Dungeons & Dragons & Donuts : how RPG games may help with (fill in the blank)

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(Now, Mom…I know you’re reading this. Don’t freak out!)

One of our local EndoSisters, Toni, had a brilliant idea to get the gals together for a little bit of roleplaying fun.  She had read that roleplaying could be beneficial to people who suffer from pain or in need of a happy-boost – and besides we wanted to get together for some good laughs and R&R.  I thought it was a great idea, and off she went, planning our adventurous day together!

We teamed up with Linda Dami of Donut Panic, who let us use her comfy couches and tables for the afternoon.  We also had access to delicious vegan donuts and gluten-free vegan cupcakes. Thank you, Linda!

“But, Lisa,” you ask, “what does roleplaying games have to do with this?”  Aaaah, I’m glad you asked! Well, let me tell you what I’ve learned:

There’s a man out there named Charlie Brown.  He suffers from major depression and anxiety, as well as borderline personality disorder.  He says gaming saved his life, and it continues to, every day.  He pushes passed his anxiety, goes out, meets with friends and strangers – finds himself encouraging the shy to break out of their shell.  And he says, “Often its better than medication of traditional therapy . It heals, and bonds, and fills in those cracks.  The world for a bit is a little more tolerable. I know this because I can move back into it .”  Tabletop gaming has helped Charlie.  You can read his amazing story by clicking on the link in “Resources” below.

Some therapists out there are actually having their patients play Dungeons & Dragons as the therapy session.  They say it helps with social anxiety, problem solving, communication, building friendships, and empathy.  Gaming may also boost happiness and reduce stress!  I can tell you that I, personally, felt uplifted and refreshed after our game on Sunday.  Well, all of the players mentioned that they all really had a great time and couldn’t wait to get together again.  It gets you out of the house, lifts your spirits, gives you something else to think about…

An article in Psychology Today pointed out that D&D (as well as other tabletop RPG games) bring people together, boost imagination and creative thinking, encourages improvisation and quick-thinking.  It may very well be a confidence booster.

It really was a feel-good day for us.  It raises Charlie Brown’s spirits and social ability.  It helps patients progress through issues.

When you suffer through (fill in the blank), a feel-good day with friends may be just what you need.  Even if it’s not D&D or RPG games, I encourage you to go out and find that “feel good” activity that gets you out of your present situation and into something…enjoyable. Boost those Happiness Chemicals in your brain.

Toni wanted to tie in Endometriosis awareness into our day of tabletop fun, and she created these wonderfully whimsical and informative Endo character sheets!  We didn’t use these in our game, although they were inspired by D&D, but they were placed out for people to read and learn and enjoy! And, c’mon, they’re adorable!

The Endometriosis Monsters

(scroll left or right using the small arrows within the slideshow)

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The EndoWarriors

(click on each thumbnail for a larger version)

Six of us gathered at Donut Panic on Sunday – none of us have played before, but we were all eager and willing to learn!  No judgments (well…Morgana was a judgmental Druid…), no expectations, and all ears (is that an Elf joke?).   We had our DM, and we each received character sheets, introduced our characters, and our journey began.

The best part of sitting around the table with these guys and gals was interacting, thinking together, creative problem solving, laughing, and just letting go of our present situations to immerse ourselves for a few hours in this story we all helped create together.  I was glad to see people still honor their bodies during the four-hour game: standing breaks when sitting became too much, pee breaks, getting more water to drink, etc.  We also had a seemingly endless supply of cupcakes and donuts!

The next day we were all a bit tired and our DM is more so because of all the work they put into the campaign, learning the rules, and keeping us on track.  Everyone worked together as we ran across questions of operation and procedure, and it truly was a team effort.  And, thank you Toni for putting this all together!! It was incredible!

If you’d like to see photographs of our little maiden campaign, here you go!  And if you’d like to read our little Adventure as it played out, our story will follow at the end of the photographs…although it will likely be meaningless and not hilarious to you since you weren’t there. HA!  But we all had SO much fun!

Jan. 15, 2017

It all begins…

Five friends are sitting around a table in a pub.  Bartholomew, the halfling monk; Eru the high elf wizard; Mew of Death, the drow elf rogue; Morgana, the human druid; and Aria, the tiefling warlock.  And just how did these five come to know each other?

A tricky thing about some elves: they’re a little difficult to tell which is male and which is female – an androgynous race.  So, forgive me if I switch between he and she and she and he…because sometimes even I can’t tell.  Eru, still an adolescent female of 150 years old, met Mew, who is now 315 years old, through an act of roguish deceit.  Mew, wearing his stolen signet ring, introduced herself to Eru as the Earl of Duque, another noble-born.  And the two had remained friends ever since, even after learning of Mew’s deception.

Mew and Aria are both members of the Zhentarim and knew each other from their private gatherings and mercenary assignments.

Bartholomew and Morgana both seek to protect the common folk.  United in their personal beliefs, they bonded over their common goal and travelled together.

As our band of friends were marveling over how they’ve come together over a pint or two of ale they were approached by Gundren Rockseeker with an easy and rewarding job.  He’ll ride ahead, but the five follow and deliver this cart full of goods to the city of Phandalin.  The band agreed, with visions of adventure, wanderlust, and money, money…MONEY!

Shortly into their trek along the trail to Phandalin, our adventurers run across two bloated and dead horses in the road, obviously killed in some sort of robbery.  Arrows jutted out of the carcasses and the saddlebags were ransacked and empty.  Mew searched the horses and packs for any belongings.  Morgana began picking berries along the trail, stowing them away in her pockets.  Eru repeatedly poked the dead horses with her wand and stole one of the empty bags.  Bartholomew was eating his first lunch of the day.  And Aria was making a small bag to hold her magical bits and pieces she’d collect along the journey.

Suddenly, four goblins emerged from the woods, surrounding the group.  SURPRISE!  Mew struck the first goblin down with her dual wielding, shortsword and dagger, in one smooth sweep of his blades.  They don’t call them the Mew of Death for nothing!  Morgana promptly whipped the second goblin to death. No mercy from the druid!  Eru, excited to put her spells to good use, produced an acid bubble…which merely *popped* on it’s way to it’s target…and she immediately knelt down and wept.  Her preppy and spoiled upbringing did not prepare her well for disappointment.  Bartholomew flung two darts toward his target, and they whizzed right by.  Aria, casting Eldritch Blast, sent a crackling beam of energy toward a goblin, who promptly dodged.  Amidst the scurry, Bartholomew was slashed by a goblin, but remained on his feet to fight.  Morgana cracked her thornwhip once more, but it simply snapped in the air, catching Bartholomew’s cheek in the process.  Eru hurled a fire bolt at another goblin, burning him to a crisp and a smoldering pile of bone.

There was only one goblin left…Bartholomew, with all his halfling stature, lunged and grappled the goblin to the ground, and tied him up.  A captive!  He had no desire to see this goblin die at their hands – always seeing the good in others, he wished peace among them.  Aria, being the intimidating hellspawn that she was, successfully interrogated the little goblin – who spilled his guts to our little party:  the goblins were following the orders of King Grol by kidnapping Gundren Rockseeker and his escort and they may have been at the nearby Craigmaw Hideout, or further northeast at Craigmaw Castle.  Learning all they could from this minion, Mew took great pleasure in killing him.

The friends looted the dead goblins, taking weapons, armor, and shields.  Bartholomew celebrated their victory by devouring a second lunch.  [Out of Character moment: Enjoy the Cupcake o’Victory!  We survived our first attack!]

Our group of friends had a decision to make:  did they continue on toward Phandalin and simply sell the wares of Gunder’s cart (which only had some mining equipment and meager provisions) or did they attempt to rescue their acquaintance from the goblins?  Seeing as they wouldn’t be paid for their trouble if their benefactor wasn’t alive…the obvious choice was onward to Craigmaw Hideout.  Bartholomew used a healing potion from his pack and the group was on their way.

Armed with the detailed layout of the trail, including traps and pitfalls, our adventurers found themselves at the entrance of the Hideout – but still had to cross a river to get to the cave.  While discussing how best to traverse the river, including having Morgana transform into a giant turtle, arrows zipped at eastern shore.  Two goblins, hidden by the briar thorns, appeared and attacked!  Mew was struck with an arrow, but was able to retaliate, shooting the same goblin that struck her.  Bartholomew shot at the goblins with one of their stolen bows, but missed.  Aria was oblivious and still talking about the turtle-transformation.   Eru summoned an acid bubble and flung it toward the remaining goblin – only to have it burst on one of Aria’s horns.  Morgana attacked with her whip, and missed.  The goblin retaliated and poor Bartholomew was struck again.  Aria cast Eldritch Blast and killed one of the two goblins. Mew dispatched another arrow, sending it straight into the last goblin, obliterating it.

Whew.  Now that the threat had passed, our adventurers still needed to cross the river in order to get into the cave.  Morgana did, in fact, shift into a gigantic turtle, everyone climbed aboard her shell, and she ferried them across the river.  While crossing, Bartholomew caught three fish.  Shifting back into human form along the new shore, they again ransacked the dead goblins for more armor and weapons.  It was decided a little reconnaissance would be necessary – so Morgana was asked once more to shift into an animal. This time: a bat…and she disappeared into the darkness.  What she saw…well sonor-saw…nobody knew.  Her party waited for her outside the cave.  Bartholomew shoved some briar thorns into his pack.  Aria gnabbed a newt from the river, mumbling something about eyes, as she shoved it into her pack.

