JOURNEY TO WELLNESS
"Awaken the medicine within, and restore the natural self-healing
capacity of body, mind, and spirit."
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If you are new to Journey to Wellness, welcome. Every month [or when the spirit moves me] you will receive a brief e-mail that will contain a link to the NL at my website. The current NL is always available at my website. There is no strict timetable to the newsletters. My intention is that they publish approximately monthly. One thing I can promise you is that you will not have your inbox filled with lots of missives from me.
I have been doing this monthly newsletter for so many years that sometimes I sit at the computer thinking about what to feature in a particular issue, and it seems that I have written everything I know about a healthy self-healing lifestyle. At the same time I know that there are always new people joining the list. So for those who have been with me for years, if I write something that seems repetitive for you, I apologize.
Sometimes it seems that a healthy lifestyle demands one healing after another, after another. There will always be something we need to "heal." Remember that healing is synonymous with change.
Actually self-healing is not complex. It is really very simple. That doesn't necessarily mean it is easy, however. The first challenge is our belief system. Not only is it the first challenge, but for some they never get beyond it.
I had a communication from someone new to my program the other day who said, "I wasn't raised to believe that." As one of my early teachers said to me, "Get over it!"
Please hear me with "inner ears." If you believe it will work - really believe at the depths of your being - IT WILL WORK FOR YOU! The reverse is also true. If you believe that it will not work for you, IT WILL NOT WORK FOR YOU! After all, when I first make contact with a new subscriber or consulting client, if what they had been doing was working, they wouldn't be contacting me.
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When I first talk with a newly diagnosed person, whatever their diagnosis may be, I can so relate to their feelings. As the saying goes, "Been there, done that."
I remember being terrified when I heard the neurologist tell me that I had Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, for which there was/is no effective treatment, and that I would soon be in a wheel chair. I was already having great difficulty walking. After all, my mother was a total invalid in a nursing home with what had begun as the more common form of MS called Relapsing Remitting, when I was 17 years old. I knew MS in its worst form. I was a mess, a total mess. I cried for days before making a decision to fight and prove the neurologist wrong.
Which brings me to faith, which generally equates to a strong belief. Even though not religious in any way, I had been for years a very spiritual person, and I believed that I could create whatever I set out to create.
I made a decision that I would not stop until I found a way to defeat this "thing" that had invaded my body. And ultimately I was successful in doing that.
I will not lie . . . It was not easy. I tried everything, before finally settling on the program that ultimately worked for me, and that I have now taught many others to do, and recommend for everyone.
TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH. My early spiritual development was greatly influenced by the late Jim Rohn. One of my favorite quotes from Jim is "Life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change." After all, if we keep doing what we have been doing, nothing is ever going to change.
I interpret change and healing as synonymous and interchangeable. Changing/healing, that is to alter or transform in some way, requires discipline. First there is recognition that we need to change/heal, as well as a belief that change is possible, and of course we need a plan to accomplish our intention. That is, a determination to act in a certain way, with resolve, to make a definite and serious decision with regard to something.
The steps do not necessarily have to be big. When I began my own healing journey, which lead to totally reversing Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, many of my first steps were tiny. The only guide I had was my own inner voice.
Select something in your life that you wish to change/heal, firmly set your intention, and take your first step, whatever that may be. One step will soon lead you to another, then another, and so on. Always remember that a walk of a mile begins with one determined step.
Recently a friend loaned me a book titled The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller. I found it to be a very interesting book. It is based on a fascinating idea which simply stated is that we need to learn to stick with one thing at a time. He posits that there really is no such thing as multitasking because trying to do multiple things at one time means we must shift our attention back and forth.
Author Keller is one of the most successful businessmen in New York, and he said when he learned that the real secret to success is ALWAYS concentrating on one thing at a time, he actually stepped down as CEO of his own company and began to practice and teach this "secret" to others in his company. Eventually he taught it to many of the world's top executives.
What does it mean for you and me? Always stay focused on only one thing at a time. As I read this book, I realized I could have accomplished so much more during my lifetime if I had recognized that I was always juggling many projects at a time. This today is still a lesson I need to learn better.
There is much more to this book, but I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be more focused and productive. How does one thing at a time relate to self healing? Just like everything else in life, if we learn to focus on one thing at a time, instead of learning three or more new things at one time, the healing we seek will come faster. Just prioritize them and learn them one at a time.
This quote is from Gary Keller's book, The ONE Thing:
"The real solutions we seek are almost always hiding in plain sight"
And by focusing on one thing at a time, we are likely to find those solutions more rapidly and effectively.
I always prioritize the healing techniques I teach as follows, in order of importance:
Interestingly it seems that everyone wants to do the least important first. Why? Probably because they think it is the easiest. Actually, the first, meditation, is the easiest. It requires no special skill. Just sitting quietly and concentrating on either the feeling of our breath in our nostrils, or on a mantra, that is a repeated word or phrase. But we tell ourselves it is difficult because we have never done it. If you are brand new to meditating, you may just use "I am love," which is my favorite mantra. Remember that you are not saying it aloud, merely thinking it to yourself.
