by Riley Alexander

I grew up in a big family of 4 boys (I’m the youngest) followed by 4 girls. My mom would cook dinner for us all every night, and there was always a vegetable on the table with the meal. I hated vegetables but no matter what tricks I pulled, my mom and dad always made me eat them. Years went by, and by the time I was about 12 my mom and dad had my 4 little sisters to watch and help at dinner time so I always got away with not eating my veggies at all. I also stopped eating the meals my mom cooked in favor of a couple bowls of cold cereal with 2% milk. As I got into High School this habit sometimes turned into a couple bowls for breakfast, a couple more at lunch, and a couple for dinner! I ate with the family, but I didn’t eat the food they ate and never even thought about touching a vegetable. If I didn’t eat cereal for lunch or dinner it was because I was already eating McDonalds, Wendy’s, ice cream, chips, or something else that was unhealthy. I ate like a pig (normal teenage boy) but ate nothing but garbage food. I didn’t even know what a vegetable was anymore, let alone a salad. Through all this I still considered myself healthy though just because I played sports, got plenty of exercise, and stilled weighed 185 pounds. 

After high school I got a job doing vinyl fencing. It was a very physically demanding job. My job everyday, all day long was to carry materials called “slats” from the truck to where they needed to go. Each day I would take 40-100 loads with each load weighing from 40-70 pounds each. I am right handed and carried almost all the loads on my right shoulder. I worked 10-14 hour days, and every night when I got home I went out with friends. I didn’t sleep much, and worked hard, and worked plenty of Saturdays too. Through all this my diet never changed, and it was starting to take its toll. I still looked physically fit and still only weighed 185 pounds but my back slowly started to hurt everyday. It got to where it hurt from the second I woke up, to the second I layed back down. Growing up the youngest of 3 older brothers I’d learned and been taught not to “be a wimp” So I just shut my mouth and went back to work.

Within 11 months of fencing though, I absolutely had to find a different job because my back pain was too much to work with. That’s when I got my current job over at Wholistic Botanicals (the manufacturer of Dr. Christopher’s formulas). My back felt a little better just because I worked in the shipping, production, and then purchasing departments and my job was now was far less physical then before. Without that physical work, though, and still not changing my diet I began to gain weight. I told myself I’d never weigh above 200 pounds and I was now 203 pounds. I changed my diet only enough to stay at 195 pounds.

At this point I’d been with the company a couple of years in a number of different departments but still hadn’t taken as much as a single capsule of our product. One day while I was lifting a barrel of raw material my back “slipped” out. I was in constant pain, and this made it almost impossible to sit, move, walk, or do anything, let alone work. My back was visibly out of alignment and it was very painful. After seeing a chiropractor I learned I had arthritis all throughout my back, and it was out of alignment almost an inch. Long story short: It took $1,200 dollars, a bunch of “Percocet” (strong pain killer) and 6 weeks to finally be aligned again, and out of pain.

I was happy, and didn’t worry about my back until a couple of weeks later when my back “slipped” again. The pain came back, and I was like the “crooked man” from the nursery rhyme all over again. So this is where I had my dilemma. Do I try to wait this thing out or do I gamble with another $1,200 and deal with the pain for another 6 weeks hoping it actually fixes it this time?

That’s when Amanda told me to try the Complete Tissue & Bone formula with comfrey. At that point in time, I thought all herbs were stupid, and the people that used them were crazy! Exactly 0% of my mind thought these herbs would do anything for me. I didn’t think they would stop the pain, or align my spine. But, they were far cheaper then the chiropractor so I got some Complete Tissue & Bone with comfrey and gave them a shot. My back hurt so bad I just took capsules all day. I took about 60-80 capsules a day and sometimes went over 100.

Read the rest of Riley’s experiences next week in the Herbal Legacy Newsletter.

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