JOURNEY TO WELLNESS
'Awaken the medicine within, and restore the natural
Hello my Journey to Wellness friends. As I write this it is a magnificent Sunday in late April where I live. My patio, just outside my office window, is covered with blossoms in just about every color there is. Spring is my favorite time of the year. It reminds me that just as the flowers are renewed in the springtime, so we too can be renewed. In our case we get to choose our time of renewal.
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eighteen years now it has been my goal that each subscriber find something in
each issue that helps them on their own journey to wellness. Please also
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GIVING UP JUDGMENT: We live in a world of duality. Yes, no. Right, wrong. Happy, unhappy. Sick or well. Notice that each of these are either positive or negative. Every aspect of the Universe has evidence of this duality. But always, always, we get to choose between the two. The healthier we are, the more we choose the positive.
I suggest we set a period of time to just observe how often we find ourselves making these judgments. Perhaps for one or two days or even one week. Most often we find ourselves in a more or less constant state of judgment. This creates a state of stress, both physical and emotional. Notice that judgments may be about persons, places, or things, and most importantly ourselves. These judgments create stressors in our lives and in our body.
I observe that most things I encounter in life have both positive and negative aspects. The message is that we don't necessarily have to accept either aspect, which creates judgment. When we learn to give up judging, that is seeing everything and everyone as either right or wrong, etc., and just accept that everything and everyone just "is," it frees us from the burden of needing to be right all the time.
In our society today we are taught by our parents from the time we are infants that everything is either right or wrong. Then we go to school and the message of judging everything as right (good) or wrong (bad) is enhanced. And so it goes until one day we realize that we are extremely opinionated about everything and everyone.
What does that have to do with self-healing and a healthy lifestyle you ask? My response, sometimes a great deal. I believe that the "I can't do that", or "It won't work for me" person is simply making a negative judgment about themselves and their capabilities. That kind of judgment must change in order for them to activate their body's self-healing mechanisms.
In my mind's eye I see little entities sitting on each of my shoulders. One is whispering negative judgments in one ear, while the other is whispering "You can do it" judgments in the other ear. And of course I get to choose which one I listen to.
I first learned this lesson at the Deepak Chopra Center in San Diego when I enrolled in a week-long resident program shortly after I was diagnosed with PP MS 19 years ago. It opened the door to a more peaceful and healthy way of looking at the world. I found giving up judgment to be very freeing.
● THE CHARGED LIFE: I first came across Brendon Burchard on the Internet two or three years ago. He is quite literally a self-made Internet phenomenon. Brendon is a #1 New York Times best selling author three times over in the last 10 years. His books are about motivation, success, high level personal performance, and how to live what he calls a fully charged life.
I encourage you to enter this address in your computer browser: podcast.brendon.com and it will open up an iTunes page of THE CHARGED LIFE WITH BRENDON BURCHARD, and a listing of his regular podcasts. (If you aren't familiar with the term "podcasts," they are broadcasts on the Internet.)
You may listen at this page, or you may download any of them to your computer. Brendon totally sponsors these podcasts so you will not be bombarded with ads. Enjoy.
● THE PIANO GUYS: Those who have been with me for a while know that I was a piano teacher for about 25 years. Even though I don't play any more, I still love music, and Mozart and Beethoven were my favorite classical composers.
The Piano Guys are two of the most creative musicians you’ll find on the planet, and they don’t disappoint in this music video of Hello Lacrimosa. They combine “Lacrimosa” from Mozart’s Requiem with “Hello” from Adele in this musical delight that combines music from the 18th Century with the 21st Century. Enjoy.
Do a Google search for The Piano Guys and learn about these incredibly talented musicians.
Thank you for remembering that Amazon is a sponsor of this website and
With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, here are a couple of favorite Mexican/Southwestern recipes at my house.
A southwestern favorite, simplified: Most of the ingredients are pantry staples.
T olive oil
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, green chilies, garlic, jalapeno, and cumin. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans with juices and broth. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes.
Puree 3 cups soup in batches in blender. Return puree to same pot. Mix in 6 tablespoons cilantro. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.
NOTE: Be sure to cool the soup before pureeing in blender, or you may burn yourself or have bean soup on your ceiling!!.
(From Mayo Clinic kitchens)
Dietitian's tip: Quesadillas may be filled with cheese, cooked meat, refried beans or veggies―or any combination of these ingredients. This version uses chicken and cheddar.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each 4 ounces
1 c. chopped onions
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Cut each chicken breast into cubes. In a large, nonstick frying pan, add the chicken and onions and sauté until the onions are tender and the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the salsa, tomatoes and cilantro.
To assemble, lay a tortilla flat and rub the outside edge with water. Spread about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture onto the tortilla, leaving about 1/2 inch free around the outer rim. Sprinkle with a spoonful of shredded cheese. Fold tortilla in half and seal. Place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Lightly coat the top of the tortillas with cooking spray.
Bake until the quesadillas are lightly browned and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Cut in half and serve immediately.
CHOCOLATE OH CHOCOLATE - HOW WE DO LOVE CHOCOLATE!
Fortunately chocolate is classified today as a superfood because of its high antioxidant content. If you just want a bar of good dark chocolate that won't break the bank, you don't have to look any further than the supermarket baking section.
But which one to invest in? America's Test Kitchen tested various dark chocolates in many ways -- eating it plain, baked into brownies and turning it into chocolate pot de cremes. Their results for the best supermarket dark chocolate might not come as a huge surprise, but what they found to be the worst buy for your money just might be.
Out of the 10 bars they tested, Ghirardelli 60 percent Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Premium Baking Bar took first place. It's available nationwide at pretty much every supermarket, and is pretty affordable.
Baker's Baking Chocolate Squares -- commonly thought to be the lowest quality on the shelf -- landed right in the middle, based on performance. A bit of a surprise, but not as shocking as the reported losers.
The two dark chocolate options that came in last were from chocolate giants Hershey's and Nestle.
I have been immensely pleased at the overwhelming responses to Frannie's story a couple of weeks ago. Her recovery continues, and I receive updates from her almost every day. Here's a note I received from her a few days ago:
Dream - Believe - Do - Repeat
Imagery of the Day comes to me every day and this is what it said today: THIS HAPPENS TO BE WHAT I LIVE BY after studying many things on the Internet. Remember I told you I had written on a tray that holds my keyboard., in big capital letters:
ASK - BELIEVE - RECEIVE.
In fact, that is how I became PAIN--FREE. Having a strong , determined MIND, asking and believing in myself and meditating, then RECEIVING.
Betty, I do attribute so many things to YOU & Michael. I just can't remember every word or point you made, but I started using it. I want to call you my "other Mother" for teaching me things about LIFE and MS . . . things we usually get from a parent. My SUPER LUCKY DAY was SKYPING with you that DAY. That $75 was the MOST WELL SPENT MONEY OF MY LIFE worth thousands because you stuck with me for long enough to fill my brain with all I needed to KNOW to start my own JOURNEY TO WELLNESS. That's what I call a REAL TEACHER and always how I would conduct my classes until my students understood all that they were being taught.
I truly OWE you everything about REBUILDING MY LIFE TO WALK AGAIN. Next thing I would like to share [in the newsletter] is HOW LONG IT TOOK ME TO WALK. Soon I'll be able to walk totally unassisted, and we can report that to your readers.
I am an extreme case of not walking for 27 years BUT as we know we can REBUILD if we will just believe and be CONSISTENT.
I'm sure, Frannie, that all Journey to Wellness readers join me in congratulating you on all you have accomplished. I can hardly wait to feature a video in the newsletter of you walking, and, of course, on YouTube. I absolutely love you, my friend.
I have also received many
e-mails from newsletter subscribers and Facebook friends. Here's a
My response to Ilona:
Thank you for your note. I am so excited for you. The problem with physical therapists is rarely do they know anything about MS and what it does to our body. The psoas is so important to the overall maintenance of our lower body, we just must consider it.
I have written about it in the newsletter previously, but didn’t have a success story like Frannie’s to show the effectiveness of a psoas strengthening exercise. In the past I just had what Shoosh Crotzer had personally told me. I could never understand why it was so difficult to get people to work with the Yoga for MS routine. I was talking on the phone with Frannie earlier this week and she said that if she hadn’t told the PT what I had shared with her about the psoas, the PT would never have known how to help her!
My e-mail box has been jammed full since the newsletter. I have decided to start a psoas crusade! Thanks again for writing. I will print your note in the next NL. I am so proud of you.
Betty. My problem with this exercise is I can’t get up off the floor and when I do get to the floor I have fallen. What suggestions do you have for us who have progressed to this level of disability? Thank you. /s/ Chris A
Here is my response to Chris:
Hi Chris. Frannie’s PT has her do these exercises on her bed. Frannie puts her feet at the head of the bed, and does the Sphinx on her elbows on the foot of the bed. She says her bedroom TV is a lifesaver. It is placed where she can watch TV while she holds her pose for 15 minutes. Frannie tells me it ”burned like hell” when she first started. Her PT had warned her that would happen since her psoas was so damaged from 27 years of nonuse.
If you sit in a chair, any kind of a chair, you can do what Frannie calls the GASTROC. You are simply sitting, back straight, with your toes pointing to the ceiling. Sitting with your feet on an ottoman works well if your ottoman is approximately the same height as the chair. This simple exercise is to rebuild and strengthen the muscles in the front of your leg to facilitate reversing the foot drop. It just occurred to me that if one is in a WC you could do this with your feet raised level with the seat, like I see them do in a hospital where I volunteer when a person has a full leg cast. With this exercise you merely flex the foot while holding it firmly with a PT belt, or even just a firm strip of fabric.
I think one could accomplish the goal of the third exercise by sitting on your bed with your knees elevated so that your feet are flat on the bed. Then place the soles of your feet as close together as possible, then place your hands on your knees and carefully press your legs to the sides. This will create a pull in the groin. Be careful and do overdo it at first. If you haven't done any groin exercise in a while, it will hurt at first.
Please remember, Chris, that I am not a PT. I have just learned all kinds of variations of these positions over the years. My only warning is to take it slow and easy. It has taken a long time for you to get wherever you are physically, so it will take time to recover. Just do as much as you can every day. I am amazed that Frannie has moved so rapidly. Her photo is deceiving. She had been unable to take a step for 27 years!!
I hope this helps Chris. Send me a report in a few weeks and let me know your experience – or questions, of course.
Watch for regular updates on Frannie's progress.
• OTC Antihistamine Promotes Remyelination in MS
A common antihistamine available over the counter has shown evidence of remyelination in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
The study showed that Clemastine — at a dose just a little higher than that approved for allergies — reduced the transmission delay in the optic nerve seen in patients with MS and chronic demyelinating optic neuropathy.
"We are extremely excited about these results," lead author, Ari Green, MD, medical director, University of California San Francisco (UCSF) MS Center, commented to Medscape Medical News. "Our main message is that it appears to be possible to repair injury to nerve cells in MS by remyelination. We have been taught that the brain can't repair itself, but our results suggest that this is not true. This could have consequences for many other neurodegenerative diseases as well as MS."
The study was funded by the University of California, San Francisco. This very interesting study is much too long to include it all here, but I suggest you go to this link and read the entire report.
• Here's a fascinating article I came across on the Internet. I have been recommending meditation as a very effective healing technique for a lot of years. Now The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week issued new guidelines for doctors who prescribe painkillers that aim to cut down on overdose deaths tied to the drugs. But new research suggests a very different way to combat the pain-pill problem: Meditation.
For the new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina found that meditation and other cognitive-based approaches can reduce pain as effectively as medication, Medical News Today reports. I highly recommend this report.
• VITAMIN D LEVELS:
For the last fifteen years I have maintained my Vitamin D levels high by taking two 5,000 i.u. D3 capsules daily. Maintaining high levels of D3 is extremely important for anyone who has been diagnosed with any type of MS. If you have a parent or sibling who has/had MS, that puts you at high risk, or if you have MS and have children, all are at high risk for developing MS. Many come from "MS families" like mine, and we were all at high risk and never knew it until we were diagnosed. If you have questions about the risk factors in MS, let me know and I'll delve deeper into this subject.
• Karen sends along the following report on pain. I found it fascinating, and suggest everyone take a look. I know some MS patients suffer with nerve pain, and this might be an alternative.
Karen also sends the following blog report
containing an update on CCSVI: It has been a while since we have heard anything
more about CCSVI. Be sure to check it out.
"From Rindfliesch's discovery of the central vessel in the MS lesion in 1863, to Dr. Paolo Zamboni's discovery of Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency. 150 years of MS research on blood flow and perfusion of the central nervous system. Because the heart and the brain are connected."
Be sure to read this entire article. I found it fascinating.
• Here is an important reminder from Karen regarding Biotin:
Remember to tell your Dr BEFORE taking any blood tests if you are on the Biotin protocol for MS. The Biotin can greatly affect your test results. http://multiple-sclerosis-research.blogspot.com/2016/04/if-you-are-taking-sneaky-biotin-tell.html#comment-form
● LISA NICHOLS is one of my very favorite people on the planet. The following are notes I took recently from a presentation by this phenomenally successful lady:
1. Don't allow your "now" to dictate your future.
2. Think of 10 things you are grateful for before you get out of bed in the morning.
3. Become a good steward of your body's healing ability.
4. Begin where you are. Put into practice what you already know to do - instead of looking for something new.
5. How long will it take? It solely depends on you!
6. Read and study everything, and then listen to your body . . . to your inner voice. IT HAS ALL YOUR ANSWERS.
Check out Lisa's many YouTube videos. She is truly a phenomenon.
● THE FOLLOWING IS FROM A WAYNE DYER NEWSLETTER:
"Treat your body like a guest who visits and then must leave. While it is here don’t neglect it, don’t poison it. Honor it, welcome it, and allow it to take its course which is ultimately to leave as it came, back to where it came from. Make it fun to watch your body go through its designated phases. Be in awe of every inch of it.
When you stub your toe or cut your finger or pull a muscle, and are constantly brought back to this little pain that makes even the simplest of functions most noticeable, stop and remind yourself how grateful you are to have toes, fingers, and muscles. Remind yourself how they work perfectly with no awareness at all from you most of the time. Why ever have an unwelcome thought about your body, or ever look at this ever-changing divine creation with contempt? You are privileged to have the body you have. Honor it as if it is the garage in which you park your soul. Refuse to have contemptuous thoughts about your soul’s garage, your body. Don’t complain about its size, color, or worn-out places.
As long as you are grateful and in a state of awe, you will be unlikely to neglect it. You will be much more likely to keep it repaired than to neglect it. You will be much more likely to keep it repaired, sparkling and clean, healthy and vibrant, when the you inside looks with amazement and wonder, views with awe, every inch of this universe knowing there are no mistakes. If your hair chooses to grow in your ears, on your shoulders, and in your nose, rather than on your head, then so be it! If your skin loosens around your bones, then applaud the loosening process. Refuse to cling to the flesh as though it were going to last forever. Each body is gripped by death, and yet the paradox remains; within that same body dwells the immortal self. See your body as the miraculous, sacred perspective that Walt Whitman cited so frequently in his magnificent poetry.
Here are some suggestions for applying the wisdom of Walt Whitman’s observations to your daily life:
Give thanks every day for this temple that houses your soul. Give verbal appreciation for your life, your eyesight, your pancreas, every organ, every inch of your body. Simply say, “Thank you God for this always changing and always perfect place for me to observe from.” Become more aware of how you choose to treat this miracle of a body. Talk to it as you give it exercise, good food, and generous amounts of fresh water. “I bless you, wondrous body of mine. By being more aware of what a perfect creation you are, I will avoid mistreating you.”
FOCUS ON EXERCISE: Persistent daily exercise is a must if one is going to defeat almost any ailment, and especially multiple sclerosis. In retrospect, exercise and meditation are probably the two most important aspects of my own recovery.
Frannie's story generated so many orders for the Yoga for MS DVD that I had to reorder a supply, so I have a few more in stock. If you wish to order and you live outside the US, please note on the order form the extra $5.00 for shipping. I mailed a number of orders to various countries in Europe and Asia last week, and was astounded that the shipping cost for International shipping had gone to $13.50 US. See Order Form HERE:
I hope something included this month helps each one of you on your own journey to wellness. Until next time, thank you all for playing such an important role in my life. And please remember that smiles, laughter, and love are the most potent "medicines" we have. They can be liberally administered by family and friends, and the side effects are all positive.
One more thing. Please forward this note to a friend who may benefit from this information.
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, AND I HAVE DEVELOPED A PROGRAM THAT HAS KEPT ME SYMPTOM FREE FOR A LOT OF YEARS NOW SINCE PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE MS FIRST MADE ITS APPEARANCE IN MY LIFE.