Morgana returned from her recon mission, shifted back into human form, and told of all she’d learned:  a cavern with three chained wolves, and a small fissure leading off somewhere; the river continued inside the cave, originating out of two small pools and a waterfall she named “Sweaty Butt Valley” and “Butt Falls” for the glorious shape of the pools and falls; a winding tunnel that led to a cavern with boxes and a treasure chest; a bridge 20’ above the cave floor which crossed the river and to a set of carved stairs – she didn’t explore further up that tunnel because of the unmistakable reek of goblins and cooking.  She didn’t want to become their next meal – stinking goblins eat anything, including bats!

A plan was formed…Bartholomew had wished for a less-fatal plan, but the group overruled him.

Mew whipped a goblin disguise out of his bag (a rogue and her tricks!) and he donned the armor of one of the previously slain goblins.  Aria tore out her herbalist kit and poisoned the three fish he had procured earlier.  Armed with his wits, climbing gear, and the three poisoned fish, Mew entered the cave.  The wolves, smelling and seeing one of their Masters (or is that Mew-sters?), eagerly devoured the tasty fish…and promptly died.  She squeezed into the fissure, which turned out to be a trash chute with rotting filth at the bottom, and employed his pitons and skillfully climbed up the 30’ chute, peering into the cavern above.  Just as Morgana relayed, there were boxes of what may have been provisions…but lo and behold, there were also three goblins and a wolf on the other side of the smoldering coals beneath his ledge.  Mew overheard two of the goblins bickering about the third goblin, whom they called Klarg.  Mew descended the trash chute and returned to her friends to report.  Morgana and Aria slipped inside the cavern and skinned the wolves, even butchering some of the meat for a later meal.

The party decided to split up – Mew and Aria would climb back up the trash chute.  Mew, still disguised as a goblin, would attempt to persuade the two smaller goblins to join forces, overthrowing Klarg in a mutinous attack.  Morgana, Bartholomew, and Eru would traverse around the tunnels, waiting at the entrance of the cavern in case Mew and Aris should fail and need back-up.  Bartholomew, the peace-loving monk that he was, fully approved of this plan.  Diplomacy, empathy, tact!  But…plans don’t always work out…

Mew got halfway up the chute before losing her footing and falling and getting knocked unconscious.  Aria quickly healed Mew and attempted to climb the chute herself, but couldn’t even manage the first leg.

Meanwhile, Bartholomew, Morgana, and Eru edged their way through the dark cave.  Eru, with her elvin genes, could see in the darkness and led the group.  She spotted a goblin guard on the bridge above their heads…and quietly snuck beneath him.  Bartholomew followed suit, sneaking under the bridge.  Morgana, though, tripped in the darkness, alerting the goblin guard who signaled to other goblins – goblins who were positioned at Butt Falls and they smashed out the support beams holding up the dam to one of the pools of Sweaty Butt Valley.  Water filled the cavern, rushed down the tunnel, and swept our three adventurers out the cave. Aria and Mew heard the shouts, the rush of water, and turned just in time to see their friends pass by their cavern entrance. The water lapped at the ledge of the trash chute, but did not affect Mew and Aria…which is good because Aria couldn’t swim!

Battered and bruised and bleeding, Bartholomew, Morgana, and Eru caught their breath and rested along the rivershore.  While they recovered, Mew successfully climbed the trash chute and waited at the top for Aria to join her. Aria tried a second time to ascend, got halfway up, and fell 15’, landing once more on the cave floor.

Recovered from their “swim,” Bartholomew had come up with a great plan.  Eru, armed with her darkvision, crept back into the cave and snuck her way around the corner of the tunnel.  She aimed at the guard on the bridge and cast magic missile…into the darkness…and all three magical darts struck the goblin, flinging his dead body over the rope bridge, falling 20’ to the cavern floor below.  She regrouped with her friends outside the cave.

Aria tried once more to climb the trash chute.  She got halfway up the chute when her tiny little T-Rex (that’s Tiefling-Rex) arms couldn’t hold on and she tumbled to the floor, yet again.  Not discouraged, she tried again and finally joined Mew at the top. By this time, Eru, Bartholomew, and Morgana decided they’d join their friends up top, rather than risk the unknown amount of goblins waiting in the mists of Butt Falls.  Eru attempted to climb up, and failed miserably, hitting her head on the way down.  Morgana and Bartholomew both made it to the top in their first try.  Eru tried again, and managed to climb to the top, even with her head wound…which Morgana quickly healed with her Healer’s Kit.

Mew, still disguised as a smelly goblin (moreso now from his extended stay in the trash chute), called one of the goblin’s over to the smoldering fire.  He persuaded the goblin of her goblin-heritage and asked it to bring it’s friend over.  So Goblin #1 walked away, and returned with Goblin #2.  All the while, Klarg and Klarg’s wolf stomped around the cave, shouting something about making the cave great again.  The goblins introduced themselves as Edgar and Horrace, and explained how unhappy they’d been with Klarg’s behavior and politics of late.  Mew, in all his charismatic ways, laid out the plan:  they would all band together and overtake Klarg, split his loot, and live their lives as they wanted to!  It wasn’t long before Edgar and Horrace unsheathed their swords and the mutiny began!

Edgar charged at the unsuspecting Klarg wielding his sword high, swung…and missed!  Morgana followed through, but missed – luckily, she had a dagger at the ready and flung it through the air, striking Clark and doing some damage.  Aria placed a hex on Klarg and simultaneously attacked the wolf with Eldritch Blast and struck it.  Unphased, Klarg struck at Bartholomew and rendered him unconscious.  Unable to immediately help the monk, the party continued their attacks.  Horrace lunged toward Klarg, but Klarg dodged the attack.  Eru once again launched an acid bubble, but Klarg dodged (nimble goblin!).  Mew focused her attention on the wolf, stabbing it DEAD – on his face, even!  Edgar struck at Klarg, but missed (yet again).  Morgana attacked, but missed.  Aria’s hex lifted and she, too, failed to strike Klarg.  Horrace, the mutinous goblin, swung at Klarg and dealt the final blow.  Klarg fell, dead, on the cavern floor.  With no time to think, Edgar and Horrace turned on our band of friends – they weren’t going to split this loot!  Eru launched a firebolt at Horrace, rendering him to ash.  Mew shanked Edgar, doing some damage.  Morgana attempted, but missed – and instead turned her attention to Bartholomew, whom she roused from slumber.  Aria attacked Edgar, missed, and hexed him.  Now awake, Bartholomew shook off the veil of sleep and furiously attacked Edgar, killing him.

The adventurers, victorious, studied the room around them.  To many, all they saw were boxes – but the trained eye of Mew, the thievish rogue, spotted the rusted treasure chest among the crates of provisions.  He picked the lock and *voila* our heroes were rewarded.  No one saw Mew and she slipped the jade frog into her pocket.  The frog with the golden eyes was worth 40 gold pieces, easily.  The party split the 600 copper pieces and 110 silver pieces amongst themselves and Morgana was gifted with the two health potions found within the chest.

Exhausted from the fight, our adventurers took a rest among the crates and bounty.  The scents and sounds of the dank cave echoed off the walls.  Darkness lay ahead.  As did unknown numbers of goblins, the fate of Gundren Rockseeker and his escort, and endless adventure.

Pause…(game resumed 2/26/17)

Rested from their battle, the party decides to head deeper into the cave north toward Butt Falls.  As they round a corner, they see two goblins playing near the water.  Mew (while still disguised as a stinking goblin) draws her crossbow, fires, and strikes one of the oblivious goblins in the head.  It falls with a splash into the water.  The second goblin charges at Mew with its shortsword drawn, slashing across his chest – and she falls unconscious against the cave wall in a slump, bleeding profusely.  Eru hurls a fire bolt at the goblin, but it whizzes past the goblin and is snuffed out by the Falls.  Morgana steps protectively over Mew’s body, drawing her scimitar and attacking the goblin, but it ducks – *whoosh*.  She counters with her dagger, but the goblin again avoids her attack, jumping backward.  Aria’s reaches deep within her Inner Soul and emits a crackling burst of energy, casting Eldritch Blast toward the goblin.  It didn’t stand a chance, withers, and dies. Just as the party was going to focus on Mew’s wounds, a swirl of light from around the corner of Butt Falls surprises the Adventurers.  “WHAT?!?”

Bartholomew decides to investigate and rushes toward Butt Falls, rounding the corner.  He sees a goblin and a dwarf in combat!  He drew his shortbow, let his arrow loose, and killed the goblin!  Bartholomew had made his first kill!! (Insert celebratory dance here.)  He and the dwarf meet…cautiously at first.  The dwarf introduces itself (should this be its-Electric-Boogaloo-ness, or is it too early?) as Therkahn Battlebeard, a cleric, but it’s difficult to tell if this dwarf is male or female…we still don’t know.

Aria dresses Mew’s wounds and he awakens.  Therkahn offers to help, fully healing Mew with his cleric-skills, while solidifying a sense of friendship and trust with the party.  Bartholomew busied himself looting the body of his kill – he kept 3 rounded pebbles, tattered leather, and a fish skeleton, but gave one copper piece each to Aria and Mew.  Morgana fished the second body out of the water and gained four copper pieces, giving the tattered leather she found to Aria to later craft a pouch.  Remembering the earlier misfortune with the flooding of the cave, Morgana destroyed the remaining dam which held back Butt Falls’ collected pool.  It rushed harmlessly beneath them.

