Thursday, September 25, 2014

Product Review: Have you tried KT (kinesiology therapeutic) tape?

My goals for August included finding alternative methods to ease pain.  
There is a two fold purpose: to reduce the amount of pain medications I take, and to prepare for when there may be a complete lack of available pain medications. One product I tried was kinesiology therapeutic tape. It is interesting because if applied properly, it relieves pain and durable enough to last several days. Even if you are sweating or taking showers. 
Today's post is about using the tape for my bursitis. I had done some reading and watching videos about kinesiology therapeutic tape. There are many great ones on youtube and on the KT Tape (TM) website. 
I also I tested several types and styles. The basics are pretty simply. You clean off the area get tape out, cut as needed.
Then open and apply.

This video is how I decided to place my first taping. 
ConclusionsHonestly I wasn't very hopeful that this would work. 
For me after a couple tapings I found the process worked at relieving a majority of the pain I experience from several causes. 
Cost effective: Health wise I am going to utilizing KT tape more often. Though it is probably be more cost effective to continue to store more pain medications. I chose the colors that cost less. Using free shipping stores on Amazon is even less expensive that ordering KT brand tape from their website. Color also impacts the price. I used all three types here and have them listed in order of preference, but I would recommend all three types.
Lesson Learned: Watch videos on how to use them. Listen and learn the whys. 
One thing I learned on my own is how you move the joint into position when taping really does impact how well the application of the tape works and how well it will stay attached. For me, I kept losing the taping on my knees. i would apply as recommended in the videos, rub it down...still it wouldn't last overnight. Like this: (note the knee is bent at a 90 degree angle)
What I found for me, I needed to bend my knee more when applying the tape. Like this: (note the knee is completely bent)

What I discovered is how much or how far you flex the joint impacts how to apply to tape.  I actually sit & sleep with my knees drawn up completely. The tape wasn't able to flex properly and the tape would peel off. Now that i am applying in with my knees drawn up, the tape lasts 4-5 days.

Tip: If the end of the tape starts to peel loose, add a strip of regular medical tape across the ends. It will give a longer life. 
P.S. While I was getting ready to post this my neighbor came by. I had taped up her knee last week and I asked how it worked. She said to tell you it worked great and she is going to my website to purchase some for herself. Whott! Whoot! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's the time of year for elderberry juice...

This weekend I made my third batch of elderberry juice for this week. Actually I made 6 batches total. Seriously, I am so glad I had all the supplies on hand in my larder. The first batch was for three people at work who had a very bad cold. They were a bit hesitant at first, but it was so much fun to make them try it and see them experience relief within minutes.
I am telling you, this stuff is golden. I personally use it for relief of allergies, colds and flu. Also the juice is great as an immunity builder, particularly if you have been exposed to someone with a cold or flu. (more on benefits of elderberries at Herb Wisdom)
I am making more since that nasty little cold bug seems to want to catch me & that isn't going to happen.
Today’s batch is made from elderberries the guys picked a little while ago, which I dehydrated. The ginger is from my friends at Gold Hill Blueberry Farm, which I also dehydrated this weekend. The honey is from a local grower.
The recipe is very simple & only takes about 40 minutes total.
NOTE: I have written the basic recipe on the top of my jar of elderberries, so that it is always handy.

Elderberry Juice
½ cup of dehydrated elderberries (If using fresh elderberries use 1 cup)
3 cups of water
I add several slices of dehydrated ginger
1/3 -1/2 cup of honey

Add the elderberries, water and ginger in a saucepan and simmer for 30 mins. Strain out the berries and ginger. Add honey to taste.

I pour the juice into these nifty bottles I got from Ikea. It will last about 6 months in the fridge. Today I am freezing some of the juice in ice cubes trays and will keep in my freezer. The five spaces with brown liquid is juice from the ginger root.
Edited: 092514 Here you have it elderberry/ginger juice ice cubes, vacuum sealed & ready to store. This morning I simply added a couple cubes to my morning drink. Yummy! Yes, I had already gone through my bottle of elderberry juice I made.
Must say it has worked wonders. I know that cold is trying to catch me, but with my juice I refuse to be caught by this cold! 

To find economical dehydrated elderberries and organic dehydrated  elderberries you are able to find them on Amazon (associates link: note these have additional shipping). I have used both and believe they are excellent products. I will be finding and planting elderberry bushes on our property. I also am going to get some ginger to grow from a friend.

Made it just in the nick of time. I have been using the elderberry juice regularly. 

EDITED 102414: Just found this wonderful blog post: "Elderberries: The Definitive Guide" by Sun Flower Press

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dehydrating Ginger

The house smells heavenly today. I just happened to about about a pound of frozen ginger from my friends at Gold Hill Blueberry Farm.

I tend to work on wanting everything to be sustainable without electricity. So, it is an ongoing task of getting things out of my freezer and preparing them for longer term storage.
Ginger is one of those plants that has so many benefits. I have used it often for nausea, colds and allergies. I was reading up on the benefits at Herb Wisdom and I am planning on utilizing ginger even more medicinally and in my cooking. 
TIP: You can find ginger at a lot different grocery stores. Often the rhizomes (root) purchased in a store will have a brown skin. You want to be careful not to bruise the root, so a very simple method is to use a spoon to scrape off the skin.

So, I thawed the ginger and sliced it up.

Spread it out on my dehydrating tray and set the heat level for fruits. The flexibility of variable heats is one of the reasons that I like my Excalibur dehydrator. This batch took about 5 hours because it was really wet from being frozen. You really want to get ginger dry.
After we get settled in our new home, I will get some slips of ginger to grow. I need to find out the variety. This one is marvelous and has a slightly sweet taste.
I love the smell of ginger dehydrating & my sinuses are certainly clear today.