JOURNEY TO WELLNESS
"Awaken the medicine within, and restore the natural
self-healing capacity of body, mind, and spirit."
Welcome to all the 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. My personal task is to be your cheerleader. And of course I am much appreciative of all those subscribers who have been with me for years. It is still difficult for me to realize that this newsletter has now existed for 18+ years. I am truly grateful.
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Interestingly the more adept we become at going into the silence, the stronger and more consistent that internal voice becomes. The only way I know to create significant mental silence is to learn to go into an alpha state of relaxation through meditation. Once we learn simple meditation techniques, then we only need to provide our body with a healing physical environment (through our lifestyle).
The same is also true for exercise. At first exercise seems like a "no, not again" chore that we must complete regularly But increasingly it becomes something we look forward to as we experience its amazing benefits. Following a healthy, nutritious food plan is exactly the same. I can find myself away from home where I am not able to eat as healthily as I would like and my body communicates that it isn't too happy. We accomplish a healing physical environment through eating a "clean," nutritious diet, and gentle exercise providing stretching, movement, and deep breathing as our body was meant to experience.
So . . . self-healing can best be described as a multi-pronged lifestyle program that will work for anyone who will work with it. The degree to which we are successful seems to directly relate to the degree of our commitment and determination.
I am frequently asked if meditation and mindfulness are the same. The answer is - well - YES and NO! I personally think of these two disciplines as different approaches to the same meditation experience.
Well-known meditation teachers usually teach using a mantra - a repeated word or phrase - combined with breathing techniques, to induce the meditative state. This form of meditation was introduced to the Western world as Transcendental Meditation (or TM). Dr. Deepak Chopra is one of the best known advocates of this form of meditation. It was at Dr. Chopra's Center for Mind Body Medicine in San Diego that I learned to meditate.
On the other hand most mindfulness practitioners teach concentrating on the sensations of the breath as a way to open the door to induces a meditative state. The best known teacher of Mindfulness, concentrating on how the breath feels as we inhale and exhale, is Dr. Kabat-Zinn. Dr. Kabat-Zinn introduced Mindfulness to the United States many years ago. Mindfulness meditation comes out of Buddhism. A Google search will bring up lots of information about Dr. Kabat-Zinn.
As one's meditation practice matures usually we find we do a combination of both these approaches to meditation. That is my experience.
In recent years a whole new meaning to mindfulness has come into practice that is not necessarily related to meditation. This mindful approach relates to always being fully present in the moment. In other words, being 100% present in a conversation with someone, or when doing a task.
Multitasking is the opposite of mindful. Actually the human brain does not have the ability to think of two things at one time.
"Most people do not listen with the intent of understanding,
but rather listen with the intent of replying."
―Steven Covey, author
Today we read about mindful eating. Often we just mindlessly put food in our mouths, with no thought for the food. Mindful eating stresses being aware of the taste as well as the texture of our food, and nothing else, as we eat. And that eating should just be about eating. Not reading a book, or watching television, or working on our computer or tablet.
I attended a mindful training seminar at the hospital where I volunteer. I learned that one of the problems in patient care is mistakes due to constant distractions and interruptions. We all read of the high percentage of deaths every year in hospitals, which are directly related to hospital staff errors. When one considers the constant interruptions and distractions the medical staff must deal with, we can understand how that might happen.
Mindful training in our hospital is directed at helping the staff at all levels to deal with that confusion while still staying focused on accurate patient care. Our hospital reduced those errors by over 50% the first year after introducing mindful training. I am fascinated with what I learned.
We were taught that mindful living means always being in the moment, always paying attention 100% of the time, to whatever we are doing, or with whomever we are communicating, without allowing distracting events to interfere.
I was so impressed with the abbreviated mindful seminar I sat in on, I requested and have been accepted to attend a second and much more complex advanced training with hospital medical personnel the first week in November. I promise a follow-up to this report. Meanwhile, I challenge all of us to be more mindful in all aspects of our lives.
The hospital volunteer program in which I participate weekly "strongly" recommends that all volunteers get a flu shot every year. Otherwise we must wear a surgical mask when entering a patient care area during the flu season. For the past three years I have managed to resist getting that vaccination, mainly because our president refused them also.
