Flat feet? How to strengthen your feet, lower legs, and improve your balance and focus (at the same time)

I’ve got one foot that’s flatter than the other. It’s not as flat as my dad’s feet where the arch is totally flattened out, but enough.

When I was a kid the doctor said I had “flexible flat feet”…

And gave me some orthotics, but those don’t help and you can’t do anything athletic in them.

And recently I was reading some of the things problems and disadvantages about having flat feet.

  • knee problems (have had several knee injuries)
  • hip and back problems
  • postural problems
  • kyphosis or lordosis

So since about 6 months ago I’ve been working on rehabbing a knee injury (torn meniscus).

And one thing you can do is strengthen the surrounding muscles. Ironically the knee that I tore was on the flatter foot side. It’s weird my lower right leg and foot is weaker than my left, but my upper right leg is stronger than my left…

Have asymmetry in your body?

Anyways here’s a yoga video I made that will help your lower legs (feet, ankles, calves), balance and focus. Also there’s a pose in there where I bend forward that also will work your hamstrings and glutes (1 side at a time).

If you do this 5-10 minutes a day everyday you will notice a difference because I have.

I’ve always practiced yoga – well for 20 years, but about 1-2 months ago I started to set a timer for 10 minutes for the second half of my yoga routine and just focus on one legged balancing exercises.

You’ll feel it in your feet.

I am sure you will notice a difference in how your feet feel in a week. The benefits of doing poses like this vs. normal exercises such as curling a towel with your toes is that it’s more engaging for your body and mind.

You’ll use your whole lower leg, improve your balance and focus at the same time. If you just do towel exercises, well I think they are boring and they are kind of isolated – at least the ones I’ve seen.

Try.

My feet feel stronger from doing this and I noticed I can stand still and type on my computer for longer periods of time.

My feet feel more like they are gripping the floor vs. being flattened out.

That video above I made near a park (Momochi seaside park) near my home in Fukuoka. It was a bit rainy and windy that day. They have some big stones that you can sit or lie on and that was what I was standing on.

Occasionally I will go and do yoga there. It’s nice the ocean meets the river there.

5-10 minutes?

What if my feet get tired? They will. Then just switch sides. I focus more on my right side since that is the weaker side.

How can you balance?

Focus on a point in front of you. This is harder outside since there is more space. But if you are inside just find a point on the wall or something in front of you.

And focus on your breathing.

Last words…

  • Will walking in the beach sand help? Somewhat, not as much as I thought, but if you do it daily… Since I currently live near the beach for the last 30-40 days I would walk maybe a half of a mile in the dry beach sand barefooted. But the yoga exercises above are more efficient.
  • Will toe shoes help? Maybe a little, I’ve had a pair for maybe 4-5 years or so. Back when I was street performing I would wear them all the time or now in the summer sometimes.
  • Will doing toe raises help? Yes. Back in high school I used to do these a lot. I played basketball and wanted to be quick and able to jump. I think these strengthened my feet.
  • Will foam rolling help? Indirectly it could as the surrounding muscles may have an effect on your flat feet. I have been rolling on my tight IT bands, calves and glutes because I saw a few videos on Youtube that suggested tight muscles there and in your calves could cause you to be duck footed.
  • Will doing box jumps help? Yes. Box jumps are a good full lower body exercise. They will work your feet up to your glutes. I noticed my feet felt stronger when I was doing these.
  • Will doing squats help? No. Squats are primarily an upper leg and glute exercise. They don’t work your feet. Box jumps are a much better full lower body exercise that will work your feet+.
  • Will jumping rope help? Yes. Although it tends to other one of my knees.

Here’s a little more yoga that I did on the beach.

My 21 day caffeine fast

So I recently completed 21 days with no caffeine. That’s no green tea or cacao for me. It was hard in the beginning. But I realized just how powerful these things are.

You just don’t realize.

Until you stop. Then you’ll see. The 2nd day was the most difficult for me and then it got progressively easier.

But now I have since been drinking tea over the last 3 days, but each day I am drinking less as I see how it is affecting my sleep.

You sleep better without caffeine.

The first day back on caffeine I noticed the effects. Adrenaline. More stress from cortisol. Faster, stimulated, a little more flighty and scattered and more positive feeling.

I also thought I looked better.

It’s a mixed bag.

But once you’re in the habit you don’t notice. It’s the usual and then you might start drinking more and more.

I love green tea.

Before the fast I was drinking a lot of green tea – like for half of the day. I noticed my sleep seemed deeper not on caffeine. I slept better about 90% of the time.

The internet would still eff with my sleep if I use it too late. That’s my next fast.

Previously I’ve done 1, 2, 3, 4, and a 5 day fast.

    1. Day 1 I felt a little less energy and a bit more moody.
    2. Day 2 I felt a lot less energy, very foggy and hungry.
    3. Day 3 and beyond was better.

The good they say (of no caffeine)…

  • Better sleep
  • More grounded
  • Less scattered
  • Less stress
  • Less anxiety

I agree with pretty much all of these now. Anxiety I don’t think I get much, but I can see how other people may be affected.

The bad (of no caffeine)

  • lethargy
  • depression
  • headaches
  • complexion?
  • dullness

I didn’t get any headaches this time although I have in the past when I went off caffeine. But I definitely felt lethargy and definitely in the first few days.

I found myself more grounded feeling but I bit more depressed feeling actually. On the other hand I felt a little more dull. Towards the end of my 21 days I was asking myself if I was starting to feel more positive. Not sure.

I also noticed my complexion didn’t seem to look as good without caffeine. Actually green tea contains more than caffeine, but also theanine, theobromine, catechins and other stuff.

I also didn’t eat cacao which I don’t everyday because I’ve noticed that is definitely addicting and stimulating.

I think the effects of fasting from green tea and cacao is subtle. I think you will notice how it affects you if you go off of it for a long time and then go back on it.

Initially I was only going to do this for 7 days, but it turned into 21. I think I will do more cycling in and out of using tea in the future as well as varying the amounts I consume.

The effects of it felt quite noticeable after the 21 days and again interrupted my sleep. It also tends to go hand and hand with using the internet for me.

Makes me a bit more talkative too.

 

 

I didn’t eat for 5 days then someone tries to steal my mushrooms

Before I tell you about my fast I’ll tell about my day at the beach today. So I’ve been disciplined lately about going to the beach to walk barefoot in the sand to strengthen my feet.

I was tired from the previous week of fasting, but it was sunny and I am doing 30 days of this at least despite haven’t slept well for the last 3 days. After I got a few food items from the market I rode out to the beach and complained the whole way about the damn wind blowing in my face.

I guess I start losing it when I get tired… complaining, etc.

Then I get out there try to lie down for a bit and decide to take out my mushrooms I bought so they can get some vitamin D too (you know they absorb D like we do? Paul Stamets told me so).

And they stank like these kinds sometimes do when they are wrapped tight in plastic. Hate that smell! So I continued complaining to myself, lied down in the sand for a moment until a big gust of wind blew a bunch of sand in my face.

Then I got up, and I dropped my stinky mushrooms in the sand, picked them up and continued down to one end of the beach. After I got to one end I turned around to go get my bike to head back home.

Then WTF…

As I was walking back all of a sudden something big hits me from behind and my arm.

It was fucking hawk!

It wanted my mushrooms!

I couldn’t believe it. This is a big bird. It’s like twice the size of a crow maybe more.

That’s what I get for complaining!

After he hit me he kept circling above and watching me. I thought he was going to come back. He must of smelled those mushrooms.

I looked it up and maybe it’s called a black kite or honey buzzard and looks kinda like this.

And you know what? I should have just given them to him because they smelled so bad that I threw them out later!

So that’s nature it’s natural state is starvation.

Ours too, but…

It’s supermarkets and comfort foods nowadays. Yet, when you start going back 100 years, 200 years ago, etc. your ancestors were starving at times just like that bird was.

In reality we are all scavengers, just times changed for many of us.

Wow, I got bum rushed by a big ass hawk.

5 days no food.