Backtracking up the cavern, the Adventurers found the bridge which allowed them to cross to the other side of the chasm.  Each of them clanked and creaked and stepped loudly as they crossed, curving around into a small cavern with a dimly-lit fire, which appeared to be hastily snuffed out.  The party pushed themselves flat up against the cave wall and could hear evidence of enemies ahead (or overhead?), lying in wait.  Morgana, hidden in the darkness, but confined by the close-quarters, awkwardly changed into the extra goblin costume and stepped forward with Mew around the corner and up the stairs.  The two “goblins” were greeted by six goblins waiting on the ledge, poised to strike.  Mew convinces some of the goblins that he’s just their for the food and could smell it throughout the cave, and three of them head down the ledge to tend to the meal.

The larger goblin, however, (dressed in chainmail, I might add) calls her out and assumes a battle stance.  Morgana unfurls her thornwhip, cracking and flicking it toward one of the goblins before her – it strikes, the tail of the whip wrapped around the goblin’s arm, and when she pulls back, the thorns gouge through the flesh, nearly dismembering its left arm.  Without hesitation, Mew lunges at the chainmailed goblin with her shortsword, but is deflected by his scimitar.  Seeing an opening in the parry, Mew jabs with his dagger, nicking the goblin’s unprotected armpit.  Meanwhile, Eru rushes into the throng of goblins around the campfire and casts Thunderwave, filling the air with a loud boom which forcefully flung two goblins into the adjacent cavern wall – breaking one’s neck and the other just slumped dead on the cavern floor.  The third goblin hurled through the air and landed hard on the stairway above, it’s leg obviously twisted and broken – all it did was scream out in pain, whimper, and sway in a useless lump.  Therkahn cast Sacred Flame at the stairs, but the goblin writhed in pain and coincidentally evaded the falling fire.  Bartholomew charged up the stairs and slashed at a goblin with his shortsword, cutting it across the abdomen.  Aria followed behind, and cast Eldritch Blast, but unfortunately Bartholomew stood in her way and she had to adjust her aim to not strike him and she missed the goblins completely.

The armored goblin suddenly announced their surrender and Morgana insisted they all get on their knees (well, except for that pathetic writhing goblin on the stairs) and disarm.  Bartholomew orders the goblins to strip naked and, of course, they complied.  Behind the kneeling gobins, the Adventurers see the unconscious body of Sildar Hallwinter, the traveling companion of Gundren Rockseeker.  Morgana knelt beside Sildar, arousing him from his slumber.  Mew rummaged through the belongings of the chainmailed goblin and found 3 gold teeth, which she kept for himself, along with the chainmail armor after asking each member of the party, in turn, if they wanted it.  She gave the 15 silver pieces to Morgana in an uncharacteristic display of generosity. That near death experience must have temporarily addled his sense of self.

Therkahn asked Sildar where Gundren was, since he wasn’t found within the cave.  Sildar recounted his tale of how they were ambushed on the road and taken by the goblins.  Gundren and he were looking for Wave Echo Cave, a long-rumored magical and mystical cave filled with treasures which was destroyed long ago.  Once captured, two bugbears hauled Gundren off to an unknown location…

Eru vanished down the ledge to loot the two bodies by the fire.  She kept two wooden dice for herself and gave two copper pieces each to the members of the party, including the newly-added Therkahn.  The goblins were ordered to carry supplies from the cave to the wagon waiting at the entrance, and as everyone disappeared across the bridge, Mew lingered behind.  The cries of the wounded goblin on the stairs wafted across the chasm, until suddenly – silence…and Mew of Death joined the rest of her friends across the bridge, a smile creased his lips, back to her Drow self again.  The unclad goblins were ordered to load up all of the crates from Klarg’s cavern onto the wagon, too.  Once fully loaded and the cave plundered, the party debated on what to do with the goblins.  Mew, of course, wanted to kill them.  Bartholomew wanted to bring them along as sherpas.  Eru wanted nothing to do with the filthy beasts.

So, it was decided they would be released.  Bartholomew, enamored with the smallest goblin, handed him the fish skeleton saying, “Thank you.”  Bewildered, the goblin shyly accepted the gift, but having no pocket or pouch to put it in just stood there, holding it awkwardly.  Therkahn fed each of the goblins from his rations, Bartholomew also paid the unwilling and unclad sherpas 3 copper pieces each and gave them back the previously-looted goblin attire, and Mew, the lying man that she was, stated he supported Bartholomew’s kind gesture…

Sildar stated he was with the Lord’s Alliance and there would be a reward for his rescue and safe return to Phandalin.  And since our travelers were going to Phandalin to deliver Gundren’s goods and seek a reward for the Lionshield Coster supplies, they agreed to travel together.  Upon arrival in Phandalin, Sildar paid for the entire party to stay at the Stone Hill Inn, and each member retreated to his or her respective room to soak off the day’s adventure.

Clean and refreshed, everyone (well, except Sildar) reconvened downstairs in the pub.  Bartholomew and Therkahn bonded over ale and religion.  Mew braided Eru’s wet hair beside the hearth.  Aria worked in the corner crafting her spell bag.  Morgana sprung for a gallon of ale to share with her friends.

Mew and Therkahn both spotted the beauty that was the Innkeeper’s wife, exchanged a few heated words over who got to seduce her…but Mew allowed Therkan the honor.  Therkahn sidled up to the Innkeeper’s wife, ordered a mug of ale, claiming it was on Sildar’s tab…which it WASN’T, but earned himself a free beer regardless!

Aria sidled up to an old weaver, Frida, and learned a few useful tips and tricks about weaving.  She then wove enchanted  friendship bracelets, giving one to each of her companions!

Morgana befriended Pip, the 8-year-old son of the Innkeeper.  Pip told her about a tunnel he and his friend found near Tresendar Manor – she gave him a copper piece for his tale.  Meanwhile, Therkahn was still flirting with the Innkeeper’s wife and learned about Daran Edermath, a retired adventurer who now owned an apple orchard in town.

Mew and Eru spotted a dusty miner and they enticed him into conversation: he mines up north, mostly iron, for the Lionshield Coster.  He warned the two that if they intended to head up north to beware of orcs along the Triboar Trail.  Eru asked if he knew anything about the Wave Echo Cave and he thought it may be in the northeastern mountains, but wasn’t sure.  Mew, charming vixen that he was, encouraged the miner to buy she and Eru a beer…which, of course, he could not resist.

Bartholomew befriended a farmer, Narth, in the pub and learned about Sister Garaele’s recent distraught return from the woods.  Narth is also is a friend of Daran.  Bartholomew, gracious man that he is, bought an ale for Narth – and subtly asked for some free crops in return.  He was…denied!  Mew joined them and asked the farmer about the weather conditions up north and learned that some heavier clothing may be in order.

Sildar appeared at the foot of the stairs, pulling out a purse and paid the party members 50 gold pieces for their efforts, which they split 8 gold pieces per person.  Since there were two pieces left, Mew suggested a group cash purse, affectionately called “The Kitty.”  Since nobody trusted Mew to tend the purse, it was given to Bartholomew for safe keeping.  Exhausted and sated with ale, the Adventurers retired to their rooms.

Bright and early, Bartholomew decided to go shopping!  He entered Barthen’s Provisions with the intent to buy food for his party, including fixins for breakfast burritos, and sell Gundren’s supplies.  Mew was already awake and shadowed Bartholomew, watched him step into the shop, but a few seconds later he turned around and exited the shop, the shopkeeper shouting, “Um, okay…come back soon!” – Bartholomew headed back toward the Inn, scratching his balding head.  He promptly woke the rest of the party to join him.  Aria was livid that he hadn’t already procured and prepared breakfast.

The party all returned to Barthen’s Provisions.  Aria took charge of negotiations while Barthen inspected Gundren’s crates.  Barthen had made a deal with Gundren to pay 10 gold pieces to five people…but Aria pushed for 15 gold pieces for 6 people.  Barthen countered with 10 gold pieces for five people, plus the wagon and “burro fixins – whatever those are.”  Aria was relentless and Barthen finally caved, paying 15 gold pieces for each party member having delivered Gundren’s supplies.  Aria sweetened the deal by giving Barthen a petrified eye of newt.  Eru purchased new robes and changed in the back room out of her  filthy trash-chute covered robes. Therkahn bought rations to replace the ones he’d gifted to the goblins yesterday.  She(Electric Boogaloo?) also purchased a miner’s pick and a blanket.  Aria bought a grappling hook.  Bartholomew bought a blanket, playing cards, and lamp oil.  Then he stood in the center of the widest aisle juggling the three pebbles he had looted from the goblins previously.  Mew decided to go and sell her  chainmail at the Lionshield Coster – Bartholomew tagged along.

Mew held the goblin-crafted chainmail up to the Lionshield Coster shopkeeper for inspection, hoping to get at least 20 gold pieces.  The shopkeeper scoffed, offering 10 for the poorly-crafted armor.  She only intended to melt it down to make it into a far superior armor.  Bartholomew kicked up the charm and talked her up to 12 gold pieces.  Mew still wanted more – and Bartholomew threatened the shopkeeper with a “secret order” that Mew belonged to, as well as spreading a bad reputation among the order about the shop.  The owner crumbled beneath the threat, offering 17 gold pieces for the chainmail.  Mew took the 17 gold pieces and offered Bartholomew one piece for his silver tongue.  And, yet again, he negotiated the split to a 50/50 split of 8 gold pieces, plus one to The Kitty.  They exited the shop.