Our president, however, recently retired and moved away, and in her absence I was practically forced to get the vaccination this year. had not had one in many years jus because I don't believe in them for me, just like I very rarely take meds either. I don't get flu or even colds and haven't for many years.
So I finally acquiesced and got the injection a couple of weeks ago, and in about 36 hours I woke up sick in the middle of the night with what seemed like a very, very severe head cold. I had 4-5 days of constantly sneezing. Then when the sneezes subsided, they were replaced with a severe headache. No fever and no ache all over like the flu. It took several days for the head-cold-like symptoms to subside, but then it moved into my bronchial area and I still have some of that. As I write this it is two and a half weeks sine I had the injection. The hospital employee R.N. who administers the injections said I had a reaction to the injection and that I should not worry about it. She recommended in the future I should just report that I am allergic to them. (Now you know why this newsletter is later than usual this month.)
In any case, I will never again have one of those flu shots, no matter what. I cannot and do not recommend for any of you, but just wanted to share my experience. You might want to really consider my experience, especially if you have active MS or have a weakened immune system.
My thanks to all of you who use the Betty's House Amazon link to purchase anything from Amazon. That really helps to defray the monthly fees for the website and newsletter.
All you must do is use this Amazon logo:
You may purchase almost anything at anytime from Amazon. Do remember that using this logo one time only works for that particular order. It does not automatically carry over to future orders. However, when you click on this Amazon logo, as soon as it opens in your computer's browser, then bookmark the site and you will not need to physically look up the logo every time you order. I suggest you name that bookmark Betty's Amazon and then whenever you wish to place an order you simply click on that bookmark. It is really very easy. A small percentage of your purchase rice comes back to Betty's House. Thanks so much for remembering to do that.
Sage advice contained
1. If you like something, enjoy it.
Cheryl Strayed's latest book is Brave Enough. I love this little book, and this is my favorite quote from that book, which incidentally would make a great Christmas gift for a friend.
"Love. Without it,
life has little meaning.
―Cheryl Strayed, in Brave EnoughFrom my Mailbox
Join the Conversation
Dear Betty. I absolutely love what you are doing on your business Facebook page. Keep up the good work. /s/ Cynthia P.
Thank you Cynthia. I am so grateful to have discovered the power of Facebook. I think I am doing my absolute best work on m business page. I wish I had known much sooner that there are both personal pages and business pages, and that they work very differently. If you have not discovered my business page before now, please check it out. Personal pages are the ones you "friend," and business pages you "like." If you have not liked my business page, I will very much appreciate you doing that. Facebook keeps track of the number of likes on a business page, and there are some benefits to the page owner. You will find my FB business page HERE. Then just bookmark it so it will be easy to find.
I keep having people ask me about the photos post on the age almost every day, and if you missed my previous mention, I will repeat here. I have learned to make all of them sing PowerPoint software. If you have followed my postings since this past April, you could have followed my learning curve. The first ones were rather simple, but the longer I do them the more sophisticated I have learned to make them. Like everything I have done on the Internet and my website, I am totally self-taught.
As I write this it occurs to me that this "techy" stuff is a lot like healing . . . if you want it bad enough, you will learn how! I apologize if that sounds too dogmatic . . . but it really is true.
Check out my e-book MICHAEL AND ME: CREATING A HEALTHY, ABUNDANT AND JOYFUL LIFE on Amazon HERE for more life-affirming techniques.
● Bayer-Monsanto: A "Marriage Made in Hell"?
I strongly encourage you to read, share, and tell everyone you know about this article. If you are anything like me, you will be appalled.
● Cannabis (marijuana) for cancer. I recently shared a link on my Facebook page regarding a gentleman who totally recovered from stage four non-small cell lung cancer using only Cannabis. One of our subscribers commented on the link as follows:
"I don't know about it curing cancer, but it sure works great for my MS spasms. What I use doesn't get me high and it sure beats what the Dr. gave me that makes me "stupid" for hours."
When I saw this exchange on my Facebook page, knowing that our research contributor Karen uses cannabis, I sent her a note and ask her if she would be willing to share her experience sing it. Here is what Karen sent.
