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Maidenform Womens Comfort Devotion Bikini Panty
Maidenform Womens Comfort Devotion Bikini Panty
Price: $4.91 - $20.56

1.0 out of 5 stars Stretched out by several inches on the FIRST wearing, March 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
One star seems so harsh, and I wish that I could give this product a higher rating, but I can't.

Up to now, I have worn a different brand of bikini underwear for about 20 years, and those were perfect for me, but sadly that company has stopped making them. Therefore, I have been researching all the panty options out there, to find something else that I can live with. I've studied all the options on a handful of the major online retailers, read thousands of customer reviews, and wandered through the lingerie departments of my local department stores, and eventually narrowed my search down to 4 brands/styles of panties that sounded like they would be good options.

Because the customer descriptions of the Maidenform Comfort Devotion Bikini Panty were generally so positive (mainly 5 stars across the board), I expected that these would probably work out great for me, so with high hopes I ordered a pair from Amazon (I made sure that Amazon was the actual seller, because they offer free returns on most clothing/shoes).

I wear a women's small in most bottoms - around a size 4 in pants. Having looked at these panties in a department store, I knew that the size 6 would probably be too big, while the size 5 looked a touch small, but probably okay, so I ordered the size 5 from Amazon. When they arrived, I washed them in a mesh bag, on the delicate cycle, in "delicates" detergent, in cold water, and hung them up to dry. When I first put them on, they felt a little snug, but not too bad. The most noticeable problem was that the leg opening area did not cover the bottom part of my cheeks very well (and I do not have much of a butt, so it's not like this is a common problem that I have) -- they sort of cut about an inch off my bottom cheeks on both sides at an unflattering and uncomfortable place. I soldiered on, deciding to wear them under sweats for the day to see how they would do, because I was planning to stay home all day anyway. After only 2 hours of hardly moving around (I worked on the computer and made a snack in the kitchen), they were no longer snug, but presented the opposite problem -- they were literally sliding off - completely off. I'd have to reach down inside my sweatpants and grab the waistband that was sitting at the tops of my thighs to pull them up. For the next couple of hours, these panties continued to fall down every time I stood up from my desk chair and moved around, so I realized that it was a losing battle with these and I changed into a pair of my old-faithful discontinued ones (that are 3 years old and probably have been washed 100 times, but they haven't stretched out at all).

I have no idea why the Maidenform Comfort Devotion Bikini Panties stretched so much during the first wearing, but they were literally unwearable. It's not because I treated them harshly when I washed them for the first time. Maybe I got a "bad" pair, I don't know. Before I bought them, I had read a FEW customer reviews where other ladies had said that these panties stretched out, but typically they said they stretched out after a couple of months, not a couple of hours!

If this pair had fit my shape really well, yet had stretched out in this way, maybe I would have tried a second pair, just to see if I had been unlucky with the incredible stretchiness of the first pair. However, since the actual shape didn't work for my body (cutting into my cheeks and not covering my entire bottom), I won't try these again.


Full Spectrum Milk Thistle 500 mg 100 Caps
Full Spectrum Milk Thistle 500 mg 100 Caps
Offered by Best Health & Weight Loss
Price: $7.50
9 used & new from $3.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A warning that taking milk thistle might lower one's iron/ferritin levels (quite quickly in some cases), February 18, 2015
Note: When I tried Milk Thistle, I bought it from Swanson Vitamins, but I can't remember if I purchased Swanson's "Full Spectrum Milk Thistle 500 mg", Swanson's "Superior Herbs Milk Thistle 250 mg", or Jarrow's Milk Thistle, so I am leaving this review on all three listings, because it contains two warnings about the herb that are good to be aware of, before deciding to try it out for the first time.

(I have no doubt that all three products have a similar level of high quality, purity, and general customer satisfaction!)

-
The first caution: Milk thistle is a member of a large plant family which a number of people have allergic reactions to: the Asteraceae family (including ragweed, chamomile, wormwood, sunflower seeds, etc.)

I myself have developed several allergies to plants in that family, starting with ragweed when I was a child, and now including chamomile and others. Although a couple of years ago I didn't have any noticeable allergic reaction to milk thistle when I took it for 2 months, because I seem to be getting sensitized to more and more substances as I get older, it could be that if I tried to take milk thistle now, I'd have an allergic reaction -- red, itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, a skin rash, a stuffed-up or runny nose, etc.

-
The second caution: There is a reasonable possibility that it may reduce your iron/ferritin stores.

This is not a problem for some people - it may be a welcome side effect for those whose iron is a little high.

However, for people whose iron is low, or even on the low side of normal, it may be too strong of an iron chelator for them.

Milk thistle was recommended to me by a health professional because I was having digestive issues and constipation. I went home and researched it reasonably-carefully online before purchasing a bottle of it, to make sure I was familiar with the herb and its contra-indications. During that initial research, I did *not* see any warnings that it could quickly lower one's iron levels.

