One of the main reasons I started this blog many years ago was because I am basically a human science experiment. I enjoy trying different wellness “things”, cleanses, programs etc and I wanted to be able to share my experiences so others don’t waste time on the stuff that isn’t worth it!
I’ve been wanting to write this post for over a year now but I’m just having the hardest time getting myself together when it comes to updating my blog!
I compiled a list of the latest, weirdest things I’ve tried in the last year and I must admit I’m a little scared to reveal how much money I’ve spent on all this stuff!
So I’ll just cut right to the chase. In no particular order here are the various Wellness “things” I’ve done with a description and then my personal verdict.
- Steam sauna. Cost: $90
This one looks super weird! Last winter I missed the feeling of getting really sweaty. I know that sounds crazy especially to anyone who lives in a humid environment. But in Utah the air is dry year round and I was just craving that feeling. So I ordered this sauna off Amazon. Our house is very small and it’s not like we have tons of room for a sauna so my husband placed a large piece of plywood over the bathtub and the sauna sits on top. When I want to use the tub it’s easy enough to take the sauna down.
The Verdict: I love it! I would absolutely recommend this. There is a ton of research on the benefits of using a sauna that I won’t get in to here. The only downside is it’s hard to find a good time to sauna since it requires a shower afterward.
2. Infrared heat lamps. Cost: $20
This one came about around the same time I was researching saunas. I actually wanted an infrared sauna but the steam sauna was much less expensive. The research on infrared is really overwhelming. Some people swear it heals all wounds, acne, muscles, joints, everything basically. Infrared setups can be really pricey so I purchased a bulb and socket from amazon and just made my own.
The Verdict: Didn’t do anything for me or for my husband. Rocco liked to lay under the lamp because it was warm but that’s about it. I can’t say the heat penetrated any deeper than a heating pad.
3. HiDow TENS unit (muscle simulator). Cost: I have it on loan from my mom. Her Cost: $200-300
This is a pricey one, I know! My mom suffers from really horrible neck pain and I think anyone who deals with chronic pain is willing to spend just about any amount of money to make the pain go away! Spoiler alert: this thing made her pain go away, she never needed it again so she gave it to me! My husband had purchased a cheap, $20 version from the drug store but trust me when I say it was weak sauce compared to this bad boy! The HiDow has some serious power even though it is tiny. I love using it for sciatic nerve pain and my husband uses it for back pain. You can use it for every ailment under the sun though.
The Verdict: It’s awesome! Expensive, but if you have chronic pain that is muscle related it’s probably a worthwhile investment.
4. ALCAT Test. Cost: $350 (gulp)
The ALCAT test is something I had wanted to do for a reallllllly long time. I did a lot of research before pulling the trigger to see if it was legit. Basically it’s a “food sensitivity” test. You order the blood draw kit online and then go to a lab to have your blood drawn. The lab mails your blood to the ALCAT people and a week or two later you get a complete list of all foods you are either a) highly reactive to, b) moderately reactive to, or c) non reactive. I did this mainly for entertainment/curiosity since I really didn’t think I had any food sensitivities. The thing is, you don’t know if you have food sensitivities unless you get tested! The theory is that we could be eating some health food (green tea for example) and actually be sensitive to that food and that causes low grade inflammation which obviously is not good for many reasons. My results were pretty mild. I didn’t have any foods I was highly sensitive to. I was lactose intolerant, no surprise there. I was moderately sensitive to a lot of health foods I consumed on a regular basis like green tea, beets, cucumbers and beans.I just want to say CHOCOLATE, COFFEE AND PEANUT BUTTER WERE OK. I was so scared I was going to come back as sensitive to my 3 favorites but all was well.
The Verdict: Unsure. I got my results back and thought it was a worthwhile investment so I made my husband do it too because he likely has food sensitivities. The test confirmed he has gluten sensitivity which we already suspected but at least now he has a piece of paper to confirm it.
The bottom line: I probably wouldn’t recommend this unless you are just a curious soul like me and don’t like to leave any stone unturned when it comes to health. OR, if you know that gluten is making you sick but you need external confirmation to help you get it out of your diet for good.
5. Fascia Blaster. Cost: $90
Oh I know I am totally crazy with this stuff, I’m killing myself here! If you haven’t heard about the Fascia Blaster yet it’s a stick like doo-dad with claws on it that you use like “the stick” for rolling muscles. The claws break up fascia which releases bound up scar tissue, fascia, muscles, etc. The Fascia Blaster has a huge following and people buy actual big infrared saunas to put in their homes and dedicate 30-60 minutes of their day to blasting. So at least I’m not that extreme…
The Verdict: It works but it may be too expensive depending on your needs.
Ahhh, I feel like I’m going to be burned at the stake by FB devotees for saying that. I know some people’s lives have been changed forever because of the FB, especially people with scar tissue and people who have had surgeries. So if that is an issue for you I would 100% say it’s worth every penny. I like to use it on my calves and I did break up some scar tissue in my husbands foot. The hardest thing is that, like all fitness things, you have to actually use it for it work 🙂
6. Sauna Suit. Cost: $20
Alright, so I obviously went through a “sweating phase”. I have the hardest time getting sweaty which I know is weird. So I bought one of those old school, plastic suits and for a while I was wearing it to workout in. Actually I was only wearing the top because the bottoms were hard to move in.
The Verdict: I loved it at the time but I wouldn’t recommend it now. My phase was short lived and now I have this plastic sweat suit in my garage…
7. Bellabeat Leaf. Cost: $139
I wanted the Leaf so bad so I asked for it for my birthday. It’s fitness tracker jewelry basically. It has many of the same features as a Fitbit but it looks like a bracelet or necklace and you can wear it different ways. The reason I really wanted it is because it is also tracks meditation and your monthly cycle and gives you a daily stress score based on how much you slept, how much you moved, how much you meditated and where you are at in your monthly cycle. This feature for me was the selling point. I don’t need any encouragement to get up off my butt, I need confirmation that I have indeed worked hard and it’s time to sit my butt down and take some deep breaths. As a result I went from meditating 0 times/week to meditating 4-7 times a week. As someone as compulsive as I am, if I see I’m getting a bad grade in the meditation department I will take 10 minutes to meditate to get a better score.
The Verdict: I love it but I’d recommend waiting for the next gen to come out. I bet the next ones will be smaller and less clunky. I also think it’s a little overpriced compared to other fitness trackers out there and it doesn’t allow you to record what you eat. Hopefully in the future the app will have that capability.
8. Liver Cleanse (Global Healing). Cost: $70 a pop.
Over the summer I went on a liver cleansing spree. Why you may ask? I don’t know, I don’t even drink really but I was in the mood to cleanse something so I decided to go with a liver cleanse since I’d never done one before. I actually did 3 rounds with alternating rest week’s in between. It’s a 5 day cleanse and every day you drink 2 different potions throughout the day and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. It also doubles as a colon cleanse which is a bonus. It’s short enough that the restrictive diet is totally doable. I mean…it’s only 5 days. I should put a disclaimer on here though that on the last night you have to drink a glass of epsom salt water which tastes extremely bad. Like, really bad. But then the worst part is that 30 minutes later you have to drink 6 ounces of olive oil (and not throw up). Yes, 6 ounces, aka more than a 1/2 cup! Probably one of the grossest things I’ve ever consumed. That potent cocktail is what cleanses the gallbladder which is something you’ll have to experience for yourself!
The Verdict: I love it and can’t wait to do it again! By the end of the 5 days my liver felt like it was pink and shiny and sparkling. I can’t say I experienced any lasting effects that would indicate that it really “did anything”, but I felt good at the time and you just never really know about this stuff, right?
Alright, now you know how crazy I really am! I hope you enjoyed this little list of nonsense 🙂