Previously the longest I ever fasted was about 4 days a couple of months ago. But Sunday I finished 5 days without a bite of anything to eat. I did all right, I just drank tea and lied down when I felt tired.

The last time I did the 4 days I was going for 5 days, but started feeling sick and quit and then made a soup, but was fine.

I will probably post a video about my 5 days in the future, but I did alright then Sunday night I ate things seemed okay but didn’t sleep well again.

Then last night I don’t know… But I got really sick like thinking I was dying sick. I threw up my dinner which was pineapple, grano padano cheese, spinach and fried eggs.

All things I ate the night before without a problem.

So I don’t know why.

That cheese though I think didn’t taste right to me. It was a different kind than I bought last time.

Saturday night the last night of my fast I slept like 4 hours (that time partially my fault for listening to a podcast late at night), then like 5 hours on Sunday and then like 4 last night after like 2 hours of nausea and then finally throwing up.

I don’t know if it was bad food that I ate and a combination of fasting changing my gut or making it more sensitive or the dairy?

Yet earlier in the day I made a curry dish with raw milk, cauliflower, cashews, mushrooms. etc and I was okay.

Plus aged cheese contains almost no lactose so maybe it was bad cheese or you know the pineapple the second time wasn’t so fresh tasting it kind of had that smell like the mushrooms did a little – like it was aging

I don’t know what’s going on though it seems like the food I am buying recently is going bad fast. Maybe I will stop going to the cheap store.

Even this morning my stomach was a little sensitive. On my second cup of tea I started to feel a little nausea so I just went back to water. Since I’ve had a few meals now and seem to be okay.

5 days.

I did it. Hoping for a good night of sleep tonight.

Going to bed hungry is tough. However, days 2 and 3 of this fast were fine for me and I slept well. It was that last night listening to that podcast that disrupted my sleep.

That’s what you get for staying up later on the computer or even listing to a podcast in the bath. You stimulate your brain when your body wants to sleep. My fault.

Perhaps this is part of the reset button of the fast. Let’s see how I feel in a few days.

Despite being difficult there are a lot of benefits to fasting. And more so to prolonged fasts like 5 days or more:

  1. Decreased inflammation
  2. Increased autophagy (which decreases as you age)
  3. Increased stem cells
  4. Increased growth hormone
  5. Increased vascular growth factor
  6. Increased fibroblast growth factor

I have injuries to heal (the above reasons) that’s why I did it.

But people fast for different reasons. Lots of science out there.

  1. Weight loss
  2. Neurogenesis – reduce alzheimers risk and improve brain function
  3. You’ll live longer and healthier if you do it and it’s the same with other living forms: yeast and mice

Valter Longo has a 5 day fasting mimicking FMD diet that’s steeped in science. His stuff is pretty interesting. I might try that in the future or some sort of longer term calorie restriction.

Some of his studies were with cancer patients doing the FMD diet 5 days a month. That would be easier than no food of course.

I think it’s good to cycle in and out of fasting.

It’s like regeneration and renewal.

So I am experimenting. I have done 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 day fasts and alternate day fasts, but really I think if you want results, well it depends on what results you want you have to make it a part of your life.

I had a super awesome day. This is what I did.

I got up did some yoga as usual. Turned on my turntables. Did a little scratching. Drank some water.

Then around 11am I rode my bike to the beach (Momochi beach). I did a walk down the beach as I thought it would be good for my feet and a good workout.

Then started my little workout with some leg ups and abdominal exercises then I hopped back on my bike and found a spot with some stones and started the leg part of my work out.

I did some lateral split squats, one legged balancing and box jumps or rather today I jumped up on these rocks. Then I peddled down a little further to the playground and did a bunch of pull ups.

Yes!

Work out was done and it was super sunny.

Next I got some food and went home to cook.

This meal was inspired by…

NT-020.

It’s a supplement said to help proliferate stem cells and help neurogenesis in aged rats. Not an aged rat, but the study sounded convincing to me.

It includes blueberries, green tea, vitamin d3 and carnosine.

So I made a stirfry with mushrooms (D3), eggs (D3), chicken (carnosine), and cilantro.

Then I had some ground peanuts, cocoa, ground spirulina, a little stevia and blueberries.

And MATCHA!

That’s green tea.

It was fantastic.

Got some new ideas for my website and started on those and then more ideas on how to make a mask (not for the stupid coronavirus, but for fun) which I am going to start now!

Awesome, it was a great day.

I wonder why?

  • Was it the music and scratching?
  • Was it the beach and getting grounded by walking barefoot?
  • Was it the workout?
  • Was it the NT-020 inspired meal?
  • Was it the cocoa?
  • Was it the new idea?
  • Was it all the above?

I don’t know, but I am going to try something similar tomorrow (maybe without the cocoa^^).

Fix your flat feet to improve your knees, posture, etc.

I went walking today at low tide on the sand and after I looked at my foot steps. They were rather duck footed (more than I remembered).

So I googled:

how to fix duck feet

The guy said they can be caused by flat feet or tight hips/glutes. One of my feet is flatter than the other and I’ve noticed lately over the last few years that my hips and pelvis area has become more creaky, tight or sore especially when I roll on them.

This is the first video I watched on DUCK FEET:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CwSuEfzZOk

Then I saw another video and one guy said flat feet can cause KNEE injuries, other problems and possibly KYPHOSIS.

How to fix FLAT FEET (if you have flat feet you probably want to watch it!)

Been rollin on my feet with my tennis ball in a sock and aluminum water bottle (works good for massage).

I realized…

My feet are a neglected part in my workout especially considering it’s a weakness. I’ve had quite a few knee injuries.

I need to work on them more.

Ian’s upgrading his workout!

Need to level up my feet.

For a long time I’ve done squats for my leg workout, but they don’t do much for your feet. Lately I’ve been doing box jumps where I’ll jump up on a bench or some platform 1-2 feet tall and then step down. Then do that 40-50 times.

It’s pretty good.

It will work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and maybe feet a little. I like them better than squats as squats hurt one of my knees (not the more recently injured one though).

It hurts the one that also has a tight sore hip.

So got to fix that hip and THOSE FEET.

MASSAGE.

And as I am writing this I am standing on my tennis ball.

It’s really good for foot massage actually. If you put it in a sock it won’t roll away.

It’s kind of interesting how your feet (foundation) can affect your whole body. I used to wear orthotics as a kid, but those don’t work.

I need to strengthen my foot.

Also the flatter foot my right one is more difficult to balance on like mentioned in the video.

Back in high school basketball I used to do a lot of toe raises. And probably had stronger feet then.

Considering this fact that the foot is the most distal part of the lower extremity and acts as a support point through which the body maintains its balance, even minimal biomechanical changes at the support level can affect postural control strategies. If a change occurs in foot alignment, the pelvis changes its position in order to maintain the body’s center of gravity.

Flat feet/kyphosis study:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4825482/

My alternate day fast to 4 day fast experience (279 hours over 2 weeks)

In the last few weeks I have done quite a bit of fasting. Feb. 22 I started some alternate day fasting then most recently completed a 4 day fast.

Fasting starting from February 22 – March 6th, 2020.

  1. 66 hours then 2 days of eating
  2. 41 hours then 1 day of eating
  3. 39 hours then 1 day of eating
  4. 36 hours then 1 day of eating then…
  5. 97 hours (4 days of no food)

279 hours over 2 weeks

Why did I do this?

To help heal injuries namely my knee and shoulder. I tore my knee close to 10-11 weeks ago and the shoulder was probably from November when I did that last judo competition.

I received some damage in that one in my shoulder and eye.

I think my knee is getting better, but shoulder is really sluggish.

I often eat within an 8 hour window. And the longest fast I’ve done prior to this was 3 days (83 hours) in San Fran.

Anyways WHY FAST?

People fast for different reasons like to:

  • lower inflammation
  • improve metabolism
  • promote cell turnover
  • decrease your risk of cancer
  • improve your immune system
  • increase your life span (if done regularly)
  • lose weight (but it will come back if you don’t change your eating habits)
  • improve cognitive function (decreases chances of or symptoms of Alzheimers)

But I did this mainly to help heal injuries.