"First of all, I can only speak for myself . . . my experience and my doctor in my state of Connecticut. For years I've tried all kinds of scripts written by various doctors for spasms, stiffness and pain due to my MS. I HATE . . . repeat, HATE, the feeling of being drugged. Maybe I'm a lightweight when it comes to these drugs, but 6 or so hours of feeling sleepy and stupid just isn't for me. I've tried Valium, Baclofen and all kinds of Narcotics and have come to the conclusion that I'd rather have the spasms. Then my state approved medical marijuana for MS. I went to my neuro, told him I wanted to try it, and found I don't HAVE to have his permission; I have a pre-approved condition. So, for those who have doctors that won't write "the script," all is not lost. In fact, all that is required from our Dr. is proof that you have a pre-approved condition. That is in your files, therefore he has to comply.
That is where your local dispensaries come in. our local dispensary is a wealth of information and help. Pull them or your state MMJ office up on-line or on your smart phone for all your questions to be answered. I did everything on-line. Once you receive your card in the mail, you then go to the dispensary. The pharmacists at the dispensary spends all the time needed to get you the right form of medicine that will suit you. The different kinds of smokables, edibles, different strengths, oil, waxes, etc., is mind boggling. Let the experts help you.
I tried a few different things and settled on what is called a wax pen. For those who know what an electric cigarette looks like, this is very similar except there is no smoke or smell . . . really nothing at all. So I can use it discreetly anywhere with no odor or visible fumes. Handy to say the least. I use it when I have spasms or sometimes when it comes time for me to transfer (I am in a wheelchair) or when I exercise. It really loosens up muscles so I can move better. Do I get high? No. I won't lie and say I don't know what getting high is like, but it isn't like that at all. I do feel my muscles relaxing and it lasts for about 20 minutes.
Now the downside . . . it's expensive. Insurance - at least here in the State of Connecticut, won't touch it. It also costs $100 and another $25 per year for a caretaker to get the ID that lets you purchase it. I just renewed. Mine allows me to buy more than I could ever use so, to avoid this cost next time, I'll stock up and skip a year. Other than the cost, I am very happy with my choice. No worrying about side effects, overdosing, combining with other meds, or becoming dependent - at least for me. Will it cure a disease? I don't know about that. I would like to think that something natural will cure a disease and help patients, but in the meantime it sure makes me feel better and I'm glad I have found it."
Thanks so much Karen for this insightful information. If you have related questions for Karen, please send them to me HERE and I'll send them along to her. If you think medical marijuana (MMJ) might be helpful for you, do check it out in your state, b because the rules vary from state to state. I understand it is much easier to obtain in California where I live than it is where Karen lives in Connecticut.
There was a time when scientists believed that the human brain completed developing in early adulthood, and it more or less remained unchanged for life. However, research in recent years indicates that frequent and repetitive thoughts actually change our brain's physiology. They actually etch new neural pathways in your brain. In other words, the more you think a specific thought (and especially reinforce the thought by speaking or writing it), the more you groove a path in your brain, making it easier, perhaps unavoidable, to have that thought again. This appears to be why affirmations, both spoken and written, are so effective in changing the way we think.
This also helps to explain why negative messages from childhood such as "Don't be so stupid!" or "You will never amount to anything," or "You are just not smart," are always popping up in our thoughts. It helps to explain why some people often find it hard to think positive thoughts, while others do so with ease.
The great positive in this new scientific discovery gives us assurance that we can change the old "grooves" or thought patterns in our brains. Research also indicates that we can create new neural pathways by changing our thought patterns. The writer of the book of Romans in the New Testament referred to being transformed by the renewal of our minds. In other words, we can certainly teach our brains new tricks . . . that is, new ways of thinking, believing, and being.
Remember, "Thoughts are things . . . Choose the good ones." ŠTUT.comHealthy Food Tips
1 small onion chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 t. olive oil
3/4 c. water
1/2 t. garlic, minced
3 15-oz. cans white cannellini beans
1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes
3 T green chilies, chopped
3/4 c. vegetable broth
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/8 t. crushed red pepper
Chop onion, celery and carrot. Add olive oil to a 3-4 quart stock pot, and add chopped veggies and sauté just until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium to low heat for about 30-40 minutes.
