Monday, January 26, 2015

"Move into your life (Making Exercise Work For You)" - 2014 FDRS Conference Presentation

In September 2014, my coach/hubby and I were honored to not only attend our first Lipedema Conference, but to also be there as presenters, and share our story of how fitness has given me back my mobility and the ability to Live with Lipedema.

Here is the video of that presentation, as found on Youtube, as are all the presenters.  I highly recommend you find the Fat Disorders Research Society 501c3 channel at Youtube and watch them all.

FDRS put on an amazing conference and it was very wonderful (and emotional) to be in a room full of 100+ other women just like me, living with Lipedema.

The video is about 24 minutes long, the opening is a warm-up led by my amazing husband Bob, which is typical before all our workouts, to ensure joints are loose and ready to be worked, and then I take over the mic for some info on how my life has changed since my diagnosis...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shake It Up Baby: Using Vibration for Lipedema

Cute Pink Lotus Hoodie - huge fan!
WBV seems to be all the rage these days.  What is WBV you ask?  Whole Body Vibration.

A quick search online will tell you WBV is nothing new, but possibly started as far back as the 1800s. I read about treatments for sanitarium patients, and studies for russian astronauts.  From Michigan, to East Germany, to Russia (with love - sorry couldn't resist).

But WBV was new to me, and one of the best things I took away from attending the FDRS Lipedema Conference in Washington DC last September was information about a vibration machine called the Vibra Pro.

Dr. Peter Prociuk was there as a vendor, and as my daughter led me over to the side of the room to "get a ride" on one, I was introduced to the latest in vibration treatments.

I stood on the machine (similar feel to standing on a treadmill or elliptical machine in a gym, complete with hand rails if you need them for stability), and the good doctor turned it on. Slowly at first, then gradually increasing the speed.  It is like standing with your feet on both sides of a teeter totter and once the power was turned on it rocked your legs up and down.

Well you can imagine the view from behind was an interesting one, as this machine began to shake all of me, and I do mean ALL of me.  If you know anything about a lippy lady, she has, as Sir Mix Alot put it so eloquently - Baby Got Back.  And my backside was giving quite the performance, so slightly embarrassed, I quickly found my way back to my seat after only about 5 minutes.

Further research online would tell me WBV could help with metabolism, reduction of stress, and the key words "improve lymphatic flow".  That is what every lipedema patient wants to hear.  It is what we are constantly trying to improve.

With that in mind I made the call and purchased the machine, and have had it since about October. I have tried to use it faithfully every day, but alas have not always done so, the holidays can be brutal to diet and exercise.  But I do try to get in at least once, and on good days twice, each day (10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night).  So far I just stand on it, a few squat poses here and there.

I have not noticed a drop in weight, but I have noticed some muscle toning, and better core strength.  It is not my only source of exercise.  I do modified crossfit a couple times a week and in warmer months like to get outside and walk/hike.  I was also going to the pool for aqua aerobics once a week, but for now I stopped that to see what the changes would be with just the WBV and my other crossfit workouts.

I am slowly feeling changes in my legs, starting to feel knees again, not sure if the WBV is to thank for that, or the extended time doing the crossfit, but I'm not stopping either to find out.  It goes back to trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn't work for each of us with this condition.

I'm willing to give it some time and see how things progress.  Is WBV right for you?  I am not the person to answer that for you.  It was about $1100 for our machine (which was a conference price and far below prices I've seen online for the same machine), that is not something everyone can spend to test out (I thank my sister-in-law for mine).  The best suggestion, check your local fitness clubs/gyms - a lot of them are carrying them and try it out there first to see if you would benefit from it at home.  Even PT offices carry them as well, call around in your area and see what you find.

I am grateful to be able to use it daily, and feel it does benefit me, if nothing more than emotionally, it is ten minutes of quiet time (and the machine itself is fairly quiet - more so than I thought it would be), I put on some headphones and rock out.  I am optimistic at the changes I'm noticing in my legs, and hope to report back at a later date that the WBV had something to do with that.

There are claims that you can use WBV for weight loss.  Is that possible?  I'm not sure.  I would venture a guess and say no, at least not all by itself, but a clean eating lifestyle and other exercise added, I think it can go a long way to help you feel better.  If lymphatic flow improvement alone, getting the sludge moving about and out of you is bound to make you feel amazing!

UPDATE: It is October 2023 and I still use this same machine for 20 minutes every morning as part of my morning self care routine.