NFL Player Opens Up About His Struggle with Chronic Pain and Anxiety: “This Treatment Saved My Life”

In many ways, Michael Mauti’s story seems like the typical trajectory for a talented professional athlete. A star high school football player who became a co-captain and All-American for Penn State University. Mauti joined the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons before going home to play for his beloved New Orleans Saints in 2015. While there, he was named special teams captain and received the Ed Block Courage Award. His football success story seems the stuff of every athlete’s dreams, but the truth of his path is much different.

Everyone knows the grueling physical requirements to be a pro athlete and the constant punishment inflicted on the body on the field, but few realize the mental toll as well. During his time at Penn State, Mauti suffered three torn ACLs, potentially career-ending injuries alone. However, the daily stress of performing at this level and the crushing blow inflicted when the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal hit, resulted in yet, another devastating diagnosis: ulcerative colitis. The stress and anxiety of dealing with the fallout from the scandal had taken its toll on Mauti’s digestive tract. This inflammatory digestive condition is chronic, painful, and causes debilitating pain and nausea.

To manage his anxiety, in 2014 Mauti started counseling sessions with a sports psychologist. At this point his stress levels were as high as those seen in combat veterans the doctor had treated. 

“I would turn on a Penn State game two years later and I’d be in a full sweat, my heart rate at 170.”

As for his chronic pain, dependence on pharmaceuticals, the constant need for higher dosage and potency, was leading Michael down what he knew to be a dangerous path. “Dealing with stress is an intrinsic part of being a professional athlete,” Mauti says. “But, I was also climbing up the potency ladder of pharmaceutical drugs to help treat my auto-immune related illness.” His condition ultimately resulted in several surgeries and finally the removal of his large intestine.

“I was also climbing up the potency ladder of pharmaceutical drugs to help treat my auto-immune related illness.”

Unfortunately, this is all too common a story for those dealing with chronic pain and anxiety. Where do you turn when traditional medicine fails? In Michael’s case this sparked a year long quest for a safe and sustainable alternative.

The Search for An Alternative

The pain and stress of dealing with recovery from major surgeries on his knees, the removal of his large intestine, and the residual pain that comes from a life spent receiving and delivering hard hits on the football field sent Mauti looking for alternatives to traditional pharmaceutical drugs.

“After years of using pharmaceutical drugs to treat my ulcerative colitis, and tired of dealing with the symptoms of those drugs, I began to research alternative and integrated medicinal treatments with the hopes of finding a treatment strategy that did not rely on these drugs for forever,” says Mauti. “I met and worked with doctors in the field of integrated and functional medicine. I dove into the literature, learning more about natural ways to help heal my gut and improve my immune system’s ability to control inflammation throughout my body.”

The turning point in his recovery came when Mauti discovered CBD oil. “When I came across CBD oil extracts, I scrolled through countless positive testimonials and finally decided to see what all the fuss was about.  At first, I couldn’t explain the effects it was having throughout my body…I felt less anxious, my gut felt better, and I was sleeping better.”

Unsure if it was the CBD oil causing the positive effects, Mauti tested to see if the effects were merely placebo

“Even after I knew it was working, I would take full-spectrum CBD oil consistently, and then stop for a few days to see if I noticed any change.  Sure enough, after three or four days my knee would light up walking up a staircase, or my neck would be stiff and sore in the mornings. I could feel each day from when I didn’t take it and my stress levels began to increase.”

Mauti returned to his regular course of CBD oil for pain and stress management and continued to work with his doctors to make lifestyle changes to support his healing process. He realized that the effects of CBD oil naturally easing his stress and pain was boosted by other integrated healing treatments.

“I think it’s important that people understand stress and anxiety aren’t things that are fixed by taking a pill or a few drops of oil. In the past, I’ve worked with sports performance psychologists to learn about sleep hygiene, breathing techniques, and visualization methods to help control heart rate and blood pressure in times of high stress and volatility. All of these things work fine on their own, but they can certainly make a big difference when used in conjunction with each other.”

Benefits for life

“As an athlete, CBD has been an integral part of my recovery, and I really believe it saved my life…”

The benefits of CBD oil for Michael Mauti were literally life changing.

Says Mauti: “I could go on for days about the ways CBD has proven its ability to reduce pain throughout my body. I’ve gone through more than ten surgeries throughout my football career, so pain management is something I have dealt with extensively.”

“I first realized full-spectrum CBD oil for pain really worked about five days after the first of my three major abdominal surgeries. Wary of becoming dependent on opiates for pain management after surgery, I was able to supplement my entire prescribed dose of opioids with full-spectrum CBD/hemp oil extract within a week after surgery. I wasn’t sure how it was working, but my pain threshold was significantly increased.”

He notes that pain management is an important potential benefit for both armchair and professional athletes alike.

