Thursday, March 6, 2014

MS AWAREness Week

Because this is a touchy subject, I want to remind you to check out my disclaimer before you read.  

This week (March 3-9) is National MS Awareness Week.  I just have to ask- do you think it's odd that diseases have "Awareness Weeks"? Like, "Oh hey, I'm MS.  Be Awaaaaare."  

Don’t get me wrong, awareness is good.  I remember when I was first diagnosed with MS.  Life was dark and scary and I felt really alone.  I didn't tell a whole ton of people because I was afraid of feeling even more alone.  So on behalf of my MS I’ll do my duty and say “Be Aware.” (But don’t be awkwardly aware.  That’s creepy.)
But, what does "Awareness" even mean?  I poked around on the National MS Society’s website and their take is to get "everyone engaged in addressing the challenges of MS today while moving toward long-term solutions for tomorrow.”  I can get on board with this. 
The solution for MS, and most other big problems we face, should involve large groups of people working towards a collective solution.  But I fear that there may be a large group of people moving towards more medical and pharmaceutical intervention, with a secondary focus on diet and lifestyle.  

In light of this, and having taken this journey myself, I really want to make everyone AWARE on a different level.

The first chip to fall for me was when the St. Louis Chapter of the National MS Society sponsored me to work with a trainer four times a month.  Prior to that, I relied on my doctor and pharmaceuticals to change my life.  

I started moving and eating smarter and my condition drastically changed.  And it hit me- I own my life.  Everyone else was a consultant.  
So what does this mean for someone who is just trying to figure all this out? 
  1.  Do your own research: I recently had a conversation with a wonderful women who was newly diagnosed with MS.  The conversation went like this: “Have you heard of this therapy/ food/procedure/hormone that’s supposed to heal MS?”  My head was spinning after 3 minutes.  But it was SUCH a cool conversation.  That woman is a seeker and that is awesome.  So use Google or Bing (I prefer Google) and start to learn.
  2. Be open to a variety of answers:  No one person can be an expert in any one thing.  You can probably get close but we all have our own biases.  The more input, the better. 
  3. Try out different solutions:  Every person’s biological make-up is different.  Don’t get stuck in the mindset that one solution is the way.  Test and learn with your own body.  From my perspective (and my experience with my clients), the most successful people are willing to try different solutions and give them time to work. 
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help:  It takes a village, right?  Find an expert, an open minded friend, an accountability partner, a support group, whatever.  Life is easier when you have someone on your side.

Soooo… Am I saying to quit your all your medications, punch your doctor in the face, and move into a hippie commune?

Uhhhhh… no.  That would be irresponsible (and I hear those communes smell).  And here is the hard truth:
We live in a world where we have unnatural inputs impacting our bodies.  These unnatural inputs have unnatural consequences.  And sometimes those unnatural consequences need unnatural solutions.

What I am saying is:
  • Be AWARE of your body and its ability to heal itself.  
  • Be AWARE that you have the opportunity to support your body so it can support you.  
  • Be AWARE that you are the CEO of your health.  
  • Be AWARE that a diagnosis does not mean you've lost control.  

And most importantly, Be AWARE of this every day of the year.


P.S. This is what I do now…  I help people reclaim their health.  If you are interested in working with me, let me know.  I would be honored.