Things I Wish I Knew Before Making a Sorority Paddle

Making a paddle for your big is very fun and exciting, but sis, there are a few speed bumps in the process!

1.) Paddle Shapes

The only place around here to purchase a paddle IRL is a craft store. For some bizarre reason, the store usually only has two or three shapes of paddles. Only one of which looks like a traditional paddle… the others DO NOT!

I have seen thin long paddles and paddles without handles, which is not the cutest in my opinion.

2.) Sold Out

The most common time to make a paddle is usually during Formal and Semi-Formal Season. So that means everyone from other sororities are also having formal season and need to buy a paddle. You cannot procrastinate on buying your paddle. I have gone from store to store searching for just one paddle. I would suggest buying just the paddle a few months in advance just in case.

3.) Snoop on Pinterest

If your Big has a Pinterest, research her boards and see if she has pinned any paddles. If she hasn’t, you can still get a general idea of her personal style and try to match that up with a paddle design.

I find it easiest to pick a cute design and then copy it, in order to have a general guideline. Of course, I’ll change the color, etc. to match my Big’s style (which is pretty much my style lmaoo She’s my big for a reason).

4.) Have a Plan

This is mostly for if you procrastinated, but still want the paddle to be amazing. I remember, my friend and I used a Cricut to put the letters on the paddle in the parking lot of our semi-formal.

Of course, I didn’t plan it that way, but at the time I didn’t own a Cricut, so I had to meet up with my friend who had one and have her help me by making the letters. Since formal season is usually ALSO around finals we were hella busy and couldn’t meet up (neither of us lived on campus). So, right before formal was pretty much the only option.

SO EMBARRASSING that I am admitting this right now, but I must be honest! It was a disaster trying to peel up the tiny vinyl letters in a rush with shaky hands. If you aren’t well versed in Cricut skills beforehand, you have to take time to figure it out. That thing is so high-tech and confusing, but I still LOVE my pink one.

5.) Make it Personal

The entire point of making a paddle is to reflect your big or your relationship with her in the design of the paddle! So, don’t try to make it a pinterest perfect precise paddle if you know you are going to struggle with it. As long as your big feels warm and fuzzy when she sees it, then mission accomplished!

How to Prep for Spinal Fusion Surgery!

This is the most common question I get asked from women who are about to have spinal fusion surgery to correct their scoliosis!

“How do I prepare for that???”

Workout Your Abs!

This is probably the most important part of your body to work on before having surgery!

Since most of your muscles are going to be healing and hurting, getting out of bed to go potty and walking during PT will be very hard! If you have a strong core to tighten and engage while moving, the stress and pressure is taken off of your back muscles.

I can truly attest to this! When I had be third spinal fusion at the age of 20, I prepped by lifting weights, yoga, and focusing on core. The surgery was hard of course, but I passed my PT test the day after my surgery. I was able to walk down the hall and up a set of practice stairs and back! I was so impressed and so were all the nurses! My previous surgeries took a full 7 day week in the hospital to recover, but this time, I was only there for 3 or 4 days before going home!

It was very empowering to see how respecting and loving my body through exercise made HUGE difference in recovery.

This is the exact video I used in preparation for my surgery.

Mentally Prepare

Every time I hear I have to have surgery, I panic on the inside because I know that I won’t be self-sufficient and will need help doing just about everything. I have to prep myself mentally to be able to accept help from others, especially since I like to do things myself. For me, this involves a lot of prayer and family support.

Another important mental preparation is knowing the facts that you WILL gain weight from being immobile for a month or so. In addition to that, you will be very swollen in your torso.

It’s crucial to remember that gaining 10 lbs. is not the end of the world. Your body needed the surgery for a reason, to fix your spine! Once you are healed up and the doctor gives you approval to do regular exercises, you can focus on losing the weight you put on.

Take it slow and listen to your body! Focus on low impact cardio like walking around the park (or Super Target) or my fave, riding the stationary bike with the comfy seats so I can scroll through social media or watch a movie on my phone.

If you don’t let it stress you out, losing the weight will be a breeze!

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Ask your Besties for their Support

Some of your friends will not understand how to be your friend during a time like this and that is okay. Many people haven’t had a friend go through major surgery before, so my best advice is to explain what YOU NEED from your BFFs.

