2014 marks the 30th year since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Against the diagnosis and grim outlook provided by my neurologist at age 19, I’m now thriving, symptom and medication-free. But it wasn’t always this way.
The First Day
One day in August 1984, home on summer break after my freshman year at college, I woke up with a creepy tingling in my feet which slowly rose to my chest. Later that day my parents and I sat in a neurologist’s office where she made the dreadful pronouncement: “I’m 99% sure you have multiple sclerosis (MS), and there’s nothing we can do.” At home later that day, my body went numb from the chest down and I had no sense of my body in space. For nearly two months my body remained completely numb. This was a devastating time for me and my family. We had little information about this mysterious MS and no idea what the future would present. We started planning for my life in a wheelchair. By late September the shroud of numbness started to retreat (thank heavens! my mom would say), but it took a full 2 years for it to vanish. And thus began my relapsing-remitting relationship with MS.
The first 15 years were marked by significant episodes of symptoms every 2–4 years, ranging from similar tingling and numbness to profound fatigue and searingly painful optic neuritis that landed me in the hospital 3 times in two weeks. During these last 15 years, I have been on a steadily improving course. Effective stress-reduction techniques definitely helped, as did removing sugar; but my holy grail was giving up gluten and dairy in 2010. Since then I have been completely symptom-free and, finally, medication-free.
So, How Did I Get Here?
I believe it’s a combination of good luck plus right efforts — and I’m not certain of the order. For me, the main thing is that both luck and effort matter 100%. This means that I’m 100% thankful for my good fortune and I’m 100% responsible for being proactive with my health and wellbeing.
Soon after my MS diagnosis I dove into the journey of self-healing and haven’t stopped since. In addition to consuming terabytes of leading-edge research and information on mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health I have:
- B.A. at Middlebury College
- Certification as Functional Medicine Health Coach
- Dr. Datis Kharrazian’s “Mastering the Thyroid” course
- “Immune Dysfunction and Autoimmunity” module with the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM)
- PSYCH-K® advanced integration training
- HeartMath Mentor/Coach certification
- 100+ hours of neurofeedback brain training
- Energy Medicine with pioneering energy healer, Donna Eden, who healed her own MS
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course at Stanford University
- Self-care and forgiveness courses at Stanford University
- A classically trained homeopath and 30-year veteran autoimmune holistic doctor
- A functional-medicine nutritionist and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner
- An organic chemist and veteran bio-hacker and self-care expert
- Yoga since 1987
- Meditation since 1994
- Healing modalities including Nutritional Muscle Response Testing (NMRT), Biophoton Therapy, BodyTalk®, PSYCH-K® and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
- My food and sleep habits
- Reduced my toxin burden
- Healed my leaky gut & brain
- Lowered my antibodies
- Resolved nutrient deficiencies and adrenal fatigue
- Alignment with my purpose and passion
- The truth about healing from the inside out
- Amazing levels of energy
- The MS diagnosis
Now I’m on a Mission!
I help people access the information they need to make informed decisions on how to achieve and maintain wellbeing. I believe that everyone can find even a little more freedom, no matter where they are on their healing journey. Even if it’s only a slight shift in perspective.
A Little More Background…
Before I found my calling in helping people unwind from and prevent autoimmune conditions, I held a variety of sales, marketing and consulting roles in the high tech and telecommunications industries.
I have also served on the boards of several non-profit organizations focused on education, poverty alleviation, world peace and advancement of women. In 2010 I founded a grass-roots literacy organization, Reading is Freedom, to address this global issue in local underserved communities. In 2013 Reading is Freedom was folded into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for greater support and scale.
When I’m not learning, writing, collaborating or speaking about finding freedom from autoimmune conditions, I might be found doing yoga, hiking in the hills, doing HIIT workouts, connecting with friends and family, cooking healthy meals and laughing as much as possible.
You can read more about my healing journey here.