the left shoulder, I have been doing the wand exercises (AAROM) and the isometric ones. I also have been given what I think are called isotonic exercises, to start strengthening the 2 back muscles of the rotator cuff. I was amazed at how hard those were, I was shaking and barely could get them finished. But now I can do them and I am doing them with 4 oz of weight. And, I have been out of the sling for a week. I can ALMOST sleep on that side at night. That is my chosen sleep side (I prefer sleeping on my left side) but I am not doing it fully just yet...

So this is where I was to date, going into my shoulder for the right side. We were pretty sure we didn't need to do a bicep tenodesis, according to the MRIs, and the pain on my right shoulder went almost completely away after the cortisone shot, and came back after a month or two. I was told by my surgeon that if the cortisone shot works in the beginning, at least, then after the SAD (subacromial decompression) the pain will be gone just like the cortisone shot, except permanently. I am very excited about that. I have read on forums or message boards of people getting cortisone shots for their shoulder pain, and it didn't work so then they had a SAD. And that didn't work, either. So I am guessing that the cortisone shot is a good thing to try before you have surgery. And if it doesn't work for you, don't have an SAD...

I also had a very good surgeon. She specializes in shoulders. She explained all the different options to me. Surgery was really my last resort. I had to wait months to get in to see her, but I have to say now that it was worth it. I saw a horrible OS last year, for my shoulders and he was very rude. It only took me 2 days to get an appointment with him. So I suspect that the good surgeons, well, you have to wait months to get in to see them, but I also agree that it is worth it TOTALLY. I have pictures of my shoulders, that the scope took, and can see how horribly swollen and inflamed and red everything was. Well, that other surgeon took MRIs and told me NOTHING WAS WRONG! He had the gall to suggest I see a psychiatrist. HAHAHAH!!! It isn't in my head, Mr. It is in my shoulders!

So here I am, Thursday morning comes along (2 days ago) and I head in to the hospital. I am very nervous, because I remember all the pain from 5 weeks prior, and also waking up from anesthesia, it was really bad. That is the worst of it in my recollection...

But I am a trooper, so I stick it out. They had me in the pre-op room, asking me all the millions of questions they do, taking my blood pressure, putting in the IV, etc. Then I talk with the anesthesiologist, he remembers me from last time, and guesses that I don't want a block. Everything moves pretty quickly, I say goodbye to Steve (my SO) and I actually WALK into the operating room and sit on the bed. I tell the nurses there that this is the first time in my life I ever stepped on the floor in the OR before. I lay down on the bed and next thing I know I wake up in the phase I recovery area. They tell me I just got out of surgery 5 minutes before (my surgery 5 weeks before I don't recall being in this area AT ALL). Then, I start asking them questions... like how did it go, how long did it take, etc. And I feel great actually. I didn't feel like throwing up. I didn't feel drowsy, just relaxed. They quickly moved me to Phase II recovery, so that I can see Steve and get ready to go home. I walked to the restroom right away... I was totally fine with that. I think they were impressed, as well.

I think within 30 minutes I was able to go home. We were just waiting on my prescriptions. This time they gave me Vicodin and Vistaril. Since this was minor compared to the bicep tenodesis, where they gave me oxycontin, percocet and vistaril, I didn't really need anything stronger.

So, I went home and took a nap. Then, before bed that night I took 1 vicodin and 1 vistaril and 1 benadryl. Narcotics really make me itchy, so the benadryl helps with that. The next morning, Friday, I took 1 more dose, and just relaxed all day. I did my pendulum exercises, but then took my sling off, and realized I really didn't have much pain. I tried some of the wand exercises, with both arms, and was able to move with a pretty decent range of motion on both arms.

Today, 2 days post op, I have now been off narcotics for a day and a half, and only took Aleve 2x. I went to a huge fundraiser for my animal rescue group today, and then came home and relaxed. Sure, I am tired and worn out. But ecstatic that I can move around... I was able to do all the exercises for my left shoulder (my right arm can lead for the wand exercises).

All in all, I am doing fantastic. I am icing almost all day long for my right shoulder, and I am icing 2x a day still on my left shoulder.

My main fear for my right shoulder was that it would be as sore as my left one. But thankfully that isn't the case. It already seems to have surpassed what my left shoulder can do... just two days post op.