If you want space, arrange where you guys only talk on FaceTime. If you need support, ask if your BFF can come over X times a week to watch a movie with you and socialize. If he or she is a good friend then they will understand and try to accommodate your needs.

Pack your Hospital Bag

You will need to pack a Hospital Bag with tons of essentials for the hospital since you will be away from home for about a week!

SO…..

Stay tuned for next Fusion Friday to see a WHOLE ENTIRE post on what to pack!

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How to Enjoy Reading When You’ve NEVER Been a Bookworm!

I used to hate reading. HATE reading. It’s a strong word, I know, but many relate with this. I never understood how my mom could sit and read a book all afternoon. It really puzzled me!

I finally learned to love reading when I met one of my bffs in high school. She would lend me some of her favorite books when I would visit her house. Pretty soon, we would be chatting about how good the books are and what is going to happen next, etc. I was hooked.

I became a book worm and still am.

1.) Put Distractions Away

Just pick up your phone and put it out of site. Turn off the TV and make your cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa ahead of time. Find a cozy spot with good lighting and hunker down.

2.) Pick a Book that Interests You

If you don’t fuckin like romance novels or science fiction novels, then don’t fuckin read them! For anything you are interested in, there are several books to choose from.

For instance, if you like zombies, there are SO MANY books (or also graphic novels, like The Walking Dead) about zombies.

Another way to choose a book, is to find out which of your favorite movies or TV shows were originally books. If you liked the movie, then you will love the book! Everyone always says the books are better for a reason!!!

3.) Slow Down

It’s about the journey, not the destination! Soak in each and every word on the page. Try to understand what the author is really telling you. When you do this, your reading comprehension will go through the roof.

It is NOT a competition to read a book as fast as you can or to even read numerous books. It’s about enjoying the activity! That usually gets lost in translation in school because of pressure from the district, teachers, school competitions, and sometimes reading is used as…. punishment.

NEVER USE READING AS A PUNISHMENT!

4.) Set a Timer (I always say that, I know)

Don’t push yourself to read at the same pace as your friend who read all of Harry Potter in one weekend. That’s just not human!

No, but odds are they have been practicing reading for the long haul since they were able to read. They have more practice, so their brain is trained to get into the zone when they read!

Try setting a timer for 20 minutes a day, or 5 if you really “hate” reading. Be consistent and read what you can until the timer goes off, then don’t even think or stress about the book until you read the next day.

Slowly increase the timer by 5 minutes a week or what is comfortable for you. Soon enough, you will actually be looking forward to your reading time and breeze right through books.

5.) Play Relaxing Music without Words

This can be anything to live lo-fi hip hop on YouTube or even piano covers of your favorite songs! Something that won’t distract you from the words on the page!

I like music in the background on occasion because it keeps my mind from wondering off too much. I can bring my focus back to the book easily.

Comment below with your FAVE book!

XOXO

Tay

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Fusion Friday: Surviving Your 9-5 with Scoliosis

Sitting at a desk, craning your neck all day is not the move when you have scoliosis. But, those bills ain’t gunna pay themselves and most people don’t have the luxury to not work a desk job or a physically active job, like serving or retail. So, let’s make the best of it.

1.) Communicate With Your Boss

Legally, they have to accommodate your requests, but in my experience, I’ve been shrugged off which usually ended in my letter of resignation because my back health is way more important than someone’s ignorance.

However, not everyone has the same situation and I have learned a lot about HOW to ask for accommodations. You have to know ahead of time what they can do to accommodate you.

You have been the one with the disability for your whole life, so your ideas of how to help are probably better than your boss’. Come with a list of what you need help with and consult about what is possible to do in the workplace.

Again, it’s about HOW you do it, so don’t approach it as commands or demands. Think of it as, “how can we both come up with a solution that works for everyone.”

2.) Stand Up Every Hour

This is probably the best accommodation you can ask for! Every hour get up from your desk and stretch it all out or maybe even walk around your office building once. Whatever your boss is okay with!

If you have a boss who’s all about “you’re on the clock, you have to work” try to look up your local laws about disabilities and see what they HAVE to provide for you. Another solution would be to offer that you can go around and ask employees if they want coffee or tea and make it for them! Play barista, stretch your legs, and even boost office productivity. Not to mention brownie points with your coworkers!

