Saturday, August 10, 2013

Healthy Survival Tips Post-Jaw Surgery: Let's Talk Liquids

Hey Friends! Today I wanted to share some more tips on what has helped me and is continuing to help throughout my recovery process.

Let's talk Liquids and Protein Powder. The list below has worked great for me, especially during the liquid and no chew diet phase.

Orgain: I've basically been surviving off Orgain post-surgery. My orthodontist recommended it to me and now I'm hooked on the creamy chocolate fudge flavor. Second favorite would have to be Mocha, but the chocolate is on another level of awesomeness! They also have a Vanilla flavor ---not my favorite, but its tolerable. I think they have a strawberry flavor too, but I haven't tried it since I'm allergic to strawberries :( 

Alright so, enough about the flavors! Let me get back on track here. So yes, Orgain is an organic ready to drink meal replacement. It's basically the healthier version of Ensure or Boost. The thing that got me excited about this drink is that it uses natural sugars instead of corn syrup or any other artificial sweetener. It's also high in protein so its quite filling. It has been the perfect drink to get me through the liquid diet phase and no chew diet phase. 

Designer's Whey Protein: This is a protein powder (again suggested by my Orthodontist) that I've been using to make milk shakes and smoothies. Well, I shouldn't really say "I" here. My mom deserves credit on this one. She has been making me these delicious milk shakes alternating between the chocolate and vanilla flavors. By the way, when I say milk shakes, I actually can't have regular milk so she uses coconut milk instead.  However, I just recently found out that whey protein (which on a side note is used in Orgain) comes from milk so if you're lactose intolerant you should probably avoid using Whey Protein and use Hemp Protein Powder instead. Again as I said though, I am lactose intolerant to a certain degree, but Whey Protein hasn't bothered me one bit. 

My personal favorite milk shake is using the vanilla whey protein, add a banana, a few dates, and a cup of coconut milk. It's Yummy.  Adding a couple fruits with the protein powder makes for a delicious treat.

Anti-inflammatory juices

I  actually have a juicer so I can make fresh fruit juices. The following fresh fruit juices are known for helping to reduce inflammation:
  1)Pineapple Juice
  2)Tart Cherry Juice
  3)Apple Juice
  4) Papaya Juice  

Lastly, my acupuncturist actually recommended I start drinking water with a hint of lemon. I did some research on my own and found out that squeezing 1/2 a lemon with each glass of water has a plethora of benefits some including the fact that it helps in boosting the immune system, aids in digestion, and promotes healing.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Top 2 Recovery Methods for Jaw Surgery: Lymphatic Drainage & Acupuncture

 About a week after my double jaw surgery and genioplasty, I was still pretty badly swollen and was getting increasingly annoyed by the numbness surrounding my lower lip and chin area. I needed something to speed up the recovery process. There was no way I was going to wait 6 months to a year for the numbness to go away. I was determined to find a solution. 

Hours upon hours of google research and I finally found two recommended recovery tips I was willing to try. The two recovery tips combined was my golden ticket!

1) Lymphatic Drainage Massage/ Manual Lymph Drainage: This is a super gentle and light massage that has helped me in significantly reducing inflammation, pain and numbness. Oh, and also its super relaxing! 

I started lymphatic drainage massage exactly a week after my surgery and was still pretty badly swollen. Just from my first visit alone, I noticed a dramatic reduction in inflammation. Yup, that's right just one visit alone and my chipmunk cheeks decreased tremendously. It was pretty shocking! 

  I have been going for lymphatic drainage once or sometimes even twice a week ever since and have not only noticed reduction in inflammation, but also by Week 6 post-surgery, I started to feel a transformational shift. I noticed that I was starting to regain some sensation back in my lower lip and chin area. 

Now looking back, I wish I had gone sooner! By the way, I am definitely by no means trying to make a sales pitch here, just simply sharing what has helped me in my own recovery process.

2) Acupuncture: About a month after my surgery, I did some more research and decided to try acupuncture as well. Acupuncture also really helps with reducing inflammation, pain and numbness.

 During my first acupuncture session, I could feel tingling sensations throughout my lower lip and chin area (which at the time were completely numb). I also noticed the reduction in inflammation around my face. 

Generally speaking, inflammation for this surgery varied for me on a daily basis. Some days I look more swollen than other days. However, the combo of both acupuncture and lymphatic drainage have really helped in controlling the inflammation.

So with all that being said, for me, I noticed that both lymphatic drainage and acupuncture combined has helped tremendously. Again, I can't emphasize enough how much I regret not having started both these methods sooner.