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A very good book! Everyone who wants to work should get this book first before
you start any job searches. Or go back to school. It has a lot of great advice and helpful hints. I am doing some of them before I even read the book. The great thing is it is updated yearly. A MUST READ!!What Color Is Your Parachute? 2010: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
First, I'm gonna start with my background. I've spent 25 working years of my 40 year old life, in labor intensive, outdoor, on concrete, making a living. Since the late 80's, thanks to Dell pc's, I have had a pc to slump over, for many hours as well. About 15 years ago, I started noticing a numby, tingly sensation down my left leg. Saw my first ever chiropractor and he took xrays. He said I had some birth defect visible and some degeneration or a thin disk. Said with several treatments to mobilize my lower spine that was trying to fuse up, it should get rid of the sensations. About a month later, he was right it was gone. Since then I've led a pretty active, busy, life. However I have for years gotten some flare up inflammation around left low back/si joint area. Usually stretching will help it within a matter of dsys.
About 4 months ago, I have started going to the gym, to do my physical job better, feel better and maybe less achey/sore than I should feel at 40 years old. 4 weeks ago my old left low back/si area again inflammed up, so my wife suggested I might be interested in some of her yoga routine. She has had back problems for years and she bends over like pretzel with this yoga stuff, so I said sure my flexibility is horrible. I did a few days of yoga stretches, and finally, one night, I couldn't even sleep my low left back was hurting so bad, didn't matter what position I took, I couldn't get comfortable. I went to doctor, got some anti inflammatories, and muscle relaxors to help at night. Asked for P/T and a new mri to see if I had really damaged something or if something was worse.
Mri showed pars defect at L5, I believe that was my birth defect issue, plus a hemongloma (benign tumor at L5) Spondylolysis at L5-S1, mild DDD changes at L5-S1 with mild assymmetric left disc bulge and left face hypertrophy resulting in mild left foraminal stenosis at L5-S1.
Basically what I got out of that is degenerative disc or drying out of discs at l5-s1, now bulging some, some narrowing of nerve tunnel from arthritis so now nerve is getting a slight pinch, causing some pain on low left of back at 40 years old, unbelieveable.
I have spent a couple year working with trigger point therapy work on getting rid of plantar fascitis in left foot. P/T just wanted to stretch and stretch left calves and hams, but the problem was I was loaded with trigger points which stretching made worse. I take all kinds of multivitamins/ supplements, try to eat right, not over weight, don't smoke, and have been working out and strengthening my core, why am I having back problems.
Well Doc said if P/T didn't work she'd send me to a neuro surgeon. I don't even want to think about that at 40 years old. My dad had numberous fusions, wirings, you name it in the 60's and he was never GOOD again, just pills to help him get by. I don't want that. I looked around and found Esthers book here on Amazon, and all the reviews. I saw other stuff on the internet too, like Ebooks for back relief and pain, excercises, and tucking your pelevis. I tucked my pelvis for a week and a half until Esthers book showed up and she says no, you shold not be doing that. Unbelievable, one person says do this, another video says no that's bad do this.
I also ordered her DVD, at the same time. I have now had both for one week. I wish I could tell you, that I'm flying up out of bed and screaming Hooray, I'm Healed, lol. But, I can't, but being honest here, when you have spent most of your life working hard physically, as in back bent over type work for much of the day, in my case 25 years, plus, bad habits, (not knowing better) and a little stupidity when I was younger, you aren't gonna get HEALED in a day, a week, or a month. But, if I can stop the further damage as of this point now, and begin a slow process of reversing the pain, bringing back activities I have had to shut down, and restore some damaged tissue/disc with healthy tissue, I will try it.
I have read this book, I just finished last night, and I've watched the dvd once. As I said, I am also back in P/T. I don't know third world civilization and their habits, but this book shows a lot of smart ways to use your body, and back. Critics might say this book is just about posture or posture can't cure all. I will say this, I was never really shown much or taught to bend over at the hips, I've always bent over and worked for long hours with a rounded back. Then I've spent many hours hunched forward and over a computer. Esther even talks about this in her book, we as western civilization have tons of back problems because of this, I didn't know any better. Sure I've tried to replay what mom use to say, "sit up straight", puff my chest out, arch my back, tuck my pelvis, hike my shoulders, suck my gutt in, geeese, like a manicun, and it was all wrong.
I asked my P/T the other day, if he could show me the proper way to bend over, because I don't know, my body just can't do it right. He showed me almost verbatum what Esther does in this book with hip hinging, the back is straight, the hamms get a stretch, I practiced for a half hour and I started to get a little feel for it.
I am doing the stretch sitting right now on the cushion I just got yesterday, in a foldup chair, my back is more comfortable than my big lazy boy chair I sat in last night while eating dinner. I have been doing the stretchlying at night while I sleep. I also bought a knee pillow because I can only really sleep on my side and since my knees are bony, it is uncomfortable to stack my knees on top of another. This is all taking some time to get use to, I'm waking like clock work about every 2 hours, maybe the knee pillow shifted, maybe my body is telling me I need to reposition to stretchlying again, don't know but I'm all for giving it a try. My chiropractor uses a traction table so I understand Esthers principle and it makes sense to me. So much of her book is not rocket science really, it does make sense, and several of the excercises also I have either done or at least a variation, make sense as well. Many people, as I did, think working your core means, more crunches. I said I started a gym 4 months ago, that's what the trainer taught me along with planks. Crunches, are nice, but their not doing a thing for your deep transverse abs for the spine. So again, bad habits, I thought I was doing what I was suppose to. I've also upped my glucosamine/chondroiten intake, fish oil omega 3 and vitamin c for inflmmation. It's nice to find a book with great pics and descriptions to tell people to help undo some of the bad habits they have and hopefully get on with life again with a healthy back/body.
I will update in a few months after I have more practice, time with her techniques and see how my activities and pain level respond. Right now I say, deffinitely recommend the book, just on good knowledge of posture, correct excercise technique and understanding of what bad habits are doing to your back and body.
UPDATE #1 (1 month)
Right now, I feel better than I did one month ago. In the beginning, I couldn't sleep at night from my back discomfort/pain. I had to take 5 weeks off of work, and I just started back light duty last week. The pain in my back is not gone, but it was a 6-7 on a scale of 10, and now a 2-4. The 2 is generally early in the day, and the 4 is late in the day, I think that's just part of DDD. I do the sleep stretching everynight in bed, plus I use a knee pillow to since I'm a side sleeper. I was waking up every 2 hours like clockwork, now it's about 3 hours, not for pain, I sleep without pain now, it's just to readjust myself and roll over to sleep stretch. I just finished P/T, and everyday, probably for the rest of my life, I will work on my stretches/excercises to help with the back. When at home, I sit in this stretch sit cushion at the computer, and don't get any back pain or stiffness, where as a regualr chair after a while I would. I am hoping for continued improvement and diminishing discomfort. It takes a lifestyle change, posture change, dedication to excercises/stretching, and I think the additional techniques in this book are complimenting that. I will update again around 3 months.
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