“If you’re in pain, it can become a burden on some of the most basic daily activities most people take for granted. Things simply start hurting when you get old.”

Mauti relies on CBD salve for the pain of chronic patellar tendonitis and eliminated his use of prescription anti-inflammatory cream altogether. CBD oil for joint pain is another option to ease soreness and stiffness.

Anecdotal CBD testimonials like Mauti’s and research both support the benefits of CBD not only for pain relief but also relief from stress and anxiety. Each person’s endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in maintaining emotional balance. This finding is replicated by multiple studies from some of the world’s oldest universities.

“Taking full-spectrum CBD consistently made a difference, either via a soft gel capsule in the morning and then again in the evening with an oral tincture. I felt much more balanced between my mind and body in ways I could not quite explain.”

These potential benefits of CBD oil for pain and anxiety are available to anyone who is willing to give them a try.

“As an athlete, CBD has been an integral part of my recovery, and I really believe it saved my life and could save the lives of others. It is a natural, chem-free alternative to opioids,” says Mauti. “I’ve known friends, players, former players, people everywhere out there struggling with opioid addiction. Given today’s climate and the pushback against opioids, I believe it is the future of medicine.”

With the help of CBD, Mauti managed to rehabilitate his body enough to return to the NFL. “It’s nothing short of remarkable he’s back on the field,” said Mauti’s father, “As a parent, I’m even taken aback.”

The Research

When it comes to beginning CBD oil for pain or anxiety, Michael Mauti believes the best thing to do is learn as much as you can about this treatment option. “Educate yourself! Everyone has a computer in their pocket or in their hands,” he says.

“The endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states and may constitute a novel pharmacological target for anti-anxiety therapy.”

– Department of Physiology, University of Madrid

“Taken together, present data reinforce the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the control of emotional homeostasis and further suggest the pharmacological manipulation of the endocannabinoid system as a potential therapeutic tool in the management of anxiety-related disorders.”

– Department of Physiology, University of Madrid

“Data demonstrate that the ECB system is likely to be an integral player in the neuronal response and plasticity to stress.”

– Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia

“Endogenous cannabinoids play an important role in the physiology and behavioral expression of stress responses.”

– Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry Munich, Germany

That research, as well as a chance meeting with old family friends, led Mauti to join another high-profile Louisiana native, Shane Mutter, to launch Seed2System as a major player in the CBD market.

“I really didn’t want to get hooked on opioids, but there’s a lot of misinformation and junk out there about CBD, so I had to read up a lot and I tested a lot of products to see which ones worked,”

Enter Seed2System

Seed2System CEO Shane Mutter (left) Michael Mauti (right) | Courtesy of Shane Mutter

CBD had become an integral part of Mauti’s recovery and daily stress and pain management. His path to CBD inspired a passion to provide the highest quality products not only for himself but to others like him. Seed2System’s patented Flash-Acvitated™️ Vapor-Distilled™ process extracts maximum, full-spectrum benefits from the hemp plant. This produces a clean, fresh-tasting CBD product with terpenes, flavonoids, and other beneficial compounds fully intact.

The Seeds

It all starts with the seed. Seed2System sources its seeds directly from High Grade Hemp Seed Inc., professional hemp genetics curators who produce best in class cultivars. Their expert geneticists and farmers work closely with Colorado State University to develop genetically consistent and pure seed varieties, along with quality testing measures.

Even with millions of seeds in the ground, High Grade Hemp Seed remains committed to ecological stewardship and a better connection to the farmers and land where their seeds grow.

The Process

Once you have the highest quality hemp, the next step is to extract the CBD oil. There are a number of different techniques that can be used, but for the highest quality full spectrum extract, only direct evaporation will suffice.

The Flash-Acvitated™️ Vapor-Distilled™️ process is the key to Seed2System’s full-spectrum CBD oils. Instead of using chemicals or solvents, they use a proprietary method of precise bursts of heated air to extract oil from their plants. This air pushes through the finely-ground plant matter, distilling into a vapor that is then condensed into a 100% natural product. 

Flash Activation™️ activates the hemp within 2 seconds where it is then Flash Vaporized™️, preserving the fragile compounds and the overall integrity of the extract. The Seed2System process provides a product that tastes, smells, looks, and, most importantly, works better.

Other extraction methods can neutralize the plant’s terpene and CBD profile. Their process creates an extract that is as close to whole as possible. This allows you to enjoy what is known as the “entourage effect,” the understanding that naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes work together synergistically to enhance CBD’s medicinal benefits for your body.

“I know first-hand the benefits of CBD. As an athlete, CBD has been an integral part of my recovery, and I really believe it saved my life,” Mauti says. “At Seed2System, we follow our CBD products from the organically developed hemp seeds right to the product delivered to you. That quality product makes all the difference.”

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