I titled this post “Slowly Finding Ways To Heal My Inguinal Hernia” because it’s been a few years that I have been dealing with trying to heal my inguinal hernia with little to no progress at all. That is until recently. It’s taken a few years of trial and error, and working through a bunch of other things that have been wrong with my body (read preceding posts) to get to this point, but I am now seeing REAL PROGRESS. I’m actually shocked at the difference that I am seeing and feeling, and how easy it was to do what was necessary to start seeing the change.
In my last post I showed 5 yoga moves that I was going to start doing to try to facilitate the healing process. I started adding these special yoga moves to my daily yoga routine, and within about two weeks I started to notice a little difference in how often, and how far the hernia would poke out. I am at a point now where the hernia is rarely coming out. When it does, it is less than half the size of when it was at it’s worst. There are a few factors that I think are in play here allowing me to heal my inguinal hernia that I will go through one at a time.
At this point I think the main exercise that started making the difference in wether I can heal my inguinal hernia is the breathing exercise. It’s basically an ab vacuum which is causing the transverse abs to strengthen the corset which holds all of the contents of the peritoneal sac (guts) in place. Not only have I been doing this as part of my workouts, but I have also been doing it while sitting at my desk, when I get out of the shower, or whenever I think about it.
Why Breathing Exercises?
When I was a little kid, I was always skinny, but I had a big belly that would stick out. You can kind of see in the pictures below. (My younger brother is on the right and has the same exact body type as me.)
I believe I have always had a weakness in my transverse abdominals. This is why my belly would stick out like that. I believe I still have this weakness today. My stomach would stick out like that until I was about 12. Then I realized that it looked weird. I became self conscious and began holding it in. But, when I started holding it in, I think I was using my rectus abdominis muscles (six pack muscles) instead of using the transverse abs. I believe that this is what created the weakness in the inguinal canal which enabled the hernia to come through in the first place. If I would have started doing exercises in my teens for the transverse abs, I don’t think I would have developed the hernia in the first place.
If you look at my stomach now, it is not completely ripped, but I do have a six pack. Still to this day though, if I let my stomach loose it will stick out, and my spine will curve in toward the front of my body. I believe that this is also why I have had back problems since I was 18 years old. In all of the workouts that I’ve been doing throughout the years, none of them focused on the transverse abs. They all focused on the rectus abdominis.
Now that I have been doing the ab vacuum, my abs are not as loose as they were before when I’m not holding them in, and I can definitely feel the abdominal corset tightening and holding everything in place much better.
Change In Posture
The second thing I started doing doing was shifting my body weight from my heals onto the balls of my feet when standing or walking. I’ve recently made a friend that contacted me through this blog. We have been exchanging information about healing an inguinal hernia naturally. He recently sent me a PDF document that was about a guy who, to make a long story short, healed two hernias naturally through shifting his weight to the balls of his feet, holding in the hernia with a homemade bandage system, and doing breathing exercises. I read it, and was very skeptical.
After I was done reading, I went to look in the mirror while shifting my weight from my whole foot to more on the balls of my feet, and I could instantly see how it caused the bottom of my pelvis to roll forward. It was essentially straightening the curve of my back, tightening my obliques, pelvic floor, and transverse abs. It immediately took tons of pressure off of my lower back also.
Staying on the balls of my feet while waking or standing
I decided I would give it a shot for at least a week and see what happens. The following few days I was on my feet all day doing carpentry work, while trying to keep my weight on the balls of my feet, even while walking. It took constant thought to maintain the posture, but I could feel that throughout the day, the pressure from the hernia wasn’t really there. When I did feel the pressure I would realize that I was on my heals. It is tiring after a while to keep your weight on the balls of your feet but I’ve been doing this for about ten days now and I’m really surprised at the affect that it’s had so far.
The third thing that I believe is having a huge affect on if I can heal my inguinal hernia has nothing to do with the physical body, but with the mind. This might sound corny to some, but I truly believe that my mental state was completely holding me back from being able to heal my inguinal hernia naturally.
At the time of my last post I was definitely at the lowest point mentally since I have had this hernia. I was almost ready to give up and go get the surgery. For me, I think it was the fact that I was dependent on the hernia belt every day that was pushing me over the edge. Even though I’ve come up with a awesome hernia belt design that I’ve been using for a while with great success, I just couldn’t stand the thought of having to depend on it every day.
