Thursday, 13 September 2012

Unorthodox treatment 2 - The Karate Chops

During early 2003 weighing almost 24 stones I began investigating ways in which to alleviate my condition and make my life a little more comfortable. I just could not rest on "put your legs up and eat less salt" as being the ultimate advice to live my life by..
After trying out the zen chi machine and having bought a dud one - I knew that I had to give my legs some vigorous shaking (in some way) and I couldn't just do it only by jumping and walking, being 20 stones plus doesn't help, so I enlisted my brother-in-law to help with my experiment.

My brother-in-law practically has hands of steel and people enjoy his lovely head massages, including myself.  With me lying down, I instructed him to essentially perform sustained periods (continuously for 10-15 minutes) of 'hard' karate chops on my legs. After the chops - I'd place my foot on his shoulder and he'd 'roll' my legs side to side and then afterwards massage downwards. The chops and massage were 'hard' and at times discomforting - I would scream with pain but I realised that some discomfort is worth it in the long run.

I'm pretty sure that this really helped but I unfortunately I didn't document my progress. However I do think  together with this and the walking I had managed to lose almost 10 stones by the end of 2003.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Unorthodox treatment 1 - the Zen Chi Machine

During the early parts of my life - my consultants and pretty much all the doctors I came across had told me that I suffer from Lipodystrophy, which is essentially abnormal formations of fat.

In 1999, after numerous liposuctions and a major debulking procedure (Thompson's) - I was left with legs with hardly any change in size but with lots of scars, skin graft marks, some nerve damage and a cavity.  I am then told that I suffer from Lymphatic filiarisis, which is caused by mosquito bites (more on this on a later post).  One of the consequences of having this is Lymphoedema and in its worse case Elephantiasis.

In 2003, I decided to do something about my weight.  I thought perhaps my ailment could be diet related despite being informed that diets will have no effect whatsoever.  I was explaining my condition to a colleague, who was keen on alternative therapy, he then invited me to his house to try out his Zen Chi machine.  At this time I was wearing tracksuit bottoms almost exclusively for five years and my legs did exhibit the onset of elephantiasis.

After, what I remember, a nine minute session I felt strangely dizzy and energetic at the same time. After a night's sleep I realised that my leg had shrunken in size.  I now knew that either shaking or movement is key to my leg's health so I set out to get myself a Zen Chi machine and also to start walking (running was too much for me then).

Unfortunately, having paid for a 'real' Zen Chi machine I received an 'advanced' but flawed version of one.  The company refunded my money and said I could keep the machine but it wasn't any use to me - it was just too fast.  The 'real' Zen Chi machine is white in colour and has a mechanical timer based controller rather than the digital one.  Plus the 'real' one has only a single speed whereas my one came with 10 speed settings with the slowest one being about three times as fast as the speed of the 'real' one.

I could safely say that without that experience I wouldn't have been motivated to move about and as a consequence get slimmer and healthier looking legs.  Although they are not as small as most people's but I'm eternally thankful of having them.

If you do decide to get a Zen Chi machine - remember to get one with the mechanical timer and a single speed. But I'd only recommended it only if moving around is difficult..  Otherwise you should start walking straightaway...

Oh, before I finish I did not suffer from lymphatic filiarisis, apparently it was a popular prognosis which doctors used to describe how people get lymphoedema...

(I'm no expert in lymphatics or anything - I'm only disclosing what I found useful to me)