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Acu-Flex -- my very positive experience so far

Posted by Nancy S. on 9/11/00 at 11:43 (027904)

Hi everyone,

Even at this early stage (I've been using two Acu-Flex for just over a week), I have to strongly encourage others to try them. I have in the past been a fairly reluctant exerciser & stretcher, but I am noticing benefits already! My feet feel less weak and painful to me -- and they have been very weak and painful for a long time (as if you didn't know, eh? from my length of time on this board!).

I am doing just basic stretches and exercises with them, as outlined in the beginning of the manual, for starters, according to guidance from m y PT. I think two characteristics of Acu-Flex are making this early difference to me:

1. The toe loops -- I dorsiflex/stretch with them in a variety of combinations (big toe alone, other 4 toes alone, all 5 toes together), and this is getting at muscles I never even felt before -- and it feels Good! I can feel that these exercises are providing some much-needed support for my foot (which isn't getting much otherwise, considering PF and three brands of tendonitis).

2. The major foot loop -- I am getting a much better foot, tendons, and leg stretch than I've gotten with anything else. The loop is wide and of a very strong elastic material. It allows me to ease into the stretches slowly, so I end up ultimately getting what feels like a better, farther stretch -- without pain. I use the main foot loop with the toe loops, and also use the toe loops without the foot loop. Feels like I'm covering a lot of bases. How can I put this: my feet before this have felt unalive, except for pain. Now I feel more positive and stronger things happening, as if my feet are waking up from a coma. I think this must come from the greater flexibility that is starting to take place.

I have been doing some leg raises and other floor exercises during the last week without using Acu-Flex -- because it's been so long, and I want to get those muscles going again. This week I will be starting to add the Acu-Flex with these exercises, for resistance and thus strengthening for other parts of the body.

For the last few days, I've surprised myself by being able to do more on my feet. Friday I'd planned one errand -- and did four errands with no problem. I also spent more time on them yesterday. I didn't feel I was pushing it at all, and my husband said that night, 'Hey, you look like you're walking better today.' I was thrilled.

I am also concentrating on making it a relaxing experience to exercise and stretch (Alan and Patcheree write a lot about this in their manual, and it spoke to me -- I tend after all this time to look at and approach my feet with Worry and Tension, which is natural with chronic pain but doesn't help, I don't think). I turn off the tv or whatever other useless noise is going on, put on some soothing music, and concentrate on what I'm doing and send relaxing messages to my feet. After about five layers of 'de-tensing,' I seem to get there!

I'd also like to mention that Alan has been most helpful and responsive in answering at length the few questions I've had so far.

Since this is starting to help me after 16 months(!), I wanted to share it with the board. Happy healing everyone --

Nancy

Re: Acu-Flex -- my very positive experience so far

salina on 9/11/00 at 13:40 (027914)

Hi Nancy s.
Its good to hear you sounding so positive and having some really good days. That's great. It probably makes hubby feel good to see you feeling better too. We need to remember that this pf stuff wears on ourloved ones also. I know my hubby would love to see me smile more, and not be so miserable. I forget that this affects him too.

Glad you are enjoying the acuflex. It does look like a good product.
I wish I had something like that when I was pregnant these last twotimes. I think I could have kept my feet in shape and also worked a few other much needed muscles at that time. Seriously, it does look like a good thing for those that physically can't handle any weight bearing exercise. but enough of that, I know you are strictly working on those footsies right now.

How difficult or easy is it to reposition the toe cords for the different exercises?
And, do the movements seem pretty fluid, not jerky?
I have been using the pft, for a couple ofweeks now. And I can feel an improvement in my left foot. So Iam not complaining. But I have had tostop usingit for my right foot (worse foot) because I have more pain in my arch than the actual heel area. And just getting my toes in certain positions tostart an exercise seems to hurt my arch.
Maybe this foot is just really messed up all along the arch, unusually so, I fear. But either way, ijust stopped using it on this foot.
anyway, good luck with all that you are doing toget better.
But please dont overdo it. You scare me with this stuff about doing FOUR errands instead of the ONE. How many times have I done that? But its great that you felt fine afterwards. I think I'm usually crawling into the house by that time, haha. I laugh, but its the truth.
Take it slow, even when you are feeling better.
This is wonderful news.