I also have broken up all the scar tissue from my left shoulder. There were two spots (two of the 4 incisions) that were lumpy with scar tissue. I didn't use vitamin E which they suggested. Instead, I used castor oil. I rubbed it in, deeply, morning and night. Within a week, the scar tissue went "pop" and my skin is now smooth, no lumps. You can still see the tiny incisions but they continue to become less visible. Except the one on my arm where they removed the bicep tendon. That was over an inch long, near my armpit, and may take some time to go away, and might never go away permanently.

I wore my hospital gown for 2 days until I showered. And this time around, I showered on my own, without the plastic over my wounds. I just dried the wounds, and re-bandaged them after putting hydrogen peroxide on them. After my first surgery, Steve had to help me wash my hair, dry my hair, and dress. At least for the first few days. This time, he was out taking the dogs for a walk as I was getting ready...

I think that my decision to have these surgeries was the best decision I have ever made. In summary: 5 weeks ago I had a SAD/DCE (subacromial decompression and distal clavicle excision) along with a bicep tenodesis (removal of the long head bicep tendon) on my left shoulder. 2 days ago I had just the SAD/DCE on my right shoulder. And today I would say both of them feel the same in terms of soreness. I know the recovery for the bicep tenodesis is 3-6 months, and I have a long way to go, but I am religiously doing my physical therapy and stretching and strengthening.

I am thankful that this really might be the light at the end of the tunnel, and that my pain will be gone. I will never brush off anyone who says they have chronic pain, ever again. It is serious... I lived with it for so many years. Now I am ready to REALLY START LIVING MY LIFE PAIN FREE!!! Hallelujah!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

shoulder update -- via my blog:

I am so glad my shoulder surgery for my right shoulder has been postponed until the 16th. Originally it was scheduled for the 9th, which is 2 days from now!! That will be 4 weeks since my bicep tenodesis on my left shoulder. A true healing for that takes 12 weeks or more... and while I am getting better at my range of motion, and the pain seems to lessen every day, I just don't think I am ready for another surgery so quickly.

I am still wearing my sling for my left arm... I have been taking it off more, and in fact, most of the day yesterday I had it off at home. Sometimes I do something stupid and tweak a muscle, which is painful. Tomorrow is my next physical therapy appointment, and I think I am finally going to get strengthening exercises with weights (probably 1 lb or 2 lb weights), vs. the isometric exercises I have been doing. I can lift my hand almost over my head now. Which definitely helps with fixing my hair and putting it up in a towel after my shower.

I still need pillows propped under it to sleep comfortably. But I am guessing within a week I will reporting an amazing difference. I can't wait!!! I am so thankful for my speedy recovery!

Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Do Detox Foot Pads Work?

I am asked this question quite often by my friends, after they learn about Purify Your Body and my detox foot pads that I sell. I love this question, because I can tell them all the evidence that I have, but the best way to make them believers is to have them try it for themselves. So I give them some samples, and tell them how to go about using them. If they have migraines, or sinus or allergy issues, I tell them to put them on their toes. If they have breathing issues, then I tell them to put them on the balls of their feet. Then, I let my foot pads do the rest.

Granted, there is a huge difference in say, kinoki detox foot pads, and mine. Also a huge difference in my foot pads compared to the popular Japanese ones that advertise "gold" patches, or "silver" patches. See, they have fillers in them. Fillers, like cornstarch. (disguised as vegetable fiber or dextrin in their ingredients list) It isn't going to harm you, but it is a cheap filler to make their foot pads less expensive to manufacture. And of course, more profit for them. Greedy bastards! In some of them, they have over 50% of this "filler" material. That means that even if they have the important ingredients (wood vinegars, tourmaline, etc) they have at least 50% less than my detox foot pads.

I offer a money back guarantee as well, because I know mine will work. And, I offer free shipping, to the U.S. and military bases. I love our military, and am happy to say I have quite a few customers that are actively serving our country. I feel good about offering them a great deal on a great product, and usually throw in an extra pack as a "thank you".

So, to get to the root of the question "Do Detox Foot Pads Work?" I will focus on Purify Your Body's brand of detox pads only. Because I KNOW for a certainty that they work. (and they are usually cheaper than the other brands, to boot!)

1. Testing.

There are two different types of testing that I had done. One, was very expensive and was looking for microbes, heavy metals, plastic by products, etc. and it was done at a University lab here in town. These types of tests run in the hundreds of dollars. When I had my test done, I was amazed at what was found. There were many different types of heavy metals, PCBs, chemical substances that I didn't recognize the name for, ethyl alcohol, etc. They also tested an unused, unopened foot pad. They told me that they need something to compare it to. So that got me thinking about having a "control" -- many different types of research studies use "controls" to establish a baseline. Well, you learn something new everyday, and it makes sense!