I have had deficient or low ferritin/iron most of my life, and in the months prior to taking the milk thistle, I had finally gotten my ferritin up to about 40, which was the highest level it had been at in years. Unfortunately, after only 2 months of taking the milk thistle (just 1 capsule a day), my next iron blood test indicated that my ferritin had plummeted from 40 back to below 20, even though I had been taking my usual iron supplements daily, along with the milk thistle.

Since neither my GP nor I could understand why my iron level had decreased so quickly, I considered if anything in my life/daily routine/diet/etc. had changed since my previous iron test, and starting to take milk thistle was one of the few new things. I then came across several articles mentioning that milk thistle is a good iron chelator (removes it from the body). [Since Amazon doesn't allow links in product reviews, I will provide links to those articles in the first comment below my review here - click on "comments" to see them.]

Therefore, if you have low or even moderate iron stores, be aware that taking milk thistle herb, or any combination supplement that includes silymarin (a component of milk thistle), may cause your iron levels to drop, perhaps to unhealthy levels.

-
Note:

Other than the undesirable lowering of my ferritin level, I was very pleased with the other effects that milk thistle had on me! It improved my digestion and the frequency/consistency of my bowel movements, and it seemed to help me feel better in a general sense.

I would have given it 5 stars, if it hadn't lowered my iron/ferritin so precipitously.

I am sure that this is a good, well-manufactured product, and that it helps improve the health of many people.

However, I don't think milk thistle's potential effect on iron levels is mentioned prominently enough, since low iron is a common nutritional deficiency and can take a big toll on people's lives.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2015 8:04 PM PST


Milk Thistle 250 mg 120 Caps
Milk Thistle 250 mg 120 Caps
Offered by JJ Supplies Inc
Price: $10.99
3 used & new from $6.69

2.0 out of 5 stars A warning that taking milk thistle might lower one's iron/ferritin levels (quite quickly in some cases), February 18, 2015
Note: When I tried Milk Thistle, I bought it from Swanson Vitamins, but I can't remember if I purchased Swanson's "Full Spectrum Milk Thistle 500 mg", Swanson's "Superior Herbs Milk Thistle 250 mg", or Jarrow's Milk Thistle, so I am leaving this review on all three listings, because it contains two warnings about the herb that are good to be aware of, before deciding to try it out for the first time.

(I have no doubt that all three products have a similar level of high quality, purity, and general customer satisfaction!)

-
The first caution: Milk thistle is a member of a large plant family which a number of people have allergic reactions to: the Asteraceae family (including ragweed, chamomile, wormwood, sunflower seeds, etc.)

I myself have developed several allergies to plants in that family, starting with ragweed when I was a child, and now including chamomile and others. Although a couple of years ago I didn't have any noticeable allergic reaction to milk thistle when I took it for 2 months, because I seem to be getting sensitized to more and more substances as I get older, it could be that if I tried to take milk thistle now, I'd have an allergic reaction -- red, itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, a skin rash, a stuffed-up or runny nose, etc.

-
The second caution: There is a reasonable possibility that it may reduce your iron/ferritin stores.

This is not a problem for some people - it may be a welcome side effect for those whose iron is a little high.

However, for people whose iron is low, or even on the low side of normal, it may be too strong of an iron chelator for them.

Milk thistle was recommended to me by a health professional because I was having digestive issues and constipation. I went home and researched it reasonably-carefully online before purchasing a bottle of it, to make sure I was familiar with the herb and its contra-indications. During that initial research, I did *not* see any warnings that it could quickly lower one's iron levels.

I have had deficient or low ferritin/iron most of my life, and in the months prior to taking the milk thistle, I had finally gotten my ferritin up to about 40, which was the highest level it had been at in years. Unfortunately, after only 2 months of taking the milk thistle (just 1 capsule a day), my next iron blood test indicated that my ferritin had plummeted from 40 back to below 20, even though I had been taking my usual iron supplements daily, along with the milk thistle.

Since neither my GP nor I could understand why my iron level had decreased so quickly, I considered if anything in my life/daily routine/diet/etc. had changed since my previous iron test, and starting to take milk thistle was one of the few new things. I then came across several articles mentioning that milk thistle is a good iron chelator (removes it from the body). [Since Amazon doesn't allow links in product reviews, I will provide links to those articles in the first comment below my review here - click on "comments" to see them.]

Therefore, if you have low or even moderate iron stores, be aware that taking milk thistle herb, or any combination supplement that includes silymarin (a component of milk thistle), may cause your iron levels to drop, perhaps to unhealthy levels.

-
Note:

Other than the undesirable lowering of my ferritin level, I was very pleased with the other effects that milk thistle had on me! It improved my digestion and the frequency/consistency of my bowel movements, and it seemed to help me feel better in a general sense.

I would have given it 5 stars, if it hadn't lowered my iron/ferritin so precipitously.

I am sure that this is a good, well-manufactured product, and that it helps improve the health of many people.

