Flux Health Forum

Pain in lower legs and feet

My husband has had blood clots in his legs, thus hindering the return of venous blood and causing swelling of the legs. Understandably this is associated with pain. He now wears compression hose that mitigates his condition somewhat

However, some of the pain he describes seems to be of a different type than just due to swelling. He describes it as sharp, stabbing pain deep in the foot. He experiences a lot of pain in his heels when he walks. He also experiences tingling pain and itching.

From what I have read, some of his pain may be due to painful neuropathy, and I also understand the the ICES devices can be helpful both with pain and neuropathy.

Seeing that the pain is mainly in his lower legs and feet, with particular pain in the heels, I am wondering what devices and/or protocols would be best to try.

(I bought 2 A9’s, but currently one is with my son, across the continent, and the other is with in-laws. I still have a M1.)

I also have numbness and tingling in one arm which I’m beginning to think may be helped by ICES.

We consume a healthy vegan diet, take supplements and normally get reasonable exercise. My husband’s blot clots appear to be due to a hereditary genetic mutation (heterozygous for mutated MTHFR gene) and my family tends towards faulty hearts.

But back to my main point: Are A9’s good for neuropathy and pain, or would some M1 settings be better? Or perhaps we need the Model C5? (We’re desperate! The pain is intense.)

(He was earlier diagnosed with cellulitis, prescribed anti-biotics, which knocked back the infection and some of the pain. But I think there’s more to it. )

The model A9 is really the work horse for all of these types of uses. Any of our systems should work equivalently. Try Omni-8 if you use an M1 or C5, set for 9 or 10 intensity.

Other things you might consider are fibrolytic enzyme supplements, such as serrapeptase, nattokinase (can be purchased together in an enteric capsule), lumbrokinase, maybe also wobenzyme or bromelain. And I also use NAC plus L-Glycine to combat inflammation and poor circulation in my extremities, also very good for liver and cardiovascular. Just my opinions, this is what I use.


Thanks so much, Bob! We are using enzymes, including Lumbrokinase. Added Serrapeptase because it is supposed to help with pain. I bought the most expensive by Boluoke because I didn’t want to take chances, but I assume there are others that may work as well? Do you use Lumbrokinase?
He is not using NAC, and I just heard about L-Glycine and will add both. I actually have NAC on hand and will order L-Glycine.

Dermatologist prescribed a cortisone cream for his eczema, but it worked no better than over-the-counter Aveeno recommended by an allergist. (I like the allergist because he is down-to-earth. Dermatologist arrogantly proclaimed “we can fix this.” He seemed disinterested in anything not skin, but kids want to take their dad to a follow-up appointment.) From all we understand, the skin issues are a symptom of something not right elsewhere in the body, probably the gut. We are working on possible allergens, but I noted that ICES has helped others with gut issues too. So they seem like a win all around.

Thank you ever so much!!

PS People on here seem more knowledgeable than so many doctors who only check the recommended treatment for symptoms and act accordingly, like cogs in a machine. Fortunately our family physician and an allergist seem down-to-earth and honest.

Thanks again, for making this community possible. Your way of dealing with your invention is not making you rich, I’m sure, but it is impacting many lives in a positive way. I’m just super grateful to have found you!


Do I use Lumbrokinase? Yes, I use all the ones I listed.
I also use NAC + L-glycine because recent excellent research on the topic shows many major benefits of the combination of the two, which seem to be primarily related to boosting glutathione (a.k.a. GLY) production at the cellular level. But crucially, the presence of abundant NAC and GLY allow each cell to regulate its own internal glutathione level, allowing each cell to optimally respond to it’s unique needs and stresses. If you supplement with glutathione directly (such as lyophilized glutathione), it gets transported into each cell at levels not controllable by each cell, so essentially each cell gets an inappropriate amount of glutathione. It is way better to let the cells individually control and optimize this powerful anti-oxidant, so taking GLY and NAC together (called “GLY-NAC”) is by far the best approach.

GLY-NAC may help with a lot of things. Also, GLY is the main component of collagen, and a lot of recent research suggests that people may need as much as 10 grams or more every day. I take 12 to 14 grams every day. Another good source is short chain collagen peptides (which will be 1/3 GLY). I think this is a huge unappreciated deficiency in the diets of people over 40.