Because…

  1. It increases stem cells (24, 48, 72 hour+ fasts have all proven to increase stem cell regeneration in different systems in the body).
  2. It increases growth hormone (1 day, 5 days or more will send your daily GH levels up higher than if you were eating, but lowers IGF-1.)

And some other things…

More details on those are coming in my new course that I think will be named Healiscus.

Anyways…

After that 66 hour fast I felt some improvement in my knee.

In the past since 2015 I’ve done a handful of fasts around 66-81 hours, one day a week fasts, and for the last year+ eating usually within a 4-8 hour window.

The 4 day fast (97 hours)

This is the longest fast I have done so far, previously it was 83 hours.

So I had been doing an alternate day fast (which probably made it a little more difficult to do) and kept reading about the benefits of a 5 day fast or fasting mimicking diet. I was going for 5 days, but didn’t make it as you’ll see below.

I didn’t eat on Sunday and then I ate on Monday and stopped around 9pm. I was planning on just the alt day fast but, decided to push.

A little further…

Day 1

Rode my bike down the river towards the south of Sawara-ku and then up the mountain to Bozu waterfall (13km). Felt ok.

Never realized it was that far, but it’s mostly a nice ride if you go down Muromi river as there is a bike path along the river.

The last part of it was up hill so with one speed bike I was walking. I almost turned around several times, but kept saying let’s go a little further.

Needed a dose of nature.

Saw a quirky house and a cool little bamboo forest.

Most of the mountains in Fukuoka are covered in Cedar trees that look like they were planted.

Saw signs of Kanayama, Mt. which was 6km and another for Bozu falls which was 1 km so I went that way.

Here’s a picture.

Here’s another…

But I think cause I had been doing this alternate day fasting I was feeling a little hungrier and lower energy than I normally would on a 24 hour fast.

I didn’t eat but I drank green tea.

Day 2

Today was low energy. All day I have felt low energy. Noises were loud and people annoying.

I didn’t drink green tea which also might have had an effect. I didn’t get a headache though which is a typically caffeine withdrawal side effect.

I went for a few walks down the river and out once looking for lactase and then a little hike to a temple on a hill which is nearby and less than 1/2 mile or so.

Lied down a bunch.

Felt dizzy and wobbly at times.

Day 3

Now it’s like 62 hours into a fast. Been up for an hour, feel o.k. It’s sunny. I’ll probably go out for a walk and do some yoga first.

Yoga was somewhat more difficult than usual. Thinking about the foods I want to eat. Thinking of walking to the store to get some green tea.

Then drinking it maybe decaffeinating it. If you let the tea soak a bit (some say for a minute) then dump it out and then infuse it again it will have less caffeine. The first infusion has the most caffeine.

Some say caffeine may interfere with some of the effects of fasting and others don’t. Some studies say green tea promotes autophagy, yet I don’t know about the stem cells and growth hormone.

Although a quick Google search shows autophagy helps stem cells.

And that’s what I am after. Yesterday was no green tea. Today we’ll see.

So we got some tea, and I decaf’d it pouring off maybe 70% of the caffeine so they say. I feel slightly more crisp or sharp.

I feel better.

So I learned that if you fast and you normally drink tea or coffee then if you want to do a water fast then the best thing to do would be to cut out your caffeine intake a few days before you food fast otherwise you are going to have 2 shocks to your system.

Or just drink it.

The other thing I have been doing the last 2 days is a lot of massage with my aluminum bottle (kinda like a foam roller) and tennis ball.

These are very neglected.

Things I should be doing way more often. I realized all the effin’ pain I have locked up in my legs. Muscular tightness, pain and imbalances.

After a few sessions I feel like I am walking different.

I feel like I got some things done today. I wrote quite a bit. I’ve been working on a new ebook. And I updated some other stuff on ESLinsider.

The feeling I’ve had is somewhat of an aversion towards people noises etc. Kinda like how I usually feel, LOL, but a little more extreme.

Kinda like when you are sick or I was also reminded of psilocybin mushrooms – how I felt averse to people, but without the paranoia.

Now it’s 10:47pm and I feel o.k. Not struggling or feeling very weak. Going to get off line here soon and sit in my little DIY sauna I made with a small electric heater and the built in heater in my room and a tarp.

Yes, it’s kinda ghetto.

But works o.k. not quite hot enough actually a third heater would be better. See you tomorrow.

Oh I forgot to say I noticed I have a bit of acne which is surprising as I haven’t eaten in 73 hours. Some suggest it might be the hormones in fat since I am now running on fat.

Glycogen gets burned off most say in around 24 hours.

Day 4

Today started at 3:00am. I woke up at 3am and couldn’t go back to sleep. It was very cold. So I browsed the internet a bit and tried to go back to sleep, but didn’t work.

Was it the caffeine from yesterday?

Maybe partly. So I decided to go for a walk. And I hiked up Atago temple and a took a picture about 10 minutes before sunrise.

A few minutes before sunrise

Going to write a bit, drink tea and then probably take a nap.

I tried and we dozed for about 10 minutes and then that was that. Did a little yoga, a sweat, a little work, and some massage.

My DIY massage tools… they work pretty good. That’s a tennis ball in a sock.

Also got some buckwheat tea. It’s quite nice. It tastes a little like genmaicha with that roasted rice flavor, but there is no green tea in it. I like it.

Flavor.

MMM…

And no caffeine.

That’s good.

Because I need some sleep.

Felt very annoyed with people today when I went to the store. I wonder is it some sort of intuition or is it just hunger? I saw some guy say on Reddit that he felt more intuitive while fasting.

Hmm, I wondered, but was skeptical.

I feel definitely more irritable. I have no desire to talk to people or be near them. It’s 3:31 and it’s been about 91 hours. This is the farthest I have been.

Still shooting for tomorrow night 9pm. That will be 5 days.

And then we eat.

Food sounds orgasmic. Yet, I am kinda o.k. now. Stomach is fine.

It’s 9pm and I took a nap for a few hours. Less than 24 hours to go. 96 hours completed. Feeling kinda ill.

Day 5

I was intending on fasting today, but last night I started to feel very sick. I tried meditating and couldn’t really do it. I couldn’t maintain my focus.

I felt nauseous and I couldn’t sleep. I noticed whenever I have a bad night of sleep during a fast it makes it much more likely that I will break that fast the next day.

Could have been caffeine in the tea from the day before because I drank some later in the day even though I ‘decaffed’ it.

So at about 10pm (97 hours) I was craving salt and I took a handful of spirulina and then I made a soup with: nori, wakame, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, fresh parsley, salt, pepper, MCT oil and olive oil.

It was very delicious.

But I had to take it slow as I was afraid of throwing it up.

Fortunately I didn’t. And then a little while later, I made a stir fry with chicken, eggs, some of those same vegetables and nori.

It was great.

Then some milk, blueberries, and ground peanuts.

Bit by bit I started feeling better.

I slept o.k.

Woke up a few times once at 3am and had a little milk and berries.

And this morning I went and got some good grano padano cheese. I got a craving for it last night.

I felt a little weak riding my bike and I had to go a few miles down a noisy busy road to get it. The local places don’t have good cheese like that.

In Japan and everywhere else I have lived in Asia you’ve got limited options for good cheese.

And then for breakfast I had:

  • Grano padano
  • Matcha
  • Blueberries and walnuts in milk
  • A grapefruit (tis the season here for white grapefruit, mmm)
  • Ground peanuts
  • Cacao and stevia

Yum, looking forward to more food today. Fasting gives you an amazing appreciation for food. It’s like that saying…

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Another benefit of fasting

This is purely subjective. People do fast for spiritual reasons, but I think an extended fast can give you some insight on your problems.

I did a Google search for:

spiritual benefits of fasting

Then I got a whole page of results with titles “god” this and “god” that. So to get rid of results that you don’t want to see you put a “-” in front of the word like “-god”.

So I did.

And then got a bunch of “allah” listings, so I put a “-allah”. Searched again and that got rid of the “allah” results.

