Barefoot is an experiment. I had horrible chronic shin splints and lower back pain. I took off my shoes and began the barefoot running experiment. At the time I only knew a small group of people doing it and they were all online friends experimenting on themselves too. There were no "how to's" yet. My experiment has worked well for me. I have been successful at running (my definition of success for me) and I have not had running related injuries in over three years. I am still learning. The experiment goes on happily and hopefully for life.
I am taking the same approach with my health. I believe that Multiple Sclerosis is a symptom of an underlying problem. MS is the demyelination of nerve endings. So what causes this? No one really knows but there are many drugs that are out there geared towards slowing down the progression. It sounds good right but it's not good enough for me. The research I have done shows that the side effects from said drugs are as debilitating as my symptoms. In this kind of decision quality of life needs to be addressed. I am taking a different approach and one I have read about others taking and finding great success with. (this goes for many diseases and not just MS)
I have read many theory's and many stories and for now I am not comfortable treating symptoms with prescription drugs. I do believe that getting my body in the kind of shape and condition to fight off whatever the underlying issue is would help regardless of the cause. My body is smart but needs some support and the right fuel and tools.
I have read a lot of research pointing to Lyme Disease as a root cause for MS as well as heavy metal toxicity. The things that I am doing to boost my immune system, supplement for deficiencies, adaptogens, and exercise are what I would do anyways to help my body fight off a cellular bacterial or fungal infection of which Lyme Disease is or detoxify. I also read recently that our bodies cells are only 1/3 our own. I am humbly outnumbered and will support my other cells too!
Since my life is an experiment of one, I am currently in a taking data phase. I keep notes on my health and supplements on a Google calendar and track what I eat using the Livestrong Daily Plate app. I am questioning everything and trying to remember that nothing is certain right now.
One thing I am doing right now as I write this is choke down a huge salad. Just because food is used as medicine does not mean it doesn't get old or sometimes seem unappealing. There are great recipes out there, like this Kale Chip recipe, but I am choking down the kale because its what my body needs.
Two other things I have been working on are my posture and reducing stress in my life. The posture work is stuff right out of my coaching. Its done with a weighted bar and geared to open up the chest and strengthen through functional movements. I also play on the monkey rings we have in our living room.
One of the ways I reduce stress is to make it easier for my body to regulate temperature. Heat intolerance is a big MS symptom and it saps the life out of me. BUT, I can work around it. If I go outside on hot days I have on my ice scarf. I don't know what they are called so I call them ice scarfs. Its a bandana with ice wrapped up in it and worn around the neck. Also cooling the feet helps tremendously. Spraying the feet off with cold hose water or standing in the kiddie pool is wonderful! Eating frozen mixed berries while I do the aforementioned is just the icing on my kale cake! Keeping your temperature down reduces stress on everyone. Think if you could stay cooler out on that run how much better you would do and not to mention how much more enjoyable.
As for eating, digestion can be stressful. If you are already tired, breaking down complex foods is tiring. I like to consume a bit of sugar to get digestion started before I eat my big salad or whatever. Granted this is still an experiment so I might change my mind down the road, but for now eating a couple teaspoons of brown sugar, honey, agave, or maple syrup about 10 minutes before a meal helps me have the energy to digest the meal. Digestion starts in your mouth. Crazy cool!
None of what I am doing is special in regards to it being only for people with MS. I wish I would have been motivated to work on my daily living choices harder years ago. This will be a long term thing. After watching the Dr. Wahl TED video, she said it took months and months to see results but she did see them so I will choke down my kale with a smile.
What do you do to reduce stress? How about staying cool, any tricks?
Wishing you health and happiness!
Stress reduction is a skill that I have yet to master.
As for kale, I love it. I use it as a wrap for my veggie sandwiches. I have to have avocado with it :) but other than that, any thinly sliced veggie can go in. Mushrooms are a great addition too.
I am not sure if it has a similar nutritional value but collard greens are another wonderful leaves for wraps.
I love your approach and I honestly believe this is the way to go.
I use meditation and exercise to reduce stress , can u stand on your head, I do this when i am stressed, and breathe deep. Also head stands are suppose to have many other benefits.
See this link, breathe!
I found your blog through Fitness Sports and began reading about your story.
It is awesome to read about the natural ways you are working on improving your health. You seem very knowledgeable about the benefits of a healthy diet, etc. I noticed you'd mentioned working on your posture -- have you ever considered a chiropractor? I ask as my husband is a DC and has worked with many patients dealing with problems related to their Central Nervous System (as our CNS controls everything!) Removing pressure/interference on your CNS will allow your body to function at a higher level, allow nutrients to be utilized better, etc.
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