Therkahn, Eru, Morgana, and Aria meet up with Bartholomew and Mew in the street.  They’d come to collect their reward for securing and delivering the Lionshield goods safely.  They stepped inside the shop while Bartholomew stayed outside and Mew slunk back in, ducking behind a barrel to eavesdrop…little did they know the shopkeeper was already in a foul mood from the transaction just a few moments before and from being roughed up by the Redbrand Ruffians earlier.  Aria performed some quick magic tricks to try to lighten the mood, but it didn’t really work.  The shopkeeper offered 50 gold pieces for the entire booty.  Aria tried to offer some protection to the shopkeeper from a “secret guild,” for six gold pieces, but the shopkeeper grunted mentioned that Halia may be in cahoots with the Zhentarim.  Of course, Aria’s ears perked up…she’d have to remember to tell Mew later…Therkahn tried to namedrop the Lord’s Alliance, but that noble name didn’t sway the shopkeeper on her price.  The Earl of Duque (Mew in disguise) stepped into the shop, waving his nobility around to haggle a better price…and failed.  Finally the group took the 50 gold pieces, split it six ways and put the remaining two pieces in The Kitty.

Aria nudged Mew aside and whispered about their Halia being a member of their Order.  They begged off to “go shopping” and split from their friends.

Therkahn, Morgana, and Eru decided to find Sister Garaele to inquire about her observed state of distress the other night.  Upon reaching the Sister’s house, they were told she was praying at the Shrine of Luck, and they headed over.  They found Sister Garaele, who informed them that she wasn’t attacked the other night, but simply fell and tripped in the woods, tearing her robes.  Therkahn didn’t believe her one second and Morgana pressed her a bit further and learned that she had actually been looking for a spellbook.  A ghost named Agatha supposedly knew more about the whereabouts of said book and could be found about a day away northeast of the Triboar Trail at an old house near the ruins of Conyberry.  Eru was truly interested in finding this spellbook and learning its secrets with Sister Garaele.  The Sister gave Eru a silver comb she had found near the ruins and thought it may belong to the ghost, but wasn’t sure what good it would do.  Therkahn, interested in something far greater than spells, asked, “What’s in it for us?”  The Sister stated if the party were able to return with the spellbook, she would give them several healing potions.  Of course, our three Adventurers needed to confer with the rest of their party before committing, and headed off to find Mew and Aria.

Mew and Aria had found Halia’s house and knocked on the door.  When she answered, they both immediately offered the secret handshake of the Zhentarim.  Mew asked about the tunnel she had learned about from Pip at the Inn…and Halia stated it was the hideout of the Redbrands!  She had been thinking of having the Redbrands leader, Glasstaff, assassinated and stage a coup.  She insisted, however, that as many of Glasstaff’s minions as possible be spared; and, in true Zhentarim fashion, she equated each Redbrand’s life to money.  Halia offered to pay 50 gold pieces to each Zhentarim member if the assassination attempt were accepted.  Mew and Aria agreed…intent on forging Zhentarim documents for the rest of the party to reap ALL THE MONEY!

Around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, all of the party members met up again with Sildar in town.  He let them know that his good friend was missing, and was last seen near the Manor, but since it was getting late, the party decided to wait until tomorrow to help Sildar find his friend.

Instead, the Adventurers went to the apple orchard to talk to Daran.  Therkahn started the introductions and learned that Daran was a member of the Order of the Gauntlet, and they shared tales of grand adventure.  Daran had long-since retired to the life of an apple farmer and mumbled tales between bites of a juicy apple that that orcs could be killed with a blade and the bodies of trolls needed to be burned.  He also told tales of some trouble at the Old Owl Well and that the undead have been reported chasing off prospectors.  He mumbled a few other things beneath his breath, apple crunches between words, and offered the party a bushel of apples.  They thanked Daran and headed back to the Inn to meet up with Sildar to decide what they would do tomorrow:

Search for Sildar’s friend?  Hunt Agatha the ghost and the mysterious spellbook?  Stage a coup?  Investigate the rumors of the undead?  Tomorrow will come soon enough…

To be continued…

***

Resources:

Geek & SundryDungeons & Dragons As Therapy

Health Fitness RevolutionTop 10 Health Benefits of Board Games

Psychology TodayDungeons & Dragons, 40 Years Old, Makes You a Better Person

Technology Advice4 Chemicals That Activate Happiness, and How to Gamify Them

View story at Medium.com

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

A paper on the holistic treatment of Endometriosis

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The Ohlone Herbal Center published Whitney Staeb’s apprenticeship paper in October 2016 about the holistic treatment approaches of Endometriosis.  If you’d like to read the 16-page report in it’s entirety, please click here.

It discusses herbs and flower essences that may help ease inflammation and symptoms.  Although it does not discuss doses, it does talk about the supposed medicinal properties of each and combinations that may help during cycles.  If intrigued, read the paper and consult with your healthcare provider and an herbalist.

Diet and proper nutrition play a large role possibly controlling Endometriosis symptoms.  She identifies some “ideal foods” that may be incorporated into, and excluded from, your diet.

Lifestyle changes such as switching feminine hygiene products, exercising, taking warm baths, using heating pads, and practicing good self-care may also ease the physical and mental issues of Endometriosis.

I encourage you to read her paper yourself (click here).  See if any of it speaks to you.  And, again, please do your own research (look for the pros and cons of each listed suggestion) and speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new regimen.

Have you ever, or do you presently, take any of the herbs/supplements referenced in this paper?  Please share your experiences with us in the comments below. Your journey may help others!

Yours,

Lisa

Recap : Naturally Speaking, It’s Endo Event

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On March 5, 2016, an event was held in Toronto, Canada called “Naturally Speaking, It’s Endo.”  It was a workshop with several presenters on natural techniques that you could use to manage your Endometriosis symptoms and pain.  I asked Michelle, one of the organizers of the event, if she and her cohorts would answer a few questions for our blog, and they did!  Not only that, but they offers some amazing highlights from each of the speakers below.  They also offered some beautiful door prizes and a luncheon for the attendees.
This once again goes to show that you don’t have to be huge organization to prepare an event.  This was put together by two women; two very strong women with a vision! I always say it because it’s, true, but “Together, we can do great things!”
**

Who helped organize and plan the event?

It was basically myself with the help of our office manager, Elaina. We also had support from The Endometriosis Network Canada (TENC) to help promote the event, but the planning and organization was just Elaina and I.

How long had it been in the works? (If you can believe it, many EndoSisters ask me these two questions because they’d like to prepare events in their area, too, and it’s something that many people want to know)

I initially wanted to do this event last September and had started thinking about it in July. But since I was getting married in October, I felt I was being pulled in too many directions at that time. I contacted TENC to see if they were planning anything in March for endometriosis awareness month. When they said they didn’t have any plans I told them I was interested in planning an event about natural ways to manage endo symptoms. We often get asked by women about what options exist in natural healthcare if they don’t want to use medication, or if they are on medication, what options can provide complementary support. TENC said they would help us spread the word about the event, so I started planning the speakers and event content around late November to early December. I booked a venue in January and we started promoting the event right away. I have helped plan events before so I know in order for the event to be successful, you should give yourself at least 6 months to plan, organize and promote the event.

How many attendees did you have?

We had 12 attendees.

I see that you have 5 guest speakers, covering topics from nutrition, naturopathic medicine, chiropractic care, restorative exercise, and skin care/make-up. How did these topics tie-in to Endometriosis care, treatment, and support?

I wanted to give women a variety of options for treatments because each woman is going to have a different experience with endometriosis. In holistic medicine we believe that every person is a unique individual, and what works for one person with endo, may not work for another. So the speakers offered 5 different options that can be used separately, or in conjunction with each other. I also know that other illnesses/diseases can occur simultaneously with endometriosis, such as weak pelvic floor muscles. These five different perspectives encompass a treatment plan for the whole person because what we eat, the supplements we take, our breathing and posture, our exercise regime and what we put on our skin all affect endometriosis symptoms.

Were there highlights of each that you’d care to share? I know that feeling well, inside AND out, can dramatically help an EndoSister feel better about her condition.

I can share highlights from each presentation.

From a nutrition perspective: the aim of the diet should be to help reduce inflammation to help reduce symptoms. The best way to do this is with a veggie centric diet which is dairy and gluten free, high in fibre and healthy fats, and low in carbohydrates. www.greystoneshealth.com

From the restorative movement: The way you move every day makes a big difference to your pelvic floor health. Walking more, sitting in chairs less, not wearing high heels, and not sucking in your stomach are all great ways to start caring for your pelvic floor. www.movementrevolution.ca

From a skincare perspective: what we put on our skin is directly absorbed into our body. Some ingredients used in skincare products are toxic and can mimic the estrogen hormone, so be an aware consumer and look for organic, natural options for skincare and makeup products. http://www.arbonne.com/pws/christiepawliw/tabs/home.aspx

From a naturopathic perspective: the very first thing that needs to be done to help reduce symptoms from endometriosis (even before looking at hormones) is to reduce inflammation and ensure a healthy gut ecology. Once this is done, the hormones will balance much easier, especially with incorporation of some mind/body work. Lastly, the Dutch hormone panel is a new test that provides a deeper look at the hormone balance in a person with endometriosis. www.greystoneshealth.com

From a chiropractic perspective: Deep breathing techniques will help to support the pelvic floor and core muscles. Your pelvic floor acts as a second diaphragm and when everything is working together, the nervous system is better supported and helps to reduce symptoms such as low back pain. www.backinbalanceclinic.ca

I also see that representatives from The Endometriosis Network Canada was present. Could you tell me more about that? What did they talk about? Any future events coming up? More support for local EndoSisters in that area?