Re: Acu-Flex -- my very positive experience so far

Nancy S. on 9/11/00 at 14:54 (027921)

Howdy, Salina,
(Do I sound like I'm from Texas, like so many? I'm still wondering about that, no slight to that interesting state.)
It takes me about 30 seconds to put all five Acu-Flex toe loops on my toes (so about one minute for both feet). This wasn't the case at first -- who is used to putting something on their toes, like gloves on fingers? But after a day or two into it, it goes very quickly. Repositioning them takes even less time, as does putting the foot loop on or taking it off. It slips on or off around the toe loops, so you don't have to remove the toe loops to use the foot loop.
The movements I'm doing so far are now very fluid. Again, this wasn't the case at first -- because my left foot (with both PF and the tendonitises) was so, so weak. It was very shaky, which I had noticed after starting to do simple foot pointing as my PT directed me a few weeks ago. Without the Acu-Flex, just doing the toe pointing with my left foot was a real challenge; it would shake almost uncontrollably. And it continued to do this at first when I started using the Acu-Flex. But it stopped, after about 4 days of using Acu-Flex (3 times a day). I take this as sign of strength down there, which makes me very happy.
In general, the movements seem fluid to me because of the nature of the material -- it's very strong, but elastic with enough give that you yourself control the movements, looser or more taut, whichever and wherever in-between it feels best. I feel it's giving me more strength and control as I adjust the movements. So I don't feel some thing is doing something to me -- I'm controlling and adjusting to it, and gradually the strength and control seem to be transferring to my feet themselves.
I am sorry you're having such trouble with your right foot/arch. The arch discomfort sounds hard to take, especially when you're trying to sleep. As you may have noticed at times, I don't often get uninterrupted sleep either, try as I do! I hope you find a solution to that soon.
PF and its related pains and annoyances can certainly be hard on one's spouse, you're right, no doubt about that. I feel so bad for my husband sometimes -- he is working SO hard to keep us afloat, and has to do a lot more stuff around the house (he already did a lot before . . .). I feel very lucky because he is mostly terrific about it (having only a very occasional snit/meltdown over it, since he's human). Since I totally quit abusing my feet (sob) and am working on them more at home, he seems to be helped by this change. After reading the Acu-Flex manual, in fact, he got inspired to try giving me a therapeutic-type massage each night on my feet and legs, and it's been wonderful! This too has taught me a lot about how much worry and tension I've allowed to exist in my feet -- because I'm learning to let it go, and his massage helps.
Salina, were you an easy smiler before all this? I have a hunch you were. I was too. I really want to get that back, no matter where my feet end up. It's one of my main goals. Good luck to you, I think of you and hope for you.
Nancy

Re: Acu-Flex -- my very positive experience so far

Beverly on 9/11/00 at 16:58 (027940)

Nancy,

Thanks for all the details on Acu-Flex, and yes, it is good to hear you sounding more cheerful/hopeful. Keep us posted on it.

Beverly

Re: Acu-Flex -- my very positive experience so far

JudyS on 9/11/00 at 17:05 (027946)

Nancy - good for you! What a great thing to begin to feel some strength and improvement. I know very much that the tiniest feeling of strength fills one up with cheer and hope. And to do four errands? Impressive! Nice to feel human for a day or so, isn't it?
:)

Re: Acu-Flex -- my very positive experience so far

salina on 9/11/00 at 13:40 (027914)

Hi Nancy s.
Its good to hear you sounding so positive and having some really good days. That's great. It probably makes hubby feel good to see you feeling better too. We need to remember that this pf stuff wears on ourloved ones also. I know my hubby would love to see me smile more, and not be so miserable. I forget that this affects him too.

Glad you are enjoying the acuflex. It does look like a good product.
I wish I had something like that when I was pregnant these last twotimes. I think I could have kept my feet in shape and also worked a few other much needed muscles at that time. Seriously, it does look like a good thing for those that physically can't handle any weight bearing exercise. but enough of that, I know you are strictly working on those footsies right now.