However, I don't think milk thistle's potential effect on iron levels is mentioned prominently enough, since low iron is a common nutritional deficiency and can take a big toll on people's lives.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2015 8:02 PM PST


Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle Standardized Silymarin Extract 30:1 Ratio, 150 mg per Capsule, 200 Gelatin Capsules
Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle Standardized Silymarin Extract 30:1 Ratio, 150 mg per Capsule, 200 Gelatin Capsules
Offered by Nutricelebrity
Price: $15.28
29 used & new from $11.99

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A warning that taking milk thistle might lower one's iron/ferritin levels (quite quickly in some cases), February 18, 2015
The current best-rated negative review under this product listing contains an important warning about how milk thistle is a member of a large plant family which a number of people have allergic reactions to: the Asteraceae family (including ragweed, chamomile, wormwood, sunflower seeds, etc.)

I myself have developed several allergies to plants in that family, starting with ragweed when I was a child, and now including chamomile and others. Although a couple of years ago I didn't have any noticeable allergic reaction to milk thistle when I took it for 2 months, because I seem to be getting sensitized to more and more substances as I get older, it could be that if I tried to take milk thistle now, I'd have an allergic reaction -- red, itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, a skin rash, a stuffed-up or runny nose, etc.

However, the allergy potential of milk thistle is not the topic of my review here.

-
In my review here, I thought I'd mention a second warning about milk thistle: there is a reasonable possibility that it may reduce your iron/ferritin stores.

This is not a problem for some people - it may be a welcome side effect for those whose iron is a little high.

However, for people whose iron is low, or even on the low side of normal, it may be too strong of an iron chelator for them.

Milk thistle was recommended to me by a health professional because I was having digestive issues and constipation. I went home and researched it reasonably-carefully online before purchasing a bottle of it, to make sure I was familiar with the herb and its contra-indications. During that initial research, I did *not* see any warnings that it could quickly lower one's iron levels.

I have had deficient or low ferritin/iron most of my life, and in the months prior to taking the milk thistle, I had finally gotten my ferritin up to about 40, which was the highest level it had been at in years. Unfortunately, after only 2 months of taking the milk thistle (just 1 capsule a day), my next iron blood test indicated that my ferritin had plummeted from 40 back to below 20, even though I had been taking my usual iron supplements daily, along with the milk thistle.

Since neither my GP nor I could understand why my iron level had decreased so quickly, I considered if anything in my life/daily routine/diet/etc. had changed since my previous iron test, and starting to take milk thistle was one of the few new things. I then came across several articles mentioning that milk thistle is a good iron chelator (removes it from the body). [Since Amazon doesn't allow links in product reviews, I will provide links to those articles in the first comment below my review here - click on "comments" to see them.]

Therefore, if you have low or even moderate iron stores, be aware that taking milk thistle herb, or any combination supplement that includes silymarin (a component of milk thistle), may cause your iron levels to drop, perhaps to unhealthy levels.

-
Note:

Other than the undesirable lowering of my ferritin level, I was very pleased with the other effects the milk thistle had on me! It improved my digestion and the frequency/consistency of my bowel movements, and it seemed to help me feel better in a general sense.

I would have given it 5 stars, if it hadn't lowered my iron/ferritin so precipitously.

I am sure that this is a good, well-manufactured product, and that it helps improve the health of many people.

However, I don't think milk thistle's potential effect on iron levels is mentioned prominently enough, since low iron is a common nutritional deficiency and can take a big toll on people's lives.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2015 5:32 PM PDT


Now Foods Fresh Green Black Walnut Wormwood Complex, 2-Ounce
Now Foods Fresh Green Black Walnut Wormwood Complex, 2-Ounce
Price: $7.99
24 used & new from $7.83

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wormwood is in the same plant family as ragweed (the daisy family/asteraceae) and might cause problems for those who're allergic, January 18, 2015
An earlier customer comment here by "Sarah" on Nov. 3, 2013 cautioned potential buyers about a ragweed-wormwood allergy connection. I am glad that I saw her review, because otherwise I wouldn't have wondered whether I might be allergic to wormwood. I had never seen any other warning about wormwood and allergies, even though I've been spending quite a bit of time reading up on the components of this concoction while considering whether I should take it or not.

I do seem to be allergic to ragweed, in terms of having seasonal allergies to its airborne pollen; therefore, I think I will steer clear of deliberately ingesting or handling plants that are in the ragweed family, like wormwood is.

(Recently I had an unpleasant allergic reaction when drinking a small mug of chamomile herbal tea, and it lasted for a few hours. It turns out that chamomile is in the same family as ragweed.)

Their plant family is called "Asteraceae or Compositae (commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, composite, or sunflower family)"
-quote from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteraceae

The European Medicines Agency monograph on wormwood (as used in human medicines) says:
"Contraindications:
Hypersensitivity to the active substance(s)
and to other plants of the Asteraceae (Compositae) family."
http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Herbal_-_Community_herbal_monograph/2009/12/WC500017797.pdf

Therefore, I thought I would write a review to let other potential users of this product know that they might consider the possibility of being extra-sensitive to wormwood (or indeed to one of the other herbal components of this concoction, which appear to be from different plant families) from an "allergy" point of view.