You are fortunate to have healthcare people who can think for themselves. My physician is a physicist, very narrow protocols, mainstream only. Kind of sad, he has a degree in physics, so he must have been able to think freely at one time, maybe before med school?

Honestly I am glad I can help, and I appreciate the positive feedback. I get really major positive feedback all the time, and I suppose only about 5 to 10% of it ever shows up on this forum. Most people appreciate it, but they just want to say a quick “thanks” and then move on with their lives without much further discussion. I can’t blame them.


For me, ICES PEMF works the best to permanently restore feeling in my big toe which became numb. Peripheral neuropathy runs in my family. It works way better than red/infrared light.

Fyi, a majority of the population is heterozygous MTHFR. However the body has compensatory mechanisms and even the US CDC gets this one right: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/mthfr-gene-and-folic-acid.html

In my view, after the human genome was decoded, a good 10 years was spent by the functional medicine community chasing supplements for genes after recommending gene tests. Now, on average, the functional medicine community is getting wiser and realizing that was foolish. The good ones are focusing not on gene tests but on lab tests to understand how genes are expressing. Then they use this information and a multi-organ systems approach to finding and solving for the root cause. For the average human, gene expression is more important and low stress, clean air, clean food, clean water, good sleep, good activity, good gut health, good community, and meditation/prayer/etc go a long way to changing our gene expression.


Thank you so much for your extra info on L-lysine and NAC. I’ve got so much on my plate that I had not researched that properly. Son and in-laws were touting the miracle of glutathione. Now I can understand why the effects seemed to have slowed down - with cells getting inappropriate amounts.
Thank you for having this forum and sharing your knowledge so freely!
Too many people don’t think for themselves any more, including doctors, many of whom are just useful cogs in the giant pharmaceutical machine. They follow prescribed “protocols.” That’s it!

Thank you for your contribution!
For us, the info on the MTHFR gene helped us understand why my husband was getting blood clots in spite of a very healthy lifestyle. Right now (at age 83), blood tests for him show low homocysteine levels, which is not “normal” for heterozygous MTHFR persons. Our doctor, who takes a more wholistic approach said, “That’s because you supplement appropriately.”

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I use glycine (from collagen) and n-acetyl cysteine. Super helpful. Not lysine.

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@Bob Which Glycine brand/product and which NAC brand/product are you purchasing that has the quality and best price value given you are taking 10g glycine per day (how much NAC are you taking per day)? Also shocked that in my 6 years of diving deep in the functional / integrative health space, I have not come across references on the superiority of Glycine/NAC versus Glutathione until your post. Thanks for sharing this. Indeed upon searching pubmed, I see great research as you mentioned. Seems like this is under represented on top functional practitioners’ sites.


I agree. I think this is vastly under appreciated. I essentially take glycine as a food, not a supplement (kidding, but true). I tend to mix and match supplement brands among the good ones IMO, that way not much harm is done by a bad or deficient batch, so these will change from time-to-time. What I take right now is:

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C, Unflavored, 20 oz from Amazon:

I get this as a powder but I fill my own size 0 gel caps because I do not like to mix it with food. I take 7 or 8 grams per day as a capsule, but I am gradually ramping that amount up because I seem to tolerate it extremely well, and there is no indication that there are negative side effects. Excess GLY seems to be cleared very easily, but I doubt any of us really has an excess unless your diet is made up mostly of skin and tendons. About 1/3 of any collagen (usually skin) derived peptides will be glycine, but this amount is needed for collagen turnover, so to account for all other metabolic needs of GLY, I also take L-Glycine:

Nutricost L-Glycine 1000mg, 120 Capsules, Vegetarian, Non-GMO and Gluten Free

from Amazon:

I take 2 or 3 capsules (2-3 grams) of L-glycine three times per day: morning, noon, and night.

Another great benefit of GLY that I forgot to mention is that it counteracts the negative effects of too much methionine from meat protein (elevated homocysteine levels, depression, longevity concerns apparently, and others)

For reasons I cannot fully explain, I like this one the best:

NOW Supplements, NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) 1,000 mg, Free Radical Protection*, 120 Tablets

from amazon:

I got into the habit of taking this specific brand because when Amazon and others withdrew it during the pandemic SNAFU, it was still available at iHerb.com.

