JOURNEY TO WELLNESS
    Summer 2019                                                                                                                              

   "Awaken the medicine within, and restore the natural self-healing capacity of body, mind, and spirit."
                                                                                                Dr. Roger Jahnke in THE HEALER WITHIN
       ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Welcome to all new subscribers to Journey to Wellness. I am honored that you have chosen to join this elite group of winning participants in life's challenges. I also welcome and salute the many subscribers who have been with me for years.

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CONTENTS:               

        My View
        Living With a New Reality
        Sleep is Very, Very Important
        Intuition and Serendipity
        Exercise/Movement
        From My Mailbox
        Books and DVD Orders

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MY VIEW
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PE03257A.gif (4096 bytes)    LIVING WITH A NEW REALITY

 

When there is a major shift in our lives, like a serious injury or illness, we must face the various ramifications of living with that new reality.

 

The severity of the new reality will most often determine how we must manage that reality. Some things about that reality may be very challenging, but all will alter our lives in very important ways. Our belief system will undoubtedly determine our commitment to living with the new reality.

 

Through all the 20+ years I have counseled newly diagnosed people I have learned a lot.  I also faced my own Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis reality when I was ultimately diagnosed 24 years ago. Like many of you the biggest challenge was trying to determine the cause of my mysterious symptoms, which seemed to defy medical analysis by numerous neurologists over a period of several years.

 

I am now learning to live with another new reality. Very gradually, over the last five years they have become part of my every day experience of life. Every time I would mention one of the illusive symptoms at my annual checkups, I would be reminded of my age (82) and told these things are part of the normal aging process. Then recently some of those symptoms became much more severe, and even then doctors avoided considering here was a problem.

 

My internal voice told me that there was indeed something that needed attention. I finally pressured my primary physician, an Internal medicine specialist, about my worsening symptoms, and she immediately made the "brilliant" deduction that my old M.S. had returned. I was so furious at her I was almost livid. She became angry at my reaction.

 

In reviewing that appointment I decided I needed to become my own doctor, much as I did 24 years ago. I made a list of my symptoms, and began a search through a number of medical school research libraries that are available on the internet, and in a couple of days I knew the answer. 

 

Every time I would enter my symptoms,  the answer came up neuropathy.  To me neuropathy meant diabetic neuropathy, and I knew I was not a diabetic.  Then I tried yet again at another medical school research library, and this time what came up was diabetic neuropathy, as well as "Peripheral Neuropathy," unrelated to diabetes. When I read the symptoms of P.N., "bingo," there was my answer.

 

First I learned that one-third of people who develop neuropathy are not diabetic. Some are related to previous chemotherapy, a few are related to high blood pressure, but about 30% have no known cause or recommended treatment protocol.

 

Neuropathy is defined as deterioration of the nerve endings in the extremities (where all nerves end). Most often it involves all kinds so sensory "stuff" in the feet, like burning, feelings of vibration. tingling, swelling of feet and ankles, etc.  All kinds of painful foot issues.

 

I printed out all the information I had found, including recommended self-administered symptom relief, and made an appointment as soon as possible to see my internist again.  To say she was taken aback is an understatement. She certainly had a new respect for me after that day.

 

She ordered an EMG, a test that must be administered by a special neurologist. It turned out that these special neurologists are in short supply, and I was placed on a 4-month wait list to have this done in a city about 50 miles away.

 

Electromyography (EMG) measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to a nerve's stimulation of the muscle. During the test, one or more small needles (also called electrodes) are inserted through the skin into the muscle. Having this test is much like an EKG that we are all familiar with.  So I must wait until early October to have this done.

 

Now you know why you have not heard much from me during 2019.  Actually the early symptoms began about five years ago. They were mild at that time, and when I reported them at my annual physicals my primary physicians just related them to aging.

 

I'll report more when I know more. I still believe every body has self-healing ability, even at my age.  I am already following a daily routine to help relieve the annoying symptoms.  At least now I know what causes them.

 

PE03257A.gif (4096 bytes)    SLEEP IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT

 

I have always been very much aware of how much I do not know. When I was newly diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, even though I was already a student of the body's self-healing capabilities, I knew I had a great deal to learn.