Like this:

I guess to some people spirituality is synonymous with “religion” although most of those people (with a fixed mentality) would never call it “religion”.

Anyways one thing I realized is that for a prolonged fast it would be best to be somewhere tranquil. Kind of similar for psilocybin.

Not the kind of thing you want to do in a busy place. I don’t think so.

I found people and noises to be annoying.

I found myself crossing the street to avoid people.

Lately I really enjoy watching the ducks. There are lots of different kinds of sea birds in Fukuoka that are nearby and that I see everyday.

But I have a new appreciation for ducks.

And in Fukuoka there seems to be different kinds of ducks.

Ducks can fly, swim, go under water, walk a bit and they’re cute especially when they stick their heads under water and their butts up in the air^^.

And I wondered about the ducks life as I watch them float out on the sea. What are they tuned into?

And speaking of search results…

I found this to be funny.

If you start doing a lot of research into fasting then you are likely to find Valter Longo who is well known for his research on fasting and cancer and his 5 day ‘fasting mimicking’ diet (calorie restriction).

So I did a search with his name and at the bottom of the page looked at the search results which I found to be funny.

Searches related to are search queries that are based on what people are searching for. And I thought the “valter longo wife” and “valter longo married” were funny.

Why were people searching for that?

HAHAHA.

Ian’s over and out.

Feeling better.

Shoulder, legs and knee. The combination of massage and fasting have me feeling rejuvenated.

My experience with BPC 157 to heal injuries (especially my knee)

I first heard about BPC 157 in this thread I started about my torn meniscus and what to do. Someone there mentioned it then and it didn’t sink in.

At first…

But I kept on looking into surgical options, PRP, stem cells, etc. and kept running into BPC 157 and other peptides. So I decided to give them a whirl as they sounded pretty good.

I ordered BPC from an Alibaba shop.

Then I got it about Jan 24th and did my first injection.

Yeah, so needles are weird.

I never thought I’d be injecting my self with anything. But when you’ve got pain and you know that it will help then you do what you got to do.

So I injected it everyday about 3 times a day for 2 weeks. A day anywhere from about 700-1000mcg.

I mostly injected it in my knee (knee capsule), around my knee (sub cutaneous) , and then my shoulder and a few times in my belly felt.

But you don’t want to inject the same spot many times. And BPC has a short half-life that’s why you have to inject it more often.

I even combined it with blood on a couple of occasions.

Recently I have taken it orally by squirting it on my gums that are receding. And wonder if that has had a different effect.

If you take it orally it needs to be twice the amount and a bit more according to Jean Francois Tremblay.

Did I have side effects?

Not really. The first time I injected it I got a bit of anxiety or fear after, but I think that was psychological.

After that not.

I got a little burning sometimes immediately following the injection.

For 2 weeks I felt fine and then the last 2 days or so after injections I felt some pain and inflammation where I injected so I stopped and took it orally.

Could have been because the needle was dull. I reused the same needles after cleaning them. I would typically use one needle a day, but those last days I might have used one needle in 2 days.

I would either boil them to disinfect or wipe with an alcohol wipe that contained ethanol, paraben and benzlkonium chloride.

But IDK something caused irritation in the last two days.

Of course best practice is to use a new needle every time.

Also could have been the bacteriostatic water went bad or something and caused irritation.

I made my own.

Which is normally .9% benzl alcohol and water, but I couldn’t find benzl so I got ethanol and used about 1%.

Like I said I was fine for 2 weeks.

I think a dull needle was part of the problem especially in the one location that caused the most pain – the skin over my patella tendon.

But I always used a ‘new’ needle when I would inject in the joint space.

Anyways those were my minor side effects.

Dosage?

What’s the right amount?

IDK. If you look online you will see 250-1000mg a day suggested or common is 250mg 2-3 times a day.

But one of the more popular studies that you will see is the one about rats that had their ligaments sliced up and then repaired with BPC.

After MCL transection BPC 157 was effective in rats when given once daily intraperitoneally (10 microg or 10 ng/kg) or locally as a thin layer (1.0 microg dissolved in distilled water/g commercial neutral cream) at the site of injury, first application 30 min after surgery and the final application 24 h before sacrifice.
Source

Another site said:

“Rats and mice ingesting BPC 157 in their drinking water, the typical dosage ranged between 10 nanograms to 10 mcg (micrograms) per kg.”

Which kind of looks like the quote above, but in the study above they were injecting or applying with a cream.

Jean Tremblay said that if you take it orally you need 2 times the amount and a little more.

So I am about 155 or 71kg or so normally.

So I guess the dose would be around 700mcg a day.

So how has it helped?

My knee feels a bit more stable and stronger than it did before. I had pain for a good 6-7 weeks especially standing still and after about 3 pm.

Walking was o.k. for a while early in the day but then later in the day would start hurting more.

And I had to move more cautiously.

Now I feel it is more stable and stronger at about 9 weeks post injury.

But it still has a way to go and I will be trying some other peptides and continue using this until finished.

I haven’t noticed it helping my shoulder much although I injected it there less often. Jean Tremblay says it doesn’t actually matter much usually where you inject it because the peptide will find it’s way to the injury.

He says it’s systemic.

Although if it’s in a place like your knee: meniscus, acl, pcl, etc. then it’s going to travel around your blood stream before it makes it’s way into the joint and the knee is a capsule so really if you have an injury there you should inject into the joint space.

Of course you ‘shouldn’t’ do it yourself they say. You ‘should’ get a professional.

But I knew I had to do that to get the best results so I did.

In the course I created I share more details on how I did that amongst other things to heal your knee.

I think TB500 which I ordered would be a bit better for that one perhaps or used in conjunction with because it has a longer half life.

I heard maybe 7-10 days vs. BPC’s 4-6 hours.

I don’t want to inject everyday into my knee capsule because the space is small and it’s not good to keep injecting into the same area.

Other people suggest injecting it locally near the injury.

So I’ve also done 2 blood injections of about 2-4ml into my knees. One time my left and right and 2 times into my right and one time with BPC.

Oh, there was another time I tried blood, but it coagulated in the syringe and wouldn’t come out. I did managed eventually to squeeze out most in the sink and it had a little residue left and then I added BPC to that and injected that.

One time my left knee was hurting in the morning when I woke up more than my injured right knee.

In the past my left knee was the worst of the 2 (old MCL injury+patella tracking issues), but has been compensating for the right as I have been limping around.

So I injected both knees inside the joint and I felt a little burning feeling for about 30 minutes in my left knee and then the pain was gone.

And actually since then that knee has also bothered me less.

One of the times I did DIY blood injections was also about 1ml of blood and bpc in that knee.

Anyways…

I think the BPC does have some anti-inflammatory response like is said.

Most other times I noticed no immediate relief and the process of pain reduction and improvement has been slow.

One thing I noticed is that since I’ve taken it orally (last 4 days or so) yesterday I drank ‘raw milk’ and this time it did not cause any sort of tummy rumble like it often did in the past.

Can’t say for sure if it was the BPC. But it is supposedly good for your gut.

I’ll try it again and see if I get the rumble.

I will continue to use it until gone and then update this.

The placebo effect

I’ve wondered about the quality of the BPC I got because I got it from China (Alibaba) from a vendor that a few people recommended on Reddit.

They say 95-99% of the peptides out there come from China. Even most of the sites that sell them in the US or UK are still selling peptides from China.

They buy them in bulk and then raise the price a lot.

So if you are savvy financially you might just buy them from China.

But…

Then if you start researching you may hear that they may be fake or under dosed or have bacteria or ____.

There is probably some truth to that but I think there is a lot of fear mongering out there and a lot of the people saying those things have self interests.

Also the the bacteria one was an isolated case as far as I know.

So it’s like bad news and fear.

You fear the water and sharks more than you do driving your car, but in reality driving your car is way more dangerous.

If you want to get USA made peptides or Canadian made peptides you could try Tailor made compounds or Canlabs.

But you are going to pay 5-10X the price.

The placebo effect I think can go both ways.

You start to think ok these peptides are from China and they don’t work or the fragment is broken or it’s under dosed or maybe there is bacteria in it.