One reason I like it is that NOW provides it as a compressed solid tablet, not as a powder in a gel capsule, which I find preferable for NAC, as it makes it much more palatable, with much less of a sulfurous odor and taste. And I suspect it is also more chemically stable in this form for long-term storage, but I could be wrong,

I take two grams of NAC per day, one in the morning, one before bed, when also taking my L-GLY at those times.

I honestly think NAC and especially GLY are both serious deficiencies for people over 40, impacting both glutathione metabolism and collagen remodeling. I agree @TajD, I can’t believe that this is not more widely publicized in every health-related community. I stumbled across it in bits and pieces.

I think our need for glycine goes up as we age, while our ability to absorb it from food goes down, and since we eat less total bulk as we age, we also get less total in our diet. A triple bad-whammy. It may also be true that endogenous glycine production in the liver decreases with age, but this is apparently limited to 3 grams anyway, so it is definitely not enough by itself. The more I think about it, the more I feel like this should be the number one non-vitamin, non-micronutient recommendation for dietary supplementation as we age.

I am really glad that some people are finding this opinion to be helpful.


My mother and I are into alternative medicine, and when my dad and grandmother were alive, they both suffered swelling in lower legs and feet too. My mother gave them herbs which brought it down completely in just a few days. No compression socks, nothing, no food supplements, drugs or creams.

She combines notoginseng and salvia root to treat them. The combination is also good for cardiovascular disease which runs in both sides of my family. My grandmother had a heart attack at age 59, and when she was sent to the hospital, they also found she had an enlarged heart (in those days, that was pretty much a death sentence). She took western drugs the hospital prescribed for her for a week and then stopped taking them because of the side effects and started to take these two herbs instead.

Fast forward exactly 48 years later: she broke her hip trying to run with her walker on carpeting(!) Originally, the hospital didn’t want to do surgery on someone her age, but she was so healthy, they gave her partial anesthesia and went ahead with it. Before surgery they asked us if she had any heart issues, we told them about her heart attack and they immediately had her checked out and then came back to ask us if we were sure she had had a heart attack because her heart checked out as good as that of a 60 year-old! We completely attribute that to her taking the notoginseng and salvia all these years (once a month).

Notoginseng (aka pseudo ginseng or panax notoginseng) comes in a wide range of quality, but do not buy the flower or tea (that’s not effective). We buy the best in original unprocessed state, but I think you have limited sources in U.S. and can only access through Amazon. The best quality should have taken minimum five years to grow but many are just 3 years now. Best quality would be a dark brown (almost black). They often sell in capsule form and you would not be able to verify its quality. On the other hand, capsules would be much more convenient to take because you don’t have to prepare it through cooking, just take according to instructions as you would any food supplement. Apparently Amazon also sells the unprocessed form, but just looking at the pics, they look to be of inferior quality.

As for salvia, it’s also known by the Chinese name danshen root, sage root, or by its Latin name Salviae Miltiorrhizae Radix et Rhizoma. Both herbs should be taken together for best results. If you’re taking western prescriptions, you should take these at least one hour apart from other drugs to prevent interactions.

Hope this helps.


BTW my mother and I also dabble in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). According to TCM, eczema is due to “dampness of the spleen,” which often peaks around spring and autumn. TCM suggests several herbs for that to make into a stew. Most people like it, me not so much, but it works. Not a cure, but usually, I take it only once and it lasts for the entire season.

Eczema is especially aggravated with spicy hot foods, but also avoid cantaloupes, honeydew melon, eggs, anything sour, and sweet, refined processed foods, at least until flare ups subside and then wait about a month afterwards to prevent further aggravation.

Other way to do this is to grow a shrub called rue. It’s a hardy annual shrub that puts out these small leaves. Pick a handful, cover with just enough water to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes and then apply the water directly on the affected skin. it gets rid of the eczema irritation almost immediately. Great on bruising and other skin inflammation as well. When cooked, it has a distinctive odour, a few people say it’s fragrant, but most of us find it stinky! However, when applied on, you won’t smell anything.


