Friday, September 26, 2014

The Flax Seed Formula

**Updated with new information - read through to the end!**

This is it ... the blog people have been asking me to write for years and that I just now got around to posting!

This blog post isn't intended to diagnose a condition or tell y'all what to do. I'm just sharing my experiences, and maybe they'll be helpful to you. If nothing else, maybe they'll be mildly entertaining.

When I was seventeen, I developed carpal tunnel. I didn't have a job or a driver's license yet, so I spent a lot of time at home crocheting, typing, and doing other things that are essentially really bad for your hands (repetitive movement). I'd go to bed at night with braces on my wrists and Mineral Ice slathered up to nearly my elbows, and some nights I couldn't sleep at all because the pain was so bad.

A co-worker of my dad's had just gotten surgery for her carpal tunnel, and he took me over to meet her. She explained the procedure, and I decided I'd have to go that route as well. It was to the point where I couldn't use my hands much at all anymore, and sometimes the pain was enough to make me cry.

Well, around in this same period of time, I met up with a homeopathic doctor (I forget why I was going to him in the first place. Oh! Chronic ear infections. That's why. Carry on.) and I mentioned to him that I was going to have surgery for carpal tunnel. He asked me to hold off for just a bit and told me to take vitamin B complex. He said that would nourish my wrists and allow them to rebuild. I wasn't totally excited about having the surgery anyway, so I was more than happy to put it off (I hadn't seen a surgeon yet, so it wasn't a big deal to delay).

The B complex vitamins took enough of an edge off the pain after a few weeks that I decided not to have surgery after all. I got a job and was able to do my tasks without difficulty, but I still had to watch how much typing I did, etc. I carried on this way for about a year.

Then an awesome thing happened.

I met Matt Pinkston.

Isn't he cute?

But I digress.

We started dating, and I mentioned one day that I take B complex for my carpal tunnel. He said something that literally changed my life. He told me to add flax seed oil to what I was already taking.

(Cue angelic bursts of song.)

I picked up some flax seed oil and started taking it, and that combination absolutely cleared up my carpal tunnel. As in, I don't have it anymore.

And I was so grateful, I decided to marry the man.

He and I have done some research to figure out why this works. Here's what we discovered.

Like my doctor told me, B complex nourishes the wrists. The flax seed oil goes in and lubricates them and strips out the uric acid, which builds up with repetitive motion. So basically, it's a one-two-three punch. You strip out the build-up, lubricate the joint, and then nourish it. I've found that it works for my other joints as well.

Over the years, I've shared this secret with everyone who tells me they're suffering from carpal tunnel. Some look at me like I'm crazy. Others want to know if I've invested in the flax seed oil industry and have something to gain by making this recommendation (I haven't invested, but I really should). Many aren't interested in trying a natural remedy. But those who have tried it and given it a sincere go have found relief of their symptoms. For some, it hasn't been complete relief, but it's been enough to take the edge off their pain and make life more manageable for them.

Now again, I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I'm just telling you what worked for me and for many of my friends, and you can decide for yourself if you'd like to give it a go. At the worst, you've cleaned out some cholesterol and reduced your stress levels (other benefits of flax seed oil and B complex). At the best, you've helped yourself with a debilitating condition. You've really got very little to lose here.

If you'd like to give it a try, head on down to Walmart or other place that sells stuff and pick up a bottle of flax seed capsules and another of B complex vitamins. Then take, for the first week:

Six flax seed capsules and three B complex* per day, spread out throughout the day

For the second week, take:

Four flax seed capsules and two B complex per day, spread out throughout the day

And then after that, every day take:

Two flax seed capsules and one B complex per day

You will know after a few weeks if it's going to help you out, and your expenditure will be about twenty bucks to give it a try. That's it.

 Today, I can type for hours and hours without a single twinge. At a recent writers' retreat, I wrote nearly 25,000 words in two and a half days, and my hands/wrists didn't bother me at all. My sitter-downer gives out long before my wrists do. And I'm to the point where I don't even need the two flax every day - now I take it about once a week.

This is just my story about how I was on the brink of surgery and was able to avoid it and also improve my overall quality of life. It's not for everyone, and I understand that. But it might help for some. If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Updated: A couple of months ago, I met a new chiropractor who gave me another piece of the puzzle. The muscles in the insides of the forearms can create knots which constrict the blood flow down into the hands and pinch off nerves. He worked out those knots for me, and then he told me to use a rolling pin on my forearms several times a day to continue loosening them up. By doing both these things - the flax seed and the rolling pin - I'm able to work for long hours at a time, sometimes writing 18,000 words a day.

*We take Spring Valley Super B-Complex from Walmart. It has 150 mg of vitamin c, 100 of thiamine, 20 of riboflavin, 25 of niacin, 2 of B6, 400 mcg of folate, 15 mcg of B12, 30 mcg of biotin, and 5.5 mg of pantothenic acid.If your B complex has different doses, adjust how many you take accordingly.


Joyce DiPastena said...

Thank you, Tristi! I'm going to try this!

Marta Smith said...

After you mentioned this to me a few years ago, I tried it, and it was really helpful. I type all day long. (Really, all day.) I don't take B complex and flax seed oil on a regular basis, only when my carpal tunnel symptoms flare up, and it quiets them right back down again.

Braden Bell said...

Tristi, are there specific dosages you would recommend? I don't know if these supplements come in different strengths or not.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Braden, according to my bottle, flax seed capsules come in 1000 mg. doses. I happen to be out of B right now (on my way to the store) or I'd tell you on that, too. The thing with both - you don't have to be super-specific on doses. As they're supplements and not drugs, a little more or a little less won't hurt your body.

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