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What's it like to informally judge day-to-day progress?

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  • What's it like to informally judge day-to-day progress?

    I've been restoring with the TLC X consistently for about 5 weeks, 11 hours per day using 10 - 12 oz elastic tension. I've seen improvements, but at such an early stage, I'm very hesitant to attribute this apparent growth to new skin. I'm aware that skin stretches during the first few weeks, but at what point is it safe to discount that possibility?

    I've taken my first month measurements and photos of course. But every night, when removing the device, there's an opportunity to view the skin at it's most stretched point, even though the skin partially reverts back by the next morning. But this past week, I'm starting to notice that the skin appears to stay forward longer after a day of tugging. It will hang over the corona as what appears to be a CI 4.0, even after walking around for a bit. But from what I recall, it wouldn't behave that way, say, 3-4 weeks ago.

    I suppose what I'm asking, is if my experience of carefully observing the state of the skin every night, is reflective of the experience that most restorers have, in addition to precise FEC measurements. I'm wondering if a great deal of the actual realization of progress involves someone, a few months into tugging, looking at their skin one night and saying "hmm...that's definitely not how it looked at the end of the first month..".

    Beginning to restore again has been an emotionally taxing process, opening up old wounds I'd tried to forget about. I'm just eager to see any sort of visible progress, knowing that it'll encourage me to keep pushing forward with this. Not that I'm necessarily impatient. I'm in this for the long haul.

  • #2
    Progress happens so slowly that the only real way to see it is to take pictures and compare them. As you gain skin you get used to your present state being "normal", so you forget easily.

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    • #3
      To answer the question, "judging" becomes a psychological liability; a game that you play, not reality. It sets up quitting.


      It's better to forget progress, and focus on proper tension. You will eventually begin to feel a "sweet spot" where tension feels right after you apply it. And when you loose the sweet spot (and you will), you readjust it (but a little more carefully, your skin is more vulnerable at this point). Very simple, and it satisfies your need for "judgement" and control in this process. In other words, this becomes your daily focus.

      If you see any permanent change, then fine, but it becomes almost secondary. I'll say it again, skin growth becomes second to just continuing on. The results you see are always small, sometimes very small. Just continuing on is one of the basic differences between new guys, and down-the-road guys. You won't become a down-the-road guy until you become a hang-in guy. You just have to accept that. If you can't (and there are probably many who have a hard time accepting it), then you simply aren't a tugger/restorer.

      So give it time. Years; literally year after year. This will be a test of your conviction. All the action, the response, is done by your skin, not your brain. It's your skin's response that gives skin growth, not your judgement of progress. This fact just isn't accepted by most new guys. They think they're in control. We all want to be in control. There is no control, just tension and time, and endurance; years of endurance. Why? Because that's your skin's timetable; it demands this, you obey. The extent that you can't accept this fact, is the extent that you haven't found the groove yet. Hang in there, and you will. It's the groove that carries you through this.
      Last edited by Reality; 04-10-2017, 04:48 PM.

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      • #4
        I simply look at my coverage, multiple times a day, and in my mind, "average" that so that I have found that I can see progress over time, say in a month at the longest. The key is to do lots of observations, because our skin is so variable, it is very difficult to measure or observe with precise consistency.

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        • #5
          starpilot: you've said that you find it "emotionally taxing" to tug/anticipate results. Everyone has a different psychological make-up, so I listened, and tailored my advice to your statement. What I said also happens to be true overall. Hang in there, and you'll see.

          Your choice, of course, but I think taking photos from time to time, while not a true measurement as such, can't hurt. I think looking at your penis "multiple times a day" is a risk, for the very reason that greg states: there is no "precise consistency" (so if nothing else, multiple daily observations doesn't make sense as a measurement, or even an "average"), and you've already stated this bothers you enough to tell us, so why observe more often than you do now; that falls on the side of a possible obsession. Nobody needs that. And it doesn't have anything to do with measurement, or growth.

          Look: you can't control the process, but you can find some stability in it (one reason we want control, is for some stability). Not through measurement, though. You'll find stability in daily adjustment of tension, and reapplication of tension. Do that, day after day, and one day.........
          Last edited by Reality; 04-10-2017, 08:59 PM.