Yes. I asked them to come and do a brief talk at the beginning of the event about what they do in case any women in attendance hadn’t heard of them before.

As of right now, we don’t have any future events planned. However, we do write blog articles for TENC and any other endo publications that are interested.

I know tickets were $20-30 and the price of admission included snacks, a make-up tutorial, and a chance to win door prizes. Where else did the funds go? I’m assuming overhead and payment for the guest speakers? Anything else?

The event was $20 and included admission, food and a chance to win door prizes. We initially tried offering a discounted rate so that it would encourage people to buy tickets ahead of time because we were offering food and needed a sense of numbers to prepare for. However, we weren’t selling a lot of tickets and were told that sometimes women with endo don’t know until the day before an event if they will feel well enough to attend. So we kept the price at $20. We wanted to keep the price low so it was affordable, but we needed a way to make back some of the money we paid for expenses. So essentially all the money we made from the event went to cover some of the overhead expenses, and we (meaning
Greystones Health) covered the rest.

If you could do anything differently, what would it be?

I don’t think so. We put a lot of effort into this event and were pleased with the result.

Any advice for EndoSisters reading this entry today?

In regards of event planning, be sure to give yourself lots of time to plan the event, and also consider the timing for the event. From my experience both planning and attending events, events held during the summer months usually have less people because people are busy outdoors enjoying the weather. When the weather is cooler, people are more likely to look for something to do.

In regards of a health perspective, my partner, Dr. Steyr has had success treating women with endo as a naturopathic doctor, whether it was managing symptoms or helping them prepare for pregnancy. I’ve heard many women say that they’ve run out of options to manage their endo symptoms, and so we want to give them a message of hope. There is always a way to better health, and it’s important to realize that this is a process which can take some time, but we’re here to help and support these women as they journey on their path to better health.

**
For more information on any of the participants involved in the workshop, please see the links below.
Greystones Health: A Toronto based natural healthcare team offering naturopathic medicine and nutrition counselling.  They also work with Back in Balance for chiropractic services.
Michelle Heighington: registered nutritionist.  Michelle is also able to meet with patients via Skype! If you’re interested, please reach out to her for more information.
Dr. Joseph Steyr: naturopathic doctor.  Dr. Steyre and Ms. Heighington offer a free initial consultation.  If interested, please reach out to their offices at info@greystoneshealth.com.
Dr. Lisa Clarke: chiropractor
Petra Fisher:restorative exercise specialist
Christie Pawliw: independent consultant for Arbonne International.  Christie is available by e-mail if you’d like more information about skincare.  Please feel free to contact her for more information.
The Endometriosis Network Canada: A volunteer-run, incorporated, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to facilitate & promote a patient-centred approach to managing endometriosis.

I want to thank Michelle, Elaina, Greystones Health, each of the presenters, and The Endometriosis Network Canada for taking the time to help spread the word about Endometriosis, other treatment options, and taking the time to respond to our questions.  Keep up the great work!

Yours,

Lisa

Keeping a Healthy Pooper to Help my Endo

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Here we go again!  Discussing taboo topics that nobody ever really wants to talk about.

You may remember a few months ago I met with a gastroenterologist to discuss my complaints of pain before, during, and after bowel movements.  Didn’t read it?  Check it out here.  Anyway, he referred me to a colorectal surgeon here in San Diego for some further testing.  A few months later and my insurance finally approved the appointment!  And *poof* my very first visit to a colorectal surgeon took place last week (nearly five months after my initial visit with my PCP to discuss these complaints)…

Again, we talked about my Endometriosis and my fear that it may be on my bowels due to my recently-returned issues with stabbing daggers and pain, constipation, and diarrhea.  He (and I) also agreed with the GI’s plan to ride out the symptoms as best I can until a second Endo excision surgery is (if needed) ever scheduled…we’d check out the bowels then rather than scheduling a potentially needless exploratory surgery.

Butt (haha see what I did there?) Dr. Worsey (the colorectal surgeon) wanted to examine my guts with a little camera, which is something I’ve never had done and wanted to  make sure I checked out fine.  Two enemas that morning before my appointment and now I’m in a very (dis)graceful pose on a mechanical table, my toosh up in the air 45 degrees and my face pointed toward the floor. Let me tell you : a flexible sigmoidoscopy is not a pleasant experience.  Not one bit and I took the rest of the day off of work due to the discomfort.

So, everything inside my bowel (up to the sigmoid colon) looks great.  The only thing he found wrong was an anal fissure.  Well now, that doesn’t sound good…It’s a tear in your bunghole or your bunghole canal.  “But how can a tiny little tear cause such severe pain throughout my pooping process,” I wondered.  Apparently, they can cause “severe pain during, and especially after, a bowel movement, lasting from several minutes to a few hours,” rectal bleeding, itching, and funky butt discharge…all of which I have had in the past.  And 10% of patients who visit colorectal surgeons for poopy pain end up having anal fissures.  So he gave me fierce instructions with a wagging finger to include more fiber in my diet and gave me a gallon-size ziploc baggy of sample packets of various fiber powder packets.  He also prescribed…medicated suppositories *oh joy* to help the fissure to heal.

So, since February 10, 2016, I’ve been drinking my powder fiber drink (easing it into my diet once a day per the instructions; will eventually up that dosage to three times per day) and using my nightly suppositories (he gave me a 12-day supply).   And guess what?

My gut still burns right before I have to poo…but that’s nice because it’s a kind of tell that I better get over there soon.  But since two days after my appointment and medication regimen, I haven’t felt the daggers/stabbing pain/glass tear through the length of my gut.  Or the excruciating stretching/tearing pain of my poop-hole, either.   My poops have been…quick, easy, and dare I jinx it…normal.  And every day…sometimes multiple times a day!  I used to go maybe once every 3 days…this is so much better!

But what does fiber have to do with helping my pain? And my Endo? And my peace of mind?  Well, besides smoothing out the transportation of my angry poos, it is believed that fiber may actually decrease excess levels of estrogen in the body by binding to it and pooping it out.  Why is that important?  Many physicians believe that Endometriosis is an estrogen-driven disease.  It’s also believed to do the same with toxins and the “bad things” in our guts.

I eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and beans in my diet.  I figured that was enough fiber for me…apparently not.

Looking for good fiber to include in your diet?  I went through the sample packets given to me by my colorectal surgeon (these included Metamucil and Konsyl).  Read the labels!  All of the sugar-free samples contained Aspartame.  And they also all contained psyllium, which may plug you up worse if you’re not drinking enough water.   Do your research and find the right one for you.  I take Maxi Health Fibermax once a day…I used to drink it with orange juice, until I realized how much sugar was in OJ.  Now I drink it with watered down V8 Harvest Vegetables.  And it gets me half my daily requirement of fiber, and I’d like to think I get the rest of it with my daily food : 1 serving of shredded wheat with berries, as well as snacking on fruits and veggies.

I’d like to believe that the anal fissure was causing my very painful bowel movements and that the addition of fiber and these medicated suppositories have helped immensely.  As of right now, I don’t have the painful poopy complaints that I’ve had of late.  So I’d like to believe the anal fissure was the sole cause of my crazy pain in my gut.  And that the fiber intake and healing suppositories will fix it.  Time will tell.  And anal fissures may recur at any time due to a hard or strainful poo…so if I keep up on my fiber regimen, it’ll be interesting to see what happens.  And if the symptoms return or worsen, I will advise my colorectal surgeon and we’ll go from there.  And feel comfortable that if I do go in for a second excision surgery, they’ll be taking an in-depth glance at the exterior of my bowels to make sure there aren’t any Endo implants.  I’ve now laid a foundational relationship with my PCP, my gyno, the gastroenterologist, and the colorectal surgeon.  They each understand my concerns and my Endometriosis diagnosis.  And each of these physicians have stated how much they enjoy working with each other, so I’m having fun building my Team. 🙂

I’ve spoken with several EndoSisters (who don’t know if they have Endo on their bowels or not) who have also complained of the same stabbing/knives/glass dragging through their gut pain, or painful poops.  I encourage you all to see your physician and get a referral to a specialist in the butt-area.  It may be Endo (or not), but it may be something else…possibly as simple as a lack of fiber in your diet or a tear on your butthole. (Sorry, just really trying to keep this lighthearted…rhymes with farted…hehe).

And, remember, “Some people are so positive, that when they slip in dog poop, they pirouette.” ~Josh Stern

*Have you had poopy gut pain and found out the cause?  Feel free to drop us a comment!  I’d love to hear what it was, if you fixed it, and how…*

Resources:

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons – Anal fissure

Flo Living – Endometriosis symptoms and how to heal

Home Remedy – Diet remedy for Endoemetriosis

Livestrong – Good foods to eat when you have Endometriosis

Love to Know – Diet for Endometriosis

Medical News Today – Anal fissure : causes, symptoms, and treatment

Medicinenet.com – Anal fissure

Physicians’ Desk Reference – Endometriosis treatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wurn Technique : Improve Infertility and Adhesion Pain?

clearpassageHave you heard of the Wurn Technique?  I hadn’t until a few weeks ago when I received an email from Clear Passage with links to a recently-published study showing the Wurn Technique can improve infertility issues, as well as reduce Endometriosis pain.  Are they claiming to cure Endometriosis?  Not at all.  But they are claiming their technique may help reduce your pain and may increases your chances of becoming pregnant.  So, curious as I was, I read up on it, asked questions, and now I present this information to you!

