December 2018                                                                                                                              

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

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My View
Cause of MS Identified
Learning Something New
National Hugging Day
Focus on Exercise
Warning from FDA - Lemtrada
Have You Been Misdiagnosed?
From My Mailbox
Is High Fructose Corn Syrup the same as Sugar?
Book and DVD Orders


     Happy Holidays   

From my House to Yours


When one reaches my age Christmas is not so much about making new memories, as it is about remembering those from the past.  For me Christmas is about children and family, and for some I understand it is a religious observance. Today my family only includes my grandson Zachary who graduates from the University of California in a few months, and his mother, my daughter-in-law, Christine, whom I see often. We are presently attempting to arrange for Zach and his girlfriend to be home for Christmas. They live in San Francisco, and their jobs and obligations make it challenging for them to join his mother and me for Christmas.


Things I still love about the holidays include displays of lights, the look of joy and delights on the face of children, and oh yes, Christmas music.  As many of you know I was a piano teacher for 25+ years, and I so fondly remember Christmas recitals and the festivities surrounding them. 


However you celebrate this festive time of the year, I hope it brings joy to your heart. And if, like me, your holidays are about remembering the past, please know that the Hallmark kind of holiday need not be ours for us to enjoy the festivities.


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Throughout the 24 years since I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) I have sincerely hoped that during my lifetime on this planet I would see an unraveling of the mystery of the underlying causes of this disabling and often crippling disorder, leading to a cure.  It now appears that functional medicine has learned these answers.


Drum roll please!!  The answers lie in our microbiome and a healthy gut bacteria.  There are many aspects to the health of our gut, but most importantly it relates to what we eat. The function of our microbiome and a healthy gut bacteria is to create a healthy immune system. An unhealthy immune system is responsible for all so-called autoimmune disorders, one of which is multiple sclerosis.


Let's begin with definitions:


Miriam-Webster tells us that a microbiome is: The collective genomes of microorganisms inhabiting a particular environment and especially the human body.  They form one community among the many that make up the human microbiome: the full genetic complement of bacteria and other organisms at home on your skin, gums, and teeth, in your genital tract, and most especially in your gut.


A genome is: The genetic material of an organism


When I first began my own journey to heal my PPMS, I was strongly influenced by the suggestions of the Canadian Dr. Ashton Embry whose young son, Matt, had successfully managed his RRMS, restricting his diet by eliminating gluten, dairy, and early on also eliminating eggs and legumes. Dr. Embry thought the reason the diet restriction worked for some people was allergies to one or more of these foods, as well as an immune response to these particular proteins. I carefully followed Dr. Embry's suggested food plan for about 6-7 years. (Needless to say I got very thin during that period of time!) After about 1-2 years the restriction on eggs and legumes was lifted.


Functional medicine and years of research have now proven that the causative factor is an unhealthy gut bacteria. In recent days I have had the opportunity to listen to "Interconnected," a world-wide Internet symposium of many functional medicine physicians and practitioners,  examining all aspects of a healthy gut.


Basically we need to eat lots of fiber, fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, good fats, and fermented foods like sauerkraut, high quality no sugar plain yogurt, kefir and kombucha. Also pickled beets and onions.  Any fermented foods. Google "prebiotic foods," and "fermented foods" and you can learn a lot. It is also recommended we include root vegetables in our diet, like turnips, rutabagas and carrots.


We must avoid all processed sugars and artificial sweeteners.  Bad guys we should avoid include corn and soy (they are all genetically modified and have been saturated with pesticides). Another is Canola oil. For many of us dairy should also be avoided.


As I continue my study and learn more, hopefully I can write more intelligently about this whole area of science. At this juncture I can see exactly why my early diet worked, even though I had no idea of why or how at that time.