Many people probably expect unpleasant reactions while taking this, due to parasite "die-off" (which ought to get better after a period of time), but maybe they don't expect to have an underlying allergy/sensitivity to the herbal ingredients themselves (which probably would not get better, and likely would get worse over time).

I use many Now Foods supplements and have a high opinion of their products, in general! I would have liked to try this product. However, to be on the safe side, I will stick with black walnut hulls (I have some from Nature's Way), enteric-coated garlic (Garlinase by Enzymatic Therapy), enteric-coated peppermint (Pepogest by Nature's Way), Oregano Oil (I have some by Nature's Way), etc.

Also, I might try Reese's pinworm remedy (an over the counter product, though sometimes you have to ask the pharmacist for it), which has Pyrantel Pamoate in it:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiparasitic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrantel_pamoate

-----
By the by, while researching wormwood, I ran across a 450-year-old poem about it.
Here are 2 lines from it -- although they sort of sound like they could be an advertising jingle from the mid-20th century. :-)
"It is a comfort for hart and the braine
And therefore to have it, it is not in vaine"
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/wormwo37.html#worcom
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 17, 2015 4:27 PM PDT


The MELT Method: A Breakthrough Self-Treatment System to Eliminate Chronic Pain, Erase the Signs of Aging, and Feel Fantastic in Just 10 Minutes a Day!
The MELT Method: A Breakthrough Self-Treatment System to Eliminate Chronic Pain, Erase the Signs of Aging, and Feel Fantastic in Just 10 Minutes a Day!
by Sue Hitzmann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.63
95 used & new from $9.98

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Newbie who is sourcing inexpensive (but suitable) equipment to give this technique a try, January 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have not yet tried the Melt Method exercise program, but in case it helps anyone, here is some general info I have found tonight when trying to find appropriate equipment for it (I have ordered a ball and roller tonight from Amazon and am waiting to receive them in the mail) --

Recently I bought the Melt Method book from Amazon. I had assumed that I could try out some of the moves without having any equipment at the beginning, but after I received the book, I soon discovered that every single exercise in the book requires either a foam roller or a small rubber ball.

Additionally, there are specific requirements for the equipment - the roller must be of a full length and particularly soft, and the ball must be relatively small and also particularly soft.

The creator of the Melt Method technique offers her own range of equipment for sale on her website. She designed it specifically for use with the Melt Method.
By all accounts, it is of a high quality and customers are very happy with it!
-- Her roller is blue, full-length, quite soft, and apparently 5 inches in diameter. [When I last checked her site, it appeared to cost about sixty, with perhaps fifteen extra for shipping.]
-- She sells a set of 3 balls in varying hardnesses and sizes. The small+soft one is apparently the main one for beginners to use with her program, while the other two balls are for more advanced use. [I do not remember how much this set was the last time I looked at her site, but it includes instruction cards and 1 or 2 DVDs, so it's probably thirty or over.]

Because I am not even sure if the Melt Method will be of help to me, I'd rather not spend a lot of money up front before even trying it out, but since having a roller and one ball is absolutely necessary to experience the program, I have returned to Amazon tonight to buy cheaper versions of both items that are as close to the "official" items as possible (but not as expensive as they are).

-----------------------
Roller:
I have read many comments on Amazon that say the "OPTP Pro-roller Soft Pink Marble" was the original roller that was used in the Melt Method, before the developer of the Melt Method created her own equipment a couple of years ago.
The official Melt roller has a smaller diameter (5 inches vs. 6 inches) and might be a little bit softer than the pink OPTP Pro-roller Soft.
However, most commenters who mention the Melt Method seem to say that the pink OPTP Pro-roller Soft is just fine for doing the Melt exercises.
Therefore, I decided to order it here, which is about half the price of the official one (considering Amazon's free shipping).

Note -- There are lots of comments on Amazon about how the official roller as sold by the Melt website was backordered in the last year or two and was taking maybe 6 or 8 weeks to arrive, but I haven't seen any recent complaints (submitted in the last few months) that say it is backordered, so its availability from the Melt site is probably immediate these days, and that was not a factor in my decision.

Note -- There is a blue roller for sale in a different listing on Amazon that calls itself a "Melt roller", and the product listing shows a picture of the official Melt roller, but several customers have commented on that listing to say that they bought it and were unhappy to find that it was not the official one, so I would be wary of that listing, because it does not seem that the Melt Method company sells their products anywhere but their own website and through their official trainers who teach Melt classes.

Note -- There are two colors of OPTP rollers on the Amazon listing of "OPTP Pro-roller Soft Pink Marble", pink and blue. Some commenters have claimed that there is a difference between the two, that the pink is softer than the blue and therefore is more suitable for doing the Melt exercises with. If you'd ordinarily prefer the blue color and would rather not have a pink one, you could check out the OPTP website to see if they describe any difference in firmness between these two colors.

