Graston Technique

I am not a doctor. Nor do I play one on TV or in the movies. However, I am becoming quite knowledgeable in techniques that can be used in the treatment of spine and muscle issues and accompanying pain. I don’t recall signing a release stating I would be willing to be a guinea pig to these treatments in order to help educate my readers, but apparently a higher power has that plan for me.

Recently, I got to experience the Graston Technique. Graston Technique is defined as “a trademarked therapeutic method for diagnosing and treating disorders of the skeletal muscles and related connective tissue. The method employs a collection of six stainless steel tools of particular shape and size, which are used by practitioners to rub patients’ muscles in order to detect and resolve adhesions in the muscles and tendons. Practitioners must be licensed by the parent corporation in order to use the Graston Technique trademark or the patented instruments. Several examples of Graston treatment have been used in contact sports where scars and contusions are common.”

The best way I can describe it, from my experience, is that it involves a pressured scraping motion over a specific area of skin in a back and forth repetition. Dr. Craig put a few drops of a scented oil on the area before he began, and also told me to let him know if it got too painful. The first area he addressed was between my neck and shoulder on the right side, where I’ve been experiencing the aftermaths of the dislocated shoulder. I sensed that he started out with just a little pressure and continued to apply more pressure while moving the instrument back and forth. It got painful, and I know I made a couple of ‘cringy‘ faces along the way, but I was determined I was going to prove I was not the wimp he thought I was through the cupping sessions, and I didn’t make a sound the entire time. It might have lasted three minutes. He then also did the same treatment just above my elbow, where I’d been experiencing some jabbing pains. I got through that as well, though I mentioned that it was more painful than the one on my shoulder (less fat for absorption, probably?). But, at the end of the treatment, I wasn’t in tears or even close to being so. So I called it a success!

The next two days, I know that the area around my neck and shoulder was very sensitive to touch, but there was no bruising of any kind. By day five, I didn’t feel any sensitivity in the area there and had experienced none at the elbow area. After what I’d suffered through with multiple cupping sessions, I now claimed it a major success!

And a week later, when I went back for my appointment, I could report that I had had absolutely zero pain in my shoulder/neck area, other than the topical sensitivity issues right after treatment. This was a huge breakthrough! Furthermore, what pain issues I still had I was able to pinpoint and describe. There is an area in my upper arm, centered between my shoulder and my elbow, that feels like it contains a used, dry sponge. If you’re at all familiar, you know that it’s nearly impossible to manipulate or stretch a used, dry sponge. And that’s exactly how it feels. When I try to do my exercises or overextend my use of that arm, it feels like when it’s time for those muscles to respond accordingly, they just don’t! And it’s painful there when I try. Only occasionally anymore, and only for a brief amount of time, do I get the stabbing, radiating pain and it’s always when I don’t take my time reaching for something. But I’m using my arm more frequently again for normal routines, and ignoring the pain when necessary to accomplish a personal hygiene task. At my last visit, when Dr. Craig put me through the mobility tests, he says the mobility is increasing – that I’m moving more before reaching the pain level at which I’m supposed to stop. It doesn’t feel like there has been a change to me – to be honest, I think it’s more that my pain level tolerance is increasing. But hey, something’s happening!

I’m still frustrated that it seems like there is a long road in front of me yet. I’m starting to convince myself that I may have to learn to live with this limitation for the rest of my life. But then again, who knows what other tricks Dr. Craig has up his sleeve???

Pros and Cons of CBD Oil

I’d mentioned some time ago, in one of my posts, that I had started using CBD oil, and a reader asked if I would share more about my experience. It’s about time I answered that request.

Although I take several prescription meds and a few well-known OTC ones, when the hype first came out about CBD oil and its ability to provide pain relief, I was 100% skeptical. Open any social media site and you will be immediately bombarded with ads for anything from “Better than Viagra” to “Instant Corn and Callus Removal”. CBD oil seemed, to me, just another hyped promise that wouldn’t deliver.