3.) Stand Up Desk

This might not be an option for some companies, but ask anyway. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no!

This type of desk can easily shift from sitting to standing in literally a snap! If you can get a desk like this, you can disregard the previous tip! lol

4.) Heating Pad

Offices are notorious for being chilly. Like I’ve mentioned in my guest article with Kronicles, “Surviving College with Scoliosis”, I mentioned that my fusion is very sensitive to the cold and starts to ache. This is an easy fix, however! Keep a sweater or a heating pad if your office is extra chilly.

Heating pads are usually plugged into the wall, so double check with your IT guy that you won’t short circuit the whole office! If he says, “no way”, go to your local store and buy those sticky heating pads that heat by oxidation instead! They are a one time use, but they last for hours and can stick on under your clothes!

5.) Keep Your Monitor at Eye Level

This is the BEST and easiest neck saver! Just stack a box or some books under your computer monitor to bring it up to your eye level. No more hunching over! Again, ask your IT guy (or girl) if you need help with this. He might even have a better solution!

6.) Schedule in Yoga During the Workweek

If you have the funds or gym that offers classes, take a gentle yoga class before or after work. That way you can force yourself to unwrinkle your back and joints through out the week and prevent yourself from worsening your posture and your condition.

You might even love it and look forward to an hour of zen and happiness everyday!

7.) Pick the Right Chair

If your chair is killing your back, ask coworkers if you can switch chairs or see if there are extras hiding somewhere! Remember to fiddle with the chair settings and adjust them to support your back. Another good option is to bring a small pillow for your lower back! Find what works for you!

8.) Sport Balms

For a quick fix, stash some CBD infused lotions or sports balms in your desk. If work gets busy and you can’t manage to take a break or switch your desk to standing, quickly rub your neck or back with the cream, take a deep breath, and get back to work!

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Tay ❤

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BABECHELLA 2019

A Pinterest perfect day full of wedges, sun dresses, big floppy hats, women who are bloggers and small business owners… and lots of fruity drinks!

Originating in California, BABECHELLA travels around the country to the different chapters of Blogger Babes. San Antonio just so happens to have a chapter, so I didn’t have to travel far at all! The event was about a 15 minute drive from my apartment.

The best part is, this event was totally FREE! I just showed up with my cute self and my ticket. I arrived a little early and I waited in line for no more than 10 minutes.

When I reached the front of the line I was handed a Swag Bag that was stuffed with awesome samples and coupons! My two favorite things in life, obviously.

I was stoked from the start! I went to this event by myself, so I had to force myself to network instead of just chatting with a friend of mine the whole time.

I put my social face on and grabbed a margarita before walking around. Unfortunately, this margarita was $9 and tasted like Topo Chico with a squirt of lime. As a San Antonio woman, I was a little bummed out by this, but I persisted!

#OOTD

I really enjoyed the vendors that came to the event. If I had no self-control and more money, it would be so easy to just buy everything! Especially, since it would be supporting local stores.

After touring the sunny shopping areas, I cooled off inside and got a Turmeric Pineapple Mimosa! It was so good and strong. The best drink of the day.

I heard the announcement for the fashion show earlier and wanted to get a seat with my drink and enjoy myself! I chatted with the people around me, then cheered on the models as they came out in their outfits from the boutiques.

It truly was a lovely day!

XOXO

Tay

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“Beach Bod” Social Media Detox

We all know the stupidity in the term, “beach body”. Yet, we all know it’s at least a passing thought to start a diet when bikini pictures are popping up all over social media. It’s easy to slip into the mindset of not being good-enough, too fat, or unworthy.

So, let’s just avoid that mindset this summer. We can do that by identifying triggers on social media and getting rid of them!

Instagram

Start with the obvious. Unfollow influencers that make you feel like shit about your body. You might follow them because they are amazing people with great style, blah blah blah, but if their feed makes you sad, unfollow! Life is too short to be sad every time you open up a silly little app on your phone.

There were tons of people I used to follow that I obsessed over for hours. I would compare pictures of myself with their pictures and pick apart everything that I hated about my body. I tried to become that exact person instead of just trying to be myself.

Next, you have to unfollow people you know IRL if they make you feel that same way. Odds are, if you feel negatively towards them, you aren’t good friends away. Just click unfollow and move on with your life.