-----------------------
Ball: After looking at a number of balls here on Amazon, I decided to try the yellow (softest) ball on this listing: "Isokinetics Inc. Hand Exercise Squeeze Ball - Round - 5 Resistance Levels - Sold Separately", which is about seven with free shipping.

Many people said they went to a dollar store, pet store, sporting goods store, toy store, etc. to find a little, soft ball for the Melt Method, but this one is specifically designed for hand exercises and gets pretty good reviews, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

-----------------------
After I receive these and try out the program, I'll update my review.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 30, 2015 5:07 PM PDT


Isokinetics Inc. Hand Exercise Squeeze Ball - Round - Blue - Firm
Isokinetics Inc. Hand Exercise Squeeze Ball - Round - Blue - Firm
Offered by Isokinetics, Inc.
Price: $6.79

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I am trying to source suitable equipment for the Melt Method program, January 10, 2015
For anyone who is thinking of buying this for the Melt Method exercise program, here is some general info I have found tonight when trying to find appropriate equipment for it (I have ordered this squeeze ball tonight from Amazon and am waiting to receive it in the mail) --

Recently I bought the Melt Method book from Amazon. I had assumed that I could try out some of the moves without having any equipment at the beginning, but after I received the book, I soon discovered that every single exercise in the book requires either a foam roller or a small rubber ball.

Additionally, there are specific requirements for the equipment - the roller must be of a full length and particularly soft, and the ball must be relatively small and also particularly soft.

The creator of the Melt Method technique offers her own range of equipment for sale on her website. She designed it specifically for use with the Melt Method.
-- Her roller is blue, full-length, quite soft, and apparently 5 inches in diameter. [When I last checked her site, it appeared to cost about sixty, with perhaps fifteen extra for shipping.]
-- She sells a set of 3 balls in varying hardnesses and sizes. The small+soft one is apparently the main one for beginners to use with her program, while the other two balls are for more advanced use. [I do not remember how much this set was the last time I looked at her site, but it includes instruction cards and 1 or 2 DVDs, so it's probably thirty or over.]

Because I am not even sure if the Melt Method will be of help to me, I'd rather not spend a lot of money up front before even trying it out, but since having a roller and one ball is absolutely necessary to experience the program, I have returned to Amazon tonight to buy cheaper versions of both items that are as close to the "official" items as possible (but not as expensive as they are).

-----------------------
Roller:
I have read many comments on Amazon that say the "OPTP Pro-roller Soft Pink Marble" was the original roller that was used in the Melt Method, before the developer of the Melt Method created her own equipment a couple of years ago.
The official Melt roller has a smaller diameter (5 inches vs. 6 inches) and might be a little bit softer than the pink OPTP Pro-roller Soft.
However, most commenters who mention the Melt Method seem to say that the pink OPTP Pro-roller Soft is just fine for doing the Melt exercises.
Therefore, I decided to order it here, which is about half the price of the official one (considering Amazon's free shipping).

Note -- There are lots of comments on Amazon about how the official roller as sold by the Melt website was backordered in the last year or two and was taking maybe 6 or 8 weeks to arrive, but I haven't seen any recent complaints (submitted in the last few months) that say it is backordered, so its availability from the Melt site is probably immediate these days, and that was not a factor in my decision.

Note -- There is a blue roller for sale in a different listing on Amazon that calls itself a "Melt roller", and the product listing shows a picture of the official Melt roller, but several customers have commented on that listing to say that they bought it and were unhappy to find that it was not the official one, so I would be wary of that listing, because it does not seem that the Melt Method company sells their products anywhere but their own website and through their official trainers who teach Melt classes.

Note -- There are two colors of OPTP rollers on the Amazon listing of "OPTP Pro-roller Soft Pink Marble", pink and blue. Some commenters have claimed that there is a difference between the two, that the pink is softer than the blue and therefore is more suitable for doing the Melt exercises with. If you'd ordinarily prefer the blue color and would rather not have a pink one, you could check out the OPTP website to see if they describe any difference in firmness between these two colors.

-----------------------
Ball: After looking at a number of balls here on Amazon, I decided to try the yellow (softest) ball on this listing: "Isokinetics Inc. Hand Exercise Squeeze Ball - Round - 5 Resistance Levels - Sold Separately", which is about seven with free shipping.

Many people said they went to a dollar store, pet store, sporting goods store, toy store, etc. to find a little, soft ball for the Melt Method, but this one is specifically designed for hand exercises and gets pretty good reviews, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

-----------------------
After I receive these and try out the program, I'll update my review.