Several important things I learned in this study are: 

Of the nine episodes of Interconnected, the one that most directly relates to MS and autoimmune disorders is No. 2.  I have asked to be notified if and when a replay may be available and I will get a notification out to the Journey to Wellness mailing list. You may watch Episode 1 on You Tube.  Unfortunately the rest of the episodes do not appear there at this time. Episode No. 1 lays the foundation for all that follow. Just do a search on You Tube for "Interconnected." 


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"One day it just all clicks! You realize what's important and what isn't. You learn to care less about  what other people think of you, and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you have come, and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you have fought to become."




This is what self-healing, sometimes called healing from within, or self-directed healing, is all about. We begin by learning the theory, then suddenly one day is just all clicks and we understand the "theories" are truth and available to each one of us.


I am immensely grateful for the master teachers who fortunately taught me what powerful people we all are, and that we can absolutely control the functions of our body. When I began my  own healing journey I knew some of this theoretically, but from a practical standpoint I needed help to put it into practice.


Through the pages of this newsletter over the past 20 years I have shared about many of the people who influenced me along the way. I love learning.  You would almost think you were entering a library when you enter my home.  In addition I have over 200 e-books in my iPad.


Often I become aware of a new book and author, and I add it to those I happily own.  Such was the case with a new NYT best-selling book, ATOMIC HABITS: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. The author is James Clear. I very highly recommend this book. It was recommended to me by a University Professor of Psychology.


Psychologists have taught for many years that to change behaviors, we must change our supporting habits. Until we change those habits, any changes will surely be temporary.  Almost every person who has successfully lost weight can attest to this truth. The tendency is always to regain all the lost weight.


Think of all the well-known people who have been addicted to alcohol, and over many years they repeatedly go through detox and rehabilitation, only to fall off the wagon yet again, sometimes after years of sobriety.


ATOMIC HABITS gives a proven roadmap to overcoming the traps created by setting goals - even if we reach them - only to return to our old habits.


Here's a meaningful quote: "Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. That's the counterintuitive thing about improvement. We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the systems that cause those results. When you solve problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily. In order to improve for good, you need to solve problems at the systems level. Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves."


As my old friend Zig Ziegler used to say, "You gotta put the good stuff in, in order to get the good stuff out."


How many times have you promised yourself that you will stay with a healthy food plan, meditate regularly, practice Qi Gong or other gentle exercise, combined with conscious deep breathing, etc.  These are the systems or inputs Mr. Clear refers to in order to get the self-healing which our body is capable of producing.


Habits are the cornerstone of what we achieve in life, and that is where change must begin. My wish for each one of you is that you get this book, and through Mr. Clear's inspired writing learn how to change your habits (systems) in such a way to bring about healing/change in your life.


Like many things in life, the WHAT is simple (just change your lifestyle), but the HOW (process) of doing that is where we encounter difficulty. I am now re-reading ATOMIC HABITS.  This book is really that good! Won't you join me?


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January 21st is "National Hugging Day"

Let's see how many we can get and give on that day and every day!


Know why hugs feel so good? Because we share energy with the other person.

So  whether you are the hugger, or the huggee, hugs feel good!




I suppose everyone who practices a particular exercise routine usually follows the structured routine(s) for a period of time.  However, it is my experience that over time we tend to gradually avoid watching the DVD and instead do it from memory. I know I have always done that. 


For 20 years I have been devoted to Qi Gong, the healing program developed by ancient Chinese medicine men. During those years I collected several other Qi Gong programs by different masters. I found that there are many common basic movements in all of them, as well as many differences between them. When I would get bored with the "sameness" of my original - and very effective - program, I would add some of the movements I liked in the other programs, so that eventually I had created my own version.  So I continued doing my version, and stopped watching the original programs. 


Recently I seemed to be guided to go back to my Qi Gong for Seniors program. I did that, and my feelings about that experience precipitated writing this column. However,  first I need to reiterate the premise of what Qi Gong is based upon, as well as why and how it works.


Chinese medicine teaches that the life force energy that creates and sustains our body is directly related to our breath, and that when that energy flows freely throughout our body we are healthy. Conversely when that energy is blocked or restricted, we experience that as physical disease.


