JOURNEY TO WELLNESS
'Awaken the medicine within, and restore the natural
self-healing capacity of body, mind, and spirit.'
Dr. Roger Jahnke in THE HEALER WITHIN
Hello my Journey to Wellness friends. To all our new subscribers, I welcome you. Each month, or when the spirit moves me, you will receive an e-mail that a new newsletter is available at my Betty's House website. When I set up my website and this companion newsletter there was no such thing as a blog, and I know that I should revise the website and include a blog. But it is such a horrendous job to change all this that for the time being I will continue with the old Betty's House website. For the last eighteen years it has been my goal that this NL be interactive. I would love to hear from you with your questions and/or comments. You may write to me HERE. I promise to respond.
If you have a physical challenge, I hope you will through this newsletter come to realize that you can overcome whatever challenge you have. Your body is amazingly intelligent; it absolutely evolved to be self-healing.
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Follow-Up to Frannie's Story
What Keeps me Awake at Night
Bon Appétit - Healthy Recipes and Food Tips
Healthy and Tasty "Fried" Chicken
Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie
Focus on Exercise
From Here and There
E-Books and Videos
FOLLOW-UP TO FRANNIE'S STORY
If you are a new subscriber you may not have read the amazing story of Frannie Lorant-Moore's recovery after 27 years in a scooter. In case you missed it, here is a LINK. Many of you have written with questions, as well as your own results from beginning Frannie's psoas exercise program. Thank you for all your comments and questions. If you have not received a response, please re-send your e-mail, as I have really been inundated with mail.
In the near future I will again devote an issue to an up-date of Frannie's story. In the meantime, please keep in mind that there are variants in the way we each experience MS, and in the damage it does. The Central Nervous System (CNS) is so vast, from the top of our heads to the soles of our feet, and damage may have been done anywhere in the CNS.
But for the great majority of us we experience damage (weakness) in the psoas (so-as) muscle(s), which leads to leg weakness, and the resultant foot drop. In order to regain leg strength and correct the foot drop there are other muscles in the leg and knee, as well as foot and ankle, which need to be strengthened. In Frannie's case she is extremely fortunate to have access to a superb physical therapist at a local State University who has devised additional exercises as Frannie has progressed. But all the exercises the PT has assigned since Frannie began to show amazing progress have been based upon strengthening the psoas first.
Frannie in addition experienced improvement in bladder control. Several of you who have begun the psoas exercise (Sphinx pose in Yoga), have written that you have also experienced a lessening of urgency incontinence.
It is also important to note that according to Frannie's PT the burning you experience in the low back from the Sphinx pose is because that muscle is weak. She indicated that if we didn't experience the burning, then we would not need to do that exercise.
It is very important to recognize that damage which took a long time to develop will also take time to be reversed. Frannie's program is certainly not a quick fix. It requires dedication and perseverance. And of course the foundation is a strong desire to walk again. Frannie is really an "I will until" person, with an iron will and determination. She has kept a daily journal of her progress, and she has not missed a single day of her exercises, morning and night, for three months now.
Please also know that if you cannot initially hold one of the poses for 15 minutes, then hold it for five minutes, then rest a minute, hold again for five more minutes, rest another minute, then hold the pose for an additional five minutes, for a total of 15 minutes. But the sooner you can hold the pose for 15 minutes, the sooner you will begin to see improvement. And do remember that the burning sensation in your lower back is indicative of how much you need this exercise.
I know this can be a complicated issue. I have known for years that exercise (Yoga for MS and Qi Gong) played a very important role in my own recovery. In retrospect I also believe that for the newly diagnosed the same exercise program would prevent many, many of them from ending up in a scooter or wheelchair. In my case I did not lose the ability to walk, however haltingly. I have reached the conclusion that every neurologist should refer any patient diagnosed with either Relapsing Remitting or Primary Progressive MS to a well-trained physical therapist. Frannie is extremely fortunate in having access to such a well-trained and knowledge PT.
NOTE: When I include a subscriber's story in a NL, I always send the text to them for approval before the NL is published. When I sent the above copy to Frannie, here's her brief comment:
"I approve all of it. I just hope that those who thought they had no hope, as I once did, will realize that there is still a WAY OUT OF MS. All you have to do is get started and be CONSISTENT."
I hope many of you will commit to doing Frannie's psoas program and seeing what it may do for you. If you are going to do that, please study carefully the special issue of this NL HERE which gives all the details. It is important that you do the exercises properly.