OPTP Pro-Roller Soft Pink Marble
OPTP Pro-Roller Soft Pink Marble
Offered by NetRush
Price: $37.99
9 used & new from $34.95

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some general info I found on this roller (while waiting to receive it in the mail), January 10, 2015
For anyone who is thinking of buying this for the Melt Method exercise program, here is some general info I have found on this roller (I have ordered it tonight from Amazon and am waiting to receive it in the mail) --

Recently I bought the Melt Method book from Amazon. I had assumed that I could try out some of the moves without having any equipment at the beginning, but after I received the book, I soon discovered that every single exercise in the book requires either a foam roller or a small rubber ball.

Additionally, there are specific requirements for the equipment - the roller must be of a full length and particularly soft, and the ball must be relatively small and also particularly soft.

The creator of the Melt Method technique offers her own range of equipment for sale on her website. She designed it specifically for use with the Melt Method.
-- Her roller is blue, full-length, quite soft, and apparently 5 inches in diameter (therefore, it is smaller than this OPTP roller, which is apparently 6 inches in diameter). [When I last checked her site, it appeared to cost about sixty, with perhaps fifteen extra for shipping.]
-- She sells a set of 3 balls in varying hardnesses and sizes. The small+soft one is apparently the main one for beginners to use with her program, while the other two balls are for more advanced use. [I do not remember how much this set was the last time I looked at her site, but it includes instruction cards and 1 or 2 DVDs, so it's probably thirty or over.]

Because I am not even sure if the Melt Method will be of help to me, I'd rather not spend a lot of money up front before even trying it out, but since having a roller and one ball is absolutely necessary to experience the program, I have returned to Amazon tonight to buy cheaper versions of both items that are as close to the "official" items as possible (but not as expensive as they are).

-----------------------
Roller:
I have read many comments on Amazon that say the "OPTP Pro-roller Soft Pink Marble" was the original roller that was used in the Melt Method, before the developer of the Melt Method created her own equipment a couple of years ago.
The official Melt roller has a smaller diameter (5 inches vs. 6 inches) and might be a little bit softer than this pink OPTP Pro-roller Soft.
However, most commenters who mention the Melt Method seem to say that the pink OPTP Pro-roller Soft is just fine for doing the Melt exercises.
Therefore, I decided to order this one, which is about half the price of the official one (considering Amazon's free shipping).

Note -- There are lots of comments on Amazon about how the official roller as sold by the Melt website was backordered in the last year or two and was taking maybe 6 or 8 weeks to arrive, but I haven't seen any recent complaints (submitted in the last few months) that say it is backordered, so its availability from the Melt site is probably immediate these days, and that was not a factor in my decision.

Note -- There is a blue roller for sale in a different listing on Amazon that calls itself a "Melt roller", and the product listing shows a picture of the official Melt roller, but several customers have commented on that listing to say that they bought it and were unhappy to find that it was not the official one, so I would be wary of that listing, because it does not seem that the Melt Method company sells their products anywhere but their own website and through their official trainers who teach Melt classes.

Note -- There are two colors of OPTP rollers on this item's Amazon listing, pink and blue. Some commenters here say that there is a difference between these two, that the pink is softer than the blue and therefore is more suitable for doing the Melt exercises with. If you'd ordinarily prefer the blue color and would rather not have a pink one, you could check out the OPTP website to see if they describe any difference in firmness between these two colors.

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Ball: After looking at a number of balls here on Amazon, I decided to try the yellow (softest) ball on the following listing: "Isokinetics Inc. Hand Exercise Squeeze Ball - Round - 5 Resistance Levels - Sold Separately" which is about seven with free shipping.

Many people said they went to a dollar store, pet store, sporting goods store, toy store, etc. to find a little, soft ball for the Melt Method, but this one is specifically designed for hand exercises and gets pretty good reviews, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

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After I receive these and try out the program, I'll update my review.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2015 6:50 AM PST


Intex Comfort Plush Mid Rise Dura-Beam Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump, Bed Height 13", Queen
Intex Comfort Plush Mid Rise Dura-Beam Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump, Bed Height 13", Queen
Price: $54.97
7 used & new from $42.00

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars: An affordable, comfortable airbed - with one major negative, December 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Review as of September 2014:

I purchased 2 of these Intex Recreation Mid-Rise Airbeds from Amazon in May 2014.

I had never bought an air mattress before, but the few times I've slept on air mattresses (ages ago) were not comfortable experiences, so I knew the product qualities I wanted to avoid!

The first order:

The first one of these I got for an elderly relative, who had asked me to find an economical way to "fill up" the gigantic space that was left in his king-size waterbed frame (which sits in his never-used second bedroom) after the original 1970s water mattress that came with the frame developed a leak and needed to be discarded. He refused to get rid of the waterbed frame and get a conventional bed frame, and he didn't want to leave the waterbed frame empty because he wanted to have a useable bed in that second bedroom, for guests. After looking up many different options, I decided that the cheapest and easiest way forward would be to buy an air mattress of the right dimensions that would fit inside the waterbed frame.