So it becomes true.

Or what the anti-doping organization in Australia made some claim that 80% of peptides are fake or under dosed.

Maybe, but I don’t really trust that bit of news because it’s in their self interests to say so.

And possibly the people who keep saying it.

So if you want to get the most out of the placebo effect then you can buy from one of those places that do regular testing in North America.

But is it possible that what you can buy on Alibaba is the exact same thing?

Yep.

All of the vendors on Alibaba try to make it look like they are the factory, but they are not.

I found two companies on there that used the same building with their photoshopped name on it to make it look like it was their factory.

Those sellers there are definitely not transparent as to who they are. A good business would be to be a seller there who is.

Make a video about who you are and what you do, but they don’t.

From what I’ve learned from Jean Francois Tremblay is that there aren’t that many factories in China that make peptides, but the vendors on Alibaba all probably buy their peptides from the same few factories and then resell them.

And there are rules and regulations in China.

It’s the middle men you got to watch out for.

There is a lot of fear out there (sinophobia) about China too.

Sometimes if you feel that you got fake peptides it’s possible that it’s from a bad batch. Like the peptide fragment chain broke and wasn’t that they were trying to make a fake peptide.

It’s that they are big factories selling lots of peptides to resellers and they probably don’t test every batch.

So you may be getting inert amino acids.

Could there be factories out there making and selling fake peptides?

IDK. Maybe little ones, but you know they won’t be in business long. And the cost of setting up a factory just to make fake look alike peptides is too high I would think.

I also recently ordered from Canlabs a couple peptides and will see how they go and I will probably get a better placebo effect too since I know more about who made them.

But they were way more expensive.

Related:

My DIY PRP Knee Injury Experiment #1, 2, 3, and 4

This is a blog post about injecting my blood into my knee because I tore my meniscus and didn’t really want to do surgery and a $1000 for PRP seemed ridiculous.

And my knee hurt.

I did a lot of research about surgery, PRP, stem cells, etc.

Then I decided to take matters into my own hands…

Whoa…

Of course it’s not something you ‘should’ do. You ‘should’ always have a ‘professional’ do it.

But sometimes you do what you got to do.

This started with a desire to do PRP, but the cost was too much and it was a little difficult the first few times that you can see below.

I failed twice and stabbed myself countless times.

But basically I ended up doing autologous blood injection (ABI) which is a whole blood injection vs. PRP which is when they separate the red blood cells and just use the plasma and platelets.

Actually autologous just means your own and PRP is that too, but not usually referred to as.

This goes from most recent to lesser so.

Update Feb 26th, 2020

I did a fast for 66 hours and towards the end of the fast I withdrew almost 3ml of blood. This time I didn’t inject it into my knee but I mixed it with peptides and injected it around the knee in three locations: sub q lateral side, medial side near MCL and intramuscular near where the hamstring attaches to the bone.

Why?

They say if you injure your knee it’s not only the specific area that is affected and sometimes you have to treat the whole knee.

So it’s likely the MCL was also injured when that careless guy tried his flying judo move and collapsed my knee inward.

Anyways…

Since in the past I had a problem with coagulation and I used sodium citrate which is basically baking soda and citric acid about 3-4% to the blood and that stopped coagulating.

A few days prior I had made centrifuge out of a fan, but the blood coagulated in the tube and then it would be best to put the blood in a separate container.

As opposed to leaving it in the syringe because if you do (even if it is capped) some will likely come out when you spin it.

Update Feb 9th, 2020

So it’s been a few weeks… maybe 3. So since the last time I’ve tried 3 more times.

The 2nd time did not work because I could not get blood and got tired of pricking myself.

The 3rd time (a few weeks ago) I did get blood, but then it coagulated in the syringe and wouldn’t come out. I lost 96%, but there was still a little blood residue in the syringe and I added BPC 157 to it and then injected that.

The 4th time (about 4 days ago) I did get blood easy compared to the 1st time (below). It took one prick and before I did I added a little BPC to the syringe and then withdrew about 4.ml.

So I learned I have to work fast or the blood will coagulate. They use something called sodium citrate??? I think for PRP to stop the blood from coagulating.

I was going to centrifuge my blood this time, because I know it will work, but my down transformer broke a few days before so I could not use the dremel tool.

Oh well, I will use the whole blood and BPC.

And this time my plan was to do my right knee, left a bit and shoulder.

Success 🙂

I learned some tricks to make withdrawing blood easier by opening the syringe a little so it has a little suction to begin.

As the 1st time I had pain for about 3 days post injection, but it’s less. I injected mostly into my right knee about 2.5ml and about 1ml in my left and 1ml in my shoulder.

In my shoulder I did intramuscular injection and that actually felt good^^. IDK I hit the right spot.

Recently I have been doing those in my shoulder with BPC.

Learn more about my experience with BPC 157 (blog post coming soon).

Probably the best knee injection video I found:

Update a few days later (January 20th, ’20)…

I felt a bit increase in pain in the days to follow, but gradually decreasing as it’s 3 days later.

I have done a little bit of research regarding injecting whole blood vs. PRP. And it seems some people say that red blood cells have more inflammatory markers in it.

Which may not be what you want, but…

My limited research shows that there are cytokines (which can be positive or negative), and maybe hormones in red blood cells too that could help.

So it seems to depend on what your goal is.

If you have arthritis then maybe the PRP would be better to reduce inflammation, but if you have an acute injury like I do then I don’t think it will hurt to inject whole blood.

Actually it might hurt more initially in the few days prior. As I am updating this as we speak and I felt more pain after the injection. Now it’s 3 days later and the increased pain has gone down some.

I think more tests have been done around PRP than whole blood.

I could not find much information on whole blood injections and how they compare to PRP.

I do think that it might be better to take your blood in a fasted state. Eating does cause inflammation (no matter what you eat) and those markers may be in your blood when you draw it.

Some studies show that fasting for 24 hours or longer will increase stem cells in the body. Some said 24 hours and others 2-3 days.

And if that means they are floating around in your blood or if they are released after eating or before or where they are exactly I don’t know.

Some questions I had were:

  • Where is testosterone in your blood? (red cells or white cells)
  • Where is IGF-1 in your blood? (red or white cells)

I think those would help to heal an injury. It sounds like platelets are good, but are they the only good thing in blood that could help an injury?

Are ‘whole blood injections’ cause for concern?

I am not sure what I have read or completely understood some studies, so do correct me if I am wrong but I think I found a few studies suggesting whole blood injections into the knee could adversely affect it and cause articular cartilage damage.

Maybe many whole blood injections could be bad.

Not sure on this. I emailed one of the doctors on Researchgate I found to try to clarify what I read.

If I understand correctly this study with dogs suggests whole blood injections are bad. Although they used both “homologous” and autologous blood.

And it’s related to hemophilia.

This one suggests that if IL-4 or IL-10 is added no adverse affects are found.

Wonder if PRP would be included?

I found another page by the Stone clinic about blood in the joint.

Said that there are good things and bad things to blood in the joint.

Red blood cells bring oxygen to the area to help heal and repair, but said repeated exposure is “toxic” to articular cartilage.

He said that white blood cells are inflammatory, but consume bacteria and injured tissues.

And he said platelets are the ones that contain growth factors that stimulate healing.

In regards to the needle size

I did further research as maybe I was thinking the needle wasn’t long enough, but I found an interesting post saying that for thin individuals 1 inch is fine and for obese people 1.5 is better.

I used a 1 inch needle.

Now I feel more confident that the blood was injected into the knee since pain increased in the days following and I may have had some sort of leakage from the puncture to the knee capsule that leaked to the outside membranes, but not externally.

OG post… mid January 2020

In a previous post I mentioned I had a torn meniscus. Being the moron that I am I decided I wanted to give DIY prp (platelet rich plasma) a go.

I was super happy yesterday that my needles arrived. I wasn’t sure that they would since Japan is so strict and you can’t buy them here. I was actually so excited last night that I hardly slept.

Then today we got the rest of the tools we needed: some rubbing alcohol and alcohol wipes and then I went home to begin.