According to Chinese medicine, there is a system of meridians throughout the body, and the life-force energy flows along these meridian lines.  This is the basis for acupuncture, as well as Qi Gong.  Qi (chi) is Chinese for energy, and gong equates to work. Therefore, Qi Gong is "energy work."


We have a tendency to think of exercise as physical movement.  However, it is much more than that. Merriam Webster defines exercise as "something performed or practiced in order to develop, improve, or display a specific capability or skill." Qi Gong certainly fits that definition.


As I was doing my Qi Gong routine today (following the DVD), I realized that in picking and combining bits and pieces from several routines I had lost some of the important basics in why and how Qi Gong brings about healing. 


Qi Gong teaches that we gain energy from the earth, through the "gates" of  our feet, as well as from the atmosphere through the crown chakra (top of the head). It calls our joints the gates through which the life force energy needs to flow.  That is the reason why a good Qi Gong master emphasizes a circular motion of the joints like shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, hips, knees, etc. A good Qi Gong routine will always feature these circular movements.


Additional important healing aspects of Qi Gong include breath work, to move our life force energy in order to remove any blockages and bring life-giving energy to every cell of our body.


Next comes self-massage, again following the natural flow of the body's energy meridians.  For instance, down the inside of our arms and up the outside of the arms. The legs are just the opposite; down the outside of the legs, then up the inside of the legs.


A very thorough self-massage of the face is extremely important , as well as the head and especially all parts of the ears - inside, outside, and the lobe. This self-massage of the head, face and ears is said to stimulate the immune system, as it relaxes the entire nervous system.


A good although brief massage of our head is one of the most relaxing experiences we can ever have. It is great to do a 2-3 minute head and ear massage just prior to lying down in bed at night. It is also good to wake us up and start our day in the morning immediately after we awaken. I just sit on the side of the bed and do my head and ear massage as I get up.


Once your body has been through the above movements, the most important movement of Qi Gong comes into the picture.  That is often called "flow" and it is the beautiful arm movements associated with both Qi Gong and Tai Chi.


If you have never experienced the phenomenal benefits of Qi Gong, I urge you to begin the practice today.


My experience of Qi Gong is that it is a relaxing, soothing, and healing moving meditation. I have been practicing Qi Gong for 20 years now, and I absolutely believe that my consistent daily practice of Qi Gong is a good part of why I walk and live a normal life today.  



The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning about the potential for "rare but serious" cases of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke and cervicocephalic arterial dissection associated with alemtuzumab (Lemtrada, Genzyme).


In the nearly 5 years since the agency approved alemtuzumab for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), cases involving 13 patients have been reported to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System database, the agency said in a safety communication.



Some time ago long-time Journey to Wellness subscriber Kay Roberts wrote to tell me that after years of being told she had PPMS she had learned she had been misdiagnosed years ago. I asked Kay to write about her experience so that I could share it with all of you. Kay was anxious to share her story in the hope  that people diagnosed especially as Primary Progressive MS get a DNA test.


Here is Kay's story.


I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) in 2001. I got several second opinions including two top neurologists. At that time, an MS diagnosis was really a process of elimination. I took Avonex, a powerful interferon injection costing about $35,000 per year, for over 16 years. Do the math - that was a lot of money at that time.


Then I saw a new neurologist because mine had a heart incident and stopped practicing. The new neurologist had been around MS for about 35 years. He looked at me and carefully examined my MRI. He told me to have a DNA test because he didn’t think I had multiple sclerosis. He was right. A subsequent DNA test indicated that I have HSP (Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia),  a rare genetic disease passed down from my parents. I have a bad gene 7. There is also no treatment or cure for HSP. It is also progressive; I now use a wheelchair most of the time. The best treatment seems to be swimming and a healthy Mediterranean diet."