 

I was helped by having a neurologist who told me there was nothing medical science could do for PPMS. I therefore knew that if I was going to be successful in defeating my MS, then I needed to learn everything I could to assist my body's healing process.

 

From that day to this I have been a serious student of how our bodies heal. And still today, 24 years later, I still learn new things. One of the most important aspects of self-healing I have learned in the last year or so is the amazing power of sleep to heal.

 

I always knew that sleep was important, but I did not understand the how and why. In order to delve into this subject further, we need to examine the changes in common knowledge about sleep. First we now know that when we experience deep, restful sleep, our body is "adjusting" and correcting lots of our body functions. We also know that process is an important part of our body's self-healing mechanisms.

 

It is only in about the last two or three years that doctors have begun to talk about the damage sleeping medications can do to our brain. Prior to that if one talked to their doctor about insomnia, they always sent us home with a prescription for a sleeping medication.

 

I recall about three years ago I got a new primary care physician, the young lady internal medicine specialist I referred to aabove. At our get-acquainted appointment she asked me if I slept well, and I told her no. That I usually went to sleep easily, but would awaken in two or three hours, and could not get back to sleep. Then at least two or three times every week I would take a Lorazepam tablet (generic for Ativan) to get back to sleep. Ativan is one of the oldest sleeping pharmaceuticals.

 

She then showed me a new research report on the Internet by a leading medical school that Lorazepam and other similar sleeping pharmaceuticals can cause severe brain damage. I asked her what she recommended for me instead. She said she promised she would help me learn how to teach my body to sleep naturally.

 

She gave me the common suggestions about going to bed at the same time each night, no electronics in my bedroom, turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime, etc. etc. She also cautioned me about eating dinner within three hours of going to bed.

 

Most importantly she refused to renew my Lorazepam prescription. I did try to incorporate some of her suggestions, but giving up my bedroom TV, or my iPad in my bedroom, I just couldn't do. I tried some over-the-counter sleeping aids, but the side effects I disliked. In any case I did not take another Lorazepam (even though I still had a bottle of them), from that very day.

 

Then one day about 3-4 months ago I listened to one of Dr. Mark Hyman's weekly Podcasts, and he had Emily Fletcher as his guest. She is the founder of Ziva Meditation in New York City, and at that time she had just written a new book called Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance.

 

Dr Hyman said he had been meditating for years, but that he had learned a new approach from Emily that had made a huge impact on his life. Dr. Hyman actually wrote the foreword to Emily's new book. I was so impressed by what Emily said in that interview that I immediately went to Amazon and pre-ordered her new book. Then I waited several weeks before it was available.

 

Emily related that she had serious insomnia for years, when she met a lady who had solved her insomnia by introducing her to a particular kind of meditation. Long story short, Emily immediately enrolled in a meditation class, and from the very first day, she was able to sleep all night without waking up.

 

Emily relates this story in detail in her book. I suggest every reader of Journey to Wellness get this book. When I received it, I set everything else aside and began to study the book. As soon as I read to the section which leads the reader through the Ziva meditation process, I immediately did my first meditation using the Ziva approach.

 

That very night I slept eight hours of very restful sleep. And almost every night since I have slept from seven to eight hours. And the best part is that I have not taken a single sleeping aid of any kind, nor have I removed the electronics from my bedroom.

 

After many years of meditating almost every single day, I can honestly say Ziva has made a very positive difference in my life. One of the best feelings I have ever experienced is waking up in he morning feeing rested and rejuvenated, ready to tackle a new day.

 

What makes Ziva different?  Remember that science tells us over 80% of physical disorders are stress related.  Ziva concentrates on stress reduction techniques, in addition to what we in the past have thought of as the attributes of meditation.

 

I will continue to recommend the Ziva technique to anyone and everyone.  Incidentally, there is an Internet class, as well as an in-studio class in New York City, but all one really needs do is follow the instructions in the book. When you purchase the book,  you are invited to join a Facebook group where her videos appear regularly. There is no need to purchase one of the classes.

 

You may also read a free preview of Emily's book at Amazon.com.

 

PE03257A.gif (4096 bytes)    INTUITION AND SERENDIPITY

 

I have thought long and hard, diligently analyzing why, after meditating for 20+ years, that the Ziva approach has created for me personally a greater recognition of the meditation process, as well as why Ziva is practiced and recommended by so many well-known people, all over the planet in the only 10 years of its existence.