Then, the day I wrote that post, something clicked, and I just decided that I am just going to accept the fact that I was going to have to wear it until I heal my inguinal hernia. That acceptance cleared the way for positive thoughts, and I was able to get it into my head that I will not stop until I figure out how to fix this.
With those positive thoughts came the thought of actually helping other people manage their hernias by creating a product from the hernia belt that I designed and have been using. I started doing some work to get a test group together for this new hernia belt design (I call it the Comfort-Truss) to see if it will actually work for people other than myself.
I ran a facebook ad and launched a landing page with a signup sheet and targeted active people with inguinal hernias. The response was great. I talked to some of the people who were interested in testing it out, and realized that I am not the only one that’s dealing with this. There are so many more people out there that are just like me. Active people who are not able to do the things that they love to do because of constant worry about their hernia. It wears on you. Every day, waking up thinking about it, thinking about it all day, going to bed thinking about it. Then all of the thoughts and worry about surgery, and being self conscious about it in the bedroom.
I never realized how much of a mental impact it was having until I started talking to others who are dealing with it too. It’s pretty heavy, and can definitely take you to a shitty place mentally. If you are reading this, and are in that place right now, just know that you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to, get in touch with me through this blog and I’ll be happy to help.
For me, the acceptance made all of that go away. I made the decision to opt out of surgery, and to heal my inguinal hernia naturally, and I’m sticking with it. The only way I can do that is because I have this hernia belt that allows me to put it on in the morning, and not have to think about it until I take it off at night. I can go surf, workout, paddle, run or whatever else. If I couldn’t do that I think I would’ve already given up and got the surgery.
The first batch of the Comfort-Truss were sent out to some of the test group. I can’t wait to get some feedback to see if helps them or not. If all goes well, I’m going to hook up with one of the hernia charities, like Hernia International, who does free surgery for people in third world countries that have no option for health care. I would give one to them for every one that I sell. Many times these charities cannot get to every one that needs the surgery, and would be able to hand out a Comfort-Truss to the ones they can’t get to, so at least they can manage the hernia without it blowing out.
This way, I can take this bullshit ailment that I’ve had to deal with, and turn it in to a positive by helping tons and tons of people who would have no choice but to deal with it and possibly die from it.
I have also started massaging the area to heal my inguinal hernia. For a long time I didn’t like to touch the area where the hernia is because I thought if I just left it alone it would heal better. I now think that I was wrong. Lately, I have been massaging the whole area every other night when I lay down in bed.
My Hernia Massage Technique
I use a lot of pressure and dig my fingers deep into the hole where the hernia is while laying on my back. Then I work my way in increasingly bigger circles out to the edge and beyond. After I do that for a few minutes, I will place my fingers in the hole and kind of drag my hand away toward my belly button while exerting pressure on my fingertips. I envision myself pulling my intestines away from the hole. I do this for about 10-15 minutes.
I’ve recently read that deep massage works well for this type of injury because it stimulates an inflammation response in the muscles. This puts your body into a state of awareness of the injury, which then allows your brain to release chemicals to start the healing process. Is this true? Who knows. I’m not a scientist, but the results I’m seeing would suggest yes.
All of this has had a dramatic impact on my hernia, especially within the last two weeks. For instance, this morning I woke up, ate some peanut butter and honey toast, went and did a Caveman Workout (throwing medicine balls, flipping tractor tires, swinging sledge hammers, etc.), came home, ate a big breakfast, and drank a green juice. When I went to take a shower I took off the hernia belt, and there was nothing. No lump. No pressure. Nothing! It is evening as I write this, and have not felt pressure at all throughout the day. Just a few weeks ago as soon as I got out of bed I would have a lump, pressure, and would have to hold it with my hand until I put on the hernia belt. I’m not saying it is definitely healed but……..
Right now I am feeling extremely positive about being able to heal my inguinal hernia!
I wanted to give a special thanks to Milo and Jeremy. These are two of the guys that contacted me about testing out the Comfort-Truss. Through making these connections it has really opened my eyes to the mental aspect of dealing with all of this. I hope we can continue to kick this hernia’s ass! I really hope that the hernia belt works out, and with your help (and all the others testing it) we will be able to improve the lives of thousands of people who are suffering with trying to heal an inguinal hernia just like us.