Beginners tend to try it for a little bit, and when their mind starts to wander - which it will - we call that a failure and think we cannot do it. However, when that happens simply bring your mind back to either your breath or mantra and resume sitting quietly.
Brendan Burchard, whom I admire greatly, has taught literally over a million people to meditate with a very simple one-word mantra, "Release." If you would like to try it, just do a Google search for "Brendon Burchard Meditation" and you will have it. It is simply about releasing whatever you wish to release. I highly recommend this approach.
I hope a few of you, whether novices or one who has been attempting meditation for a while, will work at your meditation skills this month, then send me a report of your progress and I will share it anonymously next month.
OUR BREATH IS POWERFUL Many things we sort of do as if on "automatic pilot." The breath that sustains our life from the moment of birth is one of those automatic functions of life, like digestion and assimilation of nutrients, etc. These are controlled by our autonomic nervous system. But as we mature we learn that the breath can do a lot more for us than merely sustain life when we learn to manipulate it.
I first became aware of how powerful my breath could be when I as a very young piano student I was petrified of recitals. My teacher taught me to control my fear by manipulating my breath. It really worked. As a music teacher for many years I taught my students to control their performance anxiety by controlling their breath.
I now know that we can control not only anxiety (about anything) with our breath, but also many physical functions as well, merely by controlling our breath. There is nothing about your physical awareness that connects you more to the Non-Physical aspect of your Being than that of your breathing.
Many assume that the process of breathing is only about your physical nature, but that is not the case. The process of breathing is much more than an essential function of your physical body. Indeed, it is the flowing of Spirit to you, and through you. That is the reason that when the focusing of Spirit through your physical body ceases, your breathing ceases, also. We call that death.
"A meditation experience will induce a convergence of beneficial aspects for you, for as you relax into the natural rhythm of perfect breathing . . . your physical being will gently surrender to the vibrational frequency of your Source, and you will become one with your Source.
This will not be an exercise of effort or trying, but instead an exercise of releasing and allowing . . . gently allowing yourself to be who-you-really-are."
INSOMNIA . . . also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder where people have trouble sleeping. For some it is difficulty falling asleep, for others it is difficulty staying asleep. For those who have challenges like bladder incontinence, it most often is the inability to get back to sleep after they must get up during the night.
Insomnia of all kinds is also much more prevalent in seniors, reportedly affecting about 50% of seniors. I think I was probably about 65 when I first began to have episodes of insomnia. Most often I would be awakened to go to the bathroom, and then at least half of the time I would toss and turn, many times for hours, trying to get back to sleep. Sometimes I even resorted to a mild sleeping medication.
I also noticed that I began to have difficulty falling asleep when I first retired for the night. At that point I began to learn everything I could about sleep, sleeping habits, etc.
Finally a few months ago I got a new primary care physician, and we had a nice long chat about the causes of insomnia and how to manage it. She said I could totally control it without resorting to sleeping meds. Here are some of the things I learned from her:
(1) Have a regular schedule for bedtime.
(2) Always eat approximately 3 hours prior to bedtime. As we age it tends to take longer to digest food.
(3) When you must get up during the night, do not turn on any lights.
If you must have a light at night, just keep a flashlight beside your bed.
(4) Turn off your computer or television, and/or dim your tablet at least one hour and a half before your bedtime.
Our body's sleep/awake cycle is closely related to sunlight and darkness. We evolved to sleep after the sun sets, and awaken when the sun rises in the morning. In our modern world of artificial light, unnatural work schedules and of course travel from one time zone to another, it is no wonder that huge numbers of us have challenges sleeping.
Recently, however, science has discovered that there is a spectrum of light, often called blue light, that can create insomnia. That blue light is most often associated with the light emanating from our computer and tablet monitors and television screen.
My physician suggested I turn off all devices about an hour and a half before bedtime. She told me that the blue light spectrum in our computer/tablet screens, as well as HD television screens, mimics natural sunlight and sends a hormonal message to the brain to stay awake. No wonder when I sat at the computer and wrote, or read my tablet at night, my sleep schedule was very erratic and I often had insomnia.
Following my new doctor's advice, I immediately saw a big improvement in my sleep habits. No more do I toss and turn, unable to get to sleep, or get back to sleep, and eventually wake up feeling like I had been fighting an enemy all night. I now understand that I was telling my body to go to sleep, when my brain was telling my body to stay awake.
Then my daughter-in-law and grandson gave me a new full-sized iPad for Christmas, to replace my iPad Mini I had used (and loved) for about three to four years. Surprise of surprises the new iPad has a lot of new features, including a control that turns off the blue spectrum of light. iPad calls that setting a "night shift" and it can be set to automatically come on and off at predetermined times. I normally read books on my iPad most evenings. Now I just set the night shift light setting to come on at 7 p.m. and go off at 6 a.m. You may also reduce the brightness setting on your computer monitor or HD television screen.
