We sat down with Todd Bailey, one of the Founders and Owners of Herbal Mana, to talk about his chronic pain journey; how it lead him to DMSO and, eventually, Herbal Mana.
After several knee surgeries and losing most of the cartilage in his knee at only 18, Todd began taking over the counter and prescription medications to try to manage the pain...
Fast forward to many surgeries and years later and Todd is happy to be able to fish, hike, take trips to Disneyland, and do all the dad and grandpa stuff that he loves doing, all without pain medication.
Watch our interview with him here or read the full interview below!
Hello, this is Todd Bailey, one of the partners at Herbal Mana. By now you’re probably somewhat familiar with Herbal Mana, we have DMSO products and other natural pain solutions. But this didn't all come about just overnight. For me, the journey started many years ago.
In fact, the first step in the journey for me was actually high school football. I went out to catch a pass, planted, turned and my kneecap on my left knee went off and stuck. It stretched a bunch of ligaments. Later that year in basketball, I tore the same ligaments and had my first knee surgery. That was my sophomore year, so we're going back quite a few years.
A couple of years later, back in sports again, I tore the same ligaments after having them rebuilt, having gone through Rehab and surgery I tore them out again and faced a second set of problems, but I still wanted to play ball. So I talked to the team doctor from the local university and he said, 'I can prescribe something for you so that you can continue to play basketball.'
I just wanted to finish out that senior year. I can't remember if he gave me Percodan or Percocet but it was perka something and it was wonderful. If I took that I could play. I felt good about halfway through the year I developed a reaction and had to go off of the Percodan or Percocet and then we realized that I'd been chewing up my left knee. In particular, the cartilage under my kneecap was pretty much shot. I was starting to grind down into the femur and that was all the way back in high school so I was 18 at the time.
That was really the beginning of a long journey that eventually ended here with Herbal Mana.
I went off of that Percodan or Percocet and the same doctor said, you can cope by just using Tylenol and aspirin. So every two hours I would take a maximum load of Tylenol, two hours later, aspirin and just back and forth all day and all night just to manage the pain and get through my senior year of basketball, got everything patched up again, got the knee rebuilt and then a few years later in college playing ball. Not for the college team but just playing softball I tore it up again; this time the right knee and I just kept accumulating.
To date, I've got quite a few surgeries and I think I'm sitting at 23 surgeries. 19 of those were orthopedic surgeries, torn up my foot, ankle, both knees, both shoulders and a couple of vertebrae that needed repaired. So I've accumulated quite a bit and it's led to a long course of chronic pain that I had to learn how to manage.
Initially, I had the help of the doctor with the Percocet episode and that worked out really, really poorly because with that we just masked the pain, didn't really deal with the pain, and so I continued to damage my joint. Later I turned to Ibuprofen, Aleve, Tylenol, regular over the counter medications and I would use maximum dosages round the clock to manage the pain and I would stay on, I would stay on the Ibuprofen until I would have a reaction to the ibuprofen. I would do the same with Aleve. The same with Tylenol and sometimes the reactions were actually kind of rotten. I'd stay on one, like ibuprofen until I would have problems with my stomach or bleeding in my lower GI tract.
A lot of the side effects that come with those over the counter medications, they can relieve the pain they can even relieve inflammation, but they come at a pretty high cost
and I was always pushing it, trying to find that relief because I just wanted to be active. I wanted to still be in sports. I want to be able to do things. Also, by the time I was in college, we started having kids. I wanted to play with them. I wanted to be active. I wanted to be able to not just provide monetarily but also provide fun and I like playing ball and going on hikes, going to Disneyland, doing all the dad stuff.
So I would turn to those over the counter medications to manage the pain. But again, it came at quite a high cost. I would use the over the counter medications until I had a reaction and then I would simply switch.
What I didn't know at the time, and I didn't know this until years later when I was talking to my friend, Dr. Thad Chandler, I didn't realize that it wasn't just irritating things, I was actually doing some significant damage to my liver and my kidneys and he explained how it accumulates and if I kept on that same path, I wouldn't have my, maybe it wouldn't have my kidneys and my liver functioning properly in my retirement years. I wouldn't have the enjoyment which should come with the golden years because I would have impaired my health too much. Just trying to be active, trying to manage the pain.
He was the first one that started steering me towards natural solutions and then my wife jumped on board and we got involved with all sorts of natural solutions. I can tell you it was a little bit tough. I was a little conflicted because I didn't have a doctor script or one of those fancy ads on TV that talked about the benefits of Ibuprofen and I was a skeptic. A pretty bad skeptic in fact.
But eventually, I relented and started following some of the recommendations of Dr. Chandler and my wife. I started trying things like essential oils, natural herbs, and I found that I could get pretty good relief and I could do it without some of the nasty side effects. I didn't have my GI tract being chewed up. I didn't have all the ... just the bad side effects that come with over the counter and artificial prescriptive medications as I used the essential oils and herbs.
I got pretty good relief and then one day I came across something I'd seen as a child, but it didn't really register that I could use it and it was DMSO, or dimethyl sulfoxide.
DMSO turned out to be a real key for my longterm pain management because even just by itself, I found that I could reduce pain and inflammation and I would use it on my knees.
To date, I've had six knee surgeries on each knee, including the replacements. Now that's a little more extreme than most of you will have gone through, but it doesn't take more than a single injury or a single surgery to create some of the chronic pain that I deal with. I just happened to have been through a dozen knee surgeries. Well, I tried the DMSO and I found that it was pretty darn helpful. And then I would use it in a blend, so I would use it maybe with some magnesium oil or I would use it with some of the essential oils that I found were helpful and in combination, especially in the right amounts.
I got great relief, great pain management, and I was really surprised, really pleased.
Like one of the things that I found really surprised me after the knee replacements, I had prescriptions from the doctors again. In fact, the doctor was really insistent. He said I would need to use the opioids, whatever it was he prescribed so I could manage the pain just so I could sleep. And by Golly, they worked for an hour or so.
But I found that if I used a couple of essential oils with the right kind of blend and then some DMSO, I could manage the pain for like four hours at a time, so I was getting about four hours of sleep versus maybe one of not really quality sleep using opioids. So it was a huge step up for me on the pain management.
I continue to use this blend on my knees today. I also use it on my shoulders and it's fantastic. It's a real addition to my natural medicine cabinet for managing the pain and discomfort and I'm happy I found it. Wish I found it a little sooner, but I'm just happy we have it! I'm grateful that it's part of the product mix here at Herbal Mana.
Learn more about DMSO and why people are using it to relieve pain and reduce inflammation naturally here on the blog!
Try Todd's go-to blend, Recovery+ made to promote fast recovery with Todd's preferred blend of essential oils like Frankincense, Peppermint, Wintergreen, Helichrysum, and more paired with our special pain-relieving blend of DMSO, Magnesium, and MSM!