Upside Down

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Yes folks, I do mean upside down in the literal sense.  Inversion to be more specific.  I often do book reviews but not usually product reviews so this is a first.  For years I’ve been plagued with lower back pain.  I’ve never been to an orthopaedic doctor and haven’t officially been diagnosed with anything specific, but I’ve fallen down a few flights of stairs in my life and I’m positive I’ve knocked a few discs out of whack.  When I lived in an apartment, I fell down the outside stairs while carrying a load of laundry. I bounced down the stairs, underwear and socks flying, while my neighbors ran out of their apartments.

“Are you okay?” they asked.

I jumped up like a ninja, feeling like my spine was hanging out and my ass was against my neck. “Yeah, I’m good.”

I wasn’t good, at least not ninja good. I landed against the sharp part of the step with my lower back and it hurt like a bitch for about three weeks.  I was young, and finally the pain went away,  but now that I’m older, the injury comes back to haunt me. Remember that time you flung your dirty underwear all over the apartment stairs like a pervert?  No?  Here let me remind you!  

Nowadays, my job requires that I sit.  I am notorious about not getting up to stretch for long periods of time because I am a diligent worker, of course, and my total awesomeness is beyond compare. (If you are reading this, bossman, raise please.)   Eventually when I do stand, I have to slowly straighten, while groaning like a hound dog with gas.

So I  came across an inversion table article.  According to the article, these things are supposed to work wonders.  Now don’t go ripping me a new one for giving misinformation.  I’m no expert.  I’ve read that it takes gravitational pressure off the nerve roots and disks in your spine and increases the space between vertebrae. Now that sounded great!  Other articles have mentioned increased blood flow to the brain which enhances creativity.  I’m up for that as I’m an author and I don’t want to smoke pot for creativity because I’ll end up falling asleep with a bag of Cheetos and wake up looking like … well, somebody.

The one thing that really excited me was I’ve read that inversion is great for wrinkles and makes a person look younger.  Well, I don’t know about that …  I’ve also read it can make boobs perkier!  Hell yeah, sign me up!

So I now own an Inversion Table!  Perky boobs here I come!

Risks:  Of course, if you have the conditions listed here, you should speak with your doctor before you use it.  As with everything concerning your health, be safe.

One month later …

I’ve been inverting for about a month now and have noticed my lower back is much better. When I stand from sitting for long periods at work, I feel a marked improvement. Prior to using the table, the ache would radiate from my back through my entire torso.  The pain, however, isn’t completely gone.  I have slight muscle ache in my lower back but nothing compared to what it was before.  I would say I’ve had an 85% decrease in my pain level.

I haven’t noticed that I’ve become more creative but it is really relaxing and it gives me quiet time to just think.  Boobs aren’t perkier yet and I don’t think I look much younger.  It might take a little while to reverse (not very many) years of gravity.   One great perk is the inverted sit ups I can do.  They utilize your ab muscles more and don’t strain the back.  If I don’t get any younger, at least I’ll be ripped in a few months.

The biggest downside to doing a full 180 inversion is opening my eyes and finding my cat’s butt in my face.  Not one article mentioned that!

Pros:  Decreased pain in my lower back.   Inverting is relaxing.  I actually look forward to it.  I get much needed “me” time.

Cons:  It hurts my feet and ankles a bit.  When I first started using it, my knee hurt a little too but that finally went away.  If I have a stuffy nose, it blocks my sinuses up and I can’t breathe, but when I return upright, it goes away.  In addition, I think if you overdo it at first you can stretch a few muscles and end up with some extra pain, so please be careful and be safe.  Take it slow.

Personal notes:  I get the occasional migraine but I haven’t noticed an increase in their occurrences.  I also have high blood pressure but I haven’t noticed it raising my blood pressure either.  Never get on the table if you have a headache or uncontrolled high blood pressure.

If you are wondering which one I bought, it was the Teeter NXT-S Inversion Table.  This isn’t an advertisement at all.  In fact, look around.  You can find it at a much better price.  I decided to go with this one because from the research I’ve done, Teeter is supposed to be top quality and might hold its resale value if I decide to unload it.  I’m really liking it at the moment though.  This one in particular is one of their less expensive models, and I looked around and found a sporting goods store with free shipping.

Helpful hint:  If you buy a Teeter, be sure to watch the video on how to put it together first.  It’ll save you a lot of, “What’s this shit?” moments.

If you have any questions, please leave a note in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my knowledge.  Nothing rude please.  I am a comment Nazi and I reserve the right to post only comments that I like.  🙂  Just kidding.