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Facebook

I usually use facebook purely for the old people in my life and for the occasional dank meme or cat video. However, I do have friends from my past on there that love to spread negativity or show off their weight loss (or wedding/engagement pictures for the 100th time). The toxicity has got to go, sis!

You don’t even have to unfriend them now-a-days. Just unfollow them on their profile to hide them from your timeline. Quick and easy. Nobody gets hurt.

Pinterest

I dare you right now to delete your “Dream Body” board. Odds are, you will not ever look like Bella Hadid without plastic surgery. Bella Hadid doesn’t even look like that without plastic surgery, so don’t be so damn hard on yourself!!!

Make a new board that is filled with body positivity quotes and celebs who look like you CURRENTLY! Find the beauty in who you are right now.

This doesn’t mean I support the movement of “healthy obesity” because that is not possible. However, I DO SUPPORT loving yourself regardless of what you look like at your current weight. When you learn to love yourself, being healthy will fall into place much easier because you would be doing it for YOURSELF.

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How to Chase the Summer Blues Away


The sun is officially out for the summer here in south Texas! I have spent every day by the pool and have a hardy tan line across my shoulders. I am in my zone and relaxed.


Most people can agree that summertime is a season everyone looks forward to all year long. How couldn’t you be excited! Going to beach and pool parties, music festivals, and general relaxing from the school year. At least that’s what I see on Instagram…


The sad reality of summer is there is extra time to be quiet and think, overthink, and wallow in your depression. Depression and Scoliosis go hand-in-hand from the chronic pain, unfortunately. I can attest to this! I have been on anti-depressants for exactly 2 years from this weekend. I didn’t even realize that it was the two-year anniversary of my last and worst suicide attempt where I spend the entire summer at an inpatient and then outpatient mental hospital (while I also took a summer college course that I made an A in).


This weekend was very hard for me mentally, but I have come a long way. This weekend, I was happy and had a lovely time, but down deep I felt something was off, but I powered through and self-reflected on why I felt that way! I can be proud of myself that I am a stronger person now!

#endstigma

I find weekends, holiday breaks, and summer breaks to be very stressful for me since I began college in 2014. I would be on such a mental high from college with a jam-packed schedule. I went to school full-time, played club Ultimate Frisbee, was an officer in the honor’s society for teachers KDP, and the treasurer for my sorority, AOII.


Along with homework, I never had downtime! So, when the semester is over and my friends go home, I panic with all my free time. I remember sobbing on many occasions because I had nothing to do. This made me feel unimportant, unproductive, and so very lonely!


After graduating and having a better perspective now, my feelings came from the fact that I cared about what people thought of me. A whole lot.
I thought, “if her social life is trash, she MUST be a weirdo.” With social media showing every second of people’s lives, I felt like I couldn’t hide and had to portray a certain persona. That pressure paired with my perfectionism and anxiety, is a recipe for disaster, sis.

This is a lot of personal information, but I feel like I can’t be the only one who feels this way! Just to save you the hassle of having to go through that alone, here is what I have learned about keeping the summer blues away.

Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company

Being around friends 24/7 can lead to a slight co-dependence in some cases because many people struggle to enjoy being alone. It all boils down to not liking yourself. If you think X, Y, and Z about yourself, that amplifies when you are alone and brings down the mood in an instant. Instead of thinking, “I am all alone and I am so bored”, think about what you would do if you had a friend with you…. But then just do it alone. If you want to go see a movie, go to an event, or take an art class don’t wait around for someone to be available to go with you. Have a day where you can journey out with a positive mood and maybe even meet new people with a common interest.

Get Your To-Do List Finally Done

If you do have a busy-body mentality like me, then being complacent for more than a day is not fun. Set a goal for yourself every day to still achieve that feeling of accomplishment. Maybe, you can schedule in a small specific chore for yourself to do every day to make sure your house is always nice and tidy. You can set a workout goal for every day, also! Whatever is important to you that you have been wanting to achieve, take it in small bites each day and it will happen! As long as you complete one thing each and every day!

Relax

I know it’s a wild concept, but practice relaxing! Personally, the best way to do this is through mindfulness! Mindfulness is like a muscle and you have to practice! A great way to start is to look up on YouTube, “mindfulness meditation”. Pick literally any of them, put your earphones in, and lay down in your bed. You will feel so refreshed and relaxed afterward! I learned this trick in college when I would try to sleep in my car on breaks between classes for a recharge!