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          • #6
            Thanks man. I hear what you're saying, and I think I understand. But yeah, ideally I don't want to be thinking about this so much every day. Time starts to go by faster as you get older, and I'm not intimidated by the amount it takes. 3 or 4 years is nothing compared to the rest of your life.

            I'm learning everything I can regarding proper amounts of tension, growing inner vs outer skin, the 4 hour rule, etc. But I'm still a little fuzzy on the idea of adjusting tension. I'm using elastic tension with the rubber band clip near the top. I use a fresh pair of rubber bands every day, and I move the clip up halfway through the day, to account for the rubber bands weakening after a few hours. that's all the tension adjustment I do.

            I've measured tension using a kitchen scale, just as Ron demonstrated in the videos. and it comes out to 2/3 - 3/4 lbs, with both fresh, and day-old rubber bands at their respective rubber band clip settings. I've heard some people say that there's a broad range of tension that's "enough" to encourage skin growth, and other people imply that it has to be "just right" and adjusted frequently. So I keep it at the suggested 12oz as consistently as I can.

            That being said, the HyperRestore DA is arriving in the mail soon. I've heard that direct air is effective, and would like to try other methods in addition to the TLC X. (yeah, trying to control it again, :P )

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            • #7
              You want a way to quantify tension? Get a small digital fish scale and hook it up to an overhead elastic strap anchor above your bed. Once you have figured out your ideal tension you can replicate that by feel and get it pretty close. Generally 12-16 oz is plenty.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by starpilot149 View Post
                Thanks man. I hear what you're saying, and I think I understand. But yeah, ideally I don't want to be thinking about this so much every day. Time starts to go by faster as you get older, and I'm not intimidated by the amount it takes. 3 or 4 years is nothing compared to the rest of your life.

                I'm learning everything I can regarding proper amounts of tension, growing inner vs outer skin, the 4 hour rule, etc. But I'm still a little fuzzy on the idea of adjusting tension. I'm using elastic tension with the rubber band clip near the top. I use a fresh pair of rubber bands every day, and I move the clip up halfway through the day, to account for the rubber bands weakening after a few hours. that's all the tension adjustment I do.

                I've measured tension using a kitchen scale, just as Ron demonstrated in the videos. and it comes out to 2/3 - 3/4 lbs, with both fresh, and day-old rubber bands at their respective rubber band clip settings. I've heard some people say that there's a broad range of tension that's "enough" to encourage skin growth, and other people imply that it has to be "just right" and adjusted frequently. So I keep it at the suggested 12oz as consistently as I can.

                That being said, the HyperRestore DA is arriving in the mail soon. I've heard that direct air is effective, and would like to try other methods in addition to the TLC X. (yeah, trying to control it again, :P )
                What you describe you're doing, is all you need to do. See, simple : ) Better than getting worked up over being in the dark. Just do that, trust yourself, trust your skin to respond, and with time it will all start to happen. But it happens slowly, incrementally. And by the way, we're always in the dark; that's where we live and play : )

                I'm one of those who think that there is a range of tension that your skin will respond to. Nobody's done any sort of scientific study on what we do, so it's a guess, but I think it's a good guess. What has been demonstrated scientifically, is that if too much tension is applied, then cell division stops in its tracks. We don't want that.

                So if there's a range, then as long as you stay inside it, you're fine. Do I know what the boundaries of that range are? Nope, but I would say that the range falls off when tension is just too mild, and stops when it's too strong. I know, sounds simple minded to say it that way, but we have to operate on how it feels to us, rather than some number. If you want to experiment, then you can do what parsec is suggesting, which is experiment with "feel" by looking at what number a fish scale indicates when tension feels "right". Can't hurt. The bottom line, though, is that the number you see is just a number, it's the "feel" that counts. Does one application of tension decide your future? No. It will be a long, long series of individual applications, over time, many, many of them over time, which makes the magic happen. So no one day should be stressed over.

                This is all unscientific, but we don't have science.
                Last edited by Reality; 04-11-2017, 09:19 PM.

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