I WAS ASKED THE OTHER DAY WHAT KEEPS ME AWAKE AT NIGHT:
That's an easy question for me. I have been trying to teach people the basics of self-healing for about 20 years now. Early on I discovered that many If not most of the thousands I have made contact with through the Internet and my books are just not willing to make a few simple lifestyle changes. Most have been brainwashed into expecting more or less instant gratification, and that health comes out of a pill, injection, or their doctor's prescription pad. Even those who rationally know that is not true are still reticent to make a long-term commitment to healthy lifestyle changes. They keep looking for a cure, or something new, to turn their MS around.
Getting back to what keeps me awake at night? I keep trying to find another avenue to get people to listen - really listen - to the simple message of how to heal. In September of this year I will be 80 years old. I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS at the age of 58, after over two years of illusive and escalating symptoms. After successfully stopping the progression of my PP MS, I was absolutely convinced that all the 350,000 or so people in the United States, as well as countless numbers from around the world, who have been diagnosed with either relapsing remitting or primary progressive MS would want to at least listen to how I overcame it and apply these simple, non-invasive lifestyle changes.
I wrote From MS to Wellness, in 1997, when I had stopped the progression. Then after about a dozen years, I suddenly realized I had gradually reversed all the signs I had ever had MS. Initially I didn't even consider the possibility of reversing the neurological damage that had been done to my body. When asked what had reversed my MS, I then, as well as now, say "I don't know." I just knew the changes I had made, and continue to practice, brought about the reversal.
Wouldn't you think everyone in the MS world would be beating a path to my door to find out what I did, and ask me to help them achieve similar results? I certainly did. A few became committed students and had similar results. But the percentage is still low.
As long as the Universe grants me more time on this planet I will continue to search for more ways to reach people with my natural health and healing YOU-CAN-DO-IT message.
With the help of a consultant I have recently been learning to use Social Media to help spread the word. I had felt like Facebook was a time-consuming waste of my time, but he has taught me that is not the case. Those of you who are Facebook Friends are seeing the results of some of the things I have been learning. If you are not a Facebook Friend, I hope you will go to my Facebook page HERE and become a Friend. I will be using Social Media more and more.
My goal remains to inspire and instruct others on how to improve their lives and achieve their aspirations. And I'm still inviting everyone who wishes to come along on my journey.
WAYNE DYER: I became a student of Wayne Dyer's teachings when his first book, Your Erroneous Zones, was published in 1976, and became a world-wide sensational best seller. Over the years I believe I purchased every book, video and audio tape, and many of his marvelous CDs. Wayne probably had the greatest influence on my personal growth of anyone, as all those ensuing years passed. I actually got to meet him personally quite a few years ago.
Unfortunately last August his time on this earth as we know it came to an end when he succumbed to a coronary while sleeping in his home. Since that time Reid Tracy, CEO of Dr. Dyer's publisher, Hay House, who had been personally mentored by Wayne, has continued Wayne's newsletter. Hay House is dedicated to the continued publication of all Wayne's teaching materials.
There are many YouTube videos of Wayne's talks and lectures. Today I found one that I highly recommend to everyone. It is called Wayne Dyer's 10 Rules for Success. You will find it at:
I hope it speaks to you as it has to me. Watching it I felt as though Wayne had come to visit my home today. Thank you Wayne.
Bon Appétit - Healthy Recipes and Food Tips
Healthy and Tasty "Fried" Chicken
3 chicken breasts or thighs
1/4 C. almond meal or panko crumbs
1 T or 1/2 t. dried parsley
1-1/2 t. dried garlic
1 T coconut oil
NOTE: If you are following a gluten-free food plan, use the almond meal.
Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie
From Farm Fresh to
1 c. strawberries, stems removed
1/2 cup oats (cooked or uncooked)
1 c. Greek yogurt
1/2 c. water or freshly-squeezed orange juice
ice if desired
Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Note I have a box of fresh organic produce from a large organic family farm near where I live delivered to my home once a month (Farm Fresh to You). They always include a recipe for seasonal produce. A couple of weeks ago this recipe accompanied some beautiful strawberries. It is equally good with cooked oats, or with uncooked oats ground to a powder in my food processor.
FOCUS ON EXERCISE
If you have been with me for a while, you know of my passion for Qi Gong, the ancient Chinese healing form of Tai Chi. I absolutely know that I owe much of my recovery from MS to my daily practice of Qi Gong. I have practiced Qi Gong daily for about 18 years, and continue to this day.
We are so fortunate to live in this technologically advanced age. YouTube allows each one of us to educate ourselves on almost any subject in a few minutes. Most of the greatest minds of our generation are featured on the TED talks. But I am most enthused by all the videos on Qi Gong.
