Needles and Herbs

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Needles and Herbs

Acupuncture. I’d always been curious, but never tried it.
Needles and Herbs: Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
After a glowing recommendation by a family friend, my wife and I decided to go see how it worked for us.

This particular acupuncturist also treated with traditional Chinese herbal medication. And she only spoke Mandarin. Fortunately, my wife is fluent in Mandarin.

On the first visit I was asked a series of wellness questions (via my wife translating). About my sleep, food, energy, etc. She then had me lie down and put needles in my feet, chest, wrists, neck and head. So far, so good. Only a few of the needles stung. About 30 minutes later, she came and removed the needles. Next, she treated my wife.

She prescribed some herbs for me to drink in warm water, twice a day for a week. She also scheduled 5 more treatments over the next 6 days! Okay, so that surprised me. Based on the miraculous stories I’d heard from our family friend, nobody ever seemed to require more than 3 treatments. But I decided to give it a fair chance.

The herbs tasted horrible. Like drinking a mud smoothie. Twice a day. For a week.

My wife didn’t have to go back for a week. So each time I went, I’d show up, get treated with needles, and go. Since I don’t speak Mandarin, it made the visits awkward at best.

I ended up going two more times. To be honest, the table that I had to lie on was more painful than the needles. But after 3 days of needles and herbs, I was done. I definitely wasn’t noticing any positive effects, and in fact felt a little more pain than when I started. Probably from that table.

I stopped taking the herbs for the same reasons. No noticeable effects. Plus, I had no idea what was in them. Enough!

Lessons learned:

  • Always make sure you can communicate clearly with whoever is treating you.
  • Know what’s in the treatment if you’re taking herbs.
  • Get a realistic idea of how long the treatment should last, and what results you should see.

So, for me, the jury is still out on acupuncture and herbal medicine. It seems to work for some people. But this time it just didn’t seem to do much for me.

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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GoPro Hike!

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GoPro Hike!

As you probably know, my wife and I exercise regularly and hike quite a bit.

We recently got a GoPro Session camera and recorded one of our weekly hikes.
The total hiking time was about an hour and a half, and we covered over 5 miles and more than 90 flights of stairs (10 feet per flight).

This all takes place in Griffith park, and if you look closely you can see the Griffith observatory and the LA skyline through the haze.

Enjoy!

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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VO Workout

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VO Workout

VO Workout Banner

How staying fit can help you in your voiceover career.

When most of us hear the term “VO Workout”, we imagine a group of fellow voice actors gathering to read copy and get feedback. But there’s another kind of workout you should be adding to boost your VO career.

Keeping physically fit, mentally healthy, and getting proper nutrition all contribute to our bodies, minds and spirits working at peak levels. All of these factors can affect the sound of your voice, mood of your delivery, and how you interact with other people in the biz. Breathing, core strength, mobility, relaxation – all can come from maintaining good health. Below are some of the key factors I consider every day…
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Calloused Attitude

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Calloused Attitude

40+ miles. Every week.

That’s how much I walk and hike.

JoeActor FitBit Stats 2016-02

With that much mileage, you’re bound to build up some callouses. And I had some doosies. The bottoms of my feet were like leather.

Callouses have their purpose. They build up to protect your skin and the tissue beneath. But, in excess, they can cause other issues.

Calloused Attitude


The same process happens with our attitudes. Over time, and given enough exposure to the friction with others, we build up our defenses. Become resistant. Protect ourselves.

Removal by Erosion


For callouses on my feet, the process is pretty simple: buy a pumice stone or one of those rotary foot sanders, then spend a little time every day buffing down my feet.

For a calloused attitude, the process is also simple: catch yourself when you’re angry or resistant to hearing others, then remove a little of those biases every day.

Results


With most of the callouses removed from my feet, they’ve become more flexible and my balance has also improved. Of course they’re also more sensitive, but that’s the trade-off.

As for attitude, with fewer emotional callouses I’m more open to hearing others, and able to respond with less anger. I don’t have to agree, but I can disagree cordially.

How do you deal with your callouses?

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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98% Joe

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Sciatica.
Joe Spine 20140813
Over a year ago I was in some serious pain. It was the third or fourth time I had a flare-up, and was by far the worst.

I couldn’t walk, stand, sit, sleep or move without excruciating pain shooting down my leg. Driving was unbearable. And don’t even get me started on putting on socks…

Steroids and pain relievers just weren’t doing much, so I’d decided to try getting a spinal cortisone injection. I honestly thought that surgery was the next unavoidable step.

The spinal injection had little or no effect. I was at a decision point. Surgery or Physical Therapy (again).
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Weight… What?

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Weight… What?

(tips and tricks from a couple of foodies)

My wife and I eat out a lot. So how do we stay healthy when dining on restaurant food?

Spread Out!
When ordering a sandwich, skip the mayo, aioli, pesto, cream cheese or other spreads.

This cuts down the calories significantly.

If you’d like some for flavor, ask for it on the side, then just use it sparingly.

Undressed!
The big mistake people make when ordering something healthy like a salad is to trust the restaurant to put on the dressing. Don’t do it!

For most of our salads, we order them undressed, and use a bit of balsamic vinegar for flavor (no oil).

You might also get the dressing on the side. Choose a lighter dressing like a vinaigrette rather than a ranch or other creamy dressing.

Grease Me Up!
If you have a choice between grilled, sauteed or fried, go for grilled.

Second best would be sauteed.

Make sure they don’t add extra butter or oil.

Other Tips…

  • Have sandwich bread toasted, no butter. Skip the “grilled bread” or “Texas toast”.
    Bread that’s been slathered in butter and grilled is just a greasy, gross mess to eat!
  • Get sauces and dressings “on the side” (or skip them altogether)
  • Having pasta? Watch out for the heavy cream-based sauces and cheese. Go for a lighter choice like tomato sauce or primavera.
  • Watch the salt! Eating out can also introduce a lot of salt into your diet. When possible, get food without the extra salt. This can be difficult, especially in soups and sauces.
  • Choose your restaurant wisely. Some places are just easier to eat healthy at – make a not of those, and frequent them more often.
  • Desserts are fine, in moderation. Just don’t have one with every meal. Order something small… or better yet, share with a friend!

Managing your weight can be a difficult proposition when eating out. But it’s not impossible if you’re aware of the pitfalls and follow a few simple rules.

Happy Eating!
Joe

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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New Wife!

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New Wife!

Wife: Before and After

Over the past 3+ years, my wife has made an amazing transformation. Several amazing transformations actually.

She’s dropped at least 50 pounds, lowered her blood pressure, adapted to a healthier diet, and taken up yoga and hiking with a passion. Yeah, passion – that’s the word for it!
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Bathrooms!

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All About Bathrooms!

Lego Toilet


*** Warning! *** This blog post talks candidly about bathrooms and related, potentially disgusting things… reader discretion is advised!

Bathrooms. We all use them, but who talks about them? Well, I’m ready to break my silence and crack the window on the room with the porcelain throne.  Let’s dive in! (eeeewwww…)
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Walking The Earth

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Walking The Earth

KeepOnTruckin2

Exercise as a way of life…

My wife and I like to walk. It’s our daily bit of exercise every morning together. We also work out in other ways, but the walking has become our “thing”. We even have technology to help us measure and keep goals.  I’ve got the Nike FuelBand, and my wife has a FitBit One.
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