It was actually not easy to find an air mattress of suitable dimensions for the high sides of the waterbed frame, because most air mattresses are several inches shorter or many inches taller than this one. This particular mattress, which I got in a queen size, is a perfect height for the waterbed frame - 13 inches tall. The length of 80 inches is just fine for the waterbed frame. Unfortunately, the width of 60 inches is about 15 inches too narrow, but I arranged the space gap to be next to the bedroom wall, filled it with rolled-up spare blankets, and after the mattress is made up with mattress pad, sheets, bedspread, pillows, etc. on top, you can't see the gap. This specific mattress is not meant to be regularly slept on, it's just there to be used once in a blue moon by the random guest. My relative was very pleased that we could find a solution as nice as this air mattress is, but for only about fifty dollars.

The characteristics I was looking for in an air mattress to fit the above scenario were:
- The waterbed frame dimensions which I needed to accommodate
- Good quality
- Sturdy construction
- Comfortable support for sleeping on
- Electric, built-in pump
- No built-in "pillow" (I find those very uncomfortable to sleep on - too low to entirely stand in for a pillow, but too high to use a real pillow on top of)
- No raised ridges along the edges
- Reasonable price
- Many good customer reviews, or at least not many bad reviews

It took quite a lot of shopping around the internet to finally stumble upon across this model, which seems to fulfill all of the requirements except the last one -- at the time I bought my relative's air mattress, I could find no reviews at all on this mattress. (Since then, one has been posted here on Amazon.)

However, I read hundreds of reviews on other Intex air mattress models, and studied closely the Amazon reviewers' photos that showed the typical defects of each model type (each air mattress model seems to have its own special way of going a little haywire!) One reviewer said that the Intex models which are over 13 inches tall (and thus taller than this Intex Recreation Mid-Rise model) probably have more problems with internal bursting and such, which makes sense.

This mid-rise version seems to be a great combination of a "luxury" construction (at least considering the product category as a whole, it's sort of on the "luxury" end!); a top-of-the-range built-in electric air pump; a sleek, no-nonsense, completely-flat sleeping surface; and a reasonable price (competing brands seem to retail for hundreds of dollars).

The big downside of these air mattresses is, of course, that they seem to come with absolutely no warranty from the manufacturer, Intex. I have found conflicting information about the warranty situation -- I've seen in many places on the internet where there is no warranty at all, but in the question-and-answer section of a different Intex air mattress listing on Amazon, a representative of Intex answered a question about the warranty by saying that there was some kind of limited warranty of a few months (I have lost the link to that, but it's probably still up somewhere on this website) and that customers should just contact Intex if there is a problem. Maybe the warranty varies amongst their products, I don't know. I don't see any information on the "owner's manual" or retail box of this air mattress about a warranty, so I assume there isn't one. (The only protection the buyer has is Amazon's own 30-day guarantee, so it's prudent to set this mattress up right away, leave it inflated for a few days to see if it loses any air, maybe even sleep on it yourself for a few nights during those first 30 days -- even if you are buying this only to use when you have guests over to stay, or to take on vacation later in the year.)

My relative's air mattress has been slept on a couple of times in the last 4 months by guests, and has reportedly been comfortable. It loses only a little air as the days go by. It has retained its shape. Its length x width dimensions are still true to the standard queen-size mattress dimensions, and queen-size fitted sheets fit on it well.

The second order:

It is time to replace my bed frame and mattress that I've had for a number of years, and while I'm figuring out what to get, I decided (after setting up my relative's air mattress) that it would probably be more comfortable to sleep on an air mattress of this caliber for a while, rather than to sleep on my old mattress, which had begun to hurt my back.

For size versatility in later uses of the air mattress (for guests, on trips, etc.), I wanted to get a full/double rather than a queen, but when I came back to this Amazon listing, the full size was no longer listed (sometimes it's available on this page, sometimes it's not), and the twin was on backorder, so I had to go with a queen.

Some other Intex air mattress customers have recommended first to blow up a new air mattress to about 90% capacity to give the wrinkles in the vinyl time to stretch out, and leave it like that for 24 hours before topping the air off to the desired firmness for sleeping on. That is what I did when my mattress first arrived.

I am really sensitive to "chemical" odors, and I was concerned that such a large expanse of new vinyl would give off a pretty overwhelming scent for days, if not weeks. When I first took the mattress out of its packaging and blew it up, I was surprised (and happy) that there didn't seem to be much of a smell coming from it, but after I had it pumped up for a full day without any bedding on it (to ease out the wrinkles), I found that it emitted a medium-strong plasticky odor, similar to a new vinyl shower curtain. After a couple of days, the odor died down and I can't notice it at all now.

I did not measure the dimensions of my new air mattress precisely after I first inflated it to the pressure that was comfortable for me to sleep on, but I had bought a new queen mattress pad for it which fit the mattress fine when I first put it on (although it was quite a tight fit).

My air mattress seems to lose air more quickly than my relative's air mattress, but of course mine is slept on nightly, and his is not. I have to top the air up for about 30 seconds, once every 3 to 7 days.