Serve with an optional dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.
Note: This is a great vegetarian or vegan main dish, and makes a full meal when served with a tossed salad. The seasoning in this recipe is very mild and I like more spices so I double the amount called for. I also add a rounded teaspoon of salt.Private Skype Video Consultations
If you are newly diagnosed, when it is so important to get started on a good wellness program before you sustain significent neurological damage, this may be a option you wish to consider. Or perhaps you feel "stuck," and have become discouraged. A private consultation can really kick start your program. These consultations can either b done by Skype video (if you have a web cam), or by telephone, up to two hours in length. A coach or mentor can be invaluable in your healing journey. If you are interested in knowing more about a personal consultation, please let me know HERE and I'll send specific information, as well as a pre-consultation questionnaire and testimonials.
I often write about our life force, or chi. Remember that Qi Gong is Chinese: chi (energy) and gong (work), or simply energy work. It is the basis for what we call modern energy medicine. I believe my daily practice of Qi Gong is probably one of the most important contributors to my overcoming PP MS.
agree . . .
"If you want to be healthy
and live to be 100, do Qi Gong."
What is chi? Chi is our life force. It is the force that powers our body. Think of your chi as being like the electrical current that powers your computer. It is the true essence of who you are. It is somewhat like the organizing principle of our body. One could call it a deep intelligence with us.
Increasing the movement of the chi in one part of your body is a little like turning on a light bulb in one part of a room; it also activates in other parts of the room. So it is with increasing movement of our body's chi.
Moving the chi in our body is a primary goal of the practice of Qi Gong. Ancient Chinese medicine teaches that dis-ease in our body equates to blockages in the flow of chi, so let's be sure we know how to feel it. recognizing and feeling our chi helps us to be committed and diligent in our Qi Gong practice. There are several very simple ways to feel our chi. First of all, what are you looking for? What does our chi feel like? How will you know when you feel it? Feeling your chi is somewhat like feeling a slight tingling sensation throughout your body.
Ways of feeling your chi
Simply hold an open palm in front of you, and then while looking at our hand concentrate on feeling your hand. You should experience a subtle slight tingling. For most people this takes only a few seconds. As soon as you feel it in one hand, then include your other hand. The next step is to feel it in your fee, and gradually throughout your body.
Vigorously rub you open palms together. Then let your arms "hang" relaxed from the shoulder. You will feel a tingling sensation in your arms.
Another way is to vigorously clap or shake your hands, and again when you stop you will feel the tingling.
One of my favorite ways is to vigorously, with open palms, buff my ears with a circular motion. I learned this technique when I was in a resident program a Dr. Deepak Chopra's Center for Mind Body Medicine in San Diego, shortly after I was diagnosed with PP MS 21 years ago. [The anatomical reason this works is that in energy medicine the ears, the soles of the feet, and the palms are considered microcosms (miniatures) of the entire body. This is also the reasoning behind foot and hand reflexology.]
One or more of these simple Qi Gong exercises are very basic to effectively using Qi Gong, a very effective and powerful healing tool. Feeling your own chi is important, and the more you practice Qi Gong movements, the more you will be aware of feeling your chi.
I always begin my day, as I stand beside my bed first thing after I awaken in the morning, with one or more of these simple exercises, combined with some stretches and deep breathing. They wake up my body and feel wonderful. A great way to begin my day.
For more on energy medicine I recommend The Healer Within by Dr. Roger Jahnke, as well as Healing Yourself and Others by Harry Massey.
I invite you to order any of my e-books (in PDF format) and exercise videos from Amazon at:
FOUR STEPS TO OVERCOMING MS: 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).
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 again, on my order page. (The Tai Chi for Seniors is presently not available.)
If you find value in this free newsletter and the Betty's House website, please consider making a CONTRIBUTION to help keep them coming to you.
That's about it for this issue. If you are new to Journey to Wellness, every month [or when the spirit moves me] you will receive a brief newsletter that will contain a link to the NL at my website. The current NL is always available at my website.
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 results I have and reverse whatever physical challenge you may have. Your body is amazingly intelligent; it absolutely evolved to be self-healing.
Happy October. 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.
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.