Weight loss

● From Karen Ball, 63, massage therapist, Beaverton, OR: “In 2011, I was in terrible shape. I had been suffering with serious insomnia for 22 years, sleeping maybe 2 -3 hours on average per night. I had developed an inability to break down carbohydrates and had other digestive difficulties, mild depression, bloating, 15 years of hot flashes, bone density issues, and severe arthritis and muscle contraction in my right hip that caused pain and restricted movement. To top it off, at 244 pounds, I was 80 pounds overweight.

“Sleeping pills, mega-doses of melatonin, antihistamines, supplements, hot baths, herbs, teas, meditation, breathing exercises, relaxation CDs, and so many more things were making little impact on my problems. I read everything and tried everything I found, many times over. I checked out every book the library had on insomnia and read anything I could find on the web.

“In July 2011, I started sleeping on an Earthing sheet. The first three nights I didn’t get any sleep, but I had massive amounts of energy from laying on it 7-9 hours per night. Within the first 2 hours I lost considerable inflammation so that my ankles which had been severely swollen now appeared normal. I weighed myself and found I had lost 4.5 pounds of swelling those first 3 nights. Not real weight loss; just a very noticeable decrease of swelling.

“It took 6 nights before I got a good night’s sleep. But from August of 2011 to the present, August of 2013, I have had 4-8 hours of sleep every night except for 2 nights. In that time, I’ve had more than 40 nights where I slept through the night through without getting up to urinate. The better sleep is a big deal. I can only lose weight when I sleep five hours or more. I have now lost 40 pounds, and basically by not doing anything, just sleeping more. I need to lose another 40, and to do that, I’ll need to stop eating bread when I shouldn’t.

“First my ankles and then the knees became normal size without the swelling. I could actually see my kneecap for the first time in five years. My pain was reduced. The contraction in my right thigh (my body trying to protect the hip) went away. The position of the femur corrected itself, and was no longer pressing against the side of the hip socket. This meant a greater range of movement, less pain, and for the first time in years, allowed me to start exercises to reverse the muscle atrophy that had developed over the previous decade. Walking and other forms of exercise had been very painful. I could now do those things.

“In recent years, my hip pain and restrictions had increased to the point where at times I couldn’t manage anything greater than a 4-inch stride. I am a tall woman with a 36-inch inseam. I was barely able to get my leg over the side of a tub and had to lift my leg with my hands to get into bed or to get into a car. Gradually, I’ve been able to extend my stride to 18 inches on a good day. That’s not much for a woman of my age with very long legs, but it is so much better, and it has been getting better all the time.

“I still walk with a cane most of the time, but when I don’t my side-to-side hip sway is less than half of what it was before. The sway increases pain so I use the cane to minimize the sway. It provides support as I get better. My ability to bend my knees has increased. I can cross either leg over center now and I could not before. I can lift things now that before would cause severe pain in the hip. I have been able to do yard work on my half acre, walk readily back and forth to the chicken coop, and sometimes get in a total of a mile-and-a-half of daily walking. I am working continually to strengthen the weak leg muscles so that maybe one day I will be able to walk without a cane. Meanwhile, it looks as if I am pushing off further into the future a hip replacement that I was supposed to have at one time.

“Previous to all this, I had developed arthritis in my right pinky. It was swollen and bent, and painful when I put pressure on it during my work as a massage therapist. The joint has straightened dramatically (though not completely yet) and is much more normal now. I can now put maximum pressure on it without any problem. I had pain in one wrist and that went away as well.”

“My night sweats stopped, and then my hot flashes diminished, and stopped completely in December 2011. After 15 years, it was a great relief.”

“I hadn’t realized how depressed I was until after I started Earthing and having a growing sense of well- being and return to health. It is a wonderful feeling. I can do so much more now, although I am aware of my limitations. If I do too much or eat too much bread, then I can only get about 4 hours of sleep. That used to be my maximum but not enough to lose weight. I love the fact that my maximum is my minimum now. My capacity keeps growing and the improvements continue. Clearly the more time I spend Earthed, the better I feel.”

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