And I learned…

Withdrawing blood is hard.

Way harder than I thought.

I had very little luck. I went first for the veins they usually go for and once got a little with a syringe and doing it myself was very difficult with one hand and I was moving too much.

Really stupid.

You need this thing called a butterfly needle adapter thingy.

So then I did a little more googling and saw that I could stick myself in the foot since that would be easier since I could use 2 hands.

But it wasn’t.

I probably stuck myself in the foot 20-30 times and then later I tried my hand (you can also do that). But no luck.

It’s easy to get under the skin, but not easy to get in the vein and draw blood. And then doing it to yourself makes it twice as hard.

About 2-3 hours later and probably like 50 or so needle pricks later I finally said, “what the hell”.

I’ll try my left hand and go into my right arm since those veins look big.

And I actually I had some luck.

With my left hand???

It’s really retarded though trying to do this yourself with the tools I had. But I managed to withdraw maybe 3-4ml of blood.

Awesome.

Ohh…

Yeah, it’s really scary at first sticking yourself with a needle, but then after a few times lesser so.

I did some googling before and saw some different make shift centrifuges to separate the platelets from the red blood cells.

I made one with a dremel tool I have and some of that instamorph moldable plastic.

I didn’t actually use it though.

Because I just spent like three hours trying to get blood and ideally I wanted to get two syringes full and actually inject both knees.

But I didn’t want to lose the blood that I had worked so hard to get should something go wrong with my DIY centrifuge and I didn’t really have a lot to begin with.

So next step.

This was way easier.

So I had watched a lot of videos on knee injections and decided to try it sitting.

You can get it done sitting or lying down depending on the doctor.

And some doctors will use an ultrasound too.

Since my injury is in the meniscus there is little blood flow there. So even if I inject pure blood in there it still has platelets and that can help, however it’s not as concentrated as the PRP.

Anyways I did it sitting.

Like the videos I saw I marked off the upper and lower bones and the patella tendon with a pen and then marked a spot with an unclicked pen in the middle roughly.

And of course clean the skin with alcohol before.

Then you want to inject towards the center of the knee so it’s at an angle.

You don’t want to hit the meniscus so you go about an thumbs width above it.

This guy explains knee injections way better than I could.

Took some concentration that’s for sure cause you don’t want to hit the bone, meniscus, or patella tendon.

So you are going in on an angle like roughly 45 degrees or so.

Yeah, so at first I felt a light prick and the needle is 1 inch long and I am going slow and then it breaks the skin, “ouch” and then it goes in a little and then I felt a give (which from what I learned was that was when it entered the knee capsule).

And then I slowly inserted it until all the way inside.

And then I made it all the way in (1 inch) so I try squeezing the blood out and it was kinda resistant and I had to squeeze it pretty hard.

I was a little frightened that I might suddenly move. Like when the doctor used to test your reflexes by tapping on your knee??

And be in a sh** load of pain.

But o.k we gradually fully injected the blood into the knee. And now we are slowly taking it out.

Yay.

I did it.

It’s been about an hour and it feels a little sore and funny since there is more fluid in the knee.

At first there was a little swelling out side the knee so I thought maybe it didn’t go into the knee capsule.

I got a 1 inch needle and some said that was fine and one even said 13mm which I think is 3/4 of an inch, but most others said 1.5 inches. Next time I would get the 1.5.

So if it didn’t go into the knee capsule then that’s not good.

But I remember the “give” like they said. So I am hoping that it did. Anyways…

They say some pain after a shot is normal and I feel it so…

I am going to take it easy. And then in a week if I am still alive;-)

I’ll try it again.

With my learned lessons…

And I’m looking forward to BPC 157 (peptides were mentioned in the last post).

Since that is just an injection in the knee vs. trying to withdraw, separating the blood and re-injecting it.

It’s more simple and the results sound pretty good.

Advice

If you are crazy enough to try this… At least get a butterfly needle. That thingy or even better find a friend who is a nurse to withdraw your blood. That’s what I need.

The next steps won’t be nearly as hard.

I think making a centrifuge is not hard.

You can search.

  • DIY centrifuge

It was almost a total failure, but I’d say I may have had some success if that blood when into the joint. The swelling initially on the outside of my knee after the injection made me think otherwise, but that went away.

I feel a little more pressure on the front side of my knee, but more pain inside now than at first which I think is good.

Next time will be a bit better.

Really PRP should be way cheaper. It’s way overpriced and it should be covered by insurance.

So what they do is…

Withdraw your blood, spin it in a machine, dump out the red blood cells, inject the rest of it into your injured area and then charge you $1000 (for one shot).

That’s what they charge here in Japan and in most other places I have seen.

Although in some places you may $500 or maybe even less in some countries.

Related:

How to withdraw blood if you’re an amateur

Trying to heal my meniscus…

And other injuries… so here are some other things I am throwing at it.

  1. The usual intermittent fasting which actually may improve the quality of your blood before PRP. Eating increases inflammation in your blood.
  2. Lots of spirulina
  3. Lots of chlorella (CGF)
  4. Taking collagen (not a fan as it’s animal or fish parts) anyways until…
  5. I got some colostrum
  6. BPC 157 is in the mail
  7. And we’re doing rehab

Lots of isometrics…

And a girlfriend would help… especially if she is a nurse;-).

Lastly, it’s been a long day of sticking and stabbing myself so I am looking forward to eating something now.

Peptides may add 20-30 years to your life & Heal your injuries

Recently I have been studying and learning about peptides. It all started from a injury to my knee in judo/bjj. I tore my meniscus and in a previous post I was talking about my options and one of them I mentioned called BPC 157.

I’ve read a lot about it recently and it sounds really cool and maybe even better than PRP.

It’s orally active although you have to take maybe 2x the amount than if you inject it. Some of the other peptides can only be injected.

Very few side effects from most peptides…

For most of them you can’t overdose.

TB500 and BPC 157…

“The more you take the more it’s going to work” says, Jean Francois Tremblay below…

It accelerates the healing process of many things, but they are not so sure how.

Really good for the gut and…

Tissue…

Apparently they made some mice paraplegic and then gave them BPC and they started to regain some movement.

Amazing.

Although some people say it doesn’t work for them.

I imagine it depends on many factors like: the quality of BPC, where you inject, injury type, etc.

But from what I’ve learned it didn’t work because they didn’t take enough or they may have gotten poorer quality peptides.

Here are some links to BPC 157 and cartilage repair (both rat studies and human experiences)

There was one with rabbits too.

If you have damaged cartilage…

These articles might interest you.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5835815/ (cartilage repair)
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266737101_The_Effect_of_Pentadecapeptide_BPC_157_on_Condylar_Subchondral_Bone_Function_and_Transmandibular_Bone_Defect_in_the_Model_of_Surgically_Induced_Temporomandibular_Joint_Osteoarthrosis_in_the_Rat (THEY MUTILATED THESE POOR RATS AND THEN THE BPC PUT THEM BACK TOGETHER)
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/PEDs/comments/3r1t1s/knee_pain_cured_using_tb500_torn_meniscus/
  4. https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/supplements-articles/how-to-use-bpc-157/
  5. http://112.196.20.91/forum/6480-cartilage-tendon-recovery-combination-tb500-bpc157-ostarine-pal-ghk.html  (“I have stacked BPC157 and TB500 off and on for a long time with great results. Great for tendons and cartilages…”)
  6. https://www.tgbsupplements.com/bpc-157-joint-healing-miracle-drug/

Peptides may add 20-30 years to your life…

I’ve been watching and listening to this guy from Montreal today. Here’s the first video I watched.

Although the add 20-30 years to your life might have been from the podcast…

An interesting podcast:

Peptides and anti-aging and injury

And also in the video below.

The two peptides that might help you live longer:

  1. Epitalon (lengthens your telemeres)
  2. Thymulin

The first one he mentions more…

Epitalon. Astralagus root is also supposed to lengthen telemeres (basically your life span). In SF I would sometimes get that and make a tea.

Sounds like I need to get more or try this stuff.