Personal Note: I am not endorsing Clear Passage or the claims made in these studies or their webpage.  I am simply pointing you, the curious reader, in a direction you may not have located otherwise.  Always, always, ALWAYS do your own research.  And choose a treatment that feels right for you.  If you have any questions about the Wurn Technique, please reach out to Clear Passage at info@clearpassage.com or 1 (352) 336-1433.  They will answer your questions and, if you so desire, schedule a phone consultation with one of their therapists (for free) to see if this is a viable treatment option for you.

Update 1/12/16 : If you’re located in the San Diego area, Clear Passage now has a San Diego location.  Click here for more information.

Clear Passage

Clear Passage was created by Belinda and Larry Wurn after Belinda was diagnosed and treated for cervical cancer in 1984.  After enduring surgery and radiation therapy, Belinda’s insides were scarred, creating a “frozen pelvis.”  Conventional medicine did little to ease her suffering, so she and Larry studied physical therapy techniques in the US and abroad and practiced the manual physical therapy they had been learning.  And, it was working!  They began developing their own methods and manual therapy techniques to ease her chronic pain, which ultimately became known as the Wurn Technique.

The Wurn Technique

The Wurn Technique involves 200 manual therapy techniques, each created to palpate the restricted areas of the body, freeing up adhesions and restoring the proper flow of the body.  It is generally a 5-day treatment comprising of 20 hours of bodywork.  Again and again, Clear Passage was able to “reverse infertility” for many women, freeing Fallopian tubes from scar tissue, and restoring their proper function.  Many women have praised Clear Passage and the Wurn Technique for the ability to conceive, and successfully deliver, a child.  All without surgery.

wurn rep
A representation of one of the hundreds of protocols employed by the Wurn Technique

KSAT12, a Texas-based news station, broadcast a story on August 19, 2015, about the Wurn Technique.  If you’d like to see a great visual demonstration of some of the techniques they use, click here.  There are also some testimonials of some very satisfied clientele.  The video is roughly 2 minutes long.

Infertility

Testimonials are a great way to do business; however, Clear Passage wanted scientific proof!  They conducted a small clinical trial of a woman whose Fallopian tubes were both severely blocked, and she had been diagnosed with a frozen pelvis.  Previous surgical intervention to unblock her Fallopian tubes failed and she was resigned to not having any children.  After working with the therapists at Clear Passage and using the Wurn Technique, they were able to completely unblock one of her Fallopian tubes!  Fantastic results, but not enough proof.  So…they went BIG and began a 10-year study of their technique and infertility results.  And it was recently published in the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine journal.

In that study, they examined and treated nearly 1,400 patients over a ten-year period.  Of them, many women had Endometriosis-related infertility and astounding 43% of those patients conceived after their Clear Passage/Wurn Technique treatments.  A figure which surpassed even the surgical intervention figures (38-42%).  Women with both PCOS and Endometriosis also reported a successful pregnancy rate (75%).  Undergoing IVF?  This study found that Clear Passage and the Wurn Techniques had pregnancy rates 1.5 times higher than IVF alone.  Overall, Clear Passage and the Wurn Technique had a 60.85% success rate in opening one or both blocked Fallopian tubes! How does it work?  “…the Wurn technique… appeared to work by deforming adhesions in the body, thereby allowing increased mobility, motility, and function of the structures involved in fertility.” (Alternative Therapies, May/June 2015, Vol 21, 3, p. 37)

Further studies are needed to evaluate if the Stage of Endometriosis has any bearing on the treatment outcomes.

Endometriosis Pain

Painful sex and painful periods.  Two very painful things most women with Endometriosis have to deal with…

adhesions
Click for larger view

In 2011, Clear Passage again hit the scientific and medical community to see how their Wurn Technique affected these painful issues associated with Endometriosis and the study was published in 2012.  All of the study participants had been previously surgically diagnosed with Endometriosis and 78% of those women also had pelvic adhesions.  One study consisted of 14 women who complained of painful sex; another consisted of 18 women who complained of painful sex and painful periods.  Each of the women underwent 20 hours of physical therapy using Clear Passage’s techniques.  The studies concluded that painful sex and sexual function were statistically significantly improved and painful periods statistically significantly decreased for the study participants.

In 2014, they submitted an update on that study! Seven of the 18 patients from the 2011 study were available for follow-up a year later.  Fifty percent of the women still did not experience any pain with sex!  Fifty percent!  And the participants also reported a continuing decreased amount of menstrual pain.  The Wurn Technique may prove useful to a woman who is having painful intercourse or painful periods prior to undergoing another laparoscopic surgery, or if she cannot afford a(nother) surgery.  An alternative option, which may lead to a year of reduced symptoms.  But, again, this appears to be only adhesion-related; shifting, freeing, and stretching the adhesions.  It may not work in all painful cases if adhesions are not the causation.

The Interweb’s Two Cents

I decided to wander around the Internet for testimonials, questions, and nay-sayers about the Wurn Technique.  So I waded through the first 20 pages of Google search results and present you with a few results:

Zoe was a satisfied customer from 2007 (click here).  She stressed that the Wurn Technique is neither massage therapy or physical therapy, but a “deep deep deep body work…”

Pogo1 wrote on a forum in 2008 (click here) and was met with a good experience of the Wurn Technique in the UK.

KimmyKay inquired online in 2009 (click here) and only received a response from a very skeptical doctor, who then offered to make himself available for a consultation to evaluate her infertility issues.

Layne Emerson wrote in 2011 (click here) about the potential risks involved with massage therapy or the Wurn Technique. Clear Passage also outlines the risks of their methods here.

Amber3 reached out in 2011 (click here) for anyone who had experience with the Wurn Technique.  FaithHopeLove responded that she had the Wurn Technique to treat ankle scar tissue with fantastic results.

Mojo1234 posted in 2011 (click here) that the Wurn Technique did not work for her, but “…I think it does for some.  It depends on the extent of adhesions and what’s attached.”

Janice O posted in 2011 (click here) about her bowel obstructions due to adhesions and how she manages her pain and symptoms with the Wurn Technique.

Bookbabe posted an inquiry online back in 2013 (click here), and was met with skepticism, but also a few positive remarks.  She had her physician talk to Clear Passage and, “[h]e said what they are doing makes sense to him and that there is a chance that it would work.  He also called an ob/gyn friend of his to see what she thought of it and she said that when they do surgery to try and remove scar tissue and they are also stretching and tearing so it make sense to her as well, although she had never heard of it before.”

Mark Crislip posted shortly after the 2015 study was released (click here) with some points as to why he feels the results of the study, and the study itself, are disingenuous.

Craig Bowden’s daughter started a Gofundme campaign (click here) to help with medical and travel expenses for his Wurn Technique treatments.  He had severe abdominal adhesions after several surgeries, but updates, “[b]efore heading down to Clear Passage, I had a persistent/painful bowel obstruction, could only walk short distances with a crutch, had trouble going up/down stairs, experienced tremendous pain in my abdomen on a daily basis, had a very limited diet of crackers/similar items, and required a significant amount pain medication everyday. Only a mere five days after their treatment, I’m writing this as a person who can walk extensively without a cane, stand upright with great posture, and move freely without pain. I have diminished my baseline of pain and I am tapering down my pain medication. It’s absolutely incredible!”

Nicole Brown left a raving review (click here) after her four-hour Wurn Technique session at Align PT.  And she goes on to describe her experience after her week-long treatment.  “It was the best call I’ve made in a long time.”

As always, you must decide for yourself what you will believe and what course of action you will take.

If you think you’d like to try out Clear Passage and their Wurn Technique, please contact them at info@clearpassage.com or 1 (352) 336-1433.  And, as always, consult with your physician before starting any new regimen…

I would like to thank the Clear Passage team for being a wealth of invaluable information and putting up with my endless questions and requests during this blog-writing process.  If anything, Clear Passage’s dedication to improving womens’ lives is very evident to me.  They truly believe in their work.  I hope that they are able to continue to ease the pain and suffering of others while also continuing their pursuit of additional scientific proof.

Resources:

Adhesions.org

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine (2015; Article) Ten-Year Retrospective Study on the Efficacy of a Manual Physical Therapy to Treat Female Infertility

Babycenter.com

Clear Passage

Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders (2012; Article) Decreasing Dyspareunia and Dysmenorrhea in Women with Endometriosis Via a Manual Physical Therapy : Results from Two Independent Studies

Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders (2014; Letter to the Editor) Update on “Decreasing Dyspareunia and Dysmenorrhea in Women with Endometriosis Via a Manual Physical Therapy : Results from Two Independent Studies”

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Poor Posture & Pain

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Growing up, you’re always told to “sit up straight” or “don’t slouch!”  I don’t know about you, but as an adult, I do anything but.

I spent most of this last weekend sitting at the computer wasting away on the internet, smooshed into a little ball on the chair. Either hunched over or leaning back into a curved husk.  And it got me thinking : what does bad posture do to my body? Internally. Mentally.  Physically. So, you know me : let the research begin!