The second type of test is a simple test done using a syncrometer. This is usually around $25-$50 per pair of foot pads. Whether you decide to use one of the pair as a "control" well, that is your decision to make. I ran one under water, I sent a blank one, and I sent one from my left and from my right foot. Yes, the one with water came back with some heavy metals, which made me want to not use my faucet again. The control was blank from the specific contaminants they test for (they test for a list of substances, and test negative or positive for that specific substance, i.e. for mercury, or for arsenic, or for cadmium, or aluminum, etc.). The foot pads that I had used were disgustingly filled with almost all toxins they tested for. (well, I think like 8 out of 15, which to me is very bad). A few months later, I tested myself again and had only 4 toxins show up in my foot pads. Then I felt a bit better.

I had a customer whose granddaughter had just gotten home from the doctors office -- diagnosed with lead poisoning! She gave me the specific ppm that the tests revealed. She decided to use my foot pads on her 3-year old granddaughter. After a month, they went back to the doctor for a follow up test. Her lead levels were well within what the doctors say is a safe level. Amazing!

So, there are a few ways to test... to prove that my detox foot pads really do work.

2. Putting them under water will make them dark, just like a tea bag.

I mentioned before that I put a clean detox foot pad under water and had it tested. The foot pads WILL turn dark if you put water or other liquid on them. The reason is because they are filled with herbs. A tea bag turns dark as well, when you seep it in hot water. However, it doesn't get "gooey" like the foot pads are when I take them off my feet in the morning. They aren't sticky in the same way. I challenge anyone who thinks this is a hoax, to request a sample from me, and put water on one, and then use the other on their feet, and compare. There is a difference.

3. They can be used for more than just a detox

The foot pads are great for detoxing. They work the best on your feet because it is convenient, you have your acupoints on your feet, and it is all linked to your lymphatic system. But beyond the detox, they are great at helping with swelling and inflammation. If you have a sprain, or gout, or arthritis on your hands or feet, put them directly on those areas. As long as the skin is not broken, or you don't have any open wounds, this will work. Sometimes the foot pads will not turn dark, but may become hardened, as if a clear liquid was pulled out... this is uric acid. If you suffer from gout, then you will love these foot pads!

4. A company shouldn't hide their ingredients.

Look for a company that will tell you the ingredients, and the percentage of each ingredient. Make sure it adds up to 100% so they aren't hiding anything from you. You don't want any dextrin or vegetable fiber in your foot pads. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, you won't be hurting yourself with those ingredients -- except maybe your pocketbook. These are considered fillers, and won't make for a good detox. I have heard people claim that they help "asborb" the toxins, but that is what the chitosan is for. Chitosan is an important ingredient because it can absorb up to 400x its weight in impurities. They use it for oil spills, and it really binds those toxins together. A few people are allergic to shellfish, but only if you are so severely allergic that you can't touch a shellfish, should you avoid these. (And, if you have any concerns, I can send you a free sample to test before you place your order).

5. Sweating.

Some people say that the goo is your feet sweating. Really? If your feet sweat that much, you need to go see a doctor, seriously. And, if my detox foot pads just reacted to my feet sweating (which they rarely sweat, only in very dire circumstances, like when I am in a sauna), why do they eventually come clean in the morning? If it was my sweat that was making the foot pads so dark and gooey every night, then why, after months of use, do they stop becoming gooey? To answer that, it is because I am DETOXING MY BODY, not because I all of the sudden stopped that weird feet sweat. Granted, I do know people who get clammy feet, and somewhat sweaty feet (and they need to use those odor eaters in their shoes). That is somewhat normal, but will NOT cause the reaction you are getting from the detox foot pads. This is actually one of the most common reasons why people think the detox foot pads are a hoax. I think it is kinda funny. Come on. Think for yourself. There is no way that can truly be the reason!! Logic, people!!

6. Customer service is very important.

Do you get a timely response to your emails? If not, then the foot pad company you are going through is not customer-oriented. Granted, I wish I could take phone calls, but since I am a one-person show, and work in the day, I can't answer calls. But I am always willing to call people back, and current customers do have my phone number if they want it. I respond within a couple hours via email. Sometimes I respond within 5 minutes, or even at 2am. I have about 3,000 customers, and quite a few of them are repeat customers that order every month from me. I get to know them pretty well. These customers have my phone number and can easily place an order over the phone with me just by calling me when they want to. I love answering questions, whether by email or by a phone call. So please, shoot me your questions about the detox foot pads!