How difficult or easy is it to reposition the toe cords for the different exercises?
And, do the movements seem pretty fluid, not jerky?
I have been using the pft, for a couple ofweeks now. And I can feel an improvement in my left foot. So Iam not complaining. But I have had tostop usingit for my right foot (worse foot) because I have more pain in my arch than the actual heel area. And just getting my toes in certain positions tostart an exercise seems to hurt my arch.
Maybe this foot is just really messed up all along the arch, unusually so, I fear. But either way, ijust stopped using it on this foot.
anyway, good luck with all that you are doing toget better.
But please dont overdo it. You scare me with this stuff about doing FOUR errands instead of the ONE. How many times have I done that? But its great that you felt fine afterwards. I think I'm usually crawling into the house by that time, haha. I laugh, but its the truth.
Take it slow, even when you are feeling better.
This is wonderful news.

Re: Acu-Flex -- my very positive experience so far

Nancy S. on 9/11/00 at 14:54 (027921)

Howdy, Salina,
(Do I sound like I'm from Texas, like so many? I'm still wondering about that, no slight to that interesting state.)
It takes me about 30 seconds to put all five Acu-Flex toe loops on my toes (so about one minute for both feet). This wasn't the case at first -- who is used to putting something on their toes, like gloves on fingers? But after a day or two into it, it goes very quickly. Repositioning them takes even less time, as does putting the foot loop on or taking it off. It slips on or off around the toe loops, so you don't have to remove the toe loops to use the foot loop.
The movements I'm doing so far are now very fluid. Again, this wasn't the case at first -- because my left foot (with both PF and the tendonitises) was so, so weak. It was very shaky, which I had noticed after starting to do simple foot pointing as my PT directed me a few weeks ago. Without the Acu-Flex, just doing the toe pointing with my left foot was a real challenge; it would shake almost uncontrollably. And it continued to do this at first when I started using the Acu-Flex. But it stopped, after about 4 days of using Acu-Flex (3 times a day). I take this as sign of strength down there, which makes me very happy.
In general, the movements seem fluid to me because of the nature of the material -- it's very strong, but elastic with enough give that you yourself control the movements, looser or more taut, whichever and wherever in-between it feels best. I feel it's giving me more strength and control as I adjust the movements. So I don't feel some thing is doing something to me -- I'm controlling and adjusting to it, and gradually the strength and control seem to be transferring to my feet themselves.
I am sorry you're having such trouble with your right foot/arch. The arch discomfort sounds hard to take, especially when you're trying to sleep. As you may have noticed at times, I don't often get uninterrupted sleep either, try as I do! I hope you find a solution to that soon.
PF and its related pains and annoyances can certainly be hard on one's spouse, you're right, no doubt about that. I feel so bad for my husband sometimes -- he is working SO hard to keep us afloat, and has to do a lot more stuff around the house (he already did a lot before . . .). I feel very lucky because he is mostly terrific about it (having only a very occasional snit/meltdown over it, since he's human). Since I totally quit abusing my feet (sob) and am working on them more at home, he seems to be helped by this change. After reading the Acu-Flex manual, in fact, he got inspired to try giving me a therapeutic-type massage each night on my feet and legs, and it's been wonderful! This too has taught me a lot about how much worry and tension I've allowed to exist in my feet -- because I'm learning to let it go, and his massage helps.
Salina, were you an easy smiler before all this? I have a hunch you were. I was too. I really want to get that back, no matter where my feet end up. It's one of my main goals. Good luck to you, I think of you and hope for you.
Nancy

Re: Acu-Flex -- my very positive experience so far

Beverly on 9/11/00 at 16:58 (027940)

Nancy,

Thanks for all the details on Acu-Flex, and yes, it is good to hear you sounding more cheerful/hopeful. Keep us posted on it.

Beverly

Re: Acu-Flex -- my very positive experience so far

JudyS on 9/11/00 at 17:05 (027946)

Nancy - good for you! What a great thing to begin to feel some strength and improvement. I know very much that the tiniest feeling of strength fills one up with cheer and hope. And to do four errands? Impressive! Nice to feel human for a day or so, isn't it?
:)