What a shock I'm sure that news was to Kay.  If you think this might applicable to you, please discuss it with your neurologist. Thank you Kay for sharing your story. 


From My Mailbox

   Hi Betty.  Thanks for the October issue of Journey to Wellness.  I especially liked the Listening to our Body, and your emphasis on our breath.  It sometimes takes me a while to adopt something new, but both these features really resonated with me and I have been consciously learning to listen to my body, and especially to work on conscious breathing.  The breath work is so relaxing, and really helps me sleep. Thanks Betty for all you have taught me over the years. /s/ Janet M. 


Thank you Janet. Everything I teach is from my own experience. Thank you or writing.

   Good morning Betty. It’s such a pleasure to be in contact with you. You and I were diagnosed the same year and I have followed you on your journey. I have your books. Your straight forward way of tackling the unwanted guest helped me and so many others. Over the years I’ve recommended you to many people. s/ /s/ Cettina Catlin


Cettina and I connected over Facebook Messenger recently. It is so heartening to receive these kinds of comments.  I have said from the beginning of sharing my positive MS story that if I only helped one person, it would make all the hard work worth while.  Thank you for sharing Cettina. 


Is high fructose corn syrup the same as sugar?

CNN: Dr. Gupta's report on Toxic Sugar


The answer is sort of like, well YES and NO. While the calorie count may be the same, there are certainly big differences in how the body processes HFCS vs. table sugar or other forms of sugar. The geniuses at Princeton give us some good evidence that HFCS can make you fatter than sugar!  In a 2010 Princeton University study, researchers found that rats given water sweetened with HFCS gained significantly more weight than those given water sweetened with plain sugar, despite calorie intake being the same between both groups.


Princeton researchers also state:  "In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat., and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides".


Sugar FEEDS Cancer and Causes Addiction in Your Brain


Much research indicates that sugar feeds tumors and can make cancer worse.  More and more recent cancer research shows benefits to cancer patients of using a diet low in sugar and carbs while being high in fat in order to help reverse cancer. In addition, sugar activates reward centers in your brain, similar to drugs like cocaine, thereby making sugar addictive.  Brain scans clearly indicate this addictive reaction to sugar. One widely reported brain scan shows a young person sipping a sugary soda as this addictive center of the brain is activated. Pretty scary stuff. 


It is also interesting to note that fast-digesting carbohydrate sources like breads, pastas, bagels, muffins, white rice, and other grain-based foods can spike your blood sugar just as quickly as regular table sugar. 


One must become expert at deciphering all the names food manufacturers use to identify sugars. Many will end in "ose," like fructose, dextrose, maltose, etc. According to the nonprofit Food Label Movement, there are almost 100 different names for sugar and sugar alcohols on ingredient lists. Some of the less apparent sugar names include carbitol, concentrated fruit juice, corn sweetener, diglycerides, disaccharides, evaporated cane juice, erythritol, Florida crystals, fructooligosaccharides, galactose, glucitol, glucoamine, hexitol, inversol, isomalt, maltodextrin, malted barley, malts, mannitol, nectars, pentose, raisin syrup, ribose rice syrup, rice malt, rice syrup solids, sorbitol, sorghum, sucanat, sucanet, xylitol and zylose.


The bottom line is that food manufacturers want you to be addicted to sugar and continue to buy all of their high profit junk (fake) foods and sugary drinks which can destroy your health. It is time to take control of your health for yourself, and not support these giant businesses who only care about their corporate profit and not about how they are destroying your health. 


References: Is Sugar Toxic to your body by Mike Geary, Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist


Books and DVD Orders


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


(Same information as Four Steps, but directed to non-MS people)


                (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 do not have significant immobility. (The Tai Chi for Seniors, recommended in my books, is no longer


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That's all for this month. Again, a warm welcome to new subscribers. Please know 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.

Have a great month, enjoying holiday festivities with family and friends. 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.

Please join me regularly on Facebook.

 Until next time,


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 and nutrition for many years now, 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.

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