7. Anecdotal evidence doesn't lie.

Let's say you have had migraines for over 15 years, and they were only getting more frequent. And your doctor keeps giving you drugs to help prevent them, or to control them once you get a migraine attack. And nothing works. And then, you start using the detox foot pads, and after about a month of using them on your toes (correlates to your head reflexology point), you realize you haven't had a migraine that week, and then as the weeks go on, you realize that it has been a long time since you had a migraine. Up until you maybe get one migraine a year vs. 5-6 migraines per month. That was my personal story, and the MAIN reason why I fell in love with the detox foot pads and created my own business selling them. I KNEW they work. They made such a huge difference in my life. Migraines are absolutely horrible. The pain that I get in my head is not even the worst part of it for me. The nausea, sensitivity to sound, light and smells, the jittery feeling I get. Those are more horrible to me than the painful pounding in my head. The aura, preceding the visual "disturbances" that I used to get, are so horrible. I am so grateful for my detox foot pads. I have since realized that certain things cause triggers for me -- MSG, aspartame, and other chemicals. If I do eat those things, and get sick, I just wear foot pads that night to make me feel better by morning, and it works.

Another incident of anecdotal evidence consists of a friend of mine who suffers from gout. He has suffered from gout for over 20 years. And maybe about 2-3 times a year he will have a bout. After giving him some detox foot pads to try one morning, he told me that by early afternoon he was able to walk without pain, and the foot pad was soaking with goo. I know that this had to have been the result of the foot pads, not because he miraculously stopped a 5-8 day bout of gout on the first morning, just out of the blue.

These types of experiences are very common. And using logic, and the brain God gave us, we can note that these results were because of the detox foot pads.

8. Pricing.

I have a very high quality detox foot pad, and purchase them from a factory overseas that gets audited, and is FDA registered. Since I work out of my home, I do not jack up my prices very much. My margins are very low. I don't mind, because I make up for it in quantity, for all the orders that I ship out. Ultimately, a good detox foot pad should not cost you more than about $1.00 to $1.50 per foot pad. If the company sells a good detox foot pad (high quality like mine), but it is about $4.00 per foot pad (or $40 per pack), then you know they are either gouging you, or are not good business people and have such a high overhead cost that they need to charge that amount. My low quantities are a bit over $1.00 each (My 10-pack costs $20) but that is because I don't want to compete with my resellers. They are the ones what sell the 10-pack more than I do. It is one of the least purchased quantities from my website.
If you see a brand of foot pads that has dextrin, cornstarch, vegetable fiber, etc. in them (remember the fillers I wrote about above), then you should not pay more than $0.50 per foot pad for those. MAX. They are not going to be BAD for you, but they really are a cheap version of them and are not potent at all. You will need at least double the amount of foot pads to get the same detox, so 50 cents per pad seems right.

Also, I offer free shipping to all U.S. addresses. One of my pet peeves is finding a product that I want to buy, for a fantastic price, and then realize the shipping/handling charges are outrageous, ultimately making it a bad deal. So, I found a way to offer free shipping, and that way you know what your final cost is before you even put your product in the shopping cart.

9. FDA registration.

Purify Your Body is registered with the FDA. What that basically means is that I filled out a lot of paperwork, and submitted it to the FDA for approval, paid a few thousand dollars, and then received an FDA registration number. This helps me when getting my shipments in from overseas, and having to go through customs. It doesn't mean the FDA approves of my product, or has reviewed it. It just means I am a legitimate company, and have registered myself with their agency. It is not "FDA Approved" -- if it were, it would cost millions of dollars in testing, studies, etc. There are no detox foot pad companies out there that are FDA approved.

10. Testimonials.

I have a ton of testimonials. Why aren't they on my website? Why don't I post them everywhere? Well, that is a good question. First, I am not allowed by law, to say that my product can cure any illness or disease. (My customers have to figure that out by themselves, which is why I am glad I have smart customers). I can not advertise this, either. As a result, it could be a fine line between having a testimonial on the website, and having the FDA say that I am making an unsubstantiated claim. And, they can pull my website if they so feel like it. I don't want that. So, I am playing their game and just being as basic as I can.

I also keep telling myself that I am going to create a testimonial sheet, from all the stories my customers have sent in to me, but I fear that my laziness has gotten the best of me, and I haven't done it yet. I still plan on doing it, but will I get it done this year? Probably not. I feel like I am a procrastinator in some things, this being one of them.