Bob, you shared the brands you used for NAC and L-lysine, and I’m really interested in what Lumbrokinase supplement you use. For our initial trial I used the Buluoke brand, because of the research they sponsored, but that’s really expensive. Wondering if other brands work as well.

I cycle between them and rotate through them. I do not have one favorite brand. But as a qualitative rule-of-thumb, if I use a fibrinolytic enzyme I will generally pay very close attention++ to the effects it has on me, in particular, if my hands and feet feel better perfused (slightly warmer, reduced swelling, better digit flexibility, better skin sensitivity and coloration), then that is a brand that I will continue to use.

++Note, the only solid, immutable, uniform advice that I give to every person in response to every question for all applications is this:

Individual responses vary
Pay attention

That being said, I tend to find that the lumbrokinase sold by Mercola works for me. He and I talked about its potential uses and formulation before he began to offer it a few years ago, so I know something about the thinking that went into that product.

On an absolute scale, admittedly it’s probably not the best option, and I also use several others (generally the mid- to higher-priced ones available on amazon), but I usually rotate those with the Mercola brand. But this is only what works for me, with my biases and inevitable placebo effects.

For me my thinking about supplementation is very long-view, statistical, and risk-ratio based. My assumptions are:
1- Batches vary, single brands are not necessarily consistent.
2- Brands are subject to “quality fade”: reduced quality over time, thus newer brands/products will tend to start out with a quality advantage.
3- Inferior or otherwise flawed batches are more likely to be less effective, and less likely to cause direct harm (though there are rare exceptions to this).


When taking the long-term view of the benefits of supplements, I conclude the most effective approach is to use several different brands of at least good quality, not necessarily the best or optimal, rotating between them to achieve the averaged benefits of the better quality batches of each while minimizing the accumulation of negative effects and the avoidance of prolonged periods of the use of ineffective supplementation due to a single bad batch of an otherwise good product.

And I also do not hesitate to throw away a bottle of supplements if they seem a bit off for any reason. I recently tossed a bottle of NOW brand because one bottle had an unusual whiff of a cleaning solution IMO. Once I do that, I tend to avoid that brand.

But please understand, I have zero expertise in the area of nutritional supplementation. I am only trying to apply common sense and a bit of fact checking research and careful observation of my responses over time to the use of supplements for my own personal needs.

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Thanks, Bob. I understand perfectly that experiences may vary.

I’ve also thought that cycling between brands is a good idea. My laziness sometimes gets in the way, though.


I just got into the habit of buying and tying a few different brands and cycling through them. For me its actually easier than grinding through the research to try to find the one mythical optimal best brand.

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Hi people, purusing thiis topic (looking for something else: an alert setting for sleep diprivation) and this imight be just what I need. Supplements? I bought the C5 to use the pad under my thighs ,calves, etc for muscle spasims especially in my toes when I stretch during sleep, I pull back and they cramp. Only remedy is to stand on the cold tile bedroom floor. Once when napping, I put the Ml with large flat coils on top of my feet and had a restful sleep, however the calves cramped when I stood up - go figure!

A major cause of leg/foot/thigh night cramping is a magnesium deficiency especially in older folks. I have had the same type of cramping problems and found that when I forget to take my magnesium supplements (Magnesium glycinate and Magnesium L-Threonate ) the cramping returns. On those nights I take Hylands Leg Cramps homeopathic remedy. Three tabs dissolved under the tongue works for me and it works rather quickly (within a few minutes). When using magnesium supplements be aware that taking to much can cause diarrhea; I take magnesium glycinate and Magnesium L-Threonate to minimize that problem.


The same basic strategy used by @compudoc doc worked extremely well for me too.

Thanks Guys! So kind of you to take the time to reply. I do take Magnesium Oxide, 300 mg, at night time and obviously not enough. I’m pretty careful about my water intake BUT if i slip up and forget - trouble. I’ve heard about Magnesium L-Threonate so I’ll give it a try. I’m also more attentive to my gut health which a kind person reminded here on this forum. BUT for security I always sleep with the large pad under my legs in bed and I have stuck the small M1 in my sock and wrapped my leg just to ensure i can relax and go back to sleep after a sever cramping episode. So again I must say I am very grateful to Bob for these different devices which have helped me in so many ways with my aging issues. Thanks Dr. Dennis, you are so appreciated!