Good posture!

Just what is good posture?  Thanks to rethinkingcancer.org, they’ve broken it down for us:

“When sitting, get you low back and hips close to the back of your chair -if you don’t, stress is created by the curved position of your back and this curve will gradually become a postural habit (defect). Try to keep your stomach reasonably in and up – the same with your chest – sit as tall as you can, keeping the shoulders relaxed. It is better to keep your feet flat on the floor or crossed at the ankles rather than crossed at the knees. If you must bend over you desk when working, keep your back straight and move forward from the hips – don’t bow your back. When standing or walking, keep tummy comfortably in and up, chest fairly high, head not bent forward, keep your shoulders loose. If walking, lead with your front thigh on the striding leg, land lightly on your heel and rock up to the ball of the foot and try to keep your toes pointing straight ahead. When standing, don’t sag on one hip.”

Their page also offers several links (at the bottom) for ways to work on obtaining better posture.

Skeletal & Muscular Issues

Poor posture can misalign the spine, which may lead to pain or even muscular or skeletal issues.  It may also cause issues with the cartilage and connected tissues between your joints, which are now bearing the load of your shifted weight, your poor posture, your hunching over, your slouching.  This may also add to any pain or long-term skeletal issues.  These misaligned or over-stressed connective tissues may also alter the muscle growth, strength, or stature.  And *augh* the degredation of those discs and connective tissues may lead to osteoarthritis, which none of us want.

The altered state you place your body in with poor posture will likely increase any muscle soreness.  You’re stressing your muscles and sinews in a way that your body wasn’t intended to support your weight.  This added stress may lead to chronic neck and back pain. Feeling a bit tense?  Try to be diligent in your posture, see if it begins to help alleviate that pain.

Blood Vessels

Blood vessel constriction may be caused by spinal misalignment. What is blood vessel constriction? It’s when your blood vessels are literally constricted, reducing the flow of blood and oxygen to cells in your muscles.  In the case of spinal misalignment and blood vessel constriction, you may be depriving vital muscles and nerves around your spine of oxygen and nutrients. Blood vessel constriction may also increase your chance of blood clots or DVT (deep vein thrombosis).

Nerves

Like blood vessel constriction, spinal misalignment may also cause nerve constriction, or “pinched nerves.”  When a nerve becomes pinched, it can send pain not only to the immediate area where the damage is occurring, but anywhere along that nerve.

Breathing

Studies have found that sitting with poor posture, or hunched, may reduce your lungs’ efficiency and capacity.  Your breathing is shallower, and your heart is getting less oxygen, having to pump a little bit harder…a little bit faster, in order to circulate oxygen throughout your system.

Sitting with hunched shoulders also restricts the ribs, lungs, and diaphragm.

Intestines

Sitting scrunched or hunched may alter your regularity.  Visualize with me : your intestines are no longer free like a bird : they’re trapped in a hunched up position.  They may not be movin’ and groovin’ as smoothly as they normally should.

Fatigue

Some have suggested that poor posture can cause fatigue : that it takes a lot of your body’s energy to hold and maintain poor posture.  Since it’s not a “natural” position, you’re burning more energy to hold the position.  Add to that your diminished breathing and oxygen-intake.  You may just be feeling more sluggish these days because of your posture.

Mood

There was a professor who asked his students to walk down the hall in a slouched position and to also skip down the hallway.  The students reported less energy and were more depressed when walking slouched; and more energetic and happy while skipping.  This may not prove that your mood is truly effected by your posture, but what can it hurt to walk a bit straighter…or skip?

I for one need to work on bettering my posture.  But having learned that it effects more than just my neck and back muscles, I’d like to work on it on a regular basis. I encourage you to do the same 🙂  Sit up straight! Suck those abs in! Breathe!  Stretch and walk around.  And stand up straight! Ha. Our mothers were right…

Resources:

AZ Central

Blackdoctor.org

Breathing.com

Livestrong

Rethinkingcancer.org

Whatsyourposture.com.au

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Lupron Depot : My Experience

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Many of you know I fondly refer to my Lupron Depot treatments as “Liquid Crazy injections.”  I’m happy to say that yesterday, January 19, 2015, was my last Lupron Depot injection for my Endometriosis!  I had a total of six months treatment; 1 injection per month.  I was also taking the “Add Back” pill, Norethindrone, on a daily basis.

I figured I’d write about my side effects and symptoms, just in case anyone else was going to be starting, or has started, the same injections. I’d love to compare notes and see how you’re feeling if you had Lupron.  It’s still in my system (hoping it will be all clear by the end of February).  I’m also wondering if you have any long-term side effects that you attribute to the Lupron Depot injections…

I won’t sugar coat it one bit.  I hated the entire treatment. But it did get a little bit easier as the months progressed.  Here we go:

Body Aches: During the first two months of treatment, there were several days where I could not get out of bed.  Even moving my fingers was agony.  Body and joint pain beyond explanation.  I missed time off work, nearly got written up for it, had to get a note from my doctor, and walked like I was an 80-year-old woman.  Thankfully, the aches didn’t stick around after the second month.  But man, they were unbearable.

Brittle nails: My nails have continuously been tearing, bending, breaking, chipping, and flaking since about my second treatment.  It’s just horrible.  I’m not sure that it’s related to the treatment, but prior to starting Lupron, my nails were strong and would only break during extreme mishaps.  Now it’s every day, at the slightest brush. I have to keep them trimmed down to nothing so they don’t snag on anything. Poor things.

Depression: Now I’m not a person who suffers from depression. It’s just not in my nature.  But OH MY GOD…this medication put me into such a downward spiral funk, some days it was hard to remember none of this is my fault. And that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And that my friends and family do love me.  If you’re already susceptible to depression prior to this drug, please, PLEASE have a strong support network of friends and family prior to starting. It’s just viscous.

Fatigue & weakness: The fatigue and weakness has only started to get better this past month or so.  But there have been times where I needed multiple naps (2-4 hours long) every day.  I would become completely worn out just with one quick trip to the grocery store (my day would be ruined with naps and zombification) or even just my short commute from work would lay me out for the evening.  I couldn’t walk around my neighborhood without feeling like a zombie and slowing to a crawl.  Stairs and uphill slants were next to impossible. As an active and avid hiker, this has been miserable (may I just say : cabin fever!). My entire body was against me.  I’ve only recently been able to maintain a good, strong pace around my neighborhood (which is barely 1.0 mile), with only minimal discomfort and loss of pace.  Looking forward to rebuilding my strength and endurance, and getting all of my Spoons back.

Hair loss: I know we all lose hair, every day.  I’m used to having to clean out my hairbrush once a week.  I don’t freak out over the hair in my fingers after a nice shampoo in the shower.  BUT since the early months of starting Lupron, I’ve had to clean my brush EVERY day, pulling out a massive rat’s nest of hair!  It’s so full!  And the amount of hair in my fingers in the shower has doubled, sometimes tripled.  Even my hairdresser has noticed when I go in for a trim.  I don’t have any bald spots or anything, but it’s been such a massive difference!!  My hair has also lost it’s luster and has become stiff, dry, brittle, and prone to an incredible amount of split ends.  Truly hoping that this side effect quickly goes away.

Hot flashes: Thankfully I didn’t have too many of these.  I prepared for them, buying a small portable fan and a FrogTogg, which I kept in my purse regularly.  But, yes, I did have several.  And they were nauseating.  But they were done and over with quickly.  These were the least bothersome of my side effects.

Incontinence: Just call me “Pee Pants.”  It’s sort of a laughable joke now.  The last few months of treatment, the slightest sneeze, laugh, or cough would send a trickle down my leg and me running to the restroom.  But one evening while on the phone with my mother, disaster!  One small toot (yes, trying to keep this…civilized…I said, “toot”) and I flooded my couch cushion with urine.  I didn’t even know I had to pee…At first the warmth was confusing: was my gas super-heated?  But then the wet!  Not only did I run to the bathroom to grab a towel and soak up the couch, but I had to change my pants and hang my head in shame, although Mum, myself, and my boyfriend were also uproariously laughing. 😉  I did a bit of research and women going through menopause have weaker vaginal walls and bladder muscle control. Incontinence can be a regular occurrence for menopausal and post-menopausal woman. Oh joy.

Increased appetite: Ravenous! The whole time.  I eat numerous times a day.  Healthy, but numerous.  I have breakfast between 8:00 and 9:00, a mid-morning snack by 10:00, lunch between 11:30 and 12:00, mid-afternoon snack by 2:00, dinner between 4:30-5:00, followed by an evening snack.  Every day. It’s like a dance these days!  But I’ve put on my missing 10 pounds since surgery, which is good (I needed it).  And have managed to keep my weight at a healthy 140 pounds.  I’ve learned to eat healthier snacks (banana instead of cookies, salad instead of burgers, that sort of thing).  But, yes, ravenous this entire time.

Increased bust size: My boobs grew! MY BOOBS GREW!  My tiny little As are now a full B (small C, depending on the bra brand!).  My nurse has no idea if they’ll stay this new size once the medication clears my system.  But it’s a noticeable little difference, and I’m ecstatic over this side effect. 😉

Increased thirst: Just like my appetite, I am insatiable when it comes to water nowadays!  Thirsty. So thirsty. I have to keep a full water bottle with me at all times! And refill it multiple times per day.  Constantly drinking water at work, and when I get home.  Almost always have  glass handy.  I don’t know why this is, but it is.  And, again, it’s a healthier kind of side effect, so I hope I continue this newfound habit long after the Lupon leaves my system.