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Fusion Friday: 10 Things to do When your Back Hurts

1.) Toke it up

Okay, so this one is obvious. You all know I am going to say, “if your back hurts, smoke weed.” Hands down, the best way to relax your muscles and mind. If my back gets to a certain point, I start to have a panic attack because it is so intense! But, if I take moment and smoke a bowl, my pain reduces to a normal level and I calm down.

To each their own, but I think it would be pretty silly not to use something God gave us for healing. But that’s just my opinion.

2.) Go for a walk around the neighborhood

When my hips or lower back start to get tight, I know it’s downhill from there if I give into the pain and curl up in bed. Instead, I like to loop my apartment complex a couple times. I walk for no more than 20-30 minutes because I’ll start to hurt from walking.

You may have to find your own balance, but for me, if I walk for about 20 minutes my lower back and hips loosen up and feel better. However, if I hit that 30 minute mark my neck will start to kill me.

3.) Stretch it out

I am a HUGE advocate for Yoga. Since scoliosis impacts our muscles so much, we need to make sure they are taken care of. That means stretching them and toning them through your favorite exercise!

I really enjoy lifting weights at the gym then heading to the stationary bike for about 10 or so miles. After, I’ll go to a mat and do some yoga. I’ll listen to my body while doing Sun Salutations to know where I need to stretch. I prefer doing solo yoga because it is peaceful and I can go at my own pace.

If you do a yoga class make sure it is a restorative yoga flow. Follow all the old men with bad knees to whatever class they are taking! That’s what you want! If not, you are basically in various plank positions for an hour and that messes up my neck and back more than helping it.

You can also ask the instructor before class about variations you can do for your back. It is the instructors job to make sure everyone is safe, so he or she should be more than happy to accommodate your needs and answer all your questions.

The internet is great because if your neck is hurting you can simply type “neck stretches” into Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest and MILLIONS of stretches will come up. It’s incredibly easy to research all of this from your phone at the gym or at home!

4.) Take a bath

I have a bad obsession with Lush products. Their skin care and bath bombs are the only reason I go to the mall. Everything there is hand-made, vegan, and animal cruelty free!

So, when I have a bad back day I turn on my bath and add a bath bomb and muscle relaxing essential oils! The bath bombs already have Epsom Salt in them, but I usually like to add more in my back, so I can detox!

I recommend chugging ice water while you are in the bath for a full 20 minutes to soak in all the goodness. If not, you MUST drink water after. If you don’t, your muscles will cramp and be worse because the toxins get released from your bloodstream back into your muscles. We don’t need that drama, so just drink your water, okay.

5.) Work on a hobby

Distracting yourself seems like it’s not the best solution, but sometimes when the pain is bad, it’s all you can do. My hobby (and my job) is writing! I have so many kinds of projects I work on. I can get lost in my thoughts and produce some amazing work even when I feel horrible!

Of course, your hobby can be anything that distracts you! Like knitting, netflixing, cooking, or whatever it is that you do! Do it!

6.) Read

I love books. I love articles. I love magazines. I love reading all those stupid click-bate posts on Facebook. I love to read.

Get in a comfy spot and curl up with a good book or your device. Again, it’s distraction, but it works! Blast some Lofi hip-hop for chill background noise if your mind wonders while you read.

7.) Journal about it

This can mean writing about how your back hurts, tracking your pain to avoid certain activities, or creating awesome templates and doodling with bullet journaling! If you aren’t organized with journaling, like me, you may want to try a self-care journal that is already laid out for you!

I recently came across a blog with an adorable, printable Self-Care Journal! Check it out!

GET IT NOW!

8.) Laugh!

They say laughter is the best medicine, right??? I like to turn on Netflix and find a good stand-up comedy special. Laughing at stupid jokes is a great distraction.

The same thing works with horror movies! I get really stressed out by horror movies and feel like I am actually in them! So, I’m not exactly focused on my pain when a demon jumps out on screen.

9.) Go to a pool or hot tub

I know most people don’t have this as an easy option, but if you do, swimming is great when your back feels very compressed and tight. Do a few laps or just float on your back to ease the tension. Thankfully, my apartment complex also has a hot tub, so I love to soak in that (when it actually works smh).