I have always been careful not to inflate this air mattress too much. Unfortunately, despite my measured, gentle treatment of it, it began to develop bulges after a couple of months -- bulges along the sides, all the way around. It's a good thing these bulges didn't pop out on the top surface (where some other Intex air mattress models tend to develop bulges), because that would make it hard to sleep on, so I'm lucky in that way. The problem is that the side bulges have enlarged the size of the air mattress so much that it is now a number of inches longer and wider than a queen -- it's even wider than a king now! That means that my new queen mattress pad does not fit on it any longer (it's stretched out to maximum capacity and pops off the ends), and the nice-quality, deep-pocket queen fitted sheets that I bought for the air mattress do not fit. I am having to use a king-size flat sheet on the mattress instead of a fitted sheet, but even with the massive size of a king flat sheet, it does not tuck under the mattress properly and bunches up underneath me during the night. I am sad that the size and shape of my air mattress has altered like this. I had wanted just a full/double in the first place, but after a few months of very gentle use by one lightweight person, as measured side-bulge to side-bulge, this "queen" is bigger than a king, the new bedding I bought for it (the new queen sheet set and the new queen mattress pad each cost more than the air mattress did!) does not fit it now, and it takes up a lot of floor space in my bedroom.

But at least the sleeping surface has remained flat, even, and comfortable to sleep on, after 4 months of daily use. I can't even tell that it's an air mattress when I'm lying on it (unless I am right at the edge). It's not the *most* comfortable mattress I've ever slept on, but it's one of the better ones I've ever tried... which is pretty amazing for a fifty-dollar vinyl box full of air!

I'm giving it a 3.5 stars out of 5 (rounded up to 4 to fit Amazon's rating system).

======================
Note: I did try to find this specific model at other retailers to check on customer ratings and prices, but I could only find it (sold out) at one or two other sites, with no reviews. Even at the manufacturer's own site, I traipsed around their numerous air mattress offerings but couldn't find this one... until I looked at the "international" version of Intex's site, rather than the "US" version. This model might not normally be for sale in this country; maybe that's why it's not really carried at other American online retailers, as far as I could see. The comparable "high-end" Intex models that are for the US market seem to have built-in "pillows" and/or to be much taller than this one, but I prefer this one for its completely-flat surface and its moderate height.

=====================================
December 2014: I thought I'd come back to my review to say that I have found a workaround for the way this "queen-size" air mattress has bulged out so much on every side that queen-size sheets do not fit it:
I use a king-size flat sheet for a bottom sheet, and I secure it around the sides of the mattress with 4 bungee-corded thingies that are sold as "The Original Bed Band", which I found here on Amazon for about 14 dollars. They hold the sheet perfectly in place on the mattress.


Nature's Plus - Licorice (Dgl), 500 mg, 60 capsules
Nature's Plus - Licorice (Dgl), 500 mg, 60 capsules
Offered by Health Select
Price: $11.65
10 used & new from $7.59

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleased with it so far, December 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is the first time I've tried DGL licorice.

I generally research a supplement category pretty extensively to compare ingredients, prices, and customer reviews before making a purchase. I try to avoid supplements with unnecessary fillers, so for DGL, I narrowed down the list of potential products to the following:
-Nature's Plus, 60 caps, about 17 cents each, 500 mg extract, less than 2% glycyhhrizin
-Solgar, 60 caps, about 17 cents each, 250 mg extract, less than 1% glycyhhrizin
-Swanson Vitamins, 90 caps, about 7 cents each, 750 mg extract, less than 3% glycyhhrizin

Although the Swanson version has the highest amount of DGL per capsule, and is also the cheapest per capsule, the percentage of glycyhhrizin is possibly higher than in the other two products. If one is worried about limiting the glycyhhrizin percentage as much as possible, she/he might wish to go with the Solgar, although it's the most expensive per mg of product. I decided to try the Nature's Plus because I felt it offered a happy medium on price, quantity, and glycyhhrizin percentage, and had relatively good reviews too.

I generally like the taste of licorice candy (real black licorice candy, not the Twizzlers sort of thing), but I wasn't worried about the taste of this product in any case, since the capsules can be swallowed quickly with a gulp of water.

I have read that DGL benefits the digestive system more if the powder in the capsule is emptied on the tongue and kind of chewed for a bit before swallowing, so I have been doing that with these, and I actually really like the taste of this powder and find that it comes close to tasting like real black licorice candy (such as the Panda brand that is available in the US at stores like Whole Foods and Earth Fare). But I might have strange taste buds!

I am trying a few other products for my digestive issues alongside this one, so I can't say how well this product is working to soothe my digestive system. I expect that it is helping a little bit, and I plan to keep taking it, for the short term at least.

(I have read on some sites that licorice herb, even if the glycyhhrizin has been partially removed, should not be taken over the long term, but limited to a course of perhaps 6 weeks or 8 weeks before taking a break from it.)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 31, 2015 11:46 AM PST


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