Even after my brother told me of a friend who found great benefit and relief from the product, I was still cynical. All I knew about CBD oil was that the hemp plant was involved. I have an addictive personality to begin with, and a fear of being under the influence of a substance that would cause me to behave in dangerous ways. No way was I going to try something that might cause that kind of experience!

Back in April, I started seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis. I initially went because of some what seemed “usual” tightness in my neck as well as my back and hips feeling tight and unwilling to move. It turned out I was in pretty bad shape! Regular appointments helped, but never for long. Due to my health insurance, I had to start to spread the appointments out further, which meant more days of pain than of relief. And again, my brother suggested CBD oil.

By then, the fact that I wasn’t getting full long-lasting relief in my hips made me re-think the idea. I spent hours over the next several days doing research. There are two types of CBD products, and they are made from two different parts of the hemp plant. I started signing up for all of the “free sample, just pay shipping” products that were being advertised. I got quite a few different products, ranging from 100mg to 1000mg. I opted for the oils even though there are other types of products. Some of them came in a specific flavor, some had a variety of flavors, only one had a natural (tasteless) flavor. The ideal way to ingest is to place the drops under your tongue, but you may also add them to food or liquid.

I finally decided that I liked the idea of 1000mg in the ‘natural’ flavor because I could add it to my coffee. However, before I made a purchase, I asked my chiropractor what he thought about the product, and he uses it. He told me to do a search for “CBD Oil Coupons” (it’s not a cheap product!) which I did and found a coupon for 15% off with a company who had the exact product I wanted. The company’s name is CBDmd. I ordered.

After about 2 weeks, I noticed that I no longer had constant pain in my hips. I know that could be contributed to the chiropractic work, but as stated before, the treatments didn’t seem to last. Within a month, I reported my hip pain going down from an easy 7-8 on the pain scale to a pretty consistent 1.

Then, one day, I was suddenly aware that I had no hip pain! None! That was pretty remarkable! For a while though, I could trigger it unknowingly with certain activities and movements.

Long story short, I am glad to say that I no longer have any hip pain, no matter what I do. I’m more active now than when the pain kept me from being active, and the pain has stayed away! I no longer have to go through the torture of having my hips adjusted at my chiropractic appointments. I don’t walk stooped over like an elderly person shuffling along.

So, the pros and cons of CBD oil? Con is that it’s still expensive, and obviously not covered by any health insurance since it is an OTC medication. Pro is that it has worked a miracle at ending my hip pain, and worth every sweet penny! Besides, the company I buy from runs specials, and I take advantage of the savings whenever I can.

POST SCRIPT NOTE: You will find that different manufacturers will recommend different dosage amounts, regardless of the strength of the product. It is recommended across the board by users I’ve spoken with to start with 5 drops per dose, and increase the number of drops per dose after 7 – 10 days if you don’t see significant improvement in your pain. It is also recommended that you take one dose in the morning and one at night — I’m very bad at remembering afternoon medications, so I take my two doses in each of my first two cups of coffee each morning. I’m currently sustained well at 10 drops per dose.

Is it what it is?

This may end up being a long-read blog entry. I’ll apologize now for that. But this has been buzzing around so much in my head that it keeps me awake at night, so I feel compelled to share it. This is my true story:

I have a new man in my life. His name is Craig. He is nice-looking (a plus), taller than me (always a plus!), confident without seeming cocky. He’s a bit younger than me (age is just a number, right?). He is both physically fit and physically active. He is a bit of a risk-taker (he’s bungee jumped multiple times!). He also takes great pride in his success and is almost like a “kid on Christmas morning” when he’s been successful.

Before we met, we talked by phone. We both understood that our ‘relationship’ would be one of physicality only, in order to meet aching physical needs.

I’ve seen Craig five times now. Our first time together was magical! I didn’t really know how deep my needs were until he satisfied them! I left him feeling rejuvenated and refreshed in a way I didn’t think was any longer possible. I got to see him a second time that week and, if possible, it was even better than the first time!