10.) Fascial Release

If you’ve read my blog before, you know I am a HUGE fan of fascial release for pain management and prevention! If you are having a bad flair up, this will help ease some of that pain and pinching.

You can read all about it here!

My Favorite Books About Spiritual Warfare

As my life shifts from being a college student to a real adult, whatever that means, I know that the devil is going to try to stop me from my purpose and destiny in Christ. Lately, I feel a theme of distraction happening in my life.

Distractions can be something as small as getting upset, worrying about money, or in my case, stress cleaning and laying in a pit of depression. Literally, ANYTHING that distracts you from the work you should be doing. Now, this is not an excuse to have a dirty home, not pay the bills, or shut people out. Simply, a reminder to get the work of the day actually done.

I read a blog a while back (if I remember it, I’ll link it), talking about how, “if you want to find water, dig one 6 ft. well instead of six 1 ft wells.” This really resonated with me because I am such a busy body who is constantly trying to seek opportunities. But how stupid was I to not think, “give your all in this ONE place that the Lord is calling you to.”

Since the Lord Jesus knows we are easily distracted and… human, we don’t have to fight this alone! We can pray to Jesus that we hear His voice and the direction we need to go in life. Ask for discernment and wisdom and it will be granted to you! Ask for forgiveness for being distracted or even lazy.

BUT

We don’t stop there because there are powerful forces against us (of course, not as powerful as Jesus) that NEVER EVER take a day off or get distracted from working hard to Kill, Steal, and Destroy your blessings, your longevity, and your destiny in God’s plan.

Knowing that, it’s easy to think about how this has happened in the past! Take a moment to think about times when you fell victim of this.

Good examples of this would be; going to places the Lord would not approve of (strip clubs, night clubs, casinos, y mas), involvement in hardcore drugs, being reckless with your life and others (drunk driving, etc.), suicidality, and involvement in other “religions” or cults.

Every person has their own journey and set of challenges, but the theme is the same Kill (you), Steal (your blessings), and Destroy (your destiny). So, watch for that and actively fight against it!

So, how do we do that???

Many churches gloss over spiritual warfare because it is not happy and fun like churches try to be. That is so horribly wrong because ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away. In fact, the devil finds victory when Christians ignore the whole other side of the battle and pretend he doesn’t exist. BECAUSE WE WON’T BE FIGHTING AGAINST IT.

Even recently, before I did my own research, I thought things were pretty black and white about spiritual warfare, but honey, there’s so much more to it than I ever even knew.

Have you ever watched a scary movie where they explain demonology in detail? Usually, they have done their research for accuracy and the things they are talking about ARE TRUE. Yes, there are lots of acceptations of course, but that’s why it is important to research on your own (using Christian books from credible authors and the Bible – NOT anything to do with the occult. That will open many unholy doors.) My thought is, “how come the enemy, and those who follow the enemy, knows the ins and outs of the system from both perspectives? Yet, we are supposed to fight against that, but have NO knowledge of how their world actually works.”

Simple answer – check yo facts. #educate

SO HERE IS YOUR HOMEWORK

*This is NOT an affiliate link* I genuinely love these books! They are written by credible authors who know their stuff. Regardless, always cross check with the Bible if something seems sketchy or not biblically sound.

You can buy both of these books on amazon for about $10 or less! Unmasking the Devil was such a good read. I couldn’t put it down! I learned so much because this book is written by a man who was deeply involved in the occult, santeria, and palo mayombe. Now, he has been a born again Christian for many decades and has devoted his life to showing people the other side of the fight and how to equip ourselves for whatever comes our way and even how to prevent it.

I use this book as part of my daily devotions because each tactic is about 2-3 pages. The perfect bite-sized read with my morning cup of coffee! This book is a bit more lighthearted than the other, but doesn’t gloss over anything important!

I really hope you chose to read these books because they are life changing! You will see when you read them!

I love you all and thank you for reading!

Tay

Fusion Friday: This $3 Trick Helps Keep My Back Pain at Bay!!!

Yes, you read that right. $3. I felt amazed, and a little stupid, that something so inexpensive can make such a huge impact on my back pain and back health.