Lack of sex drive: Bah. Need I say more? My previously-epic libido is now non-existent. Gone. Fini. Come back to me, Libido. Come back….

Lack of monthly cycle: I haven’t had my period since September 25, 2014.  That’s the Lupron at work.  It’s been fantastic. No cramps. No bleeding. No bloating. No back pain.  Amazing!  I know I’ll be starting my period sometime soon (even though I’ll be starting birth control), so it will be an interesting experience.  I now have NO clue when I’ll be starting, what my new cycles will be like, how long they will last, or if they will be predictable.  We shall see!

Mood swings: I became a sobbing, blubbering, yelling, mad, insane, loveable, calm, snappy monster. Unpredictable. At the drop of a hat, I could sob. Or laugh. Or snuggle. Or claw your eyes out. May I just say that my boyfriend, family, and friends have all been incredibly patient and wonderful through this stupid process.

Night sweats: Now these are horrible. Almost nightly I wake up with the sheets drenched, my entire body covered in a sheen of cold sweat. Disgusting. There’s no dry spot on my side of the bed anymore. They’re awful! Hurry up and go away, Night Sweats! I don’t want you anymore…

Pain at injection site: So the day or so after the injection, my poor buttcheek is killing me. Sometimes that pain & discomfort radiates down my leg.  Bah. It’s just an annoyance, but daaaaamn my buttcheek!  Think they can make that needle any longer? 🙂

Pain during sex: I blame this on thinner vaginal walls and a lack of natural lube.  Even the slightest jolt is painful. So our sex life has changed a lot: slow pace and I’m on top most of the time (for control of depth).  It’s not enough pain to discourage sex (I truly enjoy the intimate connection sex brings to a relationship).  And we’ve had to incorporate the use of condoms (the doc says you can still get preggo on Lupron and they want to avoid that) and lube into our intimacy.  Neither of which I’m a fan of, but the lube is SOOOO necessary these days.

Susceptible to sunburns: Lots of sunscreen and big, silly, floppy hats.  Ladies (and men) on Lupron are far more susceptible to sunburns due to the lack of a hormone that protects skin.  That lack of protection could lead to nasty dark discolorations, too.

Vaginal dryness: I don’t make one little bit of natural lube anymore. I’m dry like a communion wafer, the Sahara Desert, and China Lake. I’ve become good friends with KY lube (nasty stuff).  I truly thought with the amount of goo my body regularly produced, that this side effect wouldn’t effect me.  Boy, was I wrong.  I’m all dried up.

These are only the side effects I know about.  Lupron Depot is infamous for causing bone loss and some women also claim it has caused neurological issues.  For now, I am glad I went through with the treatments.  Anything I can do to thwart the growth of my Endomtriosis!! I know Lupron doesn’t help some women with their Endo pain, or even stop their bleeding, but it did for me. Every woman will react differently to this medication.  I’m looking forward to reclaiming my life prior to this medication.  At $1,000 a pop (but thankfully my insurance covered most of it), I never want to have to endure this economically or physically. Ever again.

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Reader’s Choice : Enough is ENOUGH!

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A personal choice for every woman with Endometriosis : When have I suffered enough pain and when do I step up the treatment?

Some women prefer natural methods of controlling their Endometriosis symptoms : supplements, vitamins, diet, and essential oils.  But these methods may not work for other women. I’ve gone the route of prescription narcotics, surgery, and chemical hormonal treatments. Other women have undergone hysterectomies.

When and how do you decide which is right for you?  Only you know the answer to that question.

Supplements:

May women swear that they have obtained hormonal balance and gained control of their Endometriosis symptoms by a change in diet and following a regimen of natural herb, supplements, and vitamins.  I have altered my diet along their same lines and have enjoyed a much healthier lifestyle.  Unfortunately, I am also undergoing Lupon Depot injections and am unable to distinguish if my lack of pain and symptoms is due to the diet change, the Lupron, or both.  In a few months when the medication is out of my system, I will be able to more readily judge.  More information on diet and supplements that may help with Endometriosis can be found here and here.

Medication:

Prior to learning I had Endometriosis, my primary care physician had prescribed me Naproxen Sodium to handle the pain. It was the only medication that helped.  Of course, it came with it’s side effects, but the benefits outweighed any issues the medicine itself created.  As stated above, I am currently on Lupron Depot…more of what that is and what it does can be found here.  Once my regimen of Lupron Depot is completed, I will be going on constant birth control to keep my hormone levels in balance, hopefully slowing the growth of any new Endometriosis implants and adhesions.

Surgery:

Laparoscopic excision surgeries are common for women with Endometriosis.  It identifies and removes any implants and adhesions, temporarily relieving pain. More on that surgery can be found here.

Hysterectomies are no cure.  But it is what modern medicine leans on a fix.  Although temporary for some Endo sufferers.  Hysterectomies also come in various shapes and sizes,so to speak.  Not all hysterectomies are created equal.  More on hysterectomies, the different types, and why it may not work to relieve Endometriosis can be found here.

Counseling:

Talk to your physician when you need to make a decision regarding the best way to treat your Endometriosis.  Then get a second opinion.  Talk to your friends and family.  And fellow Endometriosis sufferers.  Get advice from every source you can think of.  Then take a few days to digest it all, weigh the pros and cons, look deep within yourself and figure out how you best want to handle it.

Only you can decide.

I have one reader who has been suffering with Endometriosis all of her life, had a hysterectomy in her 20s, and now in her 40s (32 surgeries later), has recurring symptoms, even after a hysterectomy.  This is a story I hear quite often…

Another friend of mine had a hysterectomy a decade ago and her symptoms are just now beginning to return.

Several Endo Sisters I know use supplements, but struggle to find a balance to maintain control of their pain.  Others do not struggle at all and have found what works best for their bodies.

Some swear off “modern medicine” while others embrace it.

I have only recently had my first surgery and am going the “modern medicine” route.  But who knows what my feelings will be if I need to go in for a second surgery.  For me, recovery was miserable…and I don’t know if I would have the mental and physical fortitude to withstand multiple surgeries (and more importantly, recoveries).  But also knowing that a hysterectomy definitely is not a cure scares me from going that route.  I do not know what I will choose when I’ve hit the “enough is ENOUGH!” point…only time will tell.

What about you?

*Sunday is “Reader’s Choice” where my readers, friends, and family get to suggest a topic.  Today’s topic came from my friend, Lauren Siciliano, “When to decide enough is enough, either take pain medication or do surgery.” So research began!  Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Inconspicuous Pain Relief

Hypothetical, but it happens more often than not : So it’s one of those flareup, crampy days.  But you HAVE to go to work. You have to run errands. You have to face the world.  What do YOU do?  Can’t plug a heating pad in and walk around all day – you’d need one hellava long extension cord…Painkillers may not be an option for you that day.  You may need your full faculties. Lord knows I do…

So I’m exploring options as far as “inconspicuous” pain relief.

ThermacareIn the past, when I need to be mobile, I’ve used Thermacare the small sticky, self-heating pads.  They are activated when you open the packet and expose the pad to air.  They stick to your clothing up against your abdomen, they are thin, and provide heat for several hours.   They also make a large size for your back, in case that is also in pain.  They’ve never actually *fully* taken away my pain, but the warmth does help, and is a comfort. Thermacare’s webpage and more information is located here, and you can purchase them in pretty much any store or online.

hotshotzI’ve seen HotShotz at trade shows and various online vendors, but have never tried them.  They use small crystals that activate when you press a little capsule inside the pack.  Supposedly, they offer heat for a while and then you can take it home, boil it for a few minutes, and it resets the crystals & capsule to use again on a later date.  They may be small enough to slip under your shirt if you’re sitting at work.  HotShotz offers a variety of sizes and shapes as well.  To see the their product line, click here.

MN8There are several books, articles, webpages, and videos regarding the power of magnets and pain control.  I was able to locate several products (all costing several hundred dollars), but this one, MN8, is specifically created for menstrual cramps and will not break the bank.  It’s a small magnet that you place attaches to your underwear, slightly beneath your bellybutton.  MN8’s page also states, “It has been reported for many years that MN8 helps with Endometriosis.”  Interesting.  I may have to try this out just for the hell of it!  More information on the MN8, including purchase information, can be found here.

warmawearIf you can stomach it (ha, get it?), there is a battery-operated heating pad.  No cords tethered to the wall to give you away.  Warmawear appears to be a thin and small heating pad.  It boasts of fast heat and the battery life (3 AA batteries) lasts about 3 hours.  One more reason women can keep an abundance of batteries in her lingerie drawer, eh?  Again, I may have to look into one of these for myself!  More information on where to purchase the Warmawear can be found here.

Heating PadI personally keep this in my drawer at work this small, microwaveable heating pad.  It’s filled with rice, flax, and lavender.  A quick 1 minute in the microwave, and I slip this bad boy beneath my shirt.  If I get hauled into a meeting, I slip it out and hide it back in my drawer.  It’s not the best for mobility, but it’s hidden all day beneath my shirt.  If interested, you can find several different type and patterns on Etsy.  I recommend this shop here.

What do YOU use for your pain relief?  Something small that you can tuck away and hide discreetly.  Leave a comment below 🙂