I Bought a Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager

This is not a sponsored post or ad. I bought this myself with my own money.

This has to be one of my most inspired purchases. I did not know what I was missing.

Image from Amazon.ca

I have tense neck and shoulder muscles. When I am sitting, my shoulders start curling up and tensing. When I lie down during the day, it is usually because I am feeling dizzy which makes me more tense. Even if I’m not dizzy, many times I have my phone or tablet in my hands playing games, watching videos, reading or seeing how well we’re treating each other on social media.

I try to relax, sit straight instead of slouching and stretching. But, it’s not enough and I still get and stay tense.

I do have a massager that does work well enough, sometimes. But, it is a handheld percussion massager and when massaging the muscles close to the base of my head, the vibrations affect my ears and make me dizzy.

Image from Amazon.ca

Stretching only helps so much. Especially as a person with a disability, I know I am sitting and lying down more than what people normally do when they are at home.

Then I bought my new massager.

I started smiling within 10 seconds of putting it on my shoulders.

Maybe it was 5 seconds.

Each arm sits in what I can best describe as a sling and is what helps keep the massager in its place or helps you move it around on your back. And it is actually more comfortable than it looks.

There are two sets of nodes that give that kneading feeling. They look like balls that have been cut in half. There are two sets and each set has two larger and two smaller nodes. You can turn on the infra red heating but the heat generated feels more like a person putting their hand on you, not heating pad heat strength.

They also knead clockwise and counter-clockwise knead. It switches back and forth every 90 to 120 seconds. You do have the option to shut it off. The massager does has a timer that automatically shuts it off at 15 minutes.

I have only used this on my back which is where I tend to need it. My friend also used it on his legs and found it really helped.

All in all, I think this is a great purchase. I’ve had it a few days now and have used it every day. This is definitely going to be one of my best ever purchases.

 

It’s My Illness Anniversary This Month!



Photo by Trent Szmolnik on Unsplash

This is always a strange time of the year for me. February is when I originally got sick and started this journey. It was a really bad flu season that winter and everyone assumed I would get better.

Surprise!

Little did I know what was in store for me.

So it’s been a reflective few days for me. How do you reconcile almost 20 lost years of your life due to a disability?

I thought about where I was, where I thought I was going, my plans, my dreams.

Then I thought of where I am now. I’m going to be 60 in three years. Just that sentence gives me pause. Because I can’t help but think of what I was doing when I was 36. Where I thought I’d be going, my plans, my dreams.

Even typing my age of when I first got sick caused a bit of tightness in my throat. I was so young then. You don’t think of 36 as being young but when you look back from from the persective of being close to 60, your 30s seem young.

Now, I think of other problems with my health. Heart disease and stroke affected both my parents. I’m now on medication for my blood pressure and to keep my heart from racing. This may very well have happened to me at some point, but when your physical abilities and activities dwindle, I can’t help but wonder how much later these would have happened to me.

To be honest, I’m not sure what I really want to say. I’m just typing thoughts out as they occur. I’m not sad like I’ve been in years gone by. It’s certainly not a happy anniversary. No one thinks this will happen to them, it happens to other people. Bad things always happen to other people. Except they don’t.

There are a lot of other people out there, a lot who are dealing with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

It’s been more of a reflective state of mind this year. Thinking about something that won’t change. Something that can’t be fixed. Something that has affected my day-to-day life for almost two decades.

Maybe, ultimately, what I’m saying is that you are not alone. If you are reading this blog and you are new to the disabled and chronic illness community, know that you are not alone.

And don’t be dismissive of what you are thinking and feeling or let others be dismissive of what you are thinking and feeling. Whether you are very emotional at all the changes in your life or like I am at the moment, more reflective. Or anything and everything in between.

Moments change. That is the constant of life. Change. We just have to learn how to best deal with it. Sometimes we’re being great at it, other times it is overwhelming. Be kind to yourself. Talk to others. Seek help, if necessary. But, always remember.

You are not alone.

Let’s Talk Mental Health on January 28th

Image via http://www.waypointcentre.ca/news___events/around_waypoint/bell_let_s_talk_day_january_28/

 

There is never a wrong time to talk about mental health. (Even when you’re doing a post about mental health and trying to not sound like an advertisement for Bell.)

This year in Canada, January 28th is Bell Let’s Talk Day. (Bell is part of BCE Inc. and is Canada’s largest communications company.) Bell Let’s Talk is a multi-year charitable program dedicated to mental health and Bell has committed over $67.5 million to support a wide range of mental health organizations, large and small, from coast to coast to coast.

The 2014 Bell Let’s Talk Day raised $5,472,585.90 more in funding for Canadian mental health, all  from 109,451,718 tweets, texts, calls and shares.

One in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness, yet 2 in 3 of those who struggle will not seek treatment options for fear of judgment or rejection. They may not tell anyone at all that they have a problem because of the stigma. These five ways, developed with Dr. Heather Stuart of Queen’s University, the world’s first chair in anti-stigma research, show how you can help end the stigma of mental health.

Language matters

Words can help…but they can also hurt. Pay attention to the words you use.

How you can help

  • Explain to friends and colleagues who use words like “psycho” or “nut” without thinking that their comments may be hurtful and provide an alternative view.

Educate yourself

Myths exist about mental illness that contribute to stigma. Learn the facts.

How you can help

  • Learn more, know more. Be knowledgeable and help fight stigma with facts.

Be Kind

Small acts of kindness speak volumes.

How you can help

  • Don’t stand by if someone is being labelled or bullied.
  • Treat a person who has a mental illness with the kindness and care you give to people with other illnesses through a friendly smile, a helping hand, a phone call or visit.

Listen and ask

Sometimes it’s best to just listen.

How you can help

  • Don’t trivialize someone’s illness. Instead, say: “I’m sorry to hear that, it must be a difficult time. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Talk about it

Start a dialogue, not a debate.

How you can help

  • Break the silence. Talk about how mental illness touches us all in some way directly or through a friend, family member or colleague. Stories of lived experience are the best way to help eradicate stigma.
  • Support mental health and anti-stigma programs in your community.

On January 28th, how can you help?

If you live in Canada, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:

  • Text message sent*
  • Mobile & long distance call made*
  • Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
  • Facebook image share

And because there is an *:

By a Bell or Bell Aliant customer only. Regular long distance and text message charges apply

If you don’t live in Canada you can still participate by:

  • tweeting #BellLetsTalk
  • sharing the Bell Let’s Talk Day image on Facebook (found on the toolkit page)
  • downloading the Bell Let’s Talk toolkit
And, most importantly, starting a conversation about, and helping end, the stigma around mental illness.