We always meet at his place. He has all of the accoutrements there to make things go more smoothly. As I’ve gotten more comfortable being with him, I’ve opened up to trusting him with, how do I say this…., different tools and positions. I got to be with him two times the next week as well, and always left him feeling so much more alive. It was fun to see him act almost joyfully whenever he got my body to respond to him, like I said, a kid on Christmas morning.

Then, last week happened…… I went to see him, looking forward to our time together. Things started out as before, and my body was learning how to be responsive to his touch, looking beyond any fleeting and momentary pain to the reward awaiting me on the other side. But last week ended up very different. In the last moments of our time together, he put me into a physical position that felt awkward. It was only slightly uncomfortable, but it was just odd. Still, I trusted him and moved and twisted as he wished. And then….. then he slammed into me with the entire weight of his body, making me cry out in unanticipated pain. And with that, my time with him was over.

On my way out, he told me he didn’t want to see me again until the next week. That raised questions, but he didn’t give me time to ask them. I wasn’t happy about that, but accepted it as what had to be.

Later, after I’d done my errands and settled down to eat and either read or watch TV, I started replaying those events in my mind. (I tend to do that most of the time – ruminate over something that happened recently.) When I stood up after a bit, my entire body felt like it was going to fold over and fall down! I ached from my shoulders to my hips and felt like an elderly lady with a serious case of osteoporosis, I was so bent over! The next day, I was still a little achy and sore and a little upset that he had hurt me like that.

Now, I’m supposed to meet up with him this coming week, and I’m nervous. I keep asking myself if that kind of pain was worth the pleasure and release from my other achiness. If I tell him, how will he react? I think he’d probably tell me he was sorry, tell me he didn’t mean to cause me that kind of hurt, and a part of me thinks he might tell me it was for my own good.


As I said upfront, this is a true story. There is nothing in what I’ve just shared that didn’t happen. BUT, before you are ready to shake my shoulders, knock some sense into me, or plead with me to get away from him as fast as I can go, there are some other things you need to know. You see, I’ve told you the truth – but I haven’t told you the complete truth.

Craig is actually Dr. Craig (last name intentionally omitted). Dr. Craig is a Doctor of Chiropractic. I initiated contact with him because of ongoing pain in my right hip and some new pains in my neck (whiplash from a roller-skating accident 20+ years ago). Our relationship is totally of a physical nature. He has worked magic in these areas, as well as others. His accoutrements are different treatment tables and equipment, which is why we always meet at “his place”, his office. And yes, he really did contort me into a very odd position last week and then slam himself into me. My right hip was not being cooperative in aligning back where it belonged, and after using all of the tools at his disposal to try and manipulate it into position, he used his body weight. And yes, when he can get a patient’s body to realign in the way it was designed, he gets super-excited knowing he’s just relieved that patient’s pain in that area. Oh, and the reasons he slowed down my appointments are probably both for the progress that is being made as well my insurance coverage.


And that, as Andy Rooney would say, is the REST of the story. I’ll remind you again – I’ve told you no falsehoods, nothing fake – but I set out to give you an incomplete picture in order to sway your thinking to a natural disposition based on what was presented to you. This action has been around for years, and it’s only gotten worse. Reality shows do some intense editing in order to omit things that blur the ‘idea’ of what has happened in the way they want you to see it. The concept of ‘taken out of context’ is exactly what those producers use to sway our opinions in a certain direction. Reporters, their editors, the station’s affiliates and even their commercial sponsors all seek to deceive us by giving us only information that sways us to lean towards what they think and believe. And we accept that because we trust those reporters, editors, station affiliates and brand name sponsors.

I don’t believe in the idea of “fake news”. I believe that what we are being told is truthful. I do, however, strongly believe in the idea of incomplete news, whether it be by things ‘taken out of context’ or by limiting the information so it becomes incomplete news.

So, let me ask you this…………. Is it what it is?