Until very recently one had to travel to China to study with a Master. Now you and I can learn about all aspects of Qi Gong on YouTube. In addition there are more and more well-trained Masters throughout the world, and many of their videos are available on YouTube. Two from whom I have learned a lot are Mark Johnson and Lee Holden, whose work I highly recommend.
Chi (Qi in Chinese) is not only throughout our bodies, but it surrounds us. Learning simple techniques to activate these self-healing techniques is an incredible and very easy skill to learn. Be sure to spend a little time with the following video to increase your knowledge of self-healing by a Chinese Qi Gong Master:
A few years ago well-known journalist Bill Moyers produced a PBS special on The Mystery of Chi. I highly recommend it if you want to increase your knowledge of this ancient practice. Fortunately it too is available on YouTube:
FROM HERE AND THERE:
(1) BRENDON BURCHARD - "How to Make Change Stick"
As I was watching Brendon's video it occurred to me that his talk about making change stick would be applicable to healing (changing) whatever we want to heal. One of the life lessons I have observed is that we all have things and/or circumstances in our lives we need or want to heal/change. I hope you find this talk instructive.
The standard of success in life isn't the things. It isn't the money or the
stuff - it is absolutely the amount of joy you feel.
E-BOOKS AND VIDEOS AVAILABLE:
I invite you to order any of my e-books (in PDF format) and exercise videos HERE
Or from Amazon at:
FOUR STEPS TO OVERCOMING MS:
SELF HEALING MADE EASY: CLICK HERE
MICHAEL AND ME: CLICK HERE
YOGA FOR MS: I have two DVDs in stock CLICK HERE
TAI CHI QI GONG FOR SENIORS: I have one in stock CLICK HERE
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VISUALIZATION . . . Just what is it? It is a simple enough concept . . . or is it? Let's dissect it and see what we find. The first thing to think about is that it involves an image, which means that it is really using our imagination.
I was discussing visualization with a friend and neighbor who is both an author and a teacher of autistic young men (age 16 to 24). She shocked me by sharing that she personally is not a visual person, but rather auditory and kinesthetic.
Our discussion led to me delving further into this whole subject. First I learned that we all learn by accessing to some degree these three aspects of learning - visual (seeing), auditory (hearing), and kinesthetic (touching). I learned that about 80% of us are primarily visual, while the approximately 20% of the rest of us learn primarily by auditory or kinesthetic parts of our brain.
Ever since I began to coach people in self-healing, and to write about the various aspects of healing, I have had people swear to me that they cannot visualize. I always found that difficult to comprehend. Just calling the process visual automatically is a turn-off to the person whose learning method is more auditory and/or kinesthetic.
The more I studied how we learn, the more I realized the need to "re-frame" how we describe the process. It really is a matter of remembering. I learned that in the process of remembering we all see, hear, touch and feel in various degrees.
Therefore remembering, and imagining (visualization) are really the same thing. That is seeing, hearing and touching/feeling.
Now I get it. In one of my books I related how I would sit in my meditation chair every day and visualize myself running up and down the street in front of my house. At that time I could barely walk. I now know that visualization process was identical to remembering.
So . . . Let's do a little exercise right now. if you are an auditory or kinesthetic person, the kind who tells me they cannot visualize, this is especially for you.
Close your eyes and remember the last time you ate a dessert you loved. Remember the delicious taste and how it felt in your mouth. Also remember how beautiful it looked. YOU ARE VISUALIZING. In other words, these various meanings of words are simple semantics, which is "the meanings of words and phrases in a particular context."
In recent years science has unlocked many of the mysteries of how our brain learns and functions. We now know scientifically that we truly are all different in how we get from point A to point B.
Leverage your time more by spending a little more time every day
imagining and a lot less time every day doing.
Until eventually most of what's happening is happening
in the cool, calm, anticipatory state.
Just imagine yourself into the successes,
and watch what happens.
Remember, imagine a little more and act a little less.
RESEARCH NEWS: From Karen
If you are interested in research news related to MS, you'll find these items fascinating.
(1) Eating turkey could help protect against developing multiple sclerosis, experts today revealed.
The discovery came as scientists investigated the link between the bacteria living in the gut and the activity of cells in the brain. The theory is that bacteria in the gut is involved in controlling inflammation and neuro-degeneration. Scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston analyzed samples from MS patients. They found evidence that changes in diet and gut microbiota could influence the astrocytes - cells in the nervous system found in the brain.