So, this story goes back to a few years ago when I did myofascial therapy. If you don’t know what that is, I will get into all the specifics shortly. Honestly, I can say that this was the best type of physical therapy I have ever done and highly recommend it. The only problem is it is SO FREAKING EXPENSIVE!

For each 1-hour session, it was $150…. and you do that 3 times a week.

Most insurances can cover this partially or whole, so still look into it, but my insurance thought this was a luxury expense and we also have a high deductible. Talk about overwhelming money guilt!!!

I felt really great with my back and the progress I was making, but the cost was insane and made me kind of pissed. The good news is, we can hack the system, Ladies.

The myofascial place offered tons of educational resources for self fascial release. I took their $35 class where I learned all about what fascia is and how it impacts our health so much. I also learned several stretches and exercises that will help the process. This is another good alternative that is inexpensive, informative, and it comes with a fascia ball.

So What is Fascia????

(I am not a doctor, this is just what some lady told me and it worked soooo yeah don’t sue me, k.)

In a nutshell, fascia is the webbing of connective tissue between your skin and your muscles (and in between your muscles). It’s kind of how we stay put together! Healthy fascia is moist and stretchy like a rubber band (yes, those are technical terms lmao), while unhealthy fascia is firm and bunched up constricting the muscles and skin. This is what also causes cellulite!

A lot of the time when we have a painful “knot” in our back, the muscle truly freaking wants to relax, but the fascia is like, “no…hun.”

Which just means more pain for us. BUT. We can break apart that unhealthy fascia and allow the muscles to relax. This will also allow the fascia to stop being a little bitch and repair itself to allow healthy blood flow to your muscles, etc.

Okay, let’s get down to business.

The first thing you need is a firm, but squishy ball about the size of a big orange. Again, this is very technical. I got mine for $3 at the most amazing store ever, “5 Below”, where everything is $5 or under!

They have a shit ton of amazing products ranging from home decor, clothing, workout gear, beauty, seasonal items, toys, candy, school supplies, and so much more. Not to sound snotty, but imagine the Chanel version of Dollar Tree. That is $5 Below and I love it. I have two locations way too close to my apartment and I might have a problem (this was not sponsored, I just love to hype that store up.)

So, get a ball from there or from whatever you have in your area. Make sure that it doesn’t kill when you lay on it, hence the squishy. But, it also needs to be firm enough that you feel the ball when you lay down on it.

When you get home, lay on the floor flat on your back. Adjust your hips and shoulders and your general scoliosis-ness to make yourself as straight as you can.

Next, you have to listen to your body. Roll the ball under your back, hips, shoulder, neck, booty, or even legs, and feel the sensation where the ball meets your back.

Remember we are searching for what is uncomfortable, so be careful and take it slow.

If you are laying on the ball and you feel nothing, move to another spot because healthy tissue doesn’t hurt when you apply pressure. Find a spot where you feel Burning, Stinging, or Tightness.

NOTE: If it hurts like a muthafuka, you can move it over a little away from that spot. That just means you have a lot of angry fascia that needs multiple “sessions” of self-release. Work from the outside in. You should NEVER be in pain that is unbearable or too uncomfortable. You should be able to relax, so that your muscles can relax. ALSO, don’t roll around on your fusion if you have one. Keep the ball next to the spine, not on it.

Keep the ball there for about 5 full minutes and relax, making sure to keep a mind body connection with that spot. Take deep breaths and stay still. In that 5 minutes, you will start to feel the muscle relax by twitching or pulsing. When you feel this, stay put for the love of God because that means it is working and that muscle is finally able to relax for the first time in forever.

If your back feels like its burning like crazy, then you have to keep going on that spot whenever you self-release. Remember, healthy tissue shouldn’t hurt when there is pressure applied. That should be our goal.

Of course, with a disease like Scoliosis, your back is probs messed up majorly, so this is more of something to do everyday as a preventative measure, not a cure.

Doing this everyday will help prevent flair ups, calm flair ups, and provide nice, refreshing blood flow.

Anyway, I really hope you guys try this because it freaking works!!! It’s so simple and easy to add to your daily routine, there’s no reason not to try it!

Comment below if you tried this or have done this before!! Some people so this with rolled up socks, but that never has the same effect as a ball does, for me personally. Let me know how your experiences was and if you have any more nuggets of wisdom to share.

I love each and every one of you!

Taylor

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