 

I have always been very intuitive, but since I began practicing Ziva, I have learned to recognize that my intuition is heightened in the early morning hours. I have for many years gone to bed early (9 p.m.), and awakened about 4:30 to 5:00. I have learned that my early morning hours are the most productive part of my day.

 

Today when I first awakened at 4:30, I began my morning meditation, and a word came to my mind and I just couldn't make it leave. Finally, after I finished my meditation, I went into my home office and wrote the word on a large piece of paper, because it seemed that I was to do something with it and I didn't  yet know what that was, nor did I want to forget the word.

 

The word was SERENDIPITY. I felt led to research the word, and what follows is the result of my search.

 

SERENDIPITY: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.  Also, an instance of this.

 

Where does serendipity come from?

In the mid-1700s, English author Horace Walpole stumbled upon an interesting tidbit of information while researching a coat of arms. In a letter to his friend Horace Mann he wrote: "This discovery indeed is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word, which as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavor to explain to you: you will understand it better by the derivation than by the definition. I once read a silly fairy tale, called 'The Three Princes of Serendip': as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of…." Walpole's memory of the tale (which, as it turns out, was not quite accurate) gave serendipity the meaning it retains to this day.

Pasted from <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serendipity#note-1>

 

All of this begs the question, where do serendipitous ideas originate. Which raises additional questions such as:

 

                        Do we all have these intuitive ideas from time to time?

                        Can we all cultivate receiving serendipitous messages?

                        How do we develop this ability?

                        Where do these thoughts/ideas originate?

 

Yes . . . Everyone from time to time receives intuitive ideas. But many people tend to dismiss them. First, we so much of the time are too busy to pay attention to that "still small voice" within. Sometimes we only recognize the importance of these messages upon later reflection.  

 

I believe, based on my own experience, that meditation opens the door to receiving these messages. Remember. We human beings have three components that make us who we are.  Those are:

 

Body (our physical self) that is what we see in our mirror

Mind (the intelligence which gives us decision making and therefore choices)

Spirit (or soul) which connects us to the greater universe

 

Meditation, I believe, can connect us to our spirit, and therefore brings us closer to those serendipitous messages. Meditation also cultivates an increase in our intuition. The more we cultivate connecting to our higher self through meditation, and listening to our inner voice, the more it will speak to us.

 

Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation, tells us that meditation takes our brain to the gym

 

There is an upwardly spiraling community of well-known people all over our planet who practice daily meditation. It is truly a life-changing experience, which benefits all areas of our lives. Physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health is the result.

 

Note: I am not a religionist, therefore I do not write about it. I do recognize, however, that for some people the act of prayer can also connect us to our spirit. But please remember, religion is not necessarily spiritual.  When prayer is a supplication of pleading or requesting , that defeats the purpose of meditation.  Meditation and prayer may be synonymous, but not necessarily.

 

We all have an inner voice. One of my favorite people, Dr. Mark Hyman, whom I often quote, says:

 

"No matter what your religious or spiritual practices, you can tap into your individual sense of spirit by doing daily "gut-checks" to listen to your intuition and taking quiet downtime to reflect,  journal, meditate, or pray—whatever helps you feel more connected to yourself."

 

PE03257A.gif (4096 bytes)    EXERCISE/MOVEMENT

 

Our bodies evolved through eons of time through movement. And although we no longer need to be able to outrun wild animals in order to survive, we need to practice regular movement exercises in order to remain healthy. 

 

I write a lot about Qi Gong (from China), and Yoga (from India), because I know them to be very effective movement forms that can greatly effect our body's natural healing ability.

 

Both Qi Gong and Yoga combine specific breath patterns with movement.  I think of them as moving meditations. In addition they will enrich your lives immeasurably. In the early days of my own PP MS journey I found Shoosh Crotzer's Yoga for MS and Related Conditions in an article in the Yoga Journal magazine. This routine is a somewhat modified Hatha Yoga designed for MS. Throughout that first year or so that routine formed the basis for my recovery.