I thought the recommended dosing for these peptides was kinda interesting…

Epithalon and thymalin 5mg for 20 days (twice in a year) improves a lot of systems in the body including bone density, but he says you got to inject it.

Twice a year for 20 days at a time. He does say there are different protocols, but that is what he does.

Interesting these peptides are unlike a supplement. You can take them for short periods of time and get lasting results.

Cool.

The BPC sounds similar in that you could take daily maybe even 2 times a day from anywhere 2 weeks to a month and expect results.

In the beginning of this video he explains what a peptide is.

And also says that even if you don’t live 20-30 years longer you’ll improve the quality of your life here and now.

He mentions in the video that he had some sort of genetic defect with his heart and had to get some sort open heart surgery and then took the BPC and then was back at work within a week.

Why do all of these peptide sites look the same?

If you start looking at these peptide sites you’ll notice they all look the same. Why is that?

They all have the same 5mg little bottle and the same looking website.

A few reasons…

One is that they may actually be getting them from the same place in China and then slapping a slightly different label on them. According to the videos here 95-99% of peptides are coming from China.

The other reason is that people copy. I see it all the time in the TEFL course industry. Everyone looks the same. Trickle down copycats.

OHH! I almost forgot this interesting fact

He mentioned that many of these peptides are found in the body or in animals bodies such as organs. And that’s why perhaps some people would feel good after eating things like hearts and stuff.

Not into eating organs or flesh (not that hungry), but I’ve been eating a lot of spirulina lately. Spirulina also has some peptides in it too. Not ones I know anything about though.

Apparently there are like 7,000 peptides.

Been eating like 30-50 tablets a day recently. It’s a superfood: amino acids, 60-70% protein, vitamins, EPA, DHA, anti-inflammatory (the pigment), etc.

And chlorella is on the way. Has some cool growth factor in it called CGF.

Related:

  • Healiscus – A research backed in-depth online course on how to heal your knee

Torn Meniscus? Here’s What You Can Do To Heal It. (What I am doing)

Have a torn meniscus? So what can you do? Should you do surgery? Try to let your meniscus heal without surgery?

Before you jump to a conclusion (like I sometimes do) I would keep in mind while doing your research that everyone is biased to some extent and that definitely includes your doctor.

So…

I just tore my meniscus about 2 months ago (for the second time) so I’ve done a lot of research and in this post I’ll share with you some of the things I have learned.

I tore mine in judo/bjj two times or so…

And I hobbled around for a good 6 weeks before I began to see some improvement likely because of some of the things I did below.

Things you can do.

  1. Surgery (partial men. or stitch)
  2. PRP or stem cell injections
  3. Wait for it to heal
  4. Rehab
  5. Peptides and lesser known options (below)

There is risk to doing everything including nothing, but probably less risk if you wait for some time like a month before giving anything a go.

I was close to signing up for a surgery, but…

My bias is that I don’t really trust doctors and I don’t like the uncertainty of knowing what the doctor will do. Or having to put my health in his hands.

Plus…

All the info out there on failed surgeries, second surgeries, etc. has me not convinced, but to be self-deprecating that could be to my detriment too.

And it might also have been that nose surgery I got in Taiwan to correct my deviated septum.

That was frightening.

I remember being tied down to a stretcher totally wrapped up in sheets with my whole face covered except for a small place for my nose and mouth.

I couldn’t see and I couldn’t move.

Then during surgery he dropped a piece of cartilage that he cut out from my nose into my mouth.

After that I had to stay in the hospital for a day or two in an uncomfortable position and then I couldn’t breath through my nose at all for like a month and to top it off I don’t think it improved anything.

So you’ve read about the red and white zones right?

Conventional medicine says that if your tear is in the red zone it can heal (or be repaired) and if it is in the white zone it can’t heal.

Is that completely true?

Before I tell you about that…

Here’s one thing you can do.

1. SURGERY (repair or partial meniscectomy)?

You have 2 basic options for surgery (depending on the surgeon).

Here’s the first.

Shall we ‘trim’ your meniscus?

BZZZZZZZ

There goes your meniscus.

I wouldn’t do a partial meniscectomy.

This is where they remove the torn bit. It can reduce your symptoms very quickly, but…

I read very little good about this. And this is the more likely thing a surgeon will do.

Although some people can quickly return to sport and feel fine (see the Reddit thread link below), but the chance of early onset arthritis years later is high.

I remember one study that said that there was no better outcome between partial meniscectomies and sham surgeries.

If you cut it out (even a little) you alter the biomechanics of the knee. And one source said even cutting out as little as 10% increases risk of OA.

That was a Regennex (kind of PRP) video I think so they may have some self interests to say so, but other studies still said the more you cut out the greater your risk of arthritis.

If you cut it out you’ll have less cartilage where you are supposed to have it.

The other option for surgery…

Shall we try to ‘stitch’ your meniscus back together?

There seems to be a shift towards stitches when possible since the studies show that partial meniscectomy often leads to arthritis.

But it depends on the doctor.

Repair does sound better.

But it’s still not without risk.

Some doctors say that stitches and repair won’t work if the tear is in the white zone (non-vascular part) of the meniscus.

I would avoid these doctors as there are techniques out there…

Others say it can work and there are different techniques to encourage bleeding to help it heal.

And…

I saw one Youtube video (sorry can’t remember which one) of a before and after stitch (1 year later) in the ‘white zone’ that healed.

You could see a scar of the stitch mark in the healed part (scoped).

And this also suggests (to be mentioned below) that the non-vascularized part of the meniscus does have some healing potential.

Which goes against popular opinion.

Yet…

I read that in one study there is still a chance of 25% of failure or second op with repair. I saw two surgeons here in Fukuoka. One said he would go in and try to stitch it, but if the condition was bad cut it out.

I didn’t like that.

But I think a lot of surgeons will say that.

I saw a second one and he seemed against partial men. and pro stitches. But repair is like 5 months out and like 6 weeks on crutches.

And you are still placing a lot of trust in someone.

Both surgeons said PRP was like the 2nd best option but remember they are orthopedic surgeons.

Ask a surgeon what you should do he will probably say, “surgery” because that’s what he does.

There are some surgeons who will use stitches that don’t dissolve and even one guy in the linked-to thread below said he has anchors left in his knee from the surgeon that he can feel when he walks around.

I met one guy (Absenceofgoodnames) in this thread I started that had multiple surgeries on his knees and suggested that I wait. That might have affected me as there were some in that thread that had bad experiences with surgery and a fewer number not.

So I would do thorough research (and on your doctor and his methods) before trying any surgery.

Because different doctors have different methods and beliefs about what works and doesn’t.

Based on what I learned…

Maybe consider surgery especially if:

  • the tear is unstable
  • there is catching or locking

But maybe consider some other options first despite your pain and desire to ‘fix it’ now because it might not actually fix it and it could make it worse.

Yet, if you don’t do anything there is a chance that you will get arthritis too.

Unfortunately, there are 800,000 meniscus tears in the US annually, but only 10% are repaired. Source.

Learn more about surgery and how to heal your meniscus.

2. PRP (inject your own blood into the knee) or stem cells to help heal your meniscus

I would try this first before any surgery and I can now say that I have done something like this.

That’s right.

I withdrew my own blood and injected it in my knee 2 times successfully and failed two other times.

Probably not something you want to try, but I did since…

The price is high here in Japan at $1000 for one shot which may help but one shot may not be enough. Some recommend 3-4 shots.

PRP is not usually covered by insurance.

I injected my own blood into my knee (DIY PRP?)

Is whole blood as good as PRP?

I can tell you that your whole blood probably has plenty of platelets in it as one of the times that I failed injecting it was because the blood coagulated in the syringe and wouldn’t come out.

PRP or whole blood makes sense cause think about it

If you do your research you’ll read that only 1/3 of your meniscus gets blood so the other part can’t heal.

This is everywhere on the web.

That’s what all the orthopedics will say.

Like I said everyone is biased including doctors because it’s in their interests to do surgery as that’s how they get paid (usually).

Sometimes they may get paid regardless like here in Japan with public healthcare, but it’s still their training.