If you have a challenge with insomnia, I hope some of this is helpful to you. It has certainly changed my life. If you have questions about any of this, please send me a note HERE.
Incidentally, there is much to recommend the iPad. I love it, love it, love it!! Steve Jobs truly was a genius.
HEALTHY FOOD TIPS AND RECIPES We often tend to have fond thoughts for the manufacturers of prepared foods. However, believe me, they are in business for one reason, to make money. And one of their primary weapons is advertising, trying to convince us to purchase their products. One of the ways they do that is the use of jargon to describe the ingredients in their foods.
I came up with 11 ways of disguising sugar, perhaps our major food enemy, in prepared foods:
When evaluating ingredients in prepared foods, always remember that the items with the least processing will always be the healthiest. Using that rule as a guideline, in the above list honey would be the healthiest. Also avoid those items that are made from chemicals. Again, using the above list as an example, Saccharine comes to mind as being totally a chemical concoction.
From Mayo Clinic kitchens, Healthy Lifestyle Recipes
1 c. (or 1 can - 10 ounces) chicken breast
In a large soup pot, add the chicken, beans, tomatoes and chicken broth. Cover and simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, spray a nonstick frying pan with cooking spray. Add the onions, peppers and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the onion and pepper mixture to the soup pot. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano and, as desired, cayenne pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft.
Ladle into warmed bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 teaspoon cilantro. Serve with baked chips on the side (about 6 to 8 chips with each serving of chili).
Private Skype Video Consultations If you are newly diagnosed, when it is so important to get started on a good program before you sustain significant neurological damage, this is an option I strongly urge you to consider. Or perhaps you feel "stuck," and have become discouraged. Usually when that happens our belief level has slipped, and a private consultation can really kick start your program. These consultations can either be 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.
World-first blood test to aid prognosis and treatment of MS
After so many years of reading positive reports related to MS news, only to find the pharmaceutical companies were stretching the results, I am very skeptical. However, I do remain hopeful that ultimately we will learn more about the diagnosis and prognosis for both relapsing remitting MS and primary progressive MS.
Here is a news report from Australia of a test to determine early on what kind of MS the patient is developing.
Remember that Monsanto is the primary culprit in GMO foods
Meanwhile, please do not ever take any of the so-called MS drugs without thoroughly researching the side effects. I had occasion to read an ad in a current MS magazine a few days ago for Gilenya, and I was flabbergasted to note that the ad takes one page, while the "IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION ("Gilenya may cause serious side effects such as . . .") took four additional pages. It is difficult for me to understand why a physician would recommend this drug, nor why any intelligent person would ingest such a dangerous drug. Please, please use caution.
Hi Betty. Thanks for all you do. You have been a lifesaver for me for several years. Please tell me what you do, other than Qi Gong, to stay fit. Thanks. /s/ Juliana K.
I'm glad you asked this question Juliana. I walk with ExerStrider poles. Here is a YouTube video showing them in use.
A newsletter reader suggested these to me many years ago,
early on in my healing journey. I immediately purchased them, and I have
walked with them ever since. They help us maintain over-all body fitness, as
well as rebuilding weakened muscles. And they help immensely with balance
issues. ExerStrider poles are now available at a discounted price from
Amazon. You may also read more about them at
years past I wrote about them in newsletters, but for some reason I was not very
successful getting people to use them. I hope you will get them for yourself, if
you have any walking or balance disability.
Hello Betty. I am newly diagnosed and have just read your Self-Healing Made Easy. My question is, it all seems overwhelming, and I don't know where to start. /s/ Gerald R.
Hello Gerald. Good question. Please just concentrate on one thing at a time. Select one thing to work on first. For instance, exercise. It is so important to always remember that your body was designed to move - every day. Our sedentary lifestyles today are a detriment to health. You don't have to do a lot of jumping around or running. The word aerobics simply relates to oxygen supply to our cells, and breath work does a superb job of increasing the supply of oxygen to our cells. Anything that increases your respiration rate is aerobic. The word aerate is a derivative of aerobic.
The DVD program Yoga for MS is am excellent and relatively easy program to help prevent major damage, as well as helping recover from damage already sustained. The longer one waits to begin such a program, the bigger challenge it is to reverse the damage. I have a few of those in stock and you may order them HERE. If you would like more specific recommendations, please send me a note HERE.
You might also select diet revision as a first step.
I always recommend we restrict anything made with white flour or sugar.
But you might choose to just restrict one of those first. Whichever you
choose, remember ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME. Please let me know how it goes.
I invite you to order any of my e-books 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.)
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That's about it 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 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.
Happy March. Spring is just around the corner. YEH!! 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.