 

Later I was  introduced to Qi Gong, and at 82 years of age I still do a Qi Gong routine almost every day. I learned about the then newly-published book, The Healer Within, by Dr. Roger Jahnke. That book is today, over 20 years later, still sort of the bible of self-healing through Qi Going. My copy is "doggie eared" with many pages marked up for easy reference.

 

It is important to note that one must be careful in selecting a specific program (routine) to follow when dealing with a disability. Not all routines should be undertaken when one is disabled, in order to avoid injury. I have purchased many programs of both Qi Gong and Yoga over the years that I simply could not do. The same is true for seniors.  The Qi Gong routine I do at 82 years of age is Qi Gong for Seniors with Lee Holden (www.ExercisetoHeal.com), and  highly recommend it for beginners, disabled persons, as well as seniors. You may even choose to do this routine seated if necessary.

 

The Qi Gong video I did for years, which no doubt played a major role in my recovery from PP MS, can now be ordered from www.TaiChiforSeniors.com for $25 with no shipping charges in the United States. I highly recommend this video. I did this routine almost every day for about six years. 

 

Please note:  The original ancient Chinese form of healing movements is called Qi Gong.  Tai Chi came out of Qi Gong and has two common forms: martial arts, and healing.  Today the names Qi Gong and Tai Chi are more or less used interchangeably. (The martial arts forms should be avoided for healing purposes.) Some teachers call the healing form they teach Tai Chi, while others refer to it as Qi Gong. Still others teach both.

 

Deron Buboltz, founder of Grow Young Fitness, reminds us all, "Keep It Moving!" 


PE03257A.gif (4096 bytes) From My Mailbox

  Thank you Betty for continuing to remind us of the important things in life, like meditation, exercise, and of course attention to a healthy healing diet. I can't say I always follow your recommendations, but I most often do.  Thanks for all the ways you have helped me over the years since I was newly diagnosed and found you on the Internet. I know you saved my life. Continued good health and blesings to you. /s/  Karolyn J., New Zealand

 

Thank you for writing Karolyn. When I started this newsletter 20+ years ago, I was absolutely certain that I could help all the huge numbers of people who had multiple sclerosis. What I didn't count on was the large numbers of people who did not believe they could be helped. Many were "married" to their doctors who only knew how to write prescriptions for the at that time 2 or 3 so-called MS drugs. Something I heard a lot was. "It will work for you, but not for me." And of course if you believe you can't, you can't.  Thanks again Karolyn.  Blessings to you and your lovely family.

 

Books and DVD Orders

 

I invite you to order any of my e-books from Amazon at:

            FOUR STEPS TO OVERCOMING MS:  CLICK HERE


            SELF HEALING MADE EASY:  CLICK HERE
               
(Same information as Four Steps, but directed to non-MS people)

         
           
MICHAEL AND ME:  CLICK HERE
 
               

                (Michael and Me shares all the details of my own years-long healing  journey,  including meeting my spirit guide, whom I

            call Michael. If you are only getting one book, get this one).

 

NOTE: The above e-books are also available in PDF format from my order page.


I have the very excellent Yoga for MS DVD by Shoosh Crotzer in stock, on my order page. This DVD is a very valuable tool to begin your wellness journey, if you already have significant immobility. (The Tai Chi for Seniors, recommended in my books, is only available from www.TaiChiforSeniors.com, as indicated above.)


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That's all for this issue. Again, a warm welcome to all our new subscribers. Please know that it is always my intent that this NL be interactive. So please anytime take a moment and send me a note HERE if you have a question or comment. I promise to respond.

My goal with each issue of this newsletter is to help you achieve the same positive results I and many others have had, reversing whatever physical challenge you may have. Your body is amazingly intelligent; it absolutely evolved to be self-healing. Believe it, experience it!

Have a great summer, enjoying summertime wherever you live. Until next time, be kind to yourself, and please remember to tell those you love how much they mean to you. You never know when you may not have another opportunity.

Emoji
Betty

PLEASE NOTE: I am not a medically trained person, and I  do not give medical advice. But I have been a very serious student of Multiple Sclerosis for many years now, and also nutrition, and have developed a program that has kept me symptom free for a lot of years. I  merely share what I have learned in my own journey to healing.

 TO BETTY'S HOUSE