Happy inverting!

-K. R. Rowe KRRowe.com

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Awesome Folk

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thankyou

I can’t even consider releasing my latest novel, Blood of the Sixth, without giving a giant high five and a shout out to all of the wonderful beta readers who put so much time and thought into giving me wonderful feedback for my novel.  With this book I was brave.  I didn’t hold back asking people to read it before it hit the shelves.  The feedback I have received from these folks is priceless and has given me so much insight into what my readers are thinking.

Beta readers are an author’s life line.  They can mean the difference between a book riddled with errors, inconsistencies and plot holes, or a possible best seller.  Independent authors rely on one another and those awesome bloggers and readers who support us.  Without this fantastic network of people, we would be lost.

I want to thank these amazing people.  Look them up on Twitter, follow them and tell them how truly awesome they are!  I sure think so!

Julie @mousefan98 – Julie was the first person to read my book besides my super talented editor.  This was her first beta read and I must say, she did a wonderful job and gave me some fantastic feedback!  I was so happy I was brave and asked her to read for me.  Julie is one of the coolest people I’ve met on Twitter. She is an avid Walking Dead fan like myself so if you love the show also, go give her a shout!

High Five to Julie!

James SM Parker @absinthe666 – James is the author of Love or Suicide and the Life in Between.  James was a key player in helping me clear up a little confusion at the end of my book.  He enjoys heavy metal too so say hello to him on Twitter, give him the metal horns \m/ and check out his book!

Stay metal my friend.

Phil Price @PhilPrice19 – Phil was my third reader.  Phil boosted my confidence in this story.  Although constructive feedback is important, to hear someone say you have a great story really makes an author feel better about their work.  Phil is the author of the novel Unknown.  I finished it this summer and am patiently waiting for book two!

Keep up the awesome writing!

Melissa Manes @Melissa_Editing – I’m not sure how I was fortunate enough to get Melissa to beta read my book but I am so happy I did.  She not only read it and gave me some valuable suggestions; she gave me some great edits to boot!  If you need a fantastic editor, check out her website scriptionis.com.

Keep the edits coming!

Lisa Orchard @lisaorchard1 – Lisa gave me a ton of great suggestions and I was so lucky to get such an awesome, sweet lady to beta read for me.  Lisa is the author of The Super Spy series and The Starlight Chronicles.  If you enjoy YA, check out her website at lisaorchard.com.  You won’t be disappointed.

Keep the mysteries coming!

Dustin Botta @dustinbotta  — Dustin was the first to point out I used yellow-orange way too often.  I remember thinking one of the times I used it, “Wow that really sounds good.” Being the dork that I am, I probably said that three times, and not realized I’d used it twice already.  I swear I wasn’t drinking while writing. (Well, maybe not.)  Along with that helpful hint, he gave me a ton of edits and great suggestions.  Thank you, Dustin!  Dustin Botta is an author, poet and musician.  Check out his website at dustinbotta.com.

Keep writing, rocking and rolling!

David Spell  @davidwspell – David was a little concerned that I could get into a weirdo’s head so easily and write such a creepy character.  Haha!  I’m a bit of a weirdo so it probably wasn’t too hard for me. Not the kind of weirdo in the book, thank goodness but I am still a weirdo nonetheless.  David is an avid horror reader and gave me a ton of helpful suggestions.  David is super cool, so go over and say hi to him on Twitter and check out his website at thescaryreviews.com.  I guarantee you’ll find a great book there.

Keep blogging those great books!

Rich @horrorbookshelf Rich asked a couple of questions that I’m sure many readers would have asked themselves and really helped me to tie up a few lose ends.  Rich also helped to boost my confidence in the novel.  I really was excited to have him read because I know he is an avid horror reader and reviewer.  I figured he’d know his stuff and he didn’t disappoint. Thanks so much!  Rich has a really cool website where you might find a plethora interesting stuff.  Check it out at thehorrorbookshelf.com.

Keep sharing the scare!

Joseph A. Pinto @JosephAPinto How in the holy crap did I manage to get the co-founder of Pen of the Damned to beta read for me?  I was super brave!  Plus I think I bugged the crap out of him just a little. Haha  I know Joe is a busy fella with his writing and managing POD but he was kind enough to say yes when I asked him to beta read.  Joe also gave me much needed encouragement, confidence and a couple of edits, and for that I am truly appreciative.  If you are out and about, say hi to him over on Twitter, check out PenOfTheDamned.com, or even better, check out his books at his Amazon Author page.

Keep on penning the damned!