Some people (including doctors) are more conventional in their beliefs and others lesser so.

Convention is likely old medicine and that’s likely what your average doctor is practicing.

Better than PRP or whole blood would be ‘STEM CELLS’

Whoa.

But those are going to cost you more. Like maybe 2-5 times as much as PRP.

Joe Rogan had them injected in his knee (mentioned in his podcast with David Sinclair) and Conor McGregor had them done for his ACL.

Another option…

Learn how to maximize your body’s ‘stem cells’ without injections here.

3. WAIT (stay off it and let your body try to heal your meniscus without surgery)

When it hurts you don’t want to wait, but chances are it will get better… if you wait. If you go back too soon you will make it worse and then you are going backwards.

Just stay off it.

Maybe even get some crutches for a while.

When it hurts more sit down or lie down and wait and rest.

Don’t push through it.

But your doctor may tell you it won’t heal…

The first tear I had in 2015.

I stopped bjj/judo for 2 months. It healed about 90% it’s original…

Then starting about 9 months ago (2019) I think I might have torn it again mildly.

Then there was a slow downward progression with it getting worse with occasional popping and a little pain probably cause I didn’t stop and let it heal.

Then one night POP, POP, POP trying a reverse triangle choke.

I went to the doctor. Got radiated with an X-Ray and then an MRI which said a medial meniscus tear.

The same spot as the first.

Hmm.

So perhaps that spot was weakened from the first or it didn’t completely heal the first time or I just re-tore it again in the same spot.

I think it probably didn’t completely heal.

Will it heal on it’s own?

I think that depends on the tear type. From what I’ve gathered it doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t heal on its own if it’s in the ‘white zone’.

But if the tear is big and open then maybe that’s harder to heal on its own.

And unfortunately I don’t think there is any way of knowing the true condition of the tear without going in with a scope.

And your doctor probably won’t go in and let you look at it to decide what to do even though that might be best.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WHILE YOU WAIT?

Learn how to heal your meniscus without surgery here.

4. REHAB your meniscus

You need to rest before the rehab so don’t push it too soon.

You can do some basic leg lifts to the front, side and back. A lot of reps and work your muscles without stressing your knees like you would in a squat.

Here’s a good gentle one…

Do this exercise as it helps lubricate the knees and helps transport nutrients in the knee. I did this daily for a year after I tore my meniscus the 1st time. And just got a reminder to do it again.

Start learning a complete meniscus rehab protocol now.

How does the meniscus get its nutrition?

So I looked at a few papers. And what I gathered is that it gets it from synovial fluid, possibly the underlying bone and peripheral part that gets blood flow.

And I read one source that says there are blood cells in synovial fluid and another that said only minimal blood cells.

The transport of solute from the joint cavity into the cartilage can take place by two mechanisms:
(1) pure diffusion due to solute concentration gradient and (2) by mechanical pumping action. Source

…vascular recession does not significantly alter nutrient levels in the meniscus, reducing at most 5% of the nutrient content in the central portion of the tissue. Therefore, our analysis suggests that reduced vascularity is not likely a primary initiating source in tissue degeneration. However, it does feasibly play a key role in inability for self-repair, as seen clinically. Source

And remember those stem cell shots mentioned above?

Well, guess what you actually have some there right now.

So that suggests that even though there is no blood flow the synovial fluid does contain nutrients although lower in number.

Although relatively uncommon, spontaneous healing from a meniscus injury has been observed even within the avascular area. Source

Also… I am looking into…

Learn more about healing your meniscus.

5. BPC 157 to heal your meniscus

As of now I haven’t made a post about this yet, but I will.

Peptides are one of the cheaper options and in my research possibly better than PRP, surgery, stem cells, etc. But there is not many studies on them with humans.

TB500 and BPC 157 as well as others have shown in animal studies that they can repair and regenerate cartilage, ligaments and bone.

I’ve been using the peptide BPC 157 and injecting it in my knee or around my knee.

It’s a peptide that is in your stomach acid originally, but is made in a lab and has 15 amino acids. I read quite a few favorable stories about this and cartilage repair.

My experience has been…

Like I said I hobbled around for about 6 weeks before I noticed much improvement.

But…

Around the 6 week mark I did my first DIY blood injection mentioned above. And then around 7 weeks I started BPC.

I have seen improvement with a decrease in pain later in the day. Previously I had more pain standing and walking later in the day after 3 or 4 pm.

Before walking felt more sketchy. Like if I wasn’t careful I could twist it a certain way and re-injure it.

It’s feeling more stable and strong. As of now I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks. Mostly injecting it 3 times a day (short half life of 4-6 hours), but recently I’ve been squirting it in my mouth.

It’s not as strong orally so you should double the dose. I had no side effects really see the post I made on BPC 157.

There are other peptides too.

Start learning more about using peptides and other methods to heal your knee injury.

GROWTH HORMONE

Read Kareem Abdul jabeer regrew part of his meniscus that was mostly gone. I probably won’t mess with this one. Read it was pricey and has side effects.

I would try a peptide that is a growth hormone secretagogue before straight HGH.

But you can look it up.

Learn how to maximize your body’s growth hormone.

TESTOSTERONE

How can you naturally increase this hormone?

Learn how here.

PROLOTHERAPY

It’s like a mix of saline or sugar injection that causes inflammation and then maybe healing. Not sure about it. Haven’t read much about this, but one doc was talking about combining it with testosterone and another with PRP.

Sounds less convincing than most other injections to me although better than something like cortisone or hyaluronic acid as the later are temporary fixes.

WHAT DOES A MENISCUS TEAR FEEL LIKE?

It effin hurts.

It feels a bit like a big cut and bruise in your knee.

Imagine if you sliced your foot open and then you walked around on barefoot on it.

That’s what it feels like.

Some people get catching and locking. Recently when I re-injured it I got some catching I think in certain positions. Although I haven’t experienced that lately that was closer to the time of injury.

Often on the ground and in newaza and BJJ sometimes. I would feel something hitting or snapping in there. It didn’t ever lock and I don’t want to push it there.

So we are chilling out until 100%. I hope I can get back to 100%.

Two tears…

I’ve had so I am being more cautious with this and feel like I have to intervene and do something. So I’ve so far done 2 blood injections and many injections of BPC 157.

I haven’t been training in almost 9 weeks.

Tell the community about your pain.

What should you do?

My advice…

I wouldn’t rush and I wouldn’t do a partial meniscectomy or if you do that definitely follow up with stem cells or peptides.

I would probably only do surgery if you can’t move your leg or it’s locked, but look for a doctor that will stitch it and make sure you clear that with your doctor.

Because maybe they will say that they will try that, but if they can’t stitch they will remove the torn part.

I don’t know about you but I don’t like that uncertainty.

You don’t want to wake up without a meniscus.

It’s up to you.

I don’t know what’s best.

It’s hard to know what’s best.

I thought about giving all these things a try that I am planning on and then going back to get another MRI ($70 here in Japan) to see if it healed the tear.

And then I could rub it in the face of conventional medicine.

Hehehe…

Some studies show that some people have tears in their knees, but manage fine and have no symptoms. Although some surgeons say they may be more likely to re-tear if untreated.

That’s why they cut it out or stitch it.

And I would also look into PRP, stem cells or peptides to help it heal.

Also waiting and resting and rehabing will likely help some.

And if you are considering surgery I’d see the Reddit thread for possible outcomes.

Oh yeah think that’s where I first heard of BPC 157.

Related:

P.S. Are you a grappler?

Both tears happened with big fat careless f*&@! (YES, I AM BITTER ABOUT IT) who tried jumping moves:

  1. Jumping guard
  2. Kani basami (scissors throw)

Both have a history of knee injuries. Very dangerous and stupid to do. Now illegal in judo for that reason.

You can see that post and video here (with gnarly footage).

Don’t experiment on your partner.

Do you want someone to try their flying moves on you?

If you are bigger than your opponent or partner then effin respect the difference.

RESPECT YOUR PARTNER.

Big or small.

Get out of your head.

Play the game, but play smart.