Will it make me well?

I teach yoga to a few people who have multiple sclerosis, and I find this illness scary and mysterious.  The medical profession continues to grapple with the cause and best course of treatment, and researchers remain mostly in the dark about it.  This week though, I heard a perspective that provides a handle on how to understand and manage it:  It came from a talk by a woman who was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago and who is virtually symptom free.

Carol was once told she had an aggressive form of the illness and that she would quickly deteriorate.  She had already lost vision in one eye and had trouble walking.  And yet she only used the recommended medications briefly, then went off them because they made her feel sick and were terribly expensive as well.

She looked instead for a different doctor, one who might have other suggestions besides drugs.  She discovered an orthomolecular specialist in Denver who spoke with her sympathetically and recommended homeopathy.  Carol took his advice and addressed her diet as well, eliminating gluten and sugar and eating grass-fed beef and a variety of vegetables.  Today she is symptom free–walking, talking, and practicing as a homeopath herself.  She now sees dietary issues, particularly gluten and overall imbalances, as a key to understanding MS.

We’ve all heard stories of such turn arounds, but I’m very interested in two things about her story.  One is that she came away from her experience with doctors and medication, then homeopathy, realizing the most important question to her when it comes to treating her illness, is, “Will it help me to be well?”  Her determination to seek a treatment or healing path that made sense to her and would support her wellbeing impresses me and, I think, was part of her ability to heal.

Second, I was struck by the part of her story in which she encountered her first doctor, the one who diagnosed her and gave her such a dire prognosis, in the hardware store.  Seeing him, she immediately began to feel nauseous, weak, and confused.  She greeted him and hurried out of the store, recovering her strength outside.  What better example is there of the power of authority and the enduring strength of social conditioning?  Of our passivity in the patient role and the godlike qualities we ascribe to doctors?  After leaving the doctor’s presence Carol felt fine again.  Free of his influence, she felt her health and her body’s remarkable ability to heal.

Also attending her talk was a young man named Dave who sees Carol as a client.  A former forklift operator turned oil and gas employee, he said he also was told he had an aggressive form of MS after experiencing vision loss.  He then experienced pain in his left leg and later lost feeling below his waist.  He stopped working, sat around on the couch dealing with sickness and sleep deprivations from the medications.  He gave up.  His wife, though, did some research, found Carol, and Dave saw her for help with his MS.  He now takes homeopathic remedies and follows a gluten-free diet.  He too is walking, working, and playing ball with his son:  When he does experience numbness or pain he goes to see Carol for remedies and dietary changes.

I am quite struck that these folks had to strike out on their own to get well.  Both learned about the politics of food supply and pharmaceutical use, making their own decisions about their treatment.  And both made radical changes in their diets and sought natural remedies.  It isn’t easy to turn down all the sweets and fast food coworkers bring to work, says Dave, but he knows he must to be well.  Both sought doctors who support their perspectives and partner with them, and both are prepared to challenge conventional “wisdom” on their illness.  While neither is Both against allopathic medicine, they truly do want to support their bodies in more natural ways, and they want to do things that make sense to them.

When Carol and Dave do see doctors, they seek practitioners who acknowledge their needs and the validity of their own approaches to their illness.  There are some who know how to partner with them in their chosen approach, in their quest for wellness, and there are some who do not.

Teen Talking Circles

Interviews with Ingenious Solutionists

A Woman's Way of Knowing

Interbeing, work, health, nature

Holistic Yoga School

Holistic Yoga School

Theodore Richards – 2019

Can we bring our selves to our work?


Supporting Sustainable Communities

Transforming Money

Can we bring our selves to our work?


Earth | Peace | Truth | 2020

home, garden, life

home, garden, life ~ sharing a sustainable lifestyle

body divine yoga

unlock your kundalini power, ignite your third eye, awaken your inner oracle

Brain Pickings

An inventory of the meaningful life.

Louisiana Dreamer ~ Embodiment of Courageous Wild Creative Freedom

Musings and meanderings of writer/artist Linda Hubbard Lalande on art, culture, social media, spirituality, yoga, life

epilepsy me and